Depression doesn’t care…

I taught Sasha Obama when she was in 6th grade both in her private school and privately. (I’m a voice teacher.) I met the whole family, even Grandma, during the performance where Sasha got to show off her singing skills in a very small, family-only gathering. Still, there were snipers on the roof and bomb sniffing dogs and helicopters circling above us. I was excruciatingly depressed at the time but no one knew. No one knew that I walked around every minute of every day wanting to die. No one knew that my internal dialogue was working so hard to convince me that I didn’t deserve this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Even though I know it was not my fault, still my deepest regret in life will be that I was not able to fully absorb all the joy inherent in a moment like that.

Depression does not care if you are experiencing the highlight of your career.

IMG_1296.jpgThe thing I will always remember is Michelle sitting across from me at the dinner table and talking about how all she really wanted was to exercise with other people, to take a Zumba class. What she exposed to me in that moment was something that went far beyond the desire to break with a boring fitness routine. I saw it in her eyes and I will never forget how intimate it felt to know that even the First Lady of the United States – someone I thought had everything – felt lonely and craved connection just like me.

Even though depression put a dark fog between me and the pleasure of teaching Sasha and meeting her family, there were enough cracks that allowed me to see their enormous lights shining, to hear their laughter, and sense their boundless love for each other.

Farewell Obama Family. I wish mental illness had term limits.

14 thoughts on “Depression doesn’t care…

  1. It’s hard when you’re depressed to see that you’re not alone. We each have our own journey in life to contend with. I too deal with depression, even when I’m laughing on the outside. I’m sorry you’re struggling.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Depression sucks and depression lies, but I am so so glad that you are still here with us sharing your struggles. Term limits on mental illness… that would be wonderful! Thank you for letting us into Michelle’s life just a little as well. The Obamas will be so so missed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks ELLEN. You are the best. Depression does lie and it won’t shut up. I think that’s what so many want it smother it with pills or a noose or drugs or whatever. (I am not suicidal now but have been and it is truly like torture.) thanks for your comment.

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  3. What an amazing moment and what a perfect way to demonstrate the isolation you were feeling. It’s obvious from your writing that you’ve had many struggles, but also obvious the inner strength you have to overcome and act despite what you are going through. I hope you give yourself credit for the strength too.
    On another note, I too am sorry to see the Obamas go.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, what an experience. I really liked the contrast in the details you included here. I hadn’t moved past the bomb sniffing dogs and the helicopters when I came to Michelle’s confession about the social connection she craved. What a great piece! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great insight into depression muffling the light all around us. Glad you had some cracks in the depression to let some light shine in. I love the idea of Mental Illness term limits. I love your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This: “Even though I know it was not my fault, still my deepest regret in life will be that I was not able to fully absorb all the joy inherent in a moment like that.”
    You’re the shit, gf, the mutha fucking SHIT.
    (That’s a good thing.)

    Liked by 1 person

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