I had to name her because I was tired of feeling controlled by her. By naming her she became a guest I could try to encourage to leave, rather than something that shows up and takes over my life.

Veda is the depression that plagues me. She is seductive and detrimental to my wellness. She steals my mind and body and makes me sleep or not, be mean and feel hopeless.

But I am not without hope.

You might think that the 2 mood stabilizers I take would keep her away, but until God chooses to balance the chemicals inside me differently, those pills I take before bed, help me. They don’t stop the anxiety, depression and obsessive thoughts and feelings, but they help slow my mind down so I can manage them better. Sometimes my reality is too much for me. It doesn’t matter if the sun is shining, the bills are paid and I am on my way to see my best friend; when you have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder…sometimes there is an open invitation to Veda…and sometimes there are triggers that cause her to show up.

I would like to say I hate her, but I have found that by hating her, I made her stronger. So I am accepting her. She is part of my life. 

Karen and I have action plans for all types of visits, whether it is a short one, or a long one, if she brought a ton of luggage or just a carry-on. We have learned to be flexible because that is what you do when the goal is to get all team members to the finish line, together. 

Sometimes that just means I spend some extra time with God in prayer and worship and then find something constructive to do. Sometimes my action plan includes confession to a team member that Veda wants me to end my life. Violence is NEVER an option. 

I am a lucky woman.

I am thankful that my mind can handle that rule. Some people don’t have that rule…and they try and try again to end the pain until they succeed, unless God chooses to take this thorn in their side.

I am not scared of Veda anymore. I still get to choose what I do when she is here. The medications, the rules and my helpful and loving relationships with my team make that possible.

If you live with your own Veda please find your team.

My team consists of my kind, smart and beautiful wife, Karen, my companion animal, Xavier, who sometimes acts as my little guardian lion, my sister-friend, Jamie and my counselor Pam. There are several kind people in my life, but these are the people that have offered me support, answers and even a few teats so I wouldn’t have to cry alone…The leader, of course, is God, who gives Jamie dreams about me so she always knows when to call, inspires Karen to casually come home from work, for no reason, when I need a hug, and who leads Xavier to give me looks to remind me to take care of myself and puts himself between me and any perceived danger.

If you know someone who has their own Veda, please try to understand that they are not always in control of their circumstances even if they look fine; they might not have a healthy home, or an action plan, or maybe their Veda is bigger, badder and meaner than mine.

Their sickness takes nothing away from you. If you can’t handle it, just be honest. We will all be better for your truth.

When you live with a Veda you learn to accept that we all have shortcomings and it is better to accept what you can’t change and embrace what you can.

Be kind.

P.S. It took me almost 3 months to write this…

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