Seven years ago, I received a call from my mom that a friend of mine had died in a car wreck. I was stunned. For the next week I walked about in a daze seeing life through a different set of lenses. As I looked around me, I realized that some things I had deemed important in this life really weren't that important.
Six months ago my daughter confided to me that she had been depressed for quite some time. Though I went through the necessary steps to get help for her, I was in denial. I was sure that it was just a hormonal imbalance....you know, part of growing up....and that everything would be better soon. Reality set in the day I found myself holding a bottle of Prozac in my hand and listening to the pharmacist on the other side of the counter counsel me about the possible side effects of the medication. I don't think I'll ever forget the drive home. On the outside I forced myself to stay calm for my daughter's sake, but on the inside I was shaken. How had this happened? In the space of one year, both of my oldest girls had experienced major events in their lives that no parent would ever wish for their children. Over and over again I pondered what part I had played in bringing us to this point. By the time we pulled in the driveway, I again found myself looking at life through a different set of lenses.
The changes that came about in my oldest child's life were easier for me to deal with. It was something I was familiar with and I knew it would have a definite end. I knew how to help her. But with my younger daughter's depression I feel like I'm in a dark tunnel trying to feel my way out. I want SO much to help her, but I'm not sure how. And like a dark tunnel, I cannot see if the end is close or far away. There is no way to tell. At times I think we are making great strides, and then I stumble on an unexpected obstacle and I realize that we haven't come as far as I had naively imagined. And when I stumble, I realize how tired I am. I try to stay strong for my daughter, but there are days that I falter.
A few days ago, I experienced an unexpected obstacle along the path. My daughter let me know that her medication was actually making her have more frequent bouts with the depression. There was a flurry of communication between the psychologist, the pediatrician, his nurse, and me. In what felt like the blink of an eye, we found ourselves in the pharmacy with a new prescription in hand.
Interestingly enough,it is almost always after one of these unexpected bumps in the road that I remember that I need to put my new lenses back on. Tonight I did just that and I was reminded of what I learned after my friend died....some things are more important than others and those are the things that I should focus on.