I don't remember when it began, but at some point, watching Star Trek: The Next Generation reruns at 5pm on Fox became a tradition in our household. My mom, sister and I would usually watch in the sewing room before getting supper together. It got to the point where we could tell you which episode it was before the screen changed from black, but that didn't stop us from continuing to watch the episode. It was our thing and we enjoyed it.
The thing that I didn't understand (and no one beyond my family had a clue about) was that I had dysthymic disorder, commonly referred to as chronic depression. This was before there was much talk about this sort of thing, so I really didn't understand why I usually felt like shit. I could fake happy around friends, but while I wasn't a rebellious teen, it also wasn't particularly easy for my parents to get along with me. I had a good life: friends, parents who loved me and each other and a great sister. I played soccer, I loved to read and did well in school. There was no real reason for me to feel so bad, why didn't I feel thankful for what I had? My mom is wonderful, but didn't understand why I couldn't just be happy. And if not, why didn't I talk to someone about it. But why would I talk to someone, what the fuck was talking going to do? How was talking about how shitty I felt going to help me feel better? Well, she'd say, maybe it would help if you knew you weren't the only person who felt like this. Well shit, now I feel terrible for the people who feel like me.*
Back to ST:TNG. Not only did I like the show, but I had a serious crush on Wesley Crusher (played by non other than Wil Wheaton, but you probably figured that out from the title). Now, after school, I would usually come home and take a nap. My mom would come wake me up by 5 to watch ST:TNG if I wasn't up by then. But, when I was feeling especially crappy, I just want to stay in bed. At that point, the only thing getting me up was if Wesley Crusher was in the episode.
Now if you follow Wil Wheaton on Twitter (you should) or you read his blog (you should) you know he's been cleaning out his garage and going through stuff he's kept through the years. He's made some funny comments about his insecurities as a teen and he's written a post about depression. And this is where I say thank you. Your teenage self may have been insecure and kind of a tool, but I thought you were awesome enough to get out of bed to watch on TV (which was a bigger deal than it sounds like).
I was finally diagnosed with depression in 2001 and have been on medication since then. There are still days that are harder than others, but knitting, spinning, reading and exercise help. Watching my daughters grow up also helps. My family and friends help. And knowing I'm not alone, well, it does kind of help.
I am not as eloquent or funny as I would wish, but I just wanted to write this down.
Now, I will leave you with pictures of the birthday girls Margaret (11/15) and Alice (11/23), eating cupcakes (made to Margaret's exacting specifications by my MIL) for Alice's birthday. I can't believe they are 5 and 2 already!
There will be actual knitting (and spinning) content soon. Really. Because, dude, I went to Rhinebeck this year and it was AWESOME!
*My mom feels guilty that she didn't do more at the time, but really, how would she have known what to do? I wouldn't have talked to anyone.