Conversation with a fan

At a recent convention, I met a fan who’d been touched, deeply, by my book about  (1) what severe organic depression feels like and (2) what coming out of severe organic depression feels like…in other words, dealing with healing. It was written with two audiences in mind: those who were currently depressed, so they would not feel so alone, and those who wanted to understand was depression was really like, so they know how to help.

This reader belonged to a third group: sexual abuse survivors. I simply cannot tell you how marvelous it made me feel to be able to point her to a support group and sign that book. In case you or someone you know is in one of those categories, here’s a sample of what’s inside.


It reminds me of when I suddenly had a job five minutes from home

Instead of 50 minutes away.

It’s similar to when all three of my children toilet trained within a month,

And it felt like I grew an extra arm – much more got accomplished.

It’s a paradigm shift.


I need less sleep.

I have more energy.

I can think clearly.

I can make decisions.

I can concentrate.


It’s exhilarating to know that I was ill with depression,

Not just lazy or stupid.

But it is terrifying to finally see this expanse of time

That healthy people take for granted:

What do they do with it?


So many responsibilities–put off ‘til later–

That time is now.

They crowd around me like a pack of reporters

At a dramatic rescue, and

It’s overwhelming.

Crushing me from all sides, like reporters yelling

And shoving their microphones in my face,

“What are you going to do now?” they ask me all at once.


I bite back my fear and make a statement

to this internal press corps:

I will tackle the priorities slowly, I tell them,

Because Rome wasn’t built in a day

And I will be as gentle on myself as I possibly can.

This is uncharted territory.

I will try to find myself here.


No, maybe it is more like winning the lottery

And being besieged by old creditors.

They had given up calling to say, “Why haven’t you taken care of this?”

They had stopped sending me nasty letters.

Now they all seem to know that I have new resources.

This is way past due, they each call to tell me.

My emotional phone won’t stop ringing.

I’d like to rip it out of the wall.

But it here: