author: "One More Day: A powerful true story of suicide, loss, and a woman's newfound faith"

The Day Depression made us Laugh

My medication sat on the counter at our local drug store, and before I picked it up to put it in my purse, the pharmacy tech asked about my necklace.

I wear a semicolon on a silver chain to bring awareness to suicide prevention. I wear it because we lost my sister to suicide in October 2015. Wearing it keeps me fighting for her. And it allows me to discuss suicide awareness and prevention when people ask about it.

Except the irony this day was just too much.

I looked at the young woman standing behind the counter, and with my teenage daughter at my side, said, "It's a suicide awareness symbol. Just as an author has a choice as to continue a sentence or not, we have a choice to continue our life."

And it hit me.

I slowly reached out to grab my antidepressants. The young woman stood still, and quietly said, "Okay."

I turned without saying another word, linked arms with my daughter, and muttered to her, "Well, that was awkward."

And we fell into laughter while walking out of the store. On our drive home, we repeated over and over what had happened. And we laughed even more. Maybe we laughed at the irony of it. Maybe at the absurdity of the situation.

For a minute, though, it was funny. For a minute, we could laugh. For a moment, we found humor. For a few minutes, we found a form of relief. Depression, in all the heartache and loss we have experienced in our family, actually provided a lighthearted memory.

And when we need that relief back, we recreate that moment. And we laugh again.

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Kathy Wood - March 7th, 2018 at 1:31pm

You are a blessing and beacon of hope! Keep bringing this into the forefront!

Kym - March 7th, 2018 at 7:55pm

Thank you, Kathy!! 💚💚

Karen - March 7th, 2018 at 4:07pm

Thank you for writing this piece, Kym, and please keep this topic in front of all of us. We’ve lost two family members to addiction/depression. I believe we all need to be talking about our mental health more and more!! Thank you!!

Kym - March 7th, 2018 at 7:57pm

Thank you, Karen. I’m so sorry for your losses. It’s a difficult and unpopular subject to discuss, but we have to have the faith that we’re moving forward in the right direction in breaking down the stigma associated with it. 💚

Kim Gray - March 7th, 2018 at 5:44pm

I love this, Kym... the ‘rawness’ of the message, the simple fact we need to just be honest with ourselves and with others and when we do this, our days are so much lighter and easier. The fact is, everyone has their struggles and there’s no real ‘perfect’. Just love others as you want to be loved, be quick to listen and slow to anger and show compassion... so thankful for you!

Kim Hamblin - March 11th, 2018 at 6:59pm

I see you have found a platform. Great. People don’t truly understand depression. I walked into my own mental health clinic in 1986 and asked for help. I was in England in the Air Force and had little choice. Since 1986, with the exception of a 9 month stretch, I have taken an antidepressant. How can a Clinical Psychologist have depression? Am I not a hypocrite or unqualified to practice my profession? Nope! I’m good at what I do. I understand depression and the semi-colon tattoo. Life continues after a depressive episode, hopefully a more enlightened life. Beating an episode doesn’t mean you will never have another. It took Kay Cronkite’s book, The Edge of Darkness, to teach me that many of us have had “sub-clinical “ bouts with depression long before it becomes serious enough to ask for help. Many people never ask for help and live lives below their potential. Some of us try the work harder cure, which really means longer and less efficient hours. We need more therapists, but we need more courageous people like you to demystify and destigmatize mental illness. People need to understand that it’s not weakness or a lack of faith, but something for which there is treatment. Treatment is talk and often, not always, medication. It ain’t funny except when it is. You have the heart of a therapist and a servant’s heart. Keep writing!