The deal with living with depression, and being open about it, is this: I AM NOT ALWAYS DEPRESSED! I am not a negative person all the time. Most of the time I am stable and happy – or at least in a good mood. I love my life. I have an amazing daughter. I have a great little house. I have a passion – writing – and I have been blessed with a long, successful career doing it. I have friends. I have my health. I look in the mirror and I like what I see. I would not want to be anyone else.

This is how I feel most days. I don’t stand out because on these days, I am healthy and normal. But some days my ILLNESS flares and I am depressed. I reach out for help. I write and talk about it, because that is what I have been told to do. It works. But I need to be very careful. Today I realize that when I am just feeling down, or upset or I say something stupid or negative, there are people who will chalk that up to my depression even though they do not know me: “What do you expect? Have you read what she writes? She is so focused on her depression. Of course she is a negative person.”

Who wants to be around negative energy Рwhether it is caused by my depression, a bad day or a just an off-hand, stupid negative comment? Bad days and negative comments happen to everyone Рwhether they have depression or not. But those of us with depression must understand that some people have had enough of our negativity Рwhether we are actively in a depression or we are just having a bad day.

They just don’t want any more of our negativity in their lives. It is just the way it is. We could belly-laugh from here to kingdom-come but we cannot take back the negative vibes that we have thrown out and they have caught. I am not going to let this stifle my right to have a bad day or say or do something I wish I hadn’t. I am human and I will make mistakes – just like people who do not have depression.

Today I will respect everyone’s tipping point. Negativity is negativity – whether it is depression induced or not. I do not like it any more than they do. I will let them find joy in their lives just as I am finding mine.

So, excuse me. I have to go play with my dog at the park, then do a little swinging on the swing-set. I am feeling pretty darn good today.