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Monday, March 19, 2018

Mourning my Husband

Hi Ms. Curtiss,    

I purchased your book, “Depression Is a Choice” when it first came out and found it a breath of fresh air.  Lately, however, I have not been completely convinced about the choice part because I am feeling that my current depression is bigger than I am.

A few months ago, my husband of 35 years died of throat cancer.  He is a man who is irreplaceable, especially at my ripe old age of 68.  I have been going to a grief group, dealing with my depression over this with a therapist, but do not seem to be able to pull myself out of this one.  What is your take of the grief process and how it relates to depression?  The general wisdom is you have to go through it, and everyone has their own time table.  However, this happened over 4 months ago, and I feel worse now, so I am questioning my handling of things.

Anything you could offer me would be greatly appreciated as I find you very well spoken and very well thought out.  BTW, I just purchased your 2nd book from Amazon, and looking forward to more of your wisdom within its covers.

Thank you,

Dear Friend

Mourning is one of the sacred ceremonies of life. But we must not let the ceremony of honoring what we have lost slide into the mere chemical imbalance of depression wherein we merely suffer and have lost sight of what we have lost and are mourning. Remember that we don't live our lives by the year, or  even by the day. We live life by the instant. Look for what can uplift you in nature, a small flower, a friendly tree, a beautiful cloud. In connecting with your fellow man, even just a friendly remark to the person ahead of you in the grocery line is reconnecting with life.. Instant by instant we must find something to love, to honor or respect for in that instant we are connected with all life and bit by bit we string together these precious moments to find peace. May God bless you.   A. B. Curtiss

Dear Ms. Curtiss

Thank you for your lovely words and being so generous with your time.  I will hold those words close and abide by them.  I will definitely use the tools in your second depression book, when I receive it, as I see I have let grief slip me into the depression abyss.  My goal is to find a way to live “around” the grief, and am sure your book will help.

A thousand thank you’s,

Thursday, March 8, 2018

I've Never Felt Truly Happy

Dear AB
I am almost 16 and have never truly felt happy. I do not fear depression, I only fear of letting it win. I have had very traumatic experiences ever since I can remember. It just has never gotten better.

Dear Never Truly Happy,
You are not alone. The new generations of Americans are known for their rootlessness and a feeling of not belonging and flat out unhappiness. Our whole society has become less connected. People are connecting to the Internet, to virtual connections like facebook or twitter instead of connecting with each other. People move all the time and the lifestyle of knowing most of the people in our small town is long gone. The only help for us humans is to somehow figure out how to connect with like-minded people. It takes some effort on your part but…

The trick is to use the Internet not as an end in itself but to use it to connect to real people in some way. If you like to hike, you will find a list of where to meet other hikers on Meetup.com for your area. There might be one or two other groups meeting that you might find interesting. 

It is always possible to make some small connection with our fellow man even if it's just to say "nice day, isn't it" to the next person in the grocery checkout line. Or waiting in line at the Post Office or for movie tickets. It takes a little courage to be the first to make a friendly remark to a stranger, but let me en-courage you to do it.  A.B. Curtiss