I am thankful my daughter is a survivor

“Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.”

Maya Angelou

Ever since my daughter’s suicide attempt in March of 2011, I find myself worrying more about her this time of year. Looking back over the years, I have noticed that her depression has a pattern of emerging in the early spring, and this is when most of her setbacks have occurred. I am not sure to what I can attribute this tendency, although data seems to support a rise in depression and suicide attempts in the spring.

In my daughter’s case I believe the exacerbation of her depression may have had something to do with the end of her winter competition season. The swim season crescendos upward into the biggest meets in March, and shortly thereafter, her mood was more likely to spiral downward. I have shared with her my observation that what goes up must come down. The higher the level of adrenaline and intensity of emotional energy she put into her sport, the more likely she was to have a big mood shift when the season ended.

support group

Now my daughter is in a career where she experiences the same pattern. A few weeks ago she called me in tears and rather than panic, I remained calm and did the little things I could do to help her get back on track. Namely I listened and helped her to navigate the system to get her medication to her, since she had run out a while ago. The biggest difference I have noticed in my daughter between now and a few years ago is that she recognizes these patterns and is able to put a label on them which makes it easier for her to ask for help. She has matured so much in the past few years and made a lot of progress in dealing with her depression and recovery from her eating disorder.

Words cannot express how thankful I am that my daughter is a survivor.



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