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Donna Flood
Peanuts, Popcorn and Depression

     “Depression is like a sneaky little monster. It tiptoes through the house smirking and peeping around corners, a wicked visitor. By the time the busy victim catches sight of the monster it can almost be too late to recover from its dirty tricks.”  Mona and her friend, Lana,  were visiting over a cup of coffee. A bowl of popcorn and peanuts was on the table. Lana reached for one of the kernels and popped it into her mouth.

      “Oh yes,” Lana picked up the creamer and drizzled a pattern on the top of her coffee with it. Both women stared at the cup as if there might be some solution in the dark and light swirls there.

      “I'm reading this book,” Mona said.  “It is all about depression and the way it behaves.”

       “You mean it isn't a nasty little personality hell bent on destruction?” Lana wasn't that easily swayed.

      “Well, I had to do something. I feel like I'm acting as a counselor wherever I go. Whether it is a clerk who is glaring down her nose at everyone or an angry driver just on the edge of road rage, I'm telling you, depression is real.  I had to do something, read a book about it, anything to understand what is happening.”  Mona felt she was blithering in an attempt to make herself understood. “It seems I have to be eternally alert.”

      Mona had managed to catch Lana's attention.  Lana asked, “who wrote that book?”

      “Richard O' Conner, PhD. It is called, Un-doing Depression.  Here look at it.”  Mona handed the book to her friend.

      Lana was a quick learner. She immediately buried her head in the book's pages. “He says here, “this is not a treatment book.”

      “I know he said that but it sure is enlightening.”  Mona had to defend her interest in the material. She jabbed her finger down to a place on the page, “Did you see what he says about one out of four having depression?”

      “Look at all he lists here. 1. Sad, empty mood 2. Loss of interest in former pursuits 3. Eating disorders 4. Weight loss or gain 5. Lack of Self Worth 6. Decrease in activity 7. Hopelessness 8.  Diminished ability to think. Yep.  Oh yeah!  I'm depressed, this proves it.”  Lana chuckled.

      “Oh well,” Mona laughed, too. “I guess we can find an excuse for anything, being brainless included.”

      “I think we are doing what he said not to do.”  Mona had to note. “We are practicing self-treatment.”

      “There's a whole lot more!”  Lana had to continue.

      “Don't read anymore.”  Mona grinned, “it makes me too depressed.”

      “Just this,” Lana was insistent.  “Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, Sigmund Freud, and Ted Turner suffered depression.”

       “I know, I read that.”  Mona picked up her cup of coffee and tasted the warm, soothing  liquid as she gazed over and out the small window there in her kitchen. A little bird bounced from limb to limb and then on over to the bird bath.  The filtered light coming through the glass was bright and seemed to be so strong. Years of living through the sad condition of cerebral palsy with her daughter had honed her mentality to a different level. There wasn't a day over forty-five years when something or other had happened to bring hurt to her as a mother. In order to function, to subconsciously spit in the face of the agony a new world of practiced life and living had to be implemented.

       Like her Dad, who once observed a miserable situation, “You see this beautiful little rock?  Well, I'm telling you that is all I got out of the whole scenario today. But,  just look at it!  Isn't that the most incredible color?  Look!  There is pink, black, tan, and flecks of white going through it. I'm telling you, now that is gorgeous.”

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