Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday Musings - depression has lifted

So here's what I discovered - for me, depression comes when there is something I am going to have to do, face, decide about, that will be extremely difficult. I don't want to have to face whatever, so I suppress everything having to do with it. This is all out of conscious awareness, of course, so all I am aware of is the depression. How I know all this - the depression disappeared after making an extremely difficult decision.

Four years ago I had arthroscopic surgery on my left knee for a torn meniscus. I didn't pay attention when the surgeon told me I'd eventually need a total knee replacement. I've had so many surgeries, I wasn't willing to accept I needed another one. I remember him saying I had arthritis in the knee, but that didn't penetrate either.

Fast forward to now. My knee has been aching pretty steadily for the past few months. I ignored it until I couldn't ignore it anymore. I went to see the surgeon - he showed me my post-operative report from 2007 - Stage IV osteoarthritis - basically there is no cartilage left in that knee - it is bone on bone.
I am lucky I am not in more severe pain and that I can get up from the couch and walk without much pain. It just aches.

But here's the kicker. I am a folkdancer. Folk dancing involves high impact moves. I think I've known all along that I might have to give it up and I wasn't willing to face that because it is one of the true joys in my life. It is where hubby and I met - it is the main thing we do together.

If I continue dancing, I accelerate the pace of the degeneration and will need knee surgery much sooner. If I quit, and take good care of my knee with exercises, etc, I can perhaps prolong the surgery for years.
Another factor is my insurance will no longer cover my surgeon's practice after 4/1, so I wouldn't be able to go to him for the surgery, and he's one of the best in the state.

So, I've decided to let go of dancing. In three years, I'll be 65 and can go to my surgeon thru Medicare. I hope my knee lasts that long. In the meantime, to replace folkdancing, I've signed up to learn to play the piano - something I've wanted to do since I'm 8 years old.

Motto of the story, there is none. For me, it's to pay more attention to what I'm not wanting to face. Although the difficult decision has a major impact on my life, the depression is much worse.



Vicki Rocho said...

I'm glad the depression has lifted! Just sorry you had to give up something you love to get there. I like that you've signed up for piano lessons, though. What a great way to put a positive spin on the situation!

Jules said...

So glad the depression sorted its self out but really sorry to hear dancing was the victim. Maybe you can learn to play piano like Little Richard and at least get a wiggle in. :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Karen Walker said...

Vicki, thanks. Yeah, I was pretty proud of myself for thinking of taking piano lessons.
Jules, I'll still wiggle a bit when I sing with Sugartime.

Joanne said...

It makes sense, though, the way that being in that state of terrible indecision can trigger the depression. It's interesting how once you make the decision and move forward, the cloud lifts. Bye bye depression, hello to tickling the ivories :)

Arlee Bird said...

It's good when you have a variety of interests and an unending curiosity to find new interests. Sounds your exchange of focus is a good plan. There are always enjoyable alternatives to replace things we can't do. Glad to hear that you're moving ahead and seeing the silver linings.

Tossing It Out

Kelly Moran said...

The heroine in my new book has depression. I myself suffer seasonal depression. great post.

I woke up Sunday a.m. to find my blog, my 500 plus followers, my 100plus author interviews, and my 200 plus reviews gone. Blogger gave no explanation, but I think the account was hacked. Change your password often!

I have reloaded the interviews and reviews, plus redesigned the blog. But if you could, please hit the "follow" button so I can reclaim the fellow bloggers I miss. I'm still following you, as my account remained--thank goodness!

Thank you!
Kelly Moran

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

But now you have something new to conquer!

Karen Walker said...

Joanne, yes, yes, yes.
Lee, yes, it's always nice when we can see the silver lining
Kelly, sorry you suffer from depression - it's difficult. I'll be happy to go follow you again. Thanks for letting me know.
Alex, yes, oy vay!

Arlee Bird said...

Saw your question on Alex's blog comments about the list of participants in A to Z. I think if you click the A to Z Badge on any of the cohosts' sites it should lead you to the page. On my blog you can click the button at the top of my page that says "Sign Up for A to Z Challenge" and that will also take you to the list. Alex can also provide you with the code for the Linky list so you can add it to a special page on your site -- you can ask Alex if you'd like that.

Tossing It Out

Tabitha Bird said...

Glad your depression has lifted. You are an amazing woman and very wise too. I hope you just LOVE playing that piano :))

Mason Canyon said...

Sorry you're having to give up dancing but the promise of playing the piano sounds intriguing. I'd say you're not really giving up dancing, just putting it on hold while you learn to play the music you want to dance to.

Thoughts in Progress

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

That was a tough decision and one only you could make. Good luck.

Jemi Fraser said...

Motto of the story: when something isn't working out the way you like, take a brand new direction and find a new joy! Have fun :)

Karen Walker said...

Arlee, thanks, Alex set me straight on how to do this. Phew!
Tab, thanks, you're an angel. Would love to "talk."
Mason, my days of hard, fast dancing are, indeed, over, even when I do get my knee replaced. But I'm really becoming okay with it. Thank you.
Jane, it was an extremely difficult decision. Thanks for the support.
Jemi, I love your motto!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Karen, I'd be depressed, too if that had to be my decision. Of course you can always go "folkschmoozing" as Marlene calls it.


Anonymous said...

My parents dance and Iknow how much it means to them so I can relate to your situation. But there's still music and singing you can do. Maybe be one of those people who sit on a piano and sing.

Jessica Bell said...

Good luck with the piano, Karen! Sounds like a great substitute! :o)

Sharon Lippincott said...

Oh, dear, I do know how hard that must be. Even tho there are a few dances that are gentler, I think it would be so frustrating to be there and not be able to fully participate.

On the bright side, the piano will tie in well with your singing. Nice job of making lemonade!