This weekend my pack went for a walk along the Vergas Long Lake Trail. The path is serene and a great place to reflect. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. 

When it comes to those I love, I am a fierce protector and my heart is as soft as a blueberry. 

Being a reporter puts in contact with a lot of people, and the risk of contracting COVID-19 increases.  So, I followed the rules; kept to myself and wore a mask. I know my heart can’t bear causing a loved one harm when it could be prevented.  

Acquaintances called me a sheep, but I’ve been called worse, so I knew that had nothing to do with a growing depression. 

Facetime and chatting will never replace hugging a loved one or those nights around a fire roasting marshmallows and reminiscing or dreaming with friends. The weight of those interpersonal losses came to a head on Thanksgiving 2020. I hit a full-on depression. There was nothing I wanted to do, nor did I have the energy. It was a dark, place.  

As I walked on the Vergas pier with my dogs this past weekend, I smiled at good fortune and how moods and attitudes can change. The dogs played a big part in helping me through. When I was laying on the floor holding my nightly staring contest with the ceiling, they laid with me. When I had no energy, they made me muster up some to go for a walk. I’m thankful for them.   

I’m thankful for the friend that I confided in when I was struggling. For me, that is one of the toughest things I have ever done. Asking for help on a personal level is hard for me because  of unpacked suitcases from the past. But, I did it. My friend recommended giving CBD a try. I am not one to jump on the bandwagon of any shaman. After research to ensure CBD is safe, I gave it a try, because I had nothing to lose at that point. 

In short order I was back to completing daily chores, partaking in an exercise routine and even flashed a few genuine smiles. Oh, and I was sleeping! 

For months my days began at 6 a.m. and often concluded at some ungodly dawn of a new day scenario. My head wasn’t spinning with to-do items or working through complex equations; I just simply could not sleep. Suddenly, I could.

I am also thankful for the Sanford nurse and doctor who cared. At an unrelated visit (shortly after I gave CBD a try) I was asked how I was, to which I replied, “I’m alive.”

I didn’t think anything of that response as I’d been delivering it for months. The difference was, they heard a diving bell, dove in and asked about my mental health. 

While I wasn’t up to par, I was feeling on the course at that point, so additional help wasn’t needed. However, it surprised me how much I appreciated them noticing and talking to me about my depression. For that I am thankful.

After being shot twice and surviving, I feel as if I have regained some sanity. Research suggests 20 days after being fully vaccinated with Pfizer one will be protected for at least 6 months. While there is a 5 percent chance I can contract it, the scale suggests I won’t. If I am in contact with a positive case, I no longer will have to get tested (something I’ve had to do a few times this past year). 

I’ve also read studies that indicate the vaccine (which is similar to Modera) will hold up against some variants.

As I write this I have about three days to go before the bear hugs begin.

(I believe the federal government opened up vaccination shots to anyone 16 or older this week. Anyone still searching for a vaccine should call Seip Drug (334-3070 or your clinic for more information.)