Monday, October 28, 2013

Zelda Fitzgerald

Back in September Eric and I attend the Baltimore Book Expo and learned the F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda, lived in Baltimore for awhile when she received treatment at Johns Hopkins and Shepherd Pratt for mental breakdowns.  A few weeks ago I stumbled across a new book here in the library that was a novelization of Zelda's life. Knowing her connection to Baltimore my interest was peaked and so I read it.

Wow, have we come a long way in diagnosing and treating mental disorders since the 30's and 40's. Zelda had her first breakdown in France and was institutionalized for over a  year. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia because her mind was split.  And why was her mind split? Because she wanted to do more than be her husband's doormat. Zelda was a writer and a painter and a dancer but all of this was overshadowed by her very famous husband.

Over the years until her death she would relapses and have to return to various hospitals until she was killed in a hospital fire.

When I read the book I was saddened for her and so grateful that medicine has come as far as it has. I know there is much we do not know, especially when it comes to mental illnesses. I am also grateful that the role a woman plays has changed. Now I am a very traditional woman in  a lot of ways but I still feel that a woman should be able to choose to live her life and not be told how to live her life by her husband.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

We are all connected

Last night I attended the Depression Support Group that my church hosts. For the opening activity we all choose a word that described us and then spelled it out with scrabble tiles. After that we connected all of our words together (we are aware that we didn't follow the actual rules). I realized looking at the words that all of the words can describe me at some point or another.
One of the blessings about having group at church is is that we can talk about Christ and the Atonement. One of the other ladies started talking about how there are subtle blessings that we don't always see in out lives. One of the blessings I realized that has come due to depression is deep friendships. Almost all of my close friends in Baltimore have come through this group and the sharing that we do. While I had hoped to overcome depression and not have to deal with it anymore that wasn't the blessing God sent me right now.