So facebook is a big time suck for me. I love reading about how everyone’s life is going and seeing pictures of their lives.  I have smart, thoughtful, diverse friends, and I enjoy hearing their opinions and experiences.  I have funny friends and I like to laugh.

This last week, a friend tuned me into a facebook app that has helped me waste about 5 hours of my life. It takes your old status updates and uses them to generate new status updates for you. I generally consider myself a pretty amusing person, but KirstenBot is hilarious. So I’m hitting “generate status” and laughing, repeat, laugh, repeat, laugh. My main topics seem to be art, my kids, chickens, and poop. “Today the human soul asks if we're all old and put in a list for a day called fat.” “Local friends, we are scavenging for parts for a borderline hoarder, like giving yourself a high five. “ “Pit firing Nathan's school police and not buying that we had a 3.4 earthquake at breakfast and a grinchy attitude?”

 But through this thread was a dark line, because guess what else kept showing up? Cancer, thyroid, lymph nodes, funeral, eye problems. “Happy 13th Anniversary to my secondary lymph nodes, and I can’t see chickens very well.” “Now that's two doctors who gave Jacob can rest of the abnormal curvature of breast cancer, sitting in the trees in Nancy's yard. Sorry, Nancy. The artsy's okay, just a good ophthalmologist?” “Feeling a little post funeral funk and it all comes down to chocolate chickens.”

That’s because this generator is pulling from past status updates and it’s been a heck of a couple of years for me and my family. Horrible financial strain,personal and family health struggles, and too many deaths. So even though I’m laughing at these nonsense posts, I’m also feeling the weight of these last 5 years on my soul. Last year especially was a never-ending marathon of trials. After making it through moms’ breast cancer, losing Jeremy’s dad to thyroid cancer, and starting to lose my eye sight to Keratoconus, at this exact time last year I was receiving the gift of good eye sight. It was my own personal miracle, brought about by countless friends and family and even strangers, who donated money so that I could undergo a procedure to correct and stabilize my degenerative eye condition. You’d think after being the center of such a miracle that one’s life would be just dandy, but I think I was so exhausted by everything that when the year was finally over I just kind of shut down. Then that shut down developed in to a full blown depression (not the first time for me).  People don’t like to hear about depression. It’s depressing. But it happens, and it’s real and you can’t really talk about it while you’re going through it because you don’t want to do anything. What did I do? Stopped painting, stopped writing,  stopped working out, started eating, watched at least five six-season series on Netflix, stuff like that. I was a KirstenBot, generating what I really hoped was semi-normal behavior. When I started to wake up a month or so ago I realized that I’d lost almost an entire year. But, hey, I didn’t kill myself! So good job, KirstenBot. “Severe chills, shortness of Art. Very wrong, very fast.”

I’m grateful for others out there that will share their experiences about depression with honesty and humor so that I don’t feel alone. My favorite is this post from Hyperbole and a Half (some language, so be warned if you may find that offensive) in which Allie Brosh talks about her struggle with depression. I’m also grateful for my knowledge of the plan of salvation which helps me keep trying and working through these things. That knowledge comes down to this; you were alive before you came to this earth and you’ll still be you after you leave it, so you better work hard to be who you really want to be, because if you suck in this life, you’re still going to suck in the next one.

A year out from my eye procedures and I can see very well without the aid of glasses or contacts. My vision is not perfect, but I’ll take it! We've gone almost a year without anyone else getting cancer, we can’t quite pay all our bills yet, but we’re working on it. And that’s about how I feel about my life. It’s not perfect, but I’ll take it. And I’ll keep spending too much time on facebook and enjoying my weird friends and family. In the meantime, “Watching Voltron defender of the kitchen floor while on my own. Thanks so much.”-KirstenBot.