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Saturday, February 25, 2017

#momconversation with Joan Gubbels: straight talk on depression

One of the great rewards of being employed for a family-focused organization in a tight-knit community are the friendships developed on the job. I work in the Finance/Operations area of the Shelby County State Bank with Joan Gubbels who happens to be a double cousin of my husband–like I said, a tight-knit community! We work closely together on many projects and it’s sometimes eerily similar to working with my husband–if he would have any affinity for accounting, that is. Needless to say, Joan and I have plenty of laughs together almost on a daily basis. 

Last summer Joan experienced a personal crisis. She had a nervous breakdown which shocked everyone who knows the cheery and fun-loving person that she is. Joan has been very open about her struggles with depressions with the intention of helping others. By making more people aware of the affliction, she hopes to erase the stigma of the disease.

Here's Joan.

Quick bio (family, current job, where from):  Wife and mother.  Husband – Joe Kids, Jack – 19 Jace – 12 almost 13.  Cashier at SCSB.  Originally from outside Portsmouth but currently live on an acreage near Harlan.
Favorite family tradition:  Going to the lake to boat, wave run, fish, camp and make TONS of food.  As well as spending time with our lake family in Lake View.
Funniest kid story of late:  When my son was about 5-6 years old, I walked in to his room.  He kept knocking his private thing down.  I asked him what was wrong and he said. ‘IT WON’T STAY DOWN!’  I could hardly keep my laughter in and I said to quit doing that and it would quit standing up.  Then I left his bedroom and laughed a long time.
Most surprising lesson you’ve learned about being a mother:  IT is very hard to understand them and you HAVE to pick your battles about what is REALLY important.
Opinion on work/life Balance:  I really like my job and the people I work with but my family has always come first. Luckily I have a hubby that is understanding and helpful now.  When the kids were little it wasn’t quite that way. 
Guilty pleasure:  Candy Crush – having drinks with friends.
Last book you read that you couldn’t quit thinking about: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Best family tradition:  Going to Adventureland with my parents and neighbors.  Going to Lake View with my kids and great family friends.
Favorite or most-used app:  Candy crush or Facebook

Who’s your celebrity obsession?  There are quite a few but two are older like Sam Elliot, Sean Connery in his younger years, Also, Ashton Kutcher, Matthew McConaughey

What’s your go-to movie? Anything drama like Fast and the Furious or and any love story (kind of sappy).
What advice would you give to new parents:  PICK your battles at all times.  Things you might think are important at the time is actually very minor.  Spend time with your kids and GO to their activities but don’t push them into doing them unless they want to.
How do you recharge?  Exercising or playing games on my phone.  It helps clear my mind and NOT think about things that are bothering me.

Jace, Jack, Perriann, Joan and Joe
You have communicated your struggles with depression. What would you like to say to others who also struggle? I’ve been going to counseling for years, on and off, more off than on (dumb).  I was hospitalized in my early 20s for depression and now at 46 had a major breakdown in July and was hospitalized for 2 days.  (There’s kind of a funny story about being it’s funny anyway.)  None of it was fun and I wanted to give up with everything.  I seriously wanted my life to be over, on Monday, July 18th officially, to take the pain AWAY!  Luckily I kept thinking of my awesome kids, hubby, sisters, brothers, friends and awesome co-workers (my work family.)   The reason I am writing this is I want to remind teenagers and adults as well that life is hard!  Please don’t give up though!!  Each year gets better one way or another but then you might hit 46 and it’s all still not perfect, but if you look back at the awesome kids you’ve created with awesome talents, the awesome husband you need to rely on more and love dearly with amazing talents and cares so much, 10 brothers and sisters that would drop anything to help you along with their kids, my nieces and nephews, as well as awesome in and out laws that always make me feel welcome and would love to help too.  I also have a workplace to go every day that feels or actually is your second family.  Some really GREAT friends, which are WAY too numerous to mention.  I am truly blessed.  I also have an amazing future to look forward to such as  daughter in laws, grandkids, etc.  I don’t have a deathly illness and a lot hasn’t gone my way throughout my life BUT I still try to keep looking forward.  My final and most important point is… suicide isn’t the answer… remember what you have and if you don’t have what you want, find it or fight for it. I keep trying every day.  One other point that I have to make is KEEP going to counseling even when you don’t think you need it anymore. If you have depression – you have depression!!!

Thanks Joan for sharing that very personal story. It's so important to recognize the need to get help in counseling and medication. Like Joan said, "life is hard," but it can also great. Taking care of oneself is the first step in creating a purposeful and rewarding existence.


Grandma Debbie said...

Joan, I admire your courage. I just want you to know that since our visit at the ballgame, you have been in my daily prayers. I have a family member that deals with depressions and I know how important being there for them is. Wishing you the very best. Prayers to you for strength and feeling the love of those around you~ Debbie

Necromancer 51 said...

Attitude is one of the most important parts of the human experience. A good attitude resonates throughout those around us and carries us into higher consciousness. When we let the world overwhelm us, we begin to lose this gift and our attitudes slip into a downward spiral of depression and anguish. Despair is not the place anyone wants to be but sadly most of us wind up there from time to time like a bad place for a vacation in Hell. To help sort out life we need to look at the love that surrounds us. Not just by family and friends but by life and Spirit. When we feel this love and then return it, we can help balance not only our own instabilities but also those we are with.
I am sorry you had a tough go of it but "What does not kill us, serves to make us stronger" and wiser!
Be Blessed

Rev.Christopher Whedon