Ernie:
Back to Work at 65
I began teaching German. Adrenaline pumping and high the first day, The second day I awoke in a cold sweat at 4am then at 5:30am. I could not get out of bed to shower. I called and said I could not make it. I have taught every day since then. I hope I can maintain this. I have trouble following the lesson plans - it has been so long since I have been in a classroom situation. So I sing and teach them songs. I prefer German Leider songs of Shubert and Shumann, and read them poetry by Goethe. I am encouraged by the students. I look forward to each day I am out of bed in society.
Joan:
Back to Work at 65
Ernie has landed a part time job teaching German in parochial high school. After spending every morning and most afternoons in bed for the past few months he is in a classroom at 8am conjugating German verbs and sharing his love for the language, music and culture. He is a natural teacher, though this is definitely a challenge for him.

After dropping him off, a red light held me and I caught him walking aross the parking lot and down the street. He said he needed air. I encouraged him to go back and face his class- he did. We are all so proud of his courage. We are grateful for each day he can teach, and will continue to work together towards a better health and a richer life.

I am proud of him no matter what - each day he fights this battle.
FAITH

Ernie 1999 / 2000
Three years have passed since my experience in the hospital, life has gotten progressively better and brighter. I am on a decent combination of medications. I am dealing with the side effects. I am very tired at certain points of the day, yet I do not feel "depressed".

My faith in God has returned. I have had an army of friends and family who have helped me through this and I feel ready to help others. What this experience has shown me is that things are not always what they seem. Darkness must now give way to light: depression must give way to love of life.

One way I know I am much better is Sauza (my dog) does not run from me any more. When I was ill he could not sense it was me. As I began to feel better he came closer and now it is like old times. Clinical Depression can not only steal away your family and friends but can make it impossible for animals to relate to you in the same way.
The Depths of Depression
by Jeanine Pohlhaus
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