In case any of you were wondering, I've been away again. My mother is 80 and struggling with aging. Recently she found out she had kidney cancer. And they had to take out the kidney. But her prognosis is good. For it wasn't the kind of cancer that attaches to the vascular system. The cancer was instead localized within the tissue of the kidney. So she is fortunate to not have to do chemo or radiation, like most diagnosed with cancer. In fact she has now dealt with not only kidney cancer, but lung cancer and bladder cancer. Still she has never had to have chemo or radiation. The surgeries were always enough. And the surgeon says she's remarkable for how healthy she is at 80. She really looks closer to 70. And in four weeks from surgery, she is to be up and around and doing all the bridge-playing she wants. And yet, she is depressed. Really depressed. She isn't eating, or doing her exercises. She is just sitting in her chair, calling herself lazy. (I've never known my mother to be lazy in my life. In fact, more like hyperactive would be the more accurate label.) She told her physical therapist to stop coming. She tried to tell the nurse to stop coming, and luckily the nurse had the great sense to say no. Mom says she can't discipline her thinking. She doesn't understand what I'm talking about. Mom has always been an anxious thinker, thinking of all the bad things that might or could happen. Now, she is thinking of all she has lost in her body, and in her health. And with her friends, and her family. And of all she is going to lose inevitably soon, like my father who is now 90 years old. Despite the evidence that my father looks 70, and is in amazing shape for his age. Depression weighs us down. We will get depressed when we succumb to looking at our losses instead of our wins. All or nothing, and catastrophic thinking soon leads us into feeling powerless and hopeless. We begin to despair. The next post will be two journal entries from a client who wanted to share how she is lifting herself out of the despair, and the negative spiral that comes from all or nothing and catastrophic thinking.