Friday, June 29, 2012

A tough post...

 I know I don't normally write super personal things on this blog; it's mostly for family and friends to see pictures of the boys and to read about what our family has been up to. I try to keep it light and fluffy for the most part. However, I feel like I also want this blog to be real. I want it to reflect me and what I think and feel at any given time - even when things are tough. I want what I write to be honest.

That being said, what follows will probably be depressing to read. I don't write it to gain pity from anyone; I write it because I want to remember what I'm going through at this very moment. I want to be able to look back on this time and be grateful I've come out the other side intact. So here goes.

I'm completely and totally convinced that I have severe depression. I've been concerned about it and struggled with bouts of depression for quite some time, but I've always convinced myself that something else was to blame - I'm just stressed about money, it's just that time of the month, I'm just having a bad day. It's so easy for me to make up excuses as to why I'm feeling or acting a certain way.

I think sometimes it takes something big, momentous, and devastating to wake us up to the reality of a situation; to hit "rock bottom" if you will. My rock bottom came this last week. I had spent most of the week in a dark hole - I would drag myself out of bed in the morning when Sean left for work, sit on the sofa, and stare out the window for the rest of the day. I couldn't will myself to move even if I wanted to. As usual I told myself I was just having a bad day. Or days. Or week. As I sat my thoughts spiraled downward farther and farther. It was as if I had a voice in my head telling me that my life was awful, that nothing would ever be good again, that I was useless and helpless and nobody loved me. I sat in this dark cloud, feeling lonely and constantly berating myself for being a terrible mother and wife.

Then one night I snapped. Sean was working late and the kids were in bed. I stood in my empty kitchen staring out the window into the darkness for what felt like hours. I felt beat down. I felt like I was tired of fighting a battle I could never win. I walked over to my computer, turned on some music, laid on the kitchen floor, and started drinking whiskey. I drank and drank and drank. I don't know how much I drank, and at the time I didn't care. I just didn't want to feel anymore. I didn't want to think anymore. Unfortunately the alcohol had the opposite effect on me - my thoughts began to get darker, harsher. The things I told myself were things I would never imagine telling my worst enemy. I started to cry. I laid there on the freezing floor in my kitchen and bawled my eyes out. And the more I cried the worse I felt. I would be lying if I said my thoughts didn't briefly turn suicidal. Of course I put a stop to that thought as instantly as it popped into my head. And I think that's what finally snapped me out of it. I stood up (as best I could under the circumstance), blew my nose, picked up my blanket, and went to bed.

The next day I had a long and uncomfortable conversation with Sean. I think I have depression. Like real depression. A chemical imbalance that I cannot control, no matter how hard I try. We decided I needed to call my doctor and get put on medication. I've got an appointment with him in two weeks. To be perfectly honest I'm terrified and I feel like even talking about having depression feels like a cop-out. I keep trying to tell myself to just pull myself together. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and grow up. But then I just sit, with no will to move, no will to do anything. I need to be medicated. I need help more than I have ever needed it.

Now I don't want any of you to worry about me. I feel okay now, and I have an incredibly supportive husband who is helping me every second of the day to cope with what I'm feeling right now. I'm putting forth my best effort to do all I can to keep going, to get on my feet and clean my house and take care of my children and do the things I used to love doing. I know that this is just another hurdle life has thrown my way and I know I will conquer it. It'll just take some time and it'll take me surrendering to the process and accepting the fact that depression is a real thing that requires real treatment.

On top of all of this I am also struggling with some difficult personal matters. I recently had a falling out with both of my best friends, and although I know this didn't cause my depression, it isn't helping it either. I know that I have an amazing and loving family, but as most women know there's just nothing like the closeness and companionship of a girlfriend. This is just another area in my life where I have to try to pull myself together and move on. People in our lives come and go, and sometimes the best thing to do is try to accept it, enjoy the memories you had together, and go your separate ways. It's a tough pill to swallow, but I don't really have another choice.

It feels good to be able to write this blog post. It's therapeutic in some way to lay out all the thoughts and struggles I've had going on in my head for so long. I think it's part of a long process I'm just starting, one that will help me finally find the light at the end of the tunnel and come out the other end a stronger, less vulnerable woman.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Anne, admitting and accepting that you suffer from depression is a huge step in the right direction. I took medication for 13 years. I was just recently able to wean myself off of them. I have seriously considered suicide, or just leaving my family, they would be better off without me. Never feel ashamed that you can't snap out of it. You literally can't and that is okay. You will find that the medication will enable you to stop fighting the darkness and be able to focus on the things that you love. The darkness is all consuming and it takes all your mental power to fight it and eventually you just can't fight it and function. There are so many medications out there, it may take time to find the right one. I took Celexa for 7 years and then it just stopped working. My brother took lexapro and that worked great for him so I thought I would try that one. That medication was amazing. I took that for the last 6 years. If you have family members that are already taking medication ask them what it is. Often family members do well on the same stuff. Depression is genetic. I have three siblings who live with it, and one who is bi-polar who refuses to do anything for it. He is crazy or dark, never just calm and content with life. It will take time. You can do it. Prayers are being sent your way.