Thursday, April 14, 2016

The truth about depression.

I know I've posted about my struggles with depression in the past and I always get reassuring messages, texts, and phone calls. I also hear a lot about how we need to talk more openly about depression because there is a stigma around it and there really shouldn't be because so many people suffer from it.

The problem with that is that nobody really wants to because it's awkward and weird. Nobody knows what to say or do when someone they know tells them what it's like each and every day for them.

A friend shared this article on Facebook a few weeks ago and I wasn't going to read it but then I thought oh what the hell. Then I realized how much I could relate to it and I'll be honest, it really scared me.

I will never be that person to say I'm suicidal because I'm not. I have zero interest in taking my own life, that thought has never crossed my mind. I feel too much responsibility for my children and frankly, I feel like I couldn't leave them behind. But there have been plenty of times where sometimes I just wish I wasn't around, you know? The thought of death terrifies me but it would be nice to just... disappear. Not be here. 

Not because I don't have good things in my life, not because I have nothing to be grateful for,but because depression is a cruel disease. It changes the way your brain processes everything. Normally when you tell someone you have depression you get a few responses. Some will try to compare their bad day to yours. Some will try to out do your sadness, out do your situation in the hopes that you'd say, "Oh gee, you have it WAY worse than me!". Some try to crack a joke to lighten the mood, and some will tell you how wonderful, beautiful, great, funny, amazing, insert adjective here you are and that's all well and good. 

Say it until you feel better, until you feel like you're really doing something to help. 

It's not helping me any, but you know, whatever helps you. I wouldn't want you to feel weird around me. 

I have gone to support groups and while I have never experienced the traumas or abuse some of these people have, I have a few defining moments in my life that would bring some people to their knees in sadness. I have been abused. I have suffered a variety of abuse, at different ages, but I don't talk about it because I refuse to let any of that be an excuse for my behavior today. Because today I can make a choice on how I behave. 

The worst part about depression is that often times, we cannot tell you why we feel this way. I have no god damn clue why I want to stay in bed and cry all day every day. No idea. I have a husband who works hard to provide for us. Sure, he sucks in a lot of areas but he's great in so many others and he doesn't abuse me. I have three great kids and one on the way. Compared to some of my friends, my kids are a breeze. I take no credit in that though people think I should. I seriously think I just got lucky. I have no confidence in my own parenting skills because I have no idea what I am doing. I have a home, I have food, I have heat, clothing, all of my basic needs are met. I feel safe and for the most part, loved. I have more than so many people out in the world have and yet.... I am depressed. It is debilitating. I struggle each and every day to put on a happy, functioning, "I am normal" face. 

And it is exhausting. I can see why people say enough is enough. Because there is no end in sight. Sure, we can take medication and it sometimes works. We can change our diet and exercise, and work on self care and all of that and it sometimes works. Most of the time it doesn't. We don't want a band aid, we want it to go away completely. 

If you don't understand what it's like to be in the thick of every day life and crying on the floor wanting it to be over? 

Be so grateful. 

I've tried talking to a few friends about things because I'm told if I talk to someone it'll help. Most of the time I just scare them and they cry. I'm not trying to scare people and make them cry, but I'm describing what I'm feeling on the inside and what my daily life is like. 

The most common question I get is, "What can I do?" and my answer is that I don't know. Because if I knew, wouldn't I have already done it? Seriously. I'm all about self help and pulling yourself up. If I knew what I needed, I would have already done it. I'm not in any kind of mental capacity to tell someone what I need, I have no idea what I need. I need someone to just take the damn wheel. But then I feel guilty and useless. Ashamed. Embarrassed. Pathetic. 

And I know I'll get responses to this telling me how great I am. I know people mean well and I try to just smile and nod but I wish you knew that it means nothing because it's like my brain cannot absorb that information. They say actions are louder than words which is why I have always tried to do random acts of kindness for friends and people I know because I firmly believe people need that kind of thing in life. I am lucky, and grateful, that I have a few people that have done some incredibly nice things for me as of late and I can't tell you what that means to me. And it also makes me sad at the same time to think that others think I'm losing it and are trying to be nice about it. Depression is funny like that. 

So I'm just treading water. I'm hanging in there. I'm hopeful that someday it won't be this bad. That I'll have more good days than bad. I'm trying to not think about the very real possibility that this will all get worse once baby four comes. I'm trying to focus on good things every day and catch myself when I start crying for no reason. I just wish that people who don't suffer from depression really could get it. Could fully understand what this feels like. To be in such a dark hole that even the good things seem bad. Finding no joy in your favorite things and most importantly, wanting to just be done. I honestly feel like depression is something we have to figure out for ourselves. I have to find my own way out of the fog but man... it's tough. 


thotlady said...

It is strange. I look around some days and everyone is going on with their lives...and I think why?

I know all about depression. I just don't know how it manifests itself. Or how to fix it. Yes, yes yes, medication, therapy, but sometimes that just doesn't work.

A friend and I had drinks one night and we starting talking about how we were feeling. I told her about just not caring about anything anymore. She felt almost the same. It was nice talking about it with someone who understood, but when I left to go home, nothing had changed. I started thinking lately about finding a support group, but this experience makes me think that it wouldn't really help.

I read a cartoon about a woman who expressed her depression through the cartoon. She was spot on. I am not as bad as she is/was, but I understand her completely. If you are interested in reading it, here it is.

Unknown said...

I read a cartoon about a woman who expressed her depression through the cartoon. She was spot on. I am not as bad as she is/was, but I understand her completely. If you are interested in reading it, here it is.

love to watch