I know all about depression.
Eight years ago it nearly destroyed me.
I was sad. I was crying all of the time. I didn’t leave the house much. I drank too much. I felt worthless. I felt ugly. I felt like the world would be a better place without me.
Getting out of bed was painful. Both physically and emotionally. But I did it, every day, because there were two beautiful little boys who needed for me to get out of bed.
Those were the worst days of my life.
I was sick. So very sick. And even though I was surrounded by people who loved me, I felt alone. I felt unworthy of love. I didn’t know where to turn for help. No one around me understood what I was going through. I had two beautiful children, a loving husband–why in the hell was I so sad? Didn’t I realize how lucky I was?
Unable to turn to the people closest to me, I began to write about what I was going through on my blog. In graphic detail. (I’ve since deleted a majority of those posts. They were too difficult to read and I was mortified at the thought of my children reading them.) I started receiving emails from people suggesting that I seek professional help. I knew that was what I needed to do. But I was afraid. Terrified, even. People Who Love Jesus don’t need psychiatric help. They just pray harder and trust in God. Because People Who Love Jesus don’t get depressed and they certainly DO NOT TAKE THE DEVIL PILLS CALLED ANTIDEPRESSANTS. I knew that going to a psychiatrist would be frowned upon by my family. I knew that they would tell me that satan was responsible for my depression and I just needed to draw closer to God.
So I continued to live with and in Depression out of fear. Fear of being judged. Of being scolded. Of being the subject of Friday night prayer meetings.
But then, one afternoon, something happened. Something awful.
I had a mental breakdown. In front of my children.
My husband called me a bad mother.
“I know you love your kids and you take care of their basic needs.” He said. “You make sure they’re clean and dressed and fed, but you don’t show them love beyond that. You don’t go that extra mile for you kids anymore.”
(He was angry that I hadn’t done the dishes again.)
In that moment, all of the sadness, loneliness, worthlessness that I had been experiencing came out of my body. I won’t go into detail, but I will tell you that it was horrifying. My husband had to refrain me from injuring myself. All while my precious little E watched in horror while hiding underneath the kitchen table. (A memory I wish I could forget, but can’t erase from my mind.) It was in that moment that I knew I had to get help. It didn’t matter at that point what other people thought about my decision. I had to get well. For myself, but especially for my children.
Taking the step to get help was the best decision I ever made. I now have a deep understanding of depression, of how my brain works. I am no longer ashamed to seek help from a mental health professional or afraid of taking anti-depressants. If I hadn’t done that, I don’t know that I’d be around, typing this.
I know that I’ll always struggle with feelings of depression. But now I am better equipped to deal with them. I know when I need to make an appointment with my psychiatrist, when I need to allow myself to feel the sadness. I know when I need to be quiet and when I need to speak up and give my feelings a voice. I know when I need to pull away from people but more importantly, when I need to surround myself with people that I love.
I’m not as sad as I was when I wrote my last post. I’m able to talk about things now.
I guess this is a really long, drawn out way of saying I’m feeling better and I’m going to be just fine. Really.
I know all about depression.