I originally wrote this post when I first started this blog over two years ago. I had no audience then, nobody who knew me from Adam, but I felt it was important to share. I’ve gotten much more personal since then and hope I can continue to be honest about the things that are going on in my life and the way I react to them. We will all be touched by depression in our lives. The key is to not let it overtake you. It is tough, believe me, but you can do it. Don’t be afraid or ashamed. The greater fear should be of what will happen if you don’t do something about rather than if somebody knows. People should know. People should be aware. People need to know that they are not alone with the demons they fight. I don’t have all the answers but I can listen and comfort and let you know that I’ve been there too. I’ve gotten to the point where I wanted to jump out a bedroom window and end it all. I’ve been on the phone with a crisis worker talking me out of taking a leap of my 14th floor balcony. What kept me from doing that and ultimately helped me through it was realizing that I was not alone, that other people share similar struggles in their lives, and that dealing with things rather than running away from them would make me a stronger and happier person. I’ve not talked to my family about it but I have talked to friends, strangers, therapists, and the absolute best doctor in the whole world. When I opened my eyes to the world around me I found a never ending supply of people who weren’t just willing to listen but who wanted to genuinely help.
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I have been thinking about depression the last few days. I know, taboo subject.
We all experience depression at some point in our lives. Some mildly so, but others require major medication and medical care. Maybe just for a few days here and there, maybe for a lifetime. I am one of the mildly so who falls somewhere in between, though much closer to the few days here and there. Don’t be shocked. Well, go ahead if you must. I’ve kind of shocked myself with that admission actually.
Many years ago while going through a hard time, my doctor put me on medication for my depression. Only a couple of my close friends knew. I never even told my family. The medication worked. Somewhat. It did enable me to make it through the days, to work and function enough to get things done. I wasn’t crying every 10 minutes, and that was what I had wanted. I didn’t notice much difference in any other regard. My friends noticed though. They said it was as if I was in a fog when on the medication, that I wasn’t my chipper self. Not my chipper self? Didn’t they realize I was depressed? How did they expect me to act? Thankfully I was only on the medication for a short time and have not been on any since.
When I became pregnant with my son I worried that I would become depressed after having him. Since I had had an issue previously, coupled with the postpartum a lot of women go trough, I was certain I was going to go down that hole. I recognised that I would need help and I got it right from the beginning. A wonderful lady came to visit me throughout my pregnancy and for a while after. She helped me realize how strong I was, the support system I had, and I was able to keep the depression at bay.
I have been thinking about it because I recently found myself falling into a hole I didn’t want to be in. Depression was seeping in. I didn’t want to face the world. I didn’t want to eat, or sleep, or clean, or get dressed, or anything really. Even spending time with my son wasn’t making me happy like it usually did. The difference though, between this recent phase and all those years ago, is that I was aware that it was happening. I could see it, feel it, and I knew how to stop it. I don’t know how to stop it for everyone, we are all unique individuals with unique life experiences and tendencies after all, but I knew how to stop it from happening to me, and now it’s retreated once again.
This is probably the most personal I will get here. Certainly more than I thought I would share about myself. The thing is though, that everybody gets depressed and nobody talks about it. This is the first time I have ever talked about it other than to a professional. Even my two friends who knew I was on that medication so long ago, we never actually talked about it. It has always remained unspoken. We need to talk about these things. Then maybe we wouldn’t feel so alone. We wouldn’t let it consume us. We would get help. We wouldn’t kill ourselves.