Have you ever thought “why did I just do that?”. I’m sure you have, many times. But imagine having that feeling for several years. Image how lost you’d feel. Image how hard it would be to make/keep friends or be in a relationship. Image trying to love someone but then forgetting how to love. Image trying to raise your kids a certain way but then forget why you wanted too. This has been me for years now. I look back at different time throughout my adult life and not even know what I was thinking, nor can I remember how I felt. Now I know everyone forgets things and we all make mistakes, but it goes far deeper than that for me. When I was 16 I started my first anti-depressant, I almost immediately felt far worse. I returned to my doctor, she then of course told me it take several weeks for your body to really get use to it. Weeks of feeling like that? No, thank you. I stopped taking the medication(it wasn’t one that can have severe harmful effects when stopping it). I returned to the doctor several weeks later, at which point the doctor practically yelled at me upon finding out that I had stopped the medication. She also refused to try any other medications until I gave that one another chance. She didn’t believe me nor seemed to care that I felt completely unable to function on that medication. I never went back to see her, which meant for over a year I went not medicated. Which was tough but I didn’t really understand my feelings or moods. Somewhere late in my 17th year I once again began a search for a doctor and possibly a new medication. I found a doctor really seemed to care but sadly she wasn’t super knowledgeable with depression medications let alone how to help me. She tried, I ended up on a medication that made me have random thoughts about wanting to die. For example if I was driving I’d start thinking maybe I should just drive straight into a tree or ditch. I would realize that what I was thinking was off, but couldn’t stop the thoughts. So I went back to the doctor and she told me to stop taking the medication immediately, and she thought I needed to see someone who specialized more in that area. I didn’t find anyone at that point, which meant I went about 6 months or so off medication completely. A few months after I turned 18 I was hit with an extreme a lot of anxiety. I had gotten really sick and ended up in the ER. The doctor there ignored me when I tried to explain that my had heart problems and it wasn’t an anxiety attack that has also caused my heart rate to go sky-high. I let him convince me that maybe it was an anxiety attack so I took the medication he prescribed for anxiety. Fast forward maybe 2 or 3 days and I was already beginning to completely lose control of my own thoughts. I was hit with so much anxiety and fear I would ask my mom(I was living back at home at this point) to lay in my bed with me so I could sleep for a bit, because I was too scarred to be in a room alone to sleep. I didn’t leave the house. I didn’t drive. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I didn’t want to shower. I didn’t want to move. Every single minute of every single day I spent completely terrified to even be alive. I finally got into see someone(45 mins away) that seemed far more able to help me. They took my off my current medication at the time and changed them to something totally different. It didn’t take to long to realize they were helping. It took a few weeks for me to get back to myself(whoever that is). But over the next couple of months I felt better than I had in years. About 5 months later I found out I was pregnant and the medication I was on was extreme dangerous to a fetus. Therefore I had to stop talking it at once. I felt okay for several months, but towards the end of my pregnancy I started getting really fearful again and didn’t want to be around anyone. After the birth of my first daughter postpartum depression hit me like a fright train. I had no idea what was happening. I didn’t understand my emotions at all. I was 19, I didn’t know how to seek help or how to explain how I was feeling. When my doctor was 4 or 5 months old I went back to the doctor and get back on the medication I had been on before I got pregnant. I started feeling human again and was able to start enjoying life again. I did mostly okay for the next 2 years or so. Then I lost my insurance which meant I couldn’t afford to go to the doctor for more refills or pay for the medication. I had also gotten married shortly after this. I honestly can’t tell you much about myself during that time, I remember what was going on but not really anything about me specifically. I had spent two years on that medication and suddenly I no longer had it. I wasn’t sure how to process what I was thinking or feeling. In many ways I felt just as I did after I had my daughter. I knew I wasn’t in the right head space but I couldn’t pull myself away from the ledge I was on. I spent about 2 months total off medication. It took me awhile to find my grounding again, but slowly I thought I was feelings better. The end of summer in 2014 I was starting to realize I didn’t really recognize myself anymore, but I wasn’t sure how to fix it. I think I was more in denial of how different I was acting. I knew it wasn’t me, but at the same time I didn’t. I spent the next 2 years getting further and further away from the me I once was. I would do or say things and for a moment I would realize how strange I was acting, but it was only for a moment and I’d go right back to what I was doing. How do you not even know yourself? Why did no one listen when I tried to explain my confusion? If I started feeling odd on one medication they’d just give me another medication to take with the one I was on. That’s like throwing trash on top of trash and hoping it turns into a unicorn. No doctor I ever went to pondered the thought of why nothing ever worked well for me for longer than about 2 seconds. I will say that when I was younger I didn’t always fully go into how I was feeling because I felt like they’d either be shocked or they’d think I was lying, if I told them how bad I really felt. But as I’ve gotten older I now try to fully go into detail about what I’m feeling and still no one seemed to take me seriously. I come from a family with history of depression and anxiety, I lost a parent at a young age, I dealt with verbal abuse, I have now gone through postpartum twice. All of these factors have given them what they thought were good enough reasons to dismiss what or how I feel. Honestly I can’t remember a time that I didn’t feel this way. I can actually remember being about six years old(before any of those things had happened) and being so anxious I couldn’t sleep or I didn’t want to leave our house because I worried of all the different things that might happen. But how to you tell someone your anxiety was already that bad at 6 years old? You don’t. Because they will either think you are absolutely insane or you’re full of crap. I had to grow up pretty fast to be able to handle my ever-changing life, so by the time I was actually an adult I was already too tired to deal with adulthood. I would’ve probably made better life choices at 15 than I could/did at 20. I was tired. I am tired. I am tired of fighting for myself. I’m tired of not even knowing who “myself” is. Most of 2017 has been me trying to convince myself I don’t actually want to die. It’s an ugly truth. Try to think about how lonely your life starts to become when that’s all you want to do. Image trying to tell the people you love that you just don’t want to live anymore. It took about 10 years to reach this point. 10 years of trying to find help, only to be given things that got me further away from that. I have always felt misunderstood in a world where everyone feels they have the right to be. I’m not going to lie and say it wouldn’t be easier if some just understood. I have found people here and there that can relate to some of my chaos, but no one who really got it. The thought that gets me through rough times is that I think one day I’m going to find someone(maybe more than one) that is at the end of their rope and I am going to be that piece to the puzzle they have missed . I am going to know how they feel and what they’ve gone through. It would’ve made many things far easier for me if I had just one person who got the depth of my struggles. I don’t want to be the mother I am. I don’t want to be the wife I am. I don’t want to be the friend I am. But I am who God made me to be and I know where is a reason for it.
What is normal?
The image of a black and what TV show from the 50’s when I think of what a normal family might look like. Because just as the TV show was fictitious, so is the idea of a normal family. I have seen a lot of people try and replicate it, but they still fall short somewhere between always having dinner at 5 pm and always having clean, matched socks. It seems to me that far to many people have and are putting way to much time and effort into trying to reach this unattainable goal of “normal”. While I don’t spend my days trying to think of anything I can possibly do to be “different” from everyone else, I also don’t spend my days trying to think of anything I can do to be “normal”. I am just simply me. I think the way I want to, I have opinions all of my own, I speak the way it’s comfortable for me to do so(mostly too quite and/or mumbling), I love the way I know how, I laugh just the way it comes out, I dress the way I find comfortable, I eat the food I enjoy, I watch the TV shows I’ve come to enjoy, I parent the way I find appropriate(or at least I try), and I’ve come to do all of these things without listening to what other people think I should be doing. I didn’t do research on how a 23 year old should view dress, drive, eat, feel or act but I’ve managed to (mostly) figure all of those things out on my own. I don’t try to be the someone else’s view of a normal wife or mother, I love my own way and handle things my own way. I look at other woman and judge they way they love or act. I can help you repair your plumbing, tile your floor, change your cars oil, flat tire or spark plugs. But don’t ask me to bake you a casserole or watch your kids. Because the answer will be, burnt and left at a fire-station while you were out. But I don’t feel like that makes me any less of a wife or mother, just like I don’t think it makes any other woman who can’t do the thing I can less in of one either. If we were all the same wives and mothers the world would be a really boring place, their would be flat tires on a lot of mini vans and a lot more leaky sinks happening. I enjoy being different and sometimes hard to figure out. I’m just me, and I don’t plan on changing anytime soon.