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.
The lack of dislike I have each day surprises me. A weird statement right? See I have always struggled with depression, which means my mind always find a reason to dislike most things, whether I want it to or not. I would like to enjoy things way more than I usually do. Which means when I get woken up at 12:30, 2, 4:30 and 6am I should be really unhappy right? Wrong. Sure I’m tired about I can’t really be unhappy when I look down and see this cute little cuddly creature in my arms. Or when I have to wash about 100 bottles a day or do 1,000 loads of laundry a week. But again I’m not unhappy, and while I really dislike all of these snow days we keep having, or how my house is never clean. I’m probably happier than I’ve ever been. I was really trying to brace myself for my wave of postpartum misery that hit me after my first daughter was born, but it hasn’t. I really grew to hate all of those things more and more every day with her. I wasn’t happy. I knew I was supposed to be, but I wasn’t. Which just made me more unhappy because I since I wasn’t happy I felt bad (isn’t being a woman just great?!?!?). My toddler stresses me out, everything is always messy, our dinners come out of boxes with instructions on them, I always smell like baby spit up. But I have three healthy kiddos, a hardworking husband, a warm home, and amazing friends and family. Yep, I’m pretty blessed to be me.
Depression isn’t a made up diseases, in fact it studies show that it affects about 40 million adults. I do believer some people these days use depression and a crutch, yes sadly. Which makes me furious, since I am know of those people that it actually affects their daily life. I know none of us want to get out of bed Monday morning and go to work, but seriously that doesn’t mean you have depression, grow up. My struggles with depression started long before I was an adult. By 15 my struggles had hit an all time high, at which point I was put on a series of medications. None of them worked, they actually made me feel worse and even craziness. Coping with depression as a teenager is extremely hard, there isn’t a lot of medications approved for children under 18. Also most of the time doctor’s chalk it up to you being a teenager with crazy hormones and such. But for me just like with so many others, my depression didn’t vanish the day I turned 18 or 20. I have however found medication that helps, but it doesn’t come without unwanted side effects. The medication makes me fatigued (which yes so does depression itself), my hands go numb, causing me to drop far more things than I should and it also makes me more aggressive (quick to anger), just for starters. But yet others like me are willing to go through and learn to deal with all of these side effects in order to simply feel able to live our lives. I’ve seen it first hand affect family members and friends, I’ve watched it tear apart family and relationships, including ones of my own, and yet some people don’t view it as an actual diseases. Depression is the realist thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. Depression thrives on unhappiness, grows on sadness you thought long forgotten. It makes you hate things you love and love things you hate. It makes you unable to truly love like most do. Depression wants you to be left with nothing, so it can completely take hold of your life and thrive in the way the diseases longs to. Depression wants you to be completely alone and have nothing but the longing desire to end your life, so that it has succeeded. Being a Christian I see things probably in a different light then some would. Depression to me is the devils way of bringing you down to his level, where you feel completely alone and only have worldly things to help you cope and deal with this diseases. I think God wants to be that light in your life that makes you feel like things just might be okay, like there is someone there for you, that you are loved. Do I think depression is a real diseases, yes. But I also think the devil is just as real.
Postpartum depression…The thing that no woman wants or wants to talk about. Why is that? Because we as mom’s will feel like we’re failing if we admit to having any such problems. I myself have kept quiet and was afraid of the same exact thing. Sure I’ll admit to sometimes wishing I was 18 and child free again, but we mom’s don’t(at least I myself) don’t really feel like I’m failing by admitting this truth. I’m a pretty open person, ask me a question and whether I want to tell you or not I’ll probably give you a truthful answer, but bring up anything to do with the postpartum subject and I’ll be the first one to quietly walk off and leave the conversation. I’m not totally sure I don’t want another baby, but when I think about everything I went through right after I had B, I’m just not sure I could make it through all of that again, and I’m pretty sure my husband would bail before week two came around. Now as I mentioned in one of my other posts, I didn’t exactly have the perfect birthing experience I was hoping for, not even close. I think it may have attributed to the way I was feeling by the time I got home, but it definitely wasn’t the real problem here. For the first two weeks post-birth the I only ate one half of a brownie snack cake at lunch time, the ONLY thing. Nothing sounded good, nothing looked good, I was starving literately. I had dropped almost 20 pounds since giving birth, but that wasn’t good enough for me, I needed to be 98 pounds again before I could look at myself again. I was falling apart. I was getting at best 3 hours asleep a day/night. B’s dad fight, yelled and cursed at me for not being the happy super mom he thought I should be at that time. After all it was my fault we had a child now right(his thinking)? I was still in a lot of pain and nothing seemed to help. I for some reason didn’t want Ron’s friend we were leaving with at the time to see me crying and unhappy. I had to get us up every morning at 7am to and have Ron to work by 8:30am. We were completely broke. I felt helpless and alone. I would take a shower, put makeup on, fix my hair and dress as well as I could, hoping that if I looked the part people wouldn’t question my dark, puffy sad eyes. I tried so hard to fake the part of the happy new mom that I felt like everyone wanted to see. I didn’t reach out for help, I just set in my bed every night crying alone. I would sometimes pickup B and hold her while crying telling her I was sorry I wasn’t a good mom, but I did love her very much. For some reason talking to a newborn at 2am made me feel just a little bit better. I often wonder when I see happy pictures of my “friends” on Facebook with there newborn’s, if their quietly suffering the way I did. I sure hope not! I want to be bold and reach out to other mom’s that might be feeling the same way, but I feel like I would fail at trying to help them anyway. Anytime I try to say the sliest thing about that time the tears start running down my face and I’m unable to speak. If you or someone you know it hurting, try to reach out and find someone that might be able to help you even feel just a little bit better. Even if that person isn’t able to, maybe just having someone to cry with will help in some way not feel so alone. Just remember God loves you!
I feel like I’m on the wrong side, I’m with the losing team. My coach has thrown in the towel. My team mates are walking away with their heads down. I have let them down. They won’t even look me in the eye. the people that were sitting in the stands have came and shared their disappointment with me. Now they are keeping there distance from me. I can feel their criticism from yards away. The opposing team looks down on me, knowing they have defeated me. Their laughing at me. I walk off the field with my head hung down low, I hate myself at that moment. I feel abandon and lonely. I sit in my car letting one tear side down my cheek, I sit there completely still. Unable to move with the pain that’s weighing down on my shoulders. How did I mess things up so bad? I will be the outcast from now on.
That’s how I use to feel everything I messed something up in my past. Every mistake no matter how small would completely broke me down, and I would fall apart. I felt strapped in my prison. I spent so much time whaling in self pity, and hating myself. I was unable to love another, I couldn’t even love myself. I feared everything.
Depression is overwhelming. Depression is even more overwhelming when you’re also a teenager. You will feel more alone and misunderstood, then adults will. It’s more frustrating, because you have so many thoughts running through your head it’s harder to focus in enough to figured out which ones and causing what feelings. Adults probably won’t understand you, nor will other teenagers. Other teenagers with depression will most likely feel different than you, because everyone experiences depression in a different way. They will most likely understand you loneliness, but that is all.