Let’s Call It What It Is: Depression

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Here I am awake.  Still.  I will not edit this, I want you to read it in it’s raw form.  I want you to see it.  I want you to understand it.  It is real, It is a big deal, and it affects 7% of Americans.  I am not crazy (ok, that’s debatable) and I am just an ordinary woman (also debatable).

I was diagnosed with depression at the age of eight in 1991 after my father had passed away.  Did his death cause my depression?  Of course not but it may have been the trigger.  I cannot remember before current times truly being happy.  Sure I had plenty of happy times and medications did help, but sometimes they hurt too.

After I felt suicidal and admitted myself into a clinic in 2006 I was diagnosed with Dysthymic Disorder.  It’s a type of Depression that is long term and although you can treat it, it’s often hit or miss.  One of the criteria’s, other than it being long lasting is insomnia or the opposite.  I go on spurts of each from time to time.  Right now it’s insomnia, which seems to happen more when the seasons change.

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Right now, as a whole I am genuinely happy.  I am being well fed, and I am comfortable.  I don’t fear being thrown in the street (the last few years have been really rough financially) and I am so in love and it’s going great.  But still there is the nagging feeling.  And the nagging voice (no I don’t hear voices) telling me I am not good enough, or I should be doing more, or that no one can love me as much as I love them.  I have major trust issues and it’s hard when recently, nobody that is still in my life has given me a reason not to trust them.

I laid in bed about about an hour and a half before I got up to talk to someone on facebook that wanted to talk to me.  Then around midnight I decided to go back to bed.  I laid down and thought, and day dreamed and thought some more.  I felt hot at one point and got a lighter blanket.  Then after laying back down my besties got up to smoke (I am the only non smoking adult in the home).  They left their door open and the TV was up because my legal husband is going deaf.  So after chiding them (and feeling kind of bad about it) I decided to eat my mixed nuts, maybe I didn’t eat enough.  So I got out of bed, had a handful and was done with that….Hmmm, now I am not tired.  So here I am at 2 am awake when I have to be up in five hours with the children.

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I have to sleep because if I don’t sleep at all I become an emotional wreck.  I get to a point where I am totally illogical and do very stupid things, sometimes that aren’t even relevant to my current life.  Speaking of, I have an issue.  I can’t let anything go.  Nothing.  I have progressed so much with this, so I WILL NOT give details, but I know it’s more difficult for me than most people.

So how do I manage my depression?  I recently just got put back on medication.  Why now when my life seems to be going pretty well?  Well, because for starters, health insurance is a plus.  Secondly last time I was put on antidepressants, I couldn’t get up and work or do anything because I was so tired.  I am very prone to adverse reactions to any drugs.  Also things are going well and I can now see that it’s not just circumstances making me feel depressed, it’s more.  I have so much going for me but I still am having symptoms.  Another way I manage my depression is just learning my cues.  For example, when I am left alone for too long I start to think too much and that can lead me down roads I don’t need to go down, so I read, or blog, or do anything to distract myself from doing that.  A big thing I do to help manage is to accept it.  I know I have an illness, but it could be worse.  It can always be worse.  I keep this attitude with everything.  That way when something serious happens, when I can’t think of something much worse happening I know that it’s not just my depression.  Sometimes I look back and I am thinking “why did I fall to pieces about that?”.  It will happen, don’t be angry about it, don’t beat yourself up about it, you can’t change it so you might as well accept it.  The biggest thing I have learned to do in the past few years is find my Zen.  Look at the little things that make you happy.  Don’t count the things you don’t have and make sure to see what you do have.  I could list my blessings but they are BOUNTIFUL!  I am truly a lucky woman.  Find peace in all you do.  When you have a bad day and can’t get out of bed, just say “I’ll make up for it tomorrow” and move on.  Try not to feel guilty for the things you don’t do because depression will hold you back, but adding more emotions to the mix will just put you back farther.  It’s more difficult than it sounds for me.  I felt guilty today for laying in bed reading and eventually passing out today bu I try to remember, I am not perfect and the dishes will be there tomorrow.

I guess what I am trying to say is if you have depression it’s not hopeless even though you may feel it is.  I understand what it feels like to want to end it all or to just be so paralyzed by fear you just stay in bed all day.  But if you allow it, it will pass.  Whatever it is, however you feel, please believe me, things will get better.  My last suicide attempt was a little over two years ago, I had people who loved me but I couldn’t see it at the time.  I was hurting so much that I couldn’t see anything around me.  I am telling you to sleep on it.  You will feel better if you do.  If you have children I am telling you, they need you.  If you have living parents, there is nothing worse in this life than burying your child.  Even if you are truly alone, that can change, if you let it.  DO NOT LET DEPRESSION WIN.

If you feel like you are going to kill yourself and live in the US please call the suicide hotline 1 800 273 8255.  You can also call the Samaritans at 1 877 870 4673 or if you are a teen 1 800 252 8336 and you can call them just to talk if you are also just feeling very depressed.  Whatever you do just don’t kill yourself.  The world will not be better off without you, you will be missed and it will hurt everyone you love even if you don’t think it will.  I am saying this as a survivor.

So if any of this doesn’t make sense I am sorry.  It’s just how my brain works.  I usually write the blogs in advance and have someone proof read them first, but that is counter productive in a post where I want you to see as I see, and understand as I understand.  I hope you all are sleeping well and I hope to join you soon…I hope.

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