Wednesday, February 22, 2012

sometimes depression looks like a b*tch.

i go through these things. these phases. sometimes they're momentary, sometimes they last a day, or a week, or a whole season. they seem to come with the weather. or hormones. or maybe they are the result of nothing at all. just part of who i am.

i get restless. unhappy. dissatisfied. i analyze my self and my life. i question the value of who i am and what i've done. i get extremely critical. i often do something drastic to try and soothe the symptoms. i'll chop my hair, quit my job, sign up for a class (in this case, kosama). 

last year at this time, i got myself off of antidepressants. i quit cold turkey. it was one of the hardest things i've ever done. you're really not supposed to just quit that stuff. it's weird when i think back... i used to take a little white pill every night before bed. it made me feel better. it made me more tolerant. less anxious. for a long time i thought, wow, this is how normal people feel! but then i started feeling bad again. i was irritable again. anxious. plus i'd gained 20 pounds. i told my doctor i wanted to wean myself off of the little white pill. she said i just needed more. and added another pill just in case. i smiled and listened and thanked her as i held out my hand for the prescription that i knew i'd never fill. 

this morning i was lying in bed, staring at the wall, thinking about the things i need to do and the worries i have and the stress i'm feeling. mr.a asked what i was thinking about so obviously i said, "nothing." 
i immediately flashed back to the early days of 'us,' when i was young and immature and didn't know how to communicate. i didn't trust boys enough to be completely honest with my feelings, so even though mr.a had already been my friend for years, i would stare out the window and say, "nothing" if he asked what was wrong. (classic chick move.) 

i'm not that young anymore and, most of the time, i'm not that immature. i know how to communicate. and i know it's important. saying "nothing" when your loved one asks you what is wrong is a slap in the face. it's saying, "i don't trust you/love you/care about you enough to let you in on this." i know that's not right. and it's not healthy. so after a moment of prodding, i opened my mouth and told him what i was thinking and how i was feeling. there's not really a happy ending to this story because it didn't immediately make me feel better. we didn't turn to each other with tears in our eyes, kiss passionately while begging for forgiveness and end up making love in the rain. in fact, if i'm going to be honest, his response offended me. but the truth is often offensive, don't you think? he basically said: 
it's a lot easier to change your perspective than to change your whole life. whether it's a job or school, your family or your friends; nothing can make you happy unless you are happy.
he's smart, huh? he's also patient. and kind. even when i'm moody, overly-sensitive and likely a pain in his butt.

i have to remind myself--i'm prone to these feelings. this...depression. 
this happens every year, B. that feeling in your chest? that tight little knot that makes you feel like you can't get a deep breath in? you've had that before. you know this. and you know it passes. don't take it out on your family. don't avoid the people who love you. exercise. breathe deeply. eat clean. get outside. and whatever you do, do NOT cut your hair.

31 comments:

  1. I've been there and heck, living in the midwest during winter doesn't really help things right? Hang in there! Your hubby's advice is so very true. And its work to change your perspective, but you can do it. Baby steps. And before you know it, the sun will be out shining and I think that helps kick starts good moods!

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  2. ughh... I feel this way too sometimes. My biggest clue is when everyone in my life is annoying me - my husband, sister, mother, friends - they all suck. And I'm a terrible mother/person/wife. And then a little sane voice in the back of my head pops up and reminds me that there is no possible way that all the wonderful, loving people in my life could have turned horrible together overnight. finger pointing at this lady. Then it's a matter of taking it one step at a time and reminding myself of all the good and loving and that good enough is good enough. Good luck!

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  3. your honesty in this post is really refreshing, b. i hope you have a great rest of your week. remember that all your blog readers love you and we don't even know you! :)

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  4. I can TOTALLY relate to this. Especially right now. I get to feeling exactly the way you describe here and do basically the same things in response to it...although I've never tried any medication. My friend once suggested that I should after a particular conversation. I just don't think my ever being truly 'deep down can't wait to just be here' happy is going to happen. Sometimes it feels like my dreams and such aren't important enough to attempt and that gets me down even more. I often look at others and wonder what it is that makes their world go 'round and wonder why I can't have what they're having. Not a very fair observation to them or myself since I'm pretty sure everyone has a story. Oh well. All a person can do is take one day at a time, right? Hope you're feeling more 'you' soon...
    :)
    P.S. Thank you for your honesty here....it certainly helps to know others are feeling the same once in a while.

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  5. Your honesty is appreciated. I must say, though, searching for "happiness" in things of the world will never satisfy you. Happiness comes and goes but joy is deeper. It comes from the Lord and it is consistent no matter what your feelings or circumstances are. I highly recommend reading the book/study "Calm My Anxious Heart" by Linda Dillow. It will truly change your perspective on depression. It changed mine.

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    1. This is the only truth there is...happiness is superficial, fleeting, but true joy that only comes from the Lord is what will make the difference in the way you choose to view your life. Your husband is wise, and looking to YOURSELF and the things that YOU can change with the help of our Heavenly Father, is the only way to succeed in finding joy and being content with ALL you have in this short life. Living for HIM and HIM alone is satisfying all on its own. He will show you the way, the truth, and give you a life worth so much more than this world has to offer. Saying a prayer for you, that you can find clarity and direction during this down time, and that you may be filled with joy to live life fully...not just for YOU but for your sweet family as well.

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  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. I never comment on the blogs I follow. I usually am the one who quietly chuckles to myself and takes note of the good ideas I find. But, I want to thank you for posting this and sharing. For many years, I have had this issue and no one talked about it. I felt so alone. Slowly, more and more people are talking about it. (Even Jersey Shore cast member - Probably shouldn't admit I know that). :) Again, thanks for this post.

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  7. B, I suffer from anxiety/mild depression. I make myself sick when I overthink things and I fear the outcome of every decision I make. It's a very difficult battle, sometimes I don't even feel like getting out of bed. I've been on Prozac for a while now and it has helped me immensely. I still have those days where I question my life and the decisions I've made and how I don't feel good enough. It takes a strong person to overcome this issue... keep it up!

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  8. Your honesty is so refreshing, especially as I am going through one of my "phases" right now. I would say it's seasonal (winter) depression, but it often happens anytime of the year. I quit my anti-depressants cold turkey years ago, and I do feel better for it (although during an anxiety attack I really wish I could take a magic pill to calm down instead of doing the hard work myself). Yay for coping skills?

    I have been dissecting my life the last few months and have been extremely ... restless. Nothing in my current life seems to satisfy me enough to stay interested and all I want to do is go different places and meet new people. Being a stay at home mom doesn't allow for a lot of new adult interactions that aren't interrupted by potty breaks and sibling rivalry.

    My husband is an intelligent, logical, patient man also, and I really hate hearing the truth he speaks when I am throwing myself a pity party. But once I calm down, I remember why we chose each other in the first place: because we make each other better, push each other farther, and hold each other up.

    Thanks again for your encouraging post, that reminds all of us how human and normal our "abnormal" emotions are.

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  9. I can absolutely relate to this, and as someone who has been off and on anxiety medication (currently on again) I know how hard it can be to decide if you need to take it or not. I've been through periods where I was able to change my perspective and be OK, and others when panic attacks took over, like recently, and I had to go back on medication. It is a struggle sometimes to keep your head up, especially when life is so busy and there are so many responsibilities in life. Hang in there - we are all in the same boat! :)

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  10. Thank you so much for your honesty. It's something that's so difficult for people to talk about, so its nice to see you being open and honest about it. And you are making any of us who constantly go through something similar not feel so alone.

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  11. What Raggamuffin said ^^^ amen! :)

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  12. You are not alone. I still take the little white pill every day..... I will pray for you.

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  13. Like everyone else here: amen.
    Mr. A is a good egg.
    Sometimes I'm grateful that happiness is as simple as a choice.
    Other times Ill be damned if its as simple as a choice.
    But, it is all perspective. All of it.
    When I shift, my world shifts. It has to.
    When I move from where I'm at, I'm not in the same place.

    Your authentic honesty is appreciated by me. In lil ole Utah. :)

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  14. I love your honesty...thank you for sharing your life with all of us.

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  15. My husband suffers from anxiety/depression. We definately are faced with some challenges at times, but it's nice to know we're in this together for the long haul. Talking about it is the first step to freeing your thoughts. If we don't get our thoughts and emotions out, they seem to rock our minds & bodies like a constant moving pin ball. Anyways, my husband made some lifestyle changes to try to counteract his feelings. He stopped taking any medication, and has replaced it with a better diet, vitamins, increased activity level/more exercise, etc. Not only has he changed his vantage point on life, but he has built on his relationship with God. I truly think the most impactful change has been (and it may sound cheesey but it has worked out tremondously - before we go to sleep we try to listen to something positive and uplifting. Joel Osteen's Video Podcasts have been the most impactful. We load a new episode each week on our iPad for free and some nights my husband takes the Left ear bud and I take the right ear bud and we just lay in bed and listen. The next morning we wake up with a better outlook on life, which leads to having a better day.

    You are awesome and you shine even if you don't realize it!

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  16. Beautiful & raw. thank you for sharing this. love what mr. A said & i am taking it to heart. oh, & i agree with you...do NOT cut your hair :)

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  17. http://www.everydayhealth.com/depression-pictures/give-yourself-a-happiness-makeover.aspx?xid=aol_eh-emo_2_20120220_&aolcat=HLT&icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl4%7Csec3_lnk3%26pLid%3D137943#/slide-11

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  18. I feel exactly like you described here...but unfortunately I DID cut my hair :)

    k.

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  19. I experience this as well. I have depression and anxiety that wax and wane. Only difference is I do take a little white pill to help with anxiety. It doesn't help as much when I have periods of depression but that is okay. I think it is awesome that you decided to be pill free. Maybe someday I will be able to overcome much of my anxiety and do the same.

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  20. Well said, woman. Thank you.

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  21. thanks for sharing this! I see yOU are going to TxSC too! -Virginia Lee Boyles http://vany212.com @vany212

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  22. I can definitely relate to this, as I have suffered from severe anxiety/depression for a little over 8 years. I've been on medication, and I've been off it...but for me, taking medication to help manage chemical imbalances is what my body needs. It's caused me to gain weight as well, similarly to you, which is just one of the unfortunate side effects. It's great that you were able to stop taking the meds. It's a very personal decision about whether to take medication for this kind of thing, and very brave of you to share your story!

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  23. Thanks for this post I have had depression on and off since postpartum (my son is now 3) I totally think the midwest winters have a lot to do with it. Early 2011 I tried several different 'little white pills' but finally gave up on them. I just didn't feel right Anyway this past winter presented itself with a huge challenge, I had a miscarriage in January. I really don't think it brought me as far down as it could have. I feel like I now know my sympotms and then I try to seek help with a counselor. It also helped that our winter was very light and exercise helps too! Love your blog!!

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  24. Super honest and super relatable. Thanks x

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Just say it!