Journey to the Darkside {aka Depression is…..}

I love Mama Dweeb, and while I agree with her sentiments on this post, I felt the need to add my 2 cents….

For starters, I would NEVER EVER condone hurting or – heaven forbid – killing your child.  But in a way, I do understand the despair and sometimes the desperation that these moms must have been feeling.

Now, I know that depression manifests itself differently in everyone.  Quite frankly, I’ve struggled with whether or not to post about this here because isn’t depression a sign of weakness?  No?  It sure can be easy to convince yourself that it is, sometimes!

Will you take a quick journey with me?  You’re going to see some ugliness…ugliness that I would much rather hide from people.   Before we begin this trip, I want to assure you that it’s not ALWAYS this way.  Some days are much, much better than others.   This is a look at a bad day (for me).  And for a long time I didn’t even realize that some of the problems that I’ve faced had to do with being depressed.  You (or someone you know) might have very similar symptoms, and I’m hoping by exposing my soul here that it will help somebody….and not chase my 2 readers away.  🙂  Ready?

Depression is….

…struggling with even the simplest decisions – like what in the world to make for dinner.  (or even having the oomph that it takes to get up and MAKE dinner!).

…painful. Physically painful.  The people who wrote the “Depression hurts” commercial campaign really knew what they were talking about.  Sometimes it feels like my heart is in a vise and it’s being squeezed and squeezed.  Other times it’s more of a deep bruise-like feeling.

…overwhelming. The house is a wreck, the kids are running around screaming or pestering each other, or just wanting MORE of me.  There are some days where I feel like if I have to repeat myself ONE. MORE. TIME. or clean up one more cheerio mess that I’m going to just break.

scary. On the really, really bad days, it is just plain scary.  I have so many wonderful blessings in my life.  My children are so smart, and sweet and loving.  My husband, my family, my friends – they’re all awesome.  I love my church, and I have a fantastic support group.  So why is it that on some days I feel so weighted down that I want to just slip away from it all….to go softly into that good night?
No, I don’t need you to call 911 or anything….I swear I’m not suicidal.  But my thoughts have gone down that dark road….(I did mention that we’re journeying to the Dark Side, right?)
I’m going to pull back on the reins a bit here….we’ll take a few steps back and turn away from the ugliest side of depression for now, okay?

…harder to deal with on the days where sleep has been interrupted. We’ve had a lot of these in the past….oh….6.5 years, it seems.  When you’re fatigued, if feels like your starting point is lower than what it would be on a “normal day”.

…a chemical imbalance. Truly, it is.  I know for this momma we’re trying to find the right meds to help balance things a little bit.  They’re kind of off at the moment, so my dark days have been more in abundance.

…more common than you may realize. I’ve seen several bloggers talking about their experiences with it, and I felt like the speakers at the Women of Faith conference that I recently attended were really speaking TO ME.   I’m sure you know somebody who is suffering from it – even if they’re hiding it really well.

like a giant, dark, heaviness. It blocks out the sun.  It blocks out the laughter.  It makes it hard to play – really play – with the kids.  It kind of makes you want to curl up into a ball sometimes and not do anything.   It puts you in a mental brain fog that is hard to see past.  It also makes it difficult to remember much of anything.

…not something you can just “snap out of”. I’ve forgotten what “normal” feels like.  What I wouldn’t give to have the energy to do things that most people do every day!  (granted, there may be an underlying physical…thing….that’s causing this crazy fatigue.  I’m waiting to hear back from the doctor…..)

…a feeling of being out-of-control.  I hate feeling like an emotional train-wreck.  I hate fighting with the kids all. day. long.  I hate screaming like a crazy possessed woman.  I hate that I have to hide these feelings because people could lose respect for me.  Or make me feel like I should quit homeschooling because of it (don’t even get me started on that….).  I hate that I’m going to hit the “publish” button and anybody who wants to can read about these feelings that make me so, so vulnerable.

…a silent disease. Telling people you’re depressed isn’t as easy as saying “I have a cold”, or “I have a stomach bug”.  And it sticks around a heck of a lot longer, too.  But I think a lot of people DO try to hide it.  Hey, I get it.  But if I can help you in some way (since I’m walking down that same road myself), feel free to email me (momkaboodle at gmail.com).   I’ll gladly chat with you, or listen to you rant.  🙂

…is not something you should self-medicate for. I’ve seen people turn to alcohol or drugs to help with their depression.  Fortunately for me, my form of self-medication isn’t quite as destructive.  It’s the chocolates and the cookies kind of medicating.   ‘Course now I have to diet to get rid of the effects of my self-medicating…..(blech!)

Back to Mama Dweeb’s post – I have a great support system.  But I still have terribly desperate days – WEEKS even.  And I can’t expect people to drop everything because I need help.  (I don’t think they know quite the level of desperation….it’s hard to share that.  It’s hard to have that kind of weakness.)

I guess I want people to know that if they can relate to some (hopefully not all) of the things in this post, that there is help.  It’s not immediate – it will take time to feel better.   But please do seek help – from your doctor, your OB-GYN, your pastor, a professional counselor.

I’ve been trying to find my quiet time with God, lately, as well as some books and other resources that help me to re-focus on Him.   One of the greatest reminders I had at the WoF Conference was when they said (to all of us) – and I’m saying this here to you – YOU matter.  YOU are important.  God loves YOU.

{Photo Credit: starush}


Comments

  1. I am just now seeing this post and it moved me to tears! Stephanie, thank you for writing this. Thank you for being so honest and vulnerable. In my struggle with depression I hate how I feel like taking my pill every day is somehow admitting that I am "not good enough" to do it without. Sometimes I skip the pill and then my life unravels. It is scary. In my case, my depression is definitely genetic and chemical and that depression tells me I stink at life. It is such a fight to tell my depression that it is lying.

    I need to spend more time in prayer and seek God's face. I appreciate this post and the gentle encouragement for me to do just that!

  2. multipurpose-mom says:

    Thank you for sharing. Depression has been a long battle for me as well, and I haven't shared much about it, until our most recent run in with it; when depression sunk it's nasty claws into my sweet 12 yr old boy. It is encouraging to see others step out; possibly even encouraging enough to finish up that draft of mine.
    Praying for continued healing for you!
    In Christ!

    • MOMKABOODLE says:

      Oh, I'm sorry! I will pray for you and your sweet boy. I hope and pray that this is not the legacy that I pass down to my sweet little ones. I look forward to seeing your post….if you feel so moved to post it (it's hard to do, I know!)
      Blessings!

  3. Oh, sweet friend….it's hitting everyone right now. Please know that you are in my prayers…..turning my back on that dark side…but, it slapped me in the face a few days ago…..Love you deeply…one day, that porch will be our home for an afternoon!!

    • MOMKABOODLE says:

      My sweet Rebecca….I'm so sorry for what you're going through. God won't let us walk through this valley alone though – He IS there, even if we don't always feel Him. Can't wait for our time on the porch (and hopefully for longer than one afternoon!) 🙂