Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Struggling...

I really wasn't sure if I wanted to publish this post since the majority of my 20 or so readers are friends of mine and only a few really know of the struggles I've had (most prominently) in the last few years. However, as a "public service" message and in an effort to be forthright and honest with you all, I decided to go for it. Today will be anything but Wordless...

For years I battled issues in my head that made me feel like I was losing my grip. I felt unfocused, overwhelmed with even the simplest of things, and generally unhappy with a life that had all the makings for true bliss. In December of 2006, I decided I needed to talk to someone about it. It had begun to creep into my job as a Mom and I was not having it. I found myself getting easily frustrated, being short tempered, and losing my patience at the drop of a hat. I couldn't focus at work, felt like a miserable failure at home and lacked the motivation to just DO what I knew needed to be done (be it dishes, laundry, shopping, working out, or simply putting down that cookie that I knew was making and keeping me fat).

The day I made the phone call to EAP (Employee Assistance Program, a counseling service offered to employees of the company I worked for), I remember telling the woman on the other end of the phone that I just wanted to be a better Mom, wife, and employee. I was struggling in all areas. And I finally realized that I needed real help.

The verdict? Depression and Anxiety.

I waiver between thinking I'm a player in yet another all-too-often-diagnosed "trendy" illness of the moment and thinking "Yes, of course!". Looking back now it makes sense. Even still, some days I don't feel like I deserve the diagnosis. Like to be depressed I would have to have led a rough life or traveled a difficult road and since I haven't, I somehow haven't earned the right to "suffer" from depression. After all, what do I have to be depressed about? I grew up with the Cleavers, I have a great family, a roof over my head, a job that pays the bills and then some, two BEAUTIFUL and HEALTHY children. I just need to get over it. Change my perspective. Look on the bright side and focus on my blessings. Right? Shouldn't it just be that simple?

I wish.

Fast forward to today. I have been in and out of counseling, tried various medicinal supports, and have both good days and bad days.

Do I still struggle? Yes. Often.

Have I learned ways to cope? Yes. Many.

Does that make it easier? Yes. Sometimes.

It's hard to accept that this is my life. It's difficult to admit that I may always have to "deal" with this on some level. It's definitely not the worst hand life could have dealt me but it has its moments. I don't know if there's a stigma in society about it. I honestly never thought about it until just now. I guess (for once in my life!) I don't care if there is. This is who I am and what I live with.  I do the best I can.

4 comments:

Shana said...

Honey, I am right there with you. I have suffered with depression since I was a child. Now I didn't have a perfect childhood and I went through some things that most definitely caused my issues, of which there are many. But you don't have to go through trauma to be depressed. That is just it, there is a chemical imbalance that causes it. You can't change that without help. I used meds for a while until I could learn through therapy to deal with my stressors better and then I was able to come off but I still have super bad days and even weeks sometimes but I wade through just keeping my chin above the quicksand line because I know I will make it to the other side and come out again. it cycles like everything else in life and the good will come back.

Matt said...

It is brave of you to admit this, since in some respects depression is still stigmatized and largely misunderstood. I've learned that the biggest things to help cope are the tools (like expanding one's perspective beyond your own) and a strong network (friends/family/professionals). I also know that having both sometimes does not help with coping with stress and anxiety. But as long as you are doing what you need to do (and from your post you are) you will progress and win the war, if not every individual battle. I pray you find some peace of mind and have the presence of mind to truly enjoy those moments and to remember them when you need to. :)

Heidi said...

I will be short and to the point....own it my friend! You know I am right here behind you and I am all for open and honest. Be who you are, love who you are, and those who are truly worth it, will do the same!

bearpainter said...

shana, i am there with you, i have been on many different medicines and have found that when i am best when i am not hard on myself. as heidi said own it. never be afraid to talk about it.