On Monday I explained what has been happening around here for the past year and shared a little bit about my struggle with depression. I kinda glazed over everything in an attempt to condense 15 months into a few short paragraphs that wouldn't bore everyone to tears. Today though, I'd like to go a little bit more in-depth about my experience. I know it has absolutely nothing to do with sewing or crafting, but depression and anxiety has become something that's part of my life now, and it's really important to me that you know that.
Since most sewing/craft blogs love to create for babies, there are always posts here and there bringing attention to postpartum depression. They all say that we need to take care of ourselves and accept help so we can get better. There's never any talk though about regular ol' depression. Don't get me wrong, I think it's wonderful that we've go a conversation going about postpartum, and it's become more "acceptable" to struggle with it and ask for help. I just want to start the same kind of discussion for depression and anxiety...and all the other disorders like them too.
When I was at my lowest point (achy, crying over every. little. thing, and never leaving my bed), I called a friend one evening crying about how I wanted to kick my husband out of the house. What had he done you might wonder? My friend even asked if he might be cheating on me? Nope. Nothing like that at all. I was just so desperate to be alone with my misery that I wanted him gone! Trust me, I'm well aware that's probably one of the dumbest things you've ever heard. But the first thing you need to understand is...
Depression doesn't make sense!
Most of the time, people who suffer from depression know that they are being unreasonable. There's just nothing they can do to stop it. Knowing that you're depressed makes you anxious...that anxiety makes you more depressed...more anxiety, more depression, more anxiety, more depression, and Ta Da! Now you're on what I like to call the Carousel of Doom. *muah ha ha ha ha*
Getting off this carousel takes either a whole lot of motivation (which is hard to come by obviously) or the intervention of someone on the outside. In my case it was my husband's agreement that I should visit the doctor to have my thyroid checked. At the time, I KNEW I needed to go to the doctor, and I KNEW I was likely suffering from depression, but I couldn't admit it out loud yet.
Anyway, back to my story... A little while after the doctor had ruled out a thyroid condition and started me on antidepressants, I called that same friend to apologize for my hysterics and update her on what was really going on. I knew this particular friend had suffered from postpartum after her first child but was floored when she acknowledged that she, and most of her family, were all on one medication or another for mental health issues. Wait. What!? We're practically on the same meds!
Only days later, when I confided in one of my blogger groups that I needed to take some time off to straighten myself out, half of them heartily agreed and acknowledged that they had suffered the same issues in one form or another. *let me pick my jaw up off the floor*
I had no idea!
Blog-land is so full of perfection - perfect pictures, perfect clothes, perfect food, perfect families. We all know that blogging is a stressful job, and raising kids is no picnic either. It's not a secret that our pictures are staged, and our homes/laundry/kids/etc. are a hot mess when they're not in front of the camera lens. Whenever one of the popular bloggers are asked how they "do it all", their response is always that they don't. We simply don't see the craziness that's going on behind the scenes.
Why did it never occur to me that this applied to their mental stability as well?
And if so many of us are dealing with the same issues, how comes no one ever talks about it!?
So here I am...
I'm not pretending that I'm going to be the spokes-lady for mental illness or anything like that, but I'm not gonna bother keeping it a secret either. I grew up in a family where weakness was frowned upon. In the end, our family dynamic completely disintegrated because people who genuinely needed it, either refused to admit it or wouldn't accept help. I grew up like that, and to be blunt - It sucked.
I don't want my kids to grow up thinking that they're the reason Mommy's always miserable or that taking medications makes them any less awesome as a person. I take the highest dosage they allow of my particular antidepressant every. single. morning, and some days I still feel like crap. But at least I got out of bed and gave it my best.
If you're in the same boat and want to chat, or maybe have questions that I might be able to answer, I'm here. I definitely don't know everything, but sometimes you just need someone who understands to commiserate when you're having a bad day. That friend I was talking about has no idea how much she helped me just by letting me know I wasn't alone. Now you know that you aren't either.❤