12 June 2010

Hi, my name is ________ and I suffer from Depression.

Hello again, blogging world. My apologies for the hiatus—a lot has happened since my last post. To sum up, I left my hotel job for one doing tech support at an outsourcing company. Unfortunately I HATED that job due to the necessity of being on the phone all day taking calls, not to mention all of the silly requirements and procedures that kept changing. I couldn’t keep up. Didn’t I know about the phone situation before taking the job? Of course but I thought I could handle it. Not so.

As usual, I’ve fallen off the weight-loss wagon, have done nothing to build my potential writing career, and am unemployed while job-hunting. And so I find myself where I was last June, only I’m almost a year older: 25. Not where I thought my life would be at 25. When I was 18, I imagined my 25 in Hollywood working at some film company, partying (not too much) with friends, in a great relationship (check that off the list), thin and beautiful, and possibly about to win an Academy Award—yup, I was a big dreamer. Now it’s hard to get out of bed, which brings me to the main reason for avoiding the blog-o-sphere: my battle with Depression.

Amongst all of my drama, my husband’s life, and the issues with his family, Depression had taken the wheel driving my thoughts, emotions, and even some choices. Before reentering the blog, I wrestled with the idea of even talking about this because of the mixed reactions from people, but ultimately I believe it beneficial for others to learn from and understand a life with this disease since so many people suffer from it. Plus, I hate when people pretend life is wonderful and are actually dying inside—I’m taking the honest approach.

Unless you have Depression it’s hard to comprehend or even explain the mind-screw and mood changes one is put thru. Those without it say, “what do you have to be depressed about?” “just be grateful” “get over it” “there are people much worse off than you” and so on. This disease is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain and although pills can help, it remains a constant day-to-day struggle. I hate the idea of taking pills, but lately it seems like the only option (once I get insurance, ugh) since my depression has nearly ended my marriage. Don’t worry, we’re okay for now but I never know when my anger will become extreme or I’ll feel this unbelievable ache to disappear.

With my weight, job-hopping and dissatisfaction, and lack of writing potential, my moods are aggravated, my thoughts turn dark, and it feels like there’s no solution and I’ll never crawl out of the hole I dug. Pretty crappy, no? It makes remaining optimistic nearly impossible.

For those of you not affected and perhaps not following, depression inflates the tiniest self-criticism into a life or death situation. Here’s an example of a recent thought process I had on a day where I remained glued to the couch instead of working out like I’d wanted and should have:

I should’ve worked out- I’m such a couch potato- what a lazy loser – no wonder I’m HUGE- no wonder I haven’t written anything or have a job- I’ll never get a good job- I’ll never write anything important- why can’t I motivate myself- I’m such a bad writer- I’m a joke pretending to write- I’ll always be a fat loser on the couch- I’m such a waste of space and air- no wonder no one calls or cares or keeps in touch- if I died no one would even come to my funeral- sometimes I wish I wouldn’t wake up- I hate myself- I hate life- I want to die.

And there you go. I’m even getting tearful now rereading those thoughts because I feel each and every one of them everyday in some capacity. FYI- I will NEVER kill myself. Suicidal thoughts have become almost a daily routine but as I am a firm believer in God and Jesus and would love the honor of being allowed into Heaven, I will NEVER kill myself. When I was about 8 or 9 I attempted to suffocate myself in private but fortunately God reminded me that suicide is never the answer and I would hurt my family. However, there are many others who don’t share the strong faith I do so please watch for the signs, listen, and NEVER EVER TRIVIALIZE DEPRESSION.

A few things to look for: Moodiness, any mention of suicide or how much better life would be without the person in it etc., change in diet, lack of energy, anti-social behavior, lack of hygiene or any effort in personal appearance (my “no make-up days” are bad days for me).

Make no mistake, this is an exceedingly difficult disease to live with but I do not wish to downplay the turmoil those on the outside go thru when involved with someone who has depression. My poor husband had no idea what he was getting into (and to be honest neither did I since the depression has gotten worse). I’ve put him thru hell with my moods, maltreatment of him, and desire to runaway. Fortunately he has tons of patience and just wants me back to my old self, though I’m not sure if it’s even possible. If you are in a relationship (friendly, familial, or romantic) with someone who has depression seek your own version of counsel and realize that it affects you too.

I’m not really sure where to go from here in terms of this entry. Though I wish I could end on a hopeful note, I can honestly say that I have no idea where to go from here; what the future holds; if I’ll even stick with my current future plans. It’s daunting, frightening, and sad. I don’t even have dreams anymore… not really. There are things I want but this mental rut has me believing I will never reach my goals. Yesterday I concluded that ever since school ended I’ve been unable to cope with my life. I’m all over the place, lost, unsure of myself… well let’s be honest I hate myself, which is something I need to work on. Perhaps this stint of unemployment will finally shed light to get me through this darkness.

2 comments:

  1. I went through postpartum depression and anxiety after AJ was born. It almost ended my marriage too. I took the pills. They didn't make it all go away, but it gave me the tools to deal better. I went to counseling once a week, and group therapy once a month. Even without insurance, there might be a clinic that can get you what you need.

    As someone who heard, "Lighten up," "just get out of the house" and "What is the MATTER with you?" many times, I will not try to say something pithy, witty, or offer any advice. I will offer only an ear to listen or an outlet to vent.

    Many people value you, love you, and believe in you.

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