I sincerely didn’t believe that I suffered from depression. How could I be? Despite the fact that my husband was gone for seven months for training and then immediately shipped to Afghanistan for another seven months, I was alone with a baby and only had my new husband’s family, whom I wasn’t super acquainted with at this point, to help me, and Mom was going through cancer treatments. Nothing was wrong with me, I was simply overwhelmed with what was happening around me! Right? Wrong. This is what we call DEFLECTING people! And because I thought nothing was wrong with me, I did not seek help. In my mind, depressed people just lay around in bed all day feeling sorry for themselves. They don’t go out with friends and play with their kids! I was so stupid then. The denial was strong in this one. Pride is an ugly thing, friends. Instead of getting help, I self medicated. I was super mom by day, and party monster at night. Thank God for the liver’s wonderful regeneration power because I don’t know how I’m alive. This lifestyle eventually caught up with me and I started to shut down. I would send my son to stay with family several nights a week and just stay in bed. My house got dirty, and I stopped caring. I had become that image I held in my head of anybody who has ever suffered from depression. When that realization hit, it made me feel worse. My pride was still there, I still didn’t get help. But things started to change.
My husband finally came home and we moved our family across the country to California, where my husband was to be stationed the remainder of his contract. Upon arrival, we learned he would be leaving again for another tour in Afghanistan only a measly six months after he had returned. I stayed with family for the majority of this time and that helped to appease the beast inside. When hubby returned, he was very different. He went through a lot going on back to back tours and he was ultimately diagnosed with PTSD. It was very trying with us for a couple of years. We are both very much “brush it under the rug” types of people so we just danced around each other’s issues and did a lot of DEFLECTING. So healthy, right?
It’s a new life
When hubby got out of the service, we moved back home to NC. After some adjustment, we settled into a decently normal life. We decided to have another baby. Things got pretty hairy. I learned before this that I have poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) as well as endometriosis. Long story short, we weren’t even sure if I would be able to conceive, or have a healthy pregnancy. After a year of trying, we finally got the golden ticket. Throughout the pregnancy, I developed horrible anxiety. I was convinced that I was either going to miscarry, or something was going to be wrong with the baby, despite the fact that the 700 ultrasounds I had were perfect. I also had extreme anxiety about the looming birth because I was sure that a big fat heaping depressive episode was waiting for me when the big show was over. I was correct. And along with that, my fears for something happening to my baby in utero manifested themselves into fears of my baby dying from random acts now that he was living outside of the protection of my shitty womb. I was proactive this time though. I talked to my doctor and instead of telling her everything was just unicorns and rainbows, I was honest. She directed me to a therapist. Shit. Got. Raw. I learned some things about myself, was on some medication, but most importantly, I began the process of COPING instead of DEFLECTING.
It is what it is
I have learned that I will never be 100% okay, and that is fine. I have accepted that I will have bad days and I will still find it hard to get out of bed sometimes or that I will simply run on auto-pilot sometimes but that is OKAY. I will not let that consume me. I will COPE. Because I would rather cope than be a zombie who doesn’t enjoy the laughter and mess of her children. I would rather cope than shut my husband out because the beast in my head has convinced me that he hates me. I would rather cope because I would rather live. So while life may not be unicorn farts, it’s still pretty fucking great to be here and I’m going to be present even if I haven’t brushed my hair or cleaned the house. It may not get better, but I’m here to deal with it.