Tag Archives: lifestyle

Sorry Not Sorry

An open letter to those that are tired of my shit:

I know that you are probably tired of my mood swings. You know what’s funny? I am too. I’m actually pretty fucking sick of not knowing which direction my brain is about to take me. I’m happy right this second, but don’t blink! This rollercoaster doesn’t stop!

I’m sorry for being insecure. And not just a normal or healthy version of insecure that is acceptable, but the kind of insecure that inspires paranoia and requires frequent validation from you. I know it sucks to have me ask you if I’ve made you mad 20 times, or if you love me. Trust me, I hate it too.

My bad for that anxiety. I know it’s a bummer to hear about the twisted and frankly improbable fears that I have. I would love for them to stop tormenting my brain all hours of the night when I’m trying to sleep.

Be a dear and excuse my sheer lack of ability to communicate. You see, that one is a combination of the above. I don’t want to complain about anything ever that you may be doing that’s effecting me because I’m paranoid you’re going to get angry with me and fight with me and all the terrible things I think you think about me are going to come out and then when you’re done with the horrible confrontation, you’re going to leave me. 

The thing is, I’m really tired of saying sorry. Just like you, I can’t change the way I feel. While your feelings might be more rational, my feelings are still just as valid. And as much as you didn’t ask to deal with a basket case, I didn’t ask to be one. But if you’ve committed to being a part of my life, you need to accept me, and my crazy ass brain, in all of its seratonin-deprived glory. It’s not a piece of cake to be friends with or in a relationship with someone who has a lot going on upstairs. It is hard to excuse things that you can’t see. It’s hard to fathom how someone can’t see reason from time to time. But try to. Put yourself in their shoes. Imagine what it is like to be trapped in your head, looking totally normal on the outside but screaming to be seen on the inside. We wish we were “normal” too. We wish we didn’t have to ride the struggle bus when the wheels are falling off and the whole damn thing catches fire. And please know I’m not asking you to not feel whatever you may be feeling in reaction to whatever level of batshit crazy you may be witnessing from me. Just try to be empathetic to something you can’t possibly understand. Sometimes all it takes is a simple, “are you okay?” Or a hug, or some space to let me sort out my feelings. All I’m asking is the same respect you demand as a human being.

Not Another Depression Story 2

Denial

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.

Reunited

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.

Not Another Depression Story

I don’t know about you, but I have read a million and one stories about people coping with depression. I search out these articles and stories because we have common ground. I was diagnosed in 2009. I keep reading these stories because I am looking for something, and it’s an itch that very rarely gets scratched. The end of most of these stories is happy. These narrators have either been magically cured, or they find they don’t suffer from depression, just have very rare depressive episodes. Or they simply have post partum depression, which is not simple at all, but there is a light at the end of that shitty tunnel. While I can sympathize with these people, I don’t feel like I can completely relate, because mine didn’t go away. It’s still here, gnawing at me in the back of my head. So I wanted to write this in the hopes of reaching someone like me. Someone who has this annoying ass monkey on their back. Someone who needs to hear it from another stranger that’s in the shit, that while our serotonin deprived brains can make our lives miserable, we are still living them. Here’s my story.

The diagnosis 

Before November of 2009, I lived a normal existence. Sort of. I had a lot of difficulty. Like a lot. But the difference between then and now, is that when life or my past or whatever the hell it was, got me down, I never stayed down. I bounced up, brushed it off, and went about my business. I was happy, confident, social, and charismatic. I got engaged at the beginning of that year, found out I was pregnant in March, married in May, and had my little boy on November 18th. It was a big, happy year. During the course of this year, my husband swore in to join the Marine Corps, we were just awaiting the date that he would start boot camp, and were assured that wouldn’t happen until March of the following year. After our son was born, I started feeling the baby blues. It was around the holidays and I just brushed it off as me feeling nostalgic for my family. They were scattered all over the country and this was the first year I wouldn’t be spending it with them. We got through Christmas, and while I didn’t feel any better, I had hope. Then I got a call from my mom. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer. I felt the bottom drop out. She was eventually set to undergo a simple lumpectomy, but when they got in there, they found it had spread. She ultimately ended up getting a mastectomy and aggressive chemo and radiation treatments. Just before we found out  how bad it was, we got the call from the recruiter that my husband was leaving early. He was now scheduled to start basic training in January instead of March. If you’re not familiar with how training works in the Marine Corps, here is a run down. They go to boot camp for three months, at the end of which you see them graduate, they get leave for about a week, and then it’s off to combat training for a month. From there they immediately go to their MOS school. This is where they learn to do their specific designated job. For my husband, that schooling lasted three months. This time period was a little easier because we were able to see each other most weekends, as his school was four hours away. To say that there was a lot happening in my life was a massive understatement. I was trying to cope with all of this while taking care of our son and I just wasn’t handling it well. I went to the doctor and that is when they diagnosed me with full blown depression.

Editor’s note

As this post is already long, I’m going to be breaking it up into two separate entries. Stay tuned for more!

Editor’s note

I want everyone to know that while, yes, I do suffer from depression, I am not suffering. I have learned many ways to cope, and when that doesn’t work, I have learned to ride it out. The best thing I can do is feel my feelings. So while I thank everyone for their concerns, I am happy!