I can hardly believe that it has been so long since I’ve last updated my blog! January… for Pete’s Sake people! Oh my, the things that have transpired since that time, I’m not even sure where to begin.
So I’ll begin in the middle, because that’s logical, of course.
When I last wrote I was suffering from severe depression. I wanted to speak openly about what it felt like to work through those emotions and hopefully take you with me as I struggled toward the other side. But alas, I’d stew over several ideas for a blog post but I couldn’t seem to pin anything down worth sharing. I felt full to the brim with words just waiting to escape but, when I tried to set them free, I got stuck behind the emotional log jam unable to articulate what was really going on.
In the months that followed my last post the depression worsened. At one point I became suicidal succumbing to feelings of hopelessness and despair. Now, before anyone gets too worried, I can say that I’m on the other side of things at present and I can look back with some clarity over my experiences. And, thankfully, I think I can finally write about it all again. At first I wasn’t going to share things of such a personal nature on my very public blog but who am I kidding? When have I ever held back before? Ha!
Where does that leave me? Well in my last post I felt like I needed to be really honest about where I was at emotionally. Many expressed thanks as it is a difficult subject to broach but one that I think needs “broaching.” In that vein I’ll continue. I hope you’re able to endure my honesty because it’s going to be brutal.
So here goes… get ready for some serious “over sharing!” Actually, I hope that what I write will be of help to someone or give some insight into a loved one that you may be trying to understand. Or maybe you’ll just shake your head and think to yourself, “Wow, that girl has issues!” I’m down with that too since I obviously do.
As January progressed so did my feelings of discouragement. I felt overwhelmed with my ill-health and how it was affecting my family. I just couldn’t seem to overcome the slump that I was in. Each time I would attempt to make life better I felt stymied by my circumstances. I had to quit going to school all together which was a major blow to my psyche. Who knew that my continuing pursuit of knowledge had become so vital to my mental health and well-being?
I also felt unable to properly care for my family. I became convinced that everything I did was wrong. The bleaker I felt about life the more I felt I was unqualified and wholly incapable of being the mother I truly wanted to be. And yet, as I tried to climb out of my depressive state it only seemed to make things worse. I was caught in a continuous downward spiral urged on by self-doubt and seemingly crushed dreams of what I thought life should be.
Who was this woman anyway? I’d look in the mirror and hardly recognize the face staring back at me. She was an emotionally beaten woman who was afraid to make a move in any one direction. Paralyzed by fear and overcome with self-loathing she was a perfect stranger to me. Where once I saw a vibrant and capable woman gazing back at me, I saw a mere shell of a person who felt trapped in a body that just wouldn’t function properly and a mind that couldn’t keep up with what felt like one devastating blow after another.
More than anything she looked tired… every line of her face etched with fatigue.
I was sure that if I slept solidly for a week straight it wouldn’t have done any good.
At one point I thought that there had to be something I could do to alleviate the suffering. I know from experience that when I reach out to others; serve them and love them that my sadness seems small and irrelevant. So I would try to come up with ways in which I could do this but I couldn’t see anything that I could manage with my poor health. I used to babysit for new mothers who needed a break or make a meal for a friend in need of help. I could go on and on with ideas but each seemed more insurmountable than the next. I couldn’t even manage to make a meal for my own family let alone feed a friend and theirs.
Such was the state of mind I found myself ensnared in.
In my experience we are all born with a certain drive, a motivation to grow, progress and succeed in life; an enthusiasm about forming relationships and serving others. When those opportunities seem to be stifled we often feel that we are stagnating on a plateau of sorts. For me, that is where the gloom begins and for some reason this time around that gloom blossomed into full blown depression and despondency.
I hate depression for a variety of reasons not the least of which is the ironies that come with it. For instance depression brings on an insatiable appetite for sleep and yet sleep is eternally elusive. It was all I could do to convince myself to get up and get moving and yet, when I did, I felt immediately exhausted. Then as evening fell I lay in bed staring at the walls for what felt like hours on end.
Then comes the next step. The mean girl!
During bouts of depression my inner “mean girl” makes herself known in the most painful ways. Not to worry, she’s not out to get you, her only target is me. Lucky for you because she can be quite nasty when she wants to be. Usually I keep her tightly under wraps knowing the damage she is able to inflict upon my psyche but when I’m in the thick of things she is able to escape and run rampant through my mind.
She likes to say things to me like, “You’re an idiot” or, “How can you be so stupid”, and “You are fat… ugly… a bad mom… a horrible wife… lazy… ridiculous… worthless…”
And, you get the picture.
Mean… down and dirty, in the mud, mean!
I don’t like her much; she makes me feel small and insignificant.
I began to feel trapped inside an invaders body. I was beginning to detach myself from life and the pain that came with it.
A very dangerous place to be.
This detachment began to set in around February or March. I look back on it all and it seems a big blur to me. I truly can’t remember much of that time because all I really wanted to do was check out of life. I got up and went through the motions. Or at least I’m pretty sure I did because I got the kids to school and I somehow managed to get their homework done etc. but it all happened in a kind of haziness that I would much rather forget anyway.
Well, I think that’s enough of that for today. Overcoming my depression was and continues to be a long journey and so I can’t really fit it all into one blog post anyway. Besides, I have a reputation to uphold of filling my blog full of unfinished business.
I think I’ll leave the next part for another post.
I won’t leave you entirely wanting though. I do have some health updates to share. I’ll keep this brief; I’m not really in the mood to dwell on it. The subject of my health or ill-health as it were, gets my hackles up and leaves me feeling angry and hollowed out.
I’ve been experiencing some neuropathy in my hands and feet over the past few years and it has steadily gotten worse. My rheumy sent me for a nerve conduction study which, of course, was inconclusive. They suspect small fiber neuropathy and that leads them to believe I may have Sjogren’s syndrome. It also looks like I may have Raynaud’s disease. As previously stated, going over these things in detail only makes me crazy so follow the links for more information if you dare.
Needless to say I remain in my constant state of limbo in which I have no idea what “syndrome” they may toss my way next or what ailment will complicate my life going forward.
The difference now is that, with help, and a major life decision which I will share more about later; my outlook on life has improved immensely!
In fact, I have wonderful news to share. My hair has finally begun to return to me! Oh hair, how I’ve missed you my dear friend. The luscious locks who went astray and left me bereft have come back to me again ten-fold. In fact, now I think I have more hair than I know what to do with. But I’m not complaining! Oh contraire! Thank goodness, because I think the return of my hair has been the fortuitous event that made all the difference. *wink, wink*
Hair she comes again!