Anxiety is something I have dealt with my entire life. And, depression is something that has reared its ugly head more than once. It is a hard thing to admit. Especially to myself. That is what made it extraordinarily difficult to admit to myself that I needed to see my doctor to talk about postpartum depression.
For the longest time I thought that admitting to issues of depression or anxiety meant that I was weak; not strong enough. In my younger days it translated to not having enough faith. Other people often thought it was an attempt to seek attention. Everyone experiences these things differently. For me, there were some important things for me to get straight with myself.
Feeling depressed in no way, shape, or form diminishes the love I have for my family, or my life.
My husband is my hero. We have been through happy, hard, fantastic, and difficult times over the nearly twelve years we’ve been together. Being depressed doesn’t lessen that.
My daughters fill me to the brim with love. I am absolutely and completely proud of them, and being their mom makes me the luckiest girl in the world. Being depressed doesn’t mean in the slightest that I don’t realize that.
Not a single day goes by that I don’t think of how wonderful my life is, and how lucky I am to have everything that I have.
Depression isn’t taking the good things in your life for granted. For me, depression is not being unhappy. In fact, I am very happy. But, it is like looking out and seeing all of the extraordinary things that make me happy but being unable to escape this annoying shit of a dark cloud hovering over me. It’s like experiencing magical moments, but not living them fully. It’s like wanting to suck all of the marrow out of life, but choking on the bone.
I had to realize: it doesn’t make sense, and it’s not my fault.
I needed to stop beating myself up every time I felt down, or nervous for no reason.
I started having anxiety attacks when I was about seven or eight. Of course, I had no idea what they were at the time. I would just start feeling overwhelmed with fear, and nervousness that I couldn’t shake. I remember as a teenager feeling like I would be sick from the pit in my stomach every day while I was riding the bus to school. I remember feeling like I was going to panic just driving down the road in my hometown. I just aways fought it on my own.
I imagine it’s a hard thing to empathize with for someone who’s never experienced anything like it…
But, when I realized I was waking up every morning just worrying about anything and everything that could possibly go wrong… When I felt like I wasn’t laughing enough, or hugging my family enough… When I realized that I never felt relaxed… When I realized that I always felt mad at myself…
So, right now I’m about two weeks into my medication, and one week into therapy. I can’t help but wonder if I have always had a chemical imbalance. Within just a day or two of being on medicine I started to feel better. I don’t feel as tense. I have more patience. I feel like my brain is quieter; like I can breathe deeper. Even Hubs has told me that I’m laughing more.
And, as for therapy… this is my first experience with it, but I feel incredibly positive.
It seems, for the most part, depression is something that people just want you to keep to yourself. Anxiety is something that you should just get over. Part of me thinks I’m crazy for even writing this.
But, then again, maybe we should stop treating things that way. Maybe mental health shouldn’t be so damn taboo. Maybe we should all just be proud of ourselves for trying to be the best people we can be.
So, that’s what I’m doing. I’m going to be the best person I can be.
I’m going to be the best mom that I can be.