Thursday, August 28, 2014

so here's the thing...

I've been thinking about writing this post for a long time. At least a month. A lot of things have held me back… I like to keep it light and fun around here, I don't think I'm great at expressing my feelings with writing (it comes of scattered), I don't want to be judged, I don't want people to think I've been hiding things or trying to paint a rosy picture when in reality…. it's not roses most of the time right now…

but there comes a time when none of the above really matters. A time when I just have to get out what I've been feeling and going through. I have to share my story because it's part of me.. good, bad, or ugly, this is my life and my reality right now….

So here goes nothing. I am depressed. 

Not just, oh man this is a bad day or week and I'm pretty bummed out about it. Full blown, deep and dark depression. I'd like to say it came out of nowhere but the truth is it's been creeping in for awhile now. For the past month it's become worse and worse and now I'm to the point where I need help. I need a counselor and probably medication. Not probably. I really, really think I need help with medication. 

I'm just not myself anymore. I find it hard to smile. I'm impatient with the kids. I find it extremely hard to take care of myself. I don't feel lovable or even likable right now. I cry daily. I don't even recognize the person in the mirror any more. I don't like that girl, where did she come from? Sometimes I find it hard to get out of bed… I swear, if I didn't have kids and obligations with them I probably wouldn't get out of bed at all.

I've dealt with brief bouts of depression in the past… had my run ins with the blues that last a little longer than I'd like.. it's something that runs in our family. I know it well. But in the past I've always been able snap myself out of it in one way or another. 

I try to keep things into perspective. Sure our family has gone through hell this year.. but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We are so close to rebuilding things…. I have my health, my kids, the love of my life… I know, I so know all of that. I remind myself daily that it's ALL that matters. I tell myself that everyone alive has problems, great and small. There are people out there dealing with more struggle than I could even begin to comprehend. I know that too. Absolutely. But somehow right now it doesn't help.

For awhile leading up to this I was making a painstaking effort to snap myself out of what I knew was coming. If I felt down or negative I would do something for myself. I'd text a family member or send an email to someone in my life to tell them how wonderful and important they are. I'd buy myself a fancy coffee. I'd spend extra time with the dog. I'd pick out a movie or do something involving the new house. I'd blog and work on my goals. I'd scrapbook and focus on the good things in life, the happy little moments and memories. It would work for a time, even though it was taking a lot of work. It was working, a little. Like a tiny bandaid plastered over a gaping wound..  

but not anymore. There is no snapping-out of this. The depression is palpable. 

I can't see the forest through the trees. I'm in the thick of it. Sure I have good moments. Times when I can laugh. Things I can post on Instagram. Moments when I see glimpses of my former self.. but I'm telling you it is shocking how infrequent they are. It's like my reality has flopped places… I have as many "good" days as I used to have "bad" days. I hate it.

For some reason I finally decided to share it here on my silly little scrapbook blog… it felt like it was time I owned it. It's why if you're a family member I probably haven't answered your calls, or made any effort to call you. It's why if you're my husband I've questioned why you would continue to love me through this when I am at my worst, over and over. It's why if you're my kid you wonder what the heck is wrong with Mommy… and I am so truly and deeply sorry for those things. Please believe me, if I could fix them right now I would.

I don't know if anyone will even really read this… I guess I just wanted to share with anyone who stops by to check in on what I'm up to. I guess I don't even know why.. maybe it's my way of reaching out.. making the first step to getting help.. maybe I just want you all to know that I am trying so desperately to be happy again. To get myself back to normal… even if you didn't really know that anything was wrong. 

I'm grateful for so many things in my life. We have a long list of things to be happy about.. and I intend on getting to a place where I can start doing that again very soon. 

41 comments:

  1. Elizabeth! I really really really like you and wish we lived by each other so we could hang out and scrap every day. I think you are awesome and I love your rockin' hair and I hope that you can find the comfort and solace you need and deserve. Thinking of you! I'm just an email or Facebook text message away :)

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  2. Don't be afraid to look for help! When I was depressed, it made all the difference. It can help you go through this particular moment and get to know yourself better. I don't know you personally, but I like your scrapbooking and your cool blogposts, so please know you're not alone. Love from a Brazilian reader

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  3. Oh sweet girl, how brave you are. I am so proud of you for reaching out and admitting you need help. You are going to get through this. I wish I was there to sit and listen...and though I'm not I am always HERE for you. I'm actually a really good listener. :) Sending you so much love, peace, light, and joy.

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  4. Elizabeth, it takes courage to admit you need help. My sister is going through the same thing right now. Depression runs heavily in our family. My mom waited 10 years to get help and how I wish she had been brave enough to admit she needed help earlier. You are brave. It is not weakness, it is courage that you have found. Remember that. Truly, it takes more courage to embrace change, than to continue to live a life unhappy. If you need a friend to talk to, I've got years and years of experience. Please know you are not alone.

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  5. It takes so much courage to share something so personal about yourself. I applaud you for that- I know that it can be scary. I think that we all go through really hard times and I pray you will find the help you need to help you through. There are so many of us around the world who, though we might not know you deeply, we are for you and are wishing you the very best. Here is a virtual hug and a little bit of cheer. My dad has suffered from severe depression and I at times go through periods that are very hard and I know how real it is. How wonderful it is that your family loves you so much and will be there to help see you through.

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  6. Praying for you!

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  7. Christine CampbellAugust 28, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    The best advice I was ever given, when I was going through depression, was to write it down. Get it out - even on a piece of paper that nobody will see, even on the computer to be saved and stuck in a folder somewhere. Just write it down. There's something very cathartic about writing. It helps. I don't know how or why but it does.
    I've been through the same thing - said those same words to myself over and over...stopped texting and talking to people because I thought, 'why would anyone want to talk to me when I'm so bloody miserable all the time.' It's an unbelievable ache that those who have not been through it, couldn't possibly understand. Please know that I do. I'm not on the other side of it yet either - I've been on medication in the past - had a hard time coming off of it (I didn't do it the right way) and am hesitant to go on it again, though I probably should - honestly, it's probably just a matter of time.
    My advice, for what it's worth from an imperfect stranger, is keep writing. It helps. HUGS.

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  8. I am depressed. I know that's hard to type. I have several drafts written on my depression but haven't published any of them. It's a hard thing to talk about, and like you said, I try to keep things light and funny too. Although depression is prevalent in my family I didn't start feeling any kind of depression until I moved from MN to KY. Since then its been off and on but since getting pregnant with Ruby in 2010 it's been constant. So, yay, big life changes! I hope that you can find the help that you need (I take Wellbutrin and talk to a therapist). You are definitely not alone in your feelings!

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  9. For those of us who have been in that black abyss, there is light on the other side. Find your therapist, work on yourself and know some of us have been there and send hugs!!!

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  10. Oh sweet girl xox I am proud of you for sharing...that was really hard!!! Medicine (it will take time to find the right concoction) will make a world of difference. I live with a lived one battling depression and it's not easy but it's fixable!!! It's nothing to be ashamed of...it's chemical!! If I can give you any advice it would be "don't listen to the voice in your head right now". Know that you are loved and there is always hope!!!
    Alissa

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  11. I care. I hope you get some relief soon! xoxo

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  12. You are brave for writing this and posting it. Do you have help around you? A good doctor? Supportive family? Prayers your way.

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  13. I found you through Stephanie Howell. I want you to know that you are not alone. You deserve to be able to function well and feel secure. Getting help, and medication, is a sign of strength. You wouldn't want your friend to go through this struggle would you? Of course not. Be kind to yourself. Your family deserves a healthy you so you can care for them. Hugs to you!

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  14. Sending you support and hugs from across the Internet. From a mom who has been there, who's still there, I hear you. I see you. You are not alone and there is hope.

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  15. It takes a lot of courage to admit that you're struggling and need help. I have a dear friend who is currently struggling with the worst bout of depression she has ever experienced. She has been through some very dark days, but she's on the other side of it now. She has a great doctor, and they've now tweaked her medications to something that works for her. Please know that you are being thought of and wished well, and that you are not alone. Please take care of yourself.

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  16. WOW...what courage and strength you have shown! Sounds like you're doing the right thing by getting some help. Sending you love and support from Portland, Oregon.

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  17. You know yourself well and you are calling out for help which is the first step to feeling yourself again. Know that I'm thinking of you. Love Lilith

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  18. You've already made it past the hardest part just by sharing your story with all of us. You have more support that you are even aware of... talk to your husband and let him be your strength for a while. Call your Dr. , I had some issues several years ago and it was directly related to my birth control meds, even though I had been taking them for more than 10 years, I could immediately tell a difference after I changed the brand. Sending prayers your way.

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  19. Sending lots of love and light your way across the interwebs. You are very brave for speaking up and saying this is what's going on and I need help! You will get through this and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Until you can find it, I send lots of good thoughts your way. Hugs

    April

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  20. I am so sorry you are feeling so down & it may seem like things will never get better or change, but I promise this too shall pass. You WILL get better & you WILL be happy again. Please seek out professional help, because while admitting you're depressed is a step in the right direction, actual counseling is where the healing begins. If you have even the slightest suicidal thought go to your nearest ER, don't wait for a doctors appointment. Your family needs YOU. The world needs YOU. I suffered from depression and felt EXACTLY like you are feeling now & after going to counseling twice a week for months, reading (Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns MD) & really connecting with God, I can honestly say I am HAPPY. I promise that with time and care you, too, will heal and come out stronger than ever. You will look back a year from now & feel like you don't even recognize that person. Place your hand over your heart, feel that rhythmic pounding? You are here for a reason. You have a purpose. You can do this!

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  21. And now comes the hard part. Getting the help and waiting for it to work. Just remember that any medication will not make you all happy. I will bring you back to your normal self, able to handle the things that come your way, that just seem so horrible right now. Please continue with the steps, admitting was the first, so now call and get a counselor and a Dr. You will be forever grateful that you did. Good Luck! And yes, I am diagnosed bi-polar II, so i do know where you are coming from. I just spent a few days in the hospital because I knew I needed it.

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  22. The day-to-day struggle to be the best mom, wife, employee, friend, family member, etc. is real...and hard. I admire your bravery to put it all out here. I get you and you are not alone. It sounds like you have a great support system at home and please know that I am here and would never judge if you ever want to just get it all out. I may not have all the answers but I'm a good listener. And please don't hesitate to talk to a professional. It's amazing the difference it can make.

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  23. I think you are amazing for sharing your struggles. I hope that this is just the beginning of your journey to getting some help so you can move forward. Take care of yourself.

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  24. Saying prayers for you. Very brave of you to share.

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  25. I can really relate to what you are going through and have been through this myself. I so admire you for putting this out there on your blog because I know that is not easy.I am thinking of you as you get the help you need. xoxo

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  26. Sending you lots of positive thoughts that you are able to get through this. Such bravery to post about it publicly. I truly hope you are able to find the help you need. Wish I could give you a big hug!

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  27. I found this post via Stephanie.
    Thank you for sharing; you are courageous!!
    Please know that you are not alone.
    Hugs to you!

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  28. I hear you. The worst thing about my depression is that I am so freaking unbelievably grateful for my life and truly enjoy the small things and moments, but depression wraps around me and pulls me down and I feel like it's so hard to be alive. Depression creeps and slowly takes hold. Keep helping yourself with those band-aids and get to a doctor or therapist. Find one that works for you. Medicine can be a permanent or temporary way to keep those tendrils of depression from wrapping too tightly around you and weighing you down. It may be a roller coaster to find the right one, but it will be worth it if that's what your body needs...like a diabetic needs insulin. Sending you strength. You can do this. Keep an eye on how you're talking to yourself , and please remember you can't see it now, but THERE IS A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL.

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  29. I want to tell you how brave I think you are for admitting this to so many of us, and yes this is your way of reaching out and I am sending positive thoughts and prayers for you to find that helping hand you need and deserve. You are not alone, and I hope the comments on here help you to feel that you are not alone. We will all be here if you ever need to type anything out... and just get it out girl... get everything out. Find that someone you can talk to and share this side of you. Sending love and hugs!!!

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  30. sweet girl, you are so brave and honest and true. I give you credit for coming forward and asking for help and encouragement. you so deserve to be happy and I pray you feel that way again soon. please get the help you need so you can be whole again for yourself, your family, and those who love and care about you. Peace, love, joy, happiness will be yours again, I KNOW IT> much love and I am on fb if you ever need me to talk to .

    tara pollard pakosta

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  31. Please know that you are not alone. When my husband started feeling depressed he wouldnt go for help . He thought he could handle it himself so he waited a year before he got help. It was the worse year of his life. He finally admitted he needed help (as you have done) and he got on meds, saw drs and went to many group meetings. I hope that you will see a good doctor and get on some meds that will really help you. Just remember that we go to drs for high B/P, diabetes, etc so please seek help!!!! You have many friends who care about you. Sending love and prayers!!!

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  32. The hardest--and bravest--thing is to recognize there's a problem and bring that out in the open to seek help. Thinking of you and wishing you lots of sunny days in the months and years to come.

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  33. Hi Sweetie! We love you and know you are going to get through this. You are so brave for writing this!! I'm proud of you for acknowledging you need help. Lean on Brian and get the help you need. Sorry we live so far away. I'm always just a call or facetime away :) Love you to the moon and back

    Remember you are an amazing woman, incredible wife, awesome mom, fantastic sister and ROCKIN' derby player!!!

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  34. I just want to add my feelings that agree with so many of the other commenters - There is light at the end of the tunnel! I have dealt with depression off and on for almost 21 years now - Medication DOES help!!! Reaching out to others and talking bout it helps!! Own your feelings, don't let yourself feel ashamed of them because they're real! I am going to be thinking of you often and cheering you on - please let us know how you are doing! You are brave, courageous and you will overcome this, that I know!! Love yourself and take care of yourself! I am in your corner, I understand!!

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  35. Praying that you will find the energy and support to do what you need to do. I'm familiar with horrible feeling of encroaching depression, but you WILL get to the other side! Take care of yourself.

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  36. It's very couragious of you to share this personal information here and it's highly appreciated! Please, don't be ever afraid to ask for help! Get a counselor and get medication if needed. You're going to make it out of the black hole, I know it because deep down there's the positive woman that created this blog, creates beautiful things, enjoys life to the fullest! :)
    Hope you'll be better soon!
    xoxo Sandra

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  37. It takes alot of courage to share your story and to acknowledge that you need some help. I have been where you are. You will come out from under the dark cloud that is depression. You have taken an important first step to let people that love you know what is going on with you. See your familly doctor, sooner than later. The solution might be just as simple as getting on some anti-anxiety medication. I will keep you in my prayers as you go through this journey. God bless.

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  38. I can so relate to you. I have suffered on and off with depression at various times in my life. I had anxiety so badly this winter that it turned into major depression and I didn't want to leave my house. If you haven't already, I would make sure to have your Vitamin D and Vitamin B levels tested - especially B12. I have found that having vitamin deficiencies can greatly affect depression and anxiety. I have also bumped up my Omega 3,6,9 and I have noticed a huge difference in how I feel. I have also started using essential oils to help - specifically, I use Frankincense, Valor Joy and Stress Away. If you need medication, you need medication but having been on it before I wanted to try everything I could do for myself before I got to that point. Hugs, my friend! If you ever want to chat, I've been there (and still have a bad day occasionally!)

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  39. Please read this, Elizabeth: http://platoseizestheday.blogspot.com/2011/03/what-depression-is.html I have been a crafter fighting the demon for almost 8 years. I feel ya...I just recently went to a integrative doctor who has me on a regimen of folate, fish oil, and magnesium supplements. I actually am beginning to feel like I can get off my depression meds at some point. Good for you for self-reflecting!

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  40. Elizabeth: I encourage you to read this article:

    http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2013/05/depression-part-two.html

    You are not alone. I, too, suffer from depression and just recently it has been hitting me harder than usual. I had my hubby read the article and I think he understood my depression more than he ever has before. As a result, I feel like I am getting more support. I am currently on medication and it does help. I encourage you to talk to your doctor. In the meantime, try not to feel too overwhelmed, take baby steps to accomplish what needs to be done and don't be too hard on yourself. It will get better! I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. ♥

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  41. I have been seeing a therapist for over 10 years. She helped me through the darkest period of my life, my cancer and my husbands illness and death. I have been on an anti-depressant for many years. I have accepted the fact that I will never be able to off of them. I only see my therapist once a month, for a "tuneup" Please know that this is a process and it takes a while before you start feeling better. I also had the support of my children, my mother, my siblings and countless friends. I am glad your husband is involved in this process, support of family is so important. Hopefully your move to your new house will alleviate some of your stress. I will be thinking about you.

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