Sunday, September 13, 2009

Climbing out of the rabbit hole

(internet photo -

Depression is very real. I grew up with people on all sides of the spectrum when it comes to depression. There are those who have experienced it, understand it and know how to deal with it when it happens. There are those who experience it, refuse to acknowledge it, and make the lives of those around them difficult because of it. There are those who hate the stigma of depression so much that they don't want to discuss it. And there are those who don't believe depression is real, say it is "all in their head" or "they are just doing it for attention."

Because of these things, so many people do not want to talk about depression.

I think it is important that we do. So I am. Read on if you wish . . .

My family has a long history with depression. We have had family members who have committed suicide and a large amount who have been diagnosed with some sort of depressive disorder; some who take their medicine and deal with it as they should, and others who only admit their issues when it is convenient for them.

Because of what I went through as a child/teenager/young adult - I am aware of the signs of depression. When I start to feel down, I try and decide what is causing it. Once I've figured out the reason, I try to determine the best way to deal with it. If I cannot make the sad feeling go away - I seek help. I never want to put my family through the things I had to go through. (Which is a much longer story for another time.)

We've had a rough few months. It was not all bad, it was just very hectic and busy, mixed in with some yucky stuff. I dealt with it pretty well for a while - but then I felt myself falling into that deep dark hole. I got cranky with people. I yelled at my kids and my husband when I usually wouldn't. I was mean. And I am not a mean person. Then my chest would feel heavy and I felt like I could not breathe. I knew that I had to do something different.

I'm not afraid to admit when I need help. I went to the doctor and got some "happy pills" to get me through the rough spot. I have mixed emotions about using medication. The last time I had to use medication for depression - the medicine made me feel like I didn't care - about anything. I wasn't happy, I wasn't sad - I just existed. I hated that. I HAVE TO FEEL. I am an emotional person, and that is just who I am. I don't want to change who I am - I just don't want to live in the darkness.

The other thing that is an issue with anti-depression medication is that it often causes you to gain weight. Well THAT would just cause me to be even MORE depressed, so how would that help?

The good thing: I have an awesome family doctor. I expressed all of these things to her and she was able to find something to help me that did not cause weight gain and that worked quickly. After only a few days - I started to see the light of the outside world again. My meanness subsided and I was able to smile. And I was thankful.

I honestly believe that everyone deals with depression at one time or another. The important thing is to find someone to talk to about it. Don't let it run your life and don't let it turn you into a victim. You can make it through it and come out a better person on the other side. Don't be ashamed. The only reason to be ashamed is if you refuse to deal with it and cause others to suffer along with you.

"People make mistakes,
Fathers, mothers,
People make mistakes
Holding to their own,
Thinking they're alone.

Honor their mistakes
Everybody makes
one another's terrible mistakes.
Witches can be right,
Giants can be good.
You decide what's right
You decide what's good.

Just remember . . .

Someone is on your side.
Someone else is not.
While you're seeing your side
maybe you forgot:
They are not alone.

No one is alone.

Hard to see the light now
Just don't let it go.
Things will come out right now
We can make it so.

Someone is on your side

No one is alone."

-Into the Woods


Wengergal said...

Hey girl. You were on my mind earlier this week. I can sooooo relate to your post. The last 10 months have been a rough one. Every few days I kept thinking things would turn around and I would see the light. Hang in there.
Love you.

Barry Pike said...

Very well said. And you couldn't be more right. It's the people that simply refuse to understand it that mystify me.

I really have come to appreciate those billboards that say "If someone you love has diabetes, you wouldn't just tell them to 'get over it'" (paraphrased).

Tony and Rett said...

Beth, my friend. I love your honesty. I wish I had some inkling...I would have been on my knees for you.

I'm in a funk right now...your post makes me think. Thank you.

JenN said...

As a member of your family you KNOW I know what you're going through. I know medication can be scary, but I have found that it's a fear we have to face sometimes and I'm glad you found something that works for you. Please don't ever be afraid to call or email if you need to talk. Sometimes it's nice to have someone that's been there. Love you.