Mar

28

Defining Depression: Depression is humiliating and degrading

“Depression is humiliating. It turns intelligent, kind people into zombies who can’t wash a dish or change their socks. It affects the ability to think clearly, to feel anything, to ascribe value to your children, your lifelong passions, your relative good fortune. It scoops out your normal healthy ability to cope with bad days and bad news, and replaces it with an unrecognizable sludge that finds no pleasure, no delight, no point in anything outside of bed.

You alienate your friends because you can’t comport yourself socially, you risk your job because you can’t concentrate, you live in moderate squalor because you have no energy to stand up, let alone take out the garbage. You become pathetic and you know it. And you have no capacity to stop the downward plunge. You have no perspective, no emotional reserves, no faith that it will get better. So you feel guilty and ashamed of your inability to deal with life like a regular human, which exacerbates the depression and the isolation.

If you’ve never been depressed, thank your lucky stars and back off the folks who take a pill so they can make eye contact with the grocery store cashier. No one on earth would choose the nightmare of depression over an averagely turbulent normal life. It’s not an incapacity to cope with day to day living in the modern world. It’s an incapacity to function. At all.

If you and your loved ones have been spared, every blessing to you. If depression has taken root in you or your loved ones, every blessing to you, too. No one chooses it. No one deserves it. It runs in families, it ruins families. You cannot imagine what it takes to feign normalcy, to show up to work, to make a dentist appointment, to pay bills, to walk your dog, to return library books on time, to keep enough toilet paper on hand, when you are exerting most of your capacity on trying not to kill yourself.

Depression is real. Just because you’ve never had it doesn’t make it imaginary. Compassion is also real. And a depressed person may cling desperately to it until they are out of the woods and they may remember your compassion for the rest of their lives as a force greater than their depression. Have a heart. Judge not lest ye be judged.”

 

–A quote I found several times on Reddit.  Not sure who originally posted it but it’s word ring truth–

Mar

27

Too many feelings.

I have heard that some people who are depressed feel numb, feel nothing. Many who feel this way often turn to things that make them “feel” again, like cutting. They would rather feel pain than nothing at all. Anything to prove they are alive.

I, on the other hand, feel every negative feeling you can think of, only harder, stronger and all the time.  It feels like the emotions never end.  There have been days where I will cry for hours upon hours.  Usually having no understanding for why I feel the way I do.  So much sadness, fear, loss, helplessness, hopelessness, regret, guilt, anger, hate, misery, self-loathing, pain… I feel all of it at once.  It causes me to have migraines, feel physically sick and weak.  And all though I feel mostly negative feelings there are moments when I do find joy.  These moments of happiness are usually brief and fleeting. Many times when I do feel the lift of positivity, something inside me says “you don’t deserve this”. I then fall back down into my cesspool of inadequacy, loneliness, rage, rejection, embarrassment, doubt, shame, jealousy, grief… I often find myself wishing I could hold onto the joy but more often, I would do anything to just feel Nothing.

Mar

23

Defining Depression: What depression isn’t.

“Depression isn’t an emotion. Depression has no cause. Too often is depression conflated with sadness or anxiety…

Depression, when it is present, is more like the force of gravity. It is there, pulling down on you under all circumstances. Though I’m depressed I am often very happy- but still there is the unfeeling wet blanket of muddled confusion and writhing frustration seething under it all. Waiting.

A creeping numbness that insidiously degrades and diminishes every aspect of conscious life. A storm of screaming and hatred in dreams. A dull apathy in waking. A sinking stomach in the face of joy and a faithless lassitude in the face of hope.

Depression isn’t an emotion. Depression is a contradiction to every worthy aspect of life.”

 

— I found this accurate description on reddit. submitted by –grottohopper

Mar

20

To be like Bob…

I started counseling on Monday.  In the past, I have had several therapists and never had a great experience.  Waiting to meet the new guy,  my anxiety decided to press upon me hard.   I might have caused a mild earthquake with all of my uncontrollable leg shaking.  Thankfully Ryan went with me and helped me to calm down.  My family stepped up to watch the kiddos and we are receiving help for the counseling bills so there really is no way for me to avoid this anymore. l have my doubts about it’s benefits, but heard the success rate of combining medicine with counselor, especially if you have had traumatic life events, such as I.  I want to have the best chance and really try to not to be too skeptical.

BOB- I have problemsI feel like I have heard it all and logically I have come to peace with my past abuse and abusers.  Yet, I still have “problems”. I know the “basic skills”  to pull out of depression.  Exercise, diet, sun, consistent sleep, etc. etc…  But has that served me well as of late?  No.  Maybe he can help me be more accountable, and maybe he does have a different perspective.

I did appreciate our first meeting.  He knew the importance of comfort and that I am his “boss”. He will push me but that the important thing is that I trust and feel comfortable with him.  He also has goals and is not about “emotion porn” as my husband calls it.  (My Mother is an emotional porn addict- Has to rehash and focus on all of the past, dwell, searching for answers but never does anything about it. She has been in years of counseling that is never going to end). As for me, we are hoping to get all that needs to be accomplished within a few months. Then hopefully move on as a functional member of society.

bob cartoonFor the first week, to find where I am, he wants me to focus on what is right in front of me.  Right now everything in my life feels like a mountain to climb.  And some of these this are as simple as making my kids lunch, cleaning up a spill,  washing dishes, getting out of bed.  These easy tasks truly feel huge to me. And in some moments impossible!  Instead of looking at the mountain and all that I should be accomplishing, I am to look at the few step ahead of me.  Not the top of the mountain.  Now I have heard this before and it feels silly but it is a starting point.  A way for me to measure my growth.  He asked me to not compare myself with others, only my recent self.  Did I do equal to or better than the day before?  No matter how slow it may take me.  And not to push too much, just enough to equal the day before atleast.  So I thought I would go home and try to put it in action.

What about Bob? Full Movie Poster

Tuesday came around and I was pretty energized in the morning (which hardly ever happens)  the kids were wanting to help clean so we did.  I soon found myself getting weak and exhausted and what replaced my thoughts?  Baby steps.  Baby steps to the laundry room.  Baby Steps putting the clothes in the washer. Baby steps….

Oh My Gosh, I am Bob!!!!  Gotta admit, those baby steps took him to places he never thought he would go but he was a caricature! and I am a real human being.  This does give the hubby and I a good laugh.  Which I think helps my mood as I am struggling to do more.  So it is a good thing to be like Bob.  As long as no one tries to blow me up. 🙂

Mar

19

Defining Depression: The Melodrama

Defining Depression. There is no real definition that fits everyone. I hope to share ways to illustrate depression through my own words and through other voices on the world wide web.

melodrama floor movie still

I have often found it difficult to describe my depression in any meaningful or relatable way.  As my husband, who is quite a logical person, has tried to understand depression and the feelings I have, it has been quite clear that it is impossible for me to fully express.   I began looking online for accurate descriptions that he could understand.  Ones that Ryan could connect to.  As I presented my findings I realized how over the top and melodramatic they all sounded.

For someone like Ryan, and even as I read them out loud I could see how some could find all of this made up and a way to get attention. The range of emotions in these “definitions” are far reaching and often feel exaggerated. In some instances I found myself skeptic of the writer, wondering if they were playing a victim, I was falling right into the stigma society had created. When I silenced that voice and tried to break the habit of societal judgment that we are all susceptible to, I could then look past the ones that didn’t relate to me and find what did speak to me.

melodrama movie still

Truth be told, my life is a Melodrama.  Everything feels far fetched and extreme.  The slightest comments, thoughts, and actions appeal to my emotions.  And those emotions take control of everything until there is nothing left to give. Until there are no more tears to cry and the curtain goes down and the lights go out and everything is dark and quiet. You can no longer feel anything because it was all put out on that stage.  Exhaustion takes over until the next day and then you are back on stage.  Places, Curtain, Lights, and begin scene! The show begins again.  More unexplained emotions, more unexpected plot twists and ostentatious events.  Exaggerated reactions that cannot be stopped. and the pressure of performing for all to see.  Being critiqued and judged followed by humiliation and self-condemnation.

melodrama fear

As we know, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts…” -William Shakespeare     The role I have been playing is getting tiresome. I am ready for a new play, a new part,  looking forward to that final curtain call.

Mar

10

To be Human Again, To be human again…

Have you ever heard that cut song from Beauty and the Best that they put into the musical?  “To be Human again”?  That is something that I think of on a daily basis.  Days turn into blurs and there are moments where I don’t really feel alive.  Days where I wonder what it would be like to be human again.  I don’t remember what it’s like really. Honestly.  You would think that it would be an easy concept for a human to understand or remember, but I have no clue.  It’s been 6.5 years since I have been “Myself” and as I am getting help for my illness ( ugh, I hate that term, “illness”) I get these questions a lot. “How do you feel?” “Are you feeling better?”  “Are things getting back to normal?”  How the Hell am I suppose to know?  I don’t know what normal is anymore, I don’t know what it feels like.  A reoccurring thought is: What if these crazy feelings and overwhelming emotions that are inside of are what everyone deals with on a daily basis? What if I am just weak? Why do I think that I am somehow different?  What if this is the only “Normal” I will ever know?

 

 

 

 

Mar

7

The standard explanatory blog post

I am pretty sure I started this blog about 15 times.  How do I start? What do I say? What is the best way to explain why I am here in the blogging world? I don’t pretend to be some great writer or to have anything that will change anyone’s outlook on life. Suppose it to say, I am here for me.

I have been diagnosed with Clinical Depression and Anxiety. It is a difficult thing to say out loud, or in this case, type, especially since there is such a social stigma regarding it. I have suffered from this disease for almost 7 years now but have only started treating it about 18 months ago.  I have struggled to come to terms with what is truly going on with me and how it has affected myself and all those around me.  It is a daily battle that has ripped me from the person I was and has consumed every facet of my life.

I am choosing to share my life and not be ashamed of something I have no real control over. I am here to track my progress, my struggles, and my failures.  I want to be honest about how it all came to be and not hold anything back. That means there are going to be posts that will hurt, posts that may bring harsh judgements by others and posts that could hurt my family. For those reasons, while I am striving to not be ashamed of my disorder, I have chosen to use a pseudonym to protect my family and myself.

So onto the introductions. My name is Ava. I am a wife of almost 9 years and a mother to 3 beautiful children. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a stay at home mother and homeschooler. I love the arts, especially performance arts and live in Arizona. My husband,  Ryan, and my children, Blake (6), Liam (4), Keira (1) are the people I can’t imagine my life without. However, they are the ones who are hurt the most by my not so personal battle, they are the ones I fear will not make it through this journey without being unscathed. I will be mentioning other parts of my family, as they have had a big influence on who I have become. I will not mention their names yet, mostly because coming up with other names for those you already know is a lot more difficult than I thought it would be.

It is time to come clean, to be set free, to use my voice, no matter how small it may feel.  May I be able to come out on top in this fight for my family and for me.