I just received notice from my blog site that I have been blogging for 3 years now, 231 blogs, 231 times I opened my life for all to see, critique, shrug off or laugh at, or my greatest hope – understanding. A long time, a lot of time, effort, emotion, and pain has gone into all these posts. If you have read them I hope they helped you, provided insight, maybe gave you understanding on how the mind works. The phrase “it has a mind of its own” usually used to describe things that act up seems to fit here.
The mind is a strange, terrifying, and wonderful place. I can not tell you how in this one small blog the places my mind has taken me. I am off one of two anti depressants, and the weaning off process has been horrific. I regressed, but more that, I am not returning to the drug that may help me. The drug took away my power to feel, to cry, to think, I was numb. I now know the extent that the drug pushed down the feelings, demons, and the emotions everyone needs to function in society. I don’t want to be on this drug and even though the demons are back and the fear has returned, I must, have to, get beyond it. I am after all, alive. With that statement comes a tiny little bit of hope.
I was thinking of courage and weakness today. For me .. … and I mean only for me and my screwed up thought process, to die (and you know I mean take my life) is easy. This may be hard for the normal person to hear or think of, but depression leads the mind from black and white thoughts to gray. Depression and the darkness that comes with it blurs the lines of dark and light, death and life, hope and fear. It is easy just to walk away from the pain, the tears, the demons. To take your own life is easy, and courageous at the same time. To do it takes courage, to decide to do it, is easy. Would I??? No. But the depth of the demons you fight, the struggle to keep face in this world, smile at the stupid jokes the boss tells, don’t let ‘that’ person get under your skin, don’t cave to the sinking feeling you have, or let someone’s smart ass, put down, sink you deeper into the hole you are already sinking into. If major depressed people didn’t have to put up with people – stupid people – life would be easier. What keeps me from attempting it? Who says the thought hasn’t crossed my mind? Sadly, I have stood on that line between pain and no pain- that is what the depressed person sees when they look at that line. The deep hurt that will not stop, the demons whispering in your ear, and the pain loved ones can’t love away -OR the desire to feel nothing. I have gone for my ‘feel nothing’ through alcohol. There have been nights when I have felt, if I drink enough I will not feel, and Yes I was wrong that doesn’t help it amplifies, and leaves you feeling worse off than before. But to do it – cross that line is not something I can not do to those that I love. The pain I would cause is worse than the pain I want to kill, and the sun will set and moon will rise and fall and another day will come again. That is the small point of hope I hold onto, God will give us another day, and the next day can’t be as bad as this day.
So at this point of reflection. The first few years was getting over the shock that this happened to me, I was bubbly and happy, positive, in control of my life. I worked, I was confident, I volunteered, I made a difference in my church, my community, my kids schools. I sat on School councils, Church council, taught sunday school (and loved it) played music at church started a coffee club in my neighbourhood to connect stay-at-home Mom’s together. As I have read over the first few months of my blog, I can see the shock of what I was experiencing. And the crumbling of the person I was. I am very self conscious of myself — not in a conceded way, I was bullied in school and I need to have everything looking good, be in control otherwise it gives people a chance to criticize. So to lose my ability to be in control, to not be able to rely on my brain to guide me, was a huge blow.
When the shock of it all wore off; somewhat, and I was in the process of the doctors, drugs, researching, and reading. I was surprised at the system a mentally ill person goes through. First they throw drugs at you, then some therapy, (paid for by private funds) then if you go through OHIP you are left to long waiting lists, one of which I am still waiting for the anxiety clinic to call with an opening. The red tape, the frustration, how do you keep people alive- give them that hope? As I made some headway into living with my depression, some things changed, I began to cope, make strategies to live, function. I desperately miss that old person, she was funny and more carefree and I feel I will never see her again. At work I am afraid and still afraid of being found out that I suffer from depression. I hate the idea of being thought of as crazy- but I struggle on. There is a definite line between kids suffering from depression and adults. I see it all the time at work, we have so many Mental Health policies for the kids at the school —BUT — be an adult, it is a different thing. After my previous post about my ‘career suicide’ the bosses have stopped tip toeing around me but when I am unstable they notice it more and its becoming a – “oh ya, can’t handle the job” attitude. I can handle the job- actually when I am handling the job, busy and juggling the work I feel better and I am darn good at what I do. And this is my biggest issue about having major depression…..they think you can’t function- at anything.
So today — what is the point. I suffer from depression, I am paranoid, The sadness is there, I am struggling, the demons are still here, they tell me horrible things about me, like, I not important, I have no friends, I am at best tolerated by people. These are the facts of life. These are the things I fight. Most of the time I am a champion, a small part of the time, I am not. This is my day to day, this is my reality. I have mourned for my old self and I know I will never see her again. I have drawn myself together and wrapped myself in a cloak to protect myself from the world and from myself, to hold it together these days. This creation keeps me on constant alert and I am afraid to relax for if I do I will fall apart. I have a couple of times the past month and next time … I don’t know if I can wrap myself back up again.
I can recognize these things about me, I proceed. sometimes forward sometime reverse. It is a fact of life and accepting that has been harder for me than the demons and self hatred and other things I have dealt with, but I am still dealing. The truly sad part is that there are those who can not see the forest for the trees, there are people who can’t see that the sun will rise tomorrow, and the pain will ebb and flow. I pray for them, cause truly – the hope you hold on to comes from God. God has had me in his hand all this time. I thought I was the lost 99th sheep lost in the mountains, but I was truly in the sheep pen watched over by the shepherd, I just couldn’t see it.
My final thoughts. IF you know someone suffering from depression- tolerate them, and forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. They are stumbling around blind. IF you suffer from depression – try to give yourself a break, its an illness like any other illness, and as dark as the night is, or the spot you are in, there will be another day, and the sun will shine- you may have to go through some storms and cloudy days, but the sun will shine.
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