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Hard Pill To Swallow….

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Had a not so great revelation today.

I really DO struggle with depression. I mean, I knew that I did to some degree, but I thought it was more circumstantial than anything….. and less physical and mental. But it’s not. Let’s back up…..

Round 1 – Pregnant with Owen. Winter of 2006. I knew something wasn’t right when I was neglecting Aidan and Dylan and foung myself literally HATING them and Jake. It was like those stories you read about, only I didn’t want to kill them. I just wanted to leave them on my moms doorstep and run far far away. And when I say hate…. I mean HATE in every sense of the word. I hated their laughter, their talking, their crying, their needing any amount of attention at all. I laid around all day crying. I screamed my head off almost nonstop. It went beyond pregnancy hormones. Luckily, by mid-pregnancy and with A LOT of help from family, it subsided. I finished out the pregnancy without any other issues. My OB said that 30% of women suffer severe depression DURING a pregnancy rather than after. It was a horrifying time.

Round 2 – After I had Owen I did a 180…. became OBSESSED with my children. Like, OCD obsessed. I would waste hours checking on them at night making sure they were alive. They couldn’t be out of my site without a panic attack resulting. Jake took the older boys camping while I stayed home with 1 week old Owen and I sobbed hysterically convinced that they were going to die. The next day was Owens circumcision and then I hitched a ride with my cousin to the camp ground. What genius take a one week old baby with a fresh circ camping?? A crazy one.  About 6 weeks after I had Owen, I went on anti-depressants. I stayed on them for about a year and a half…. then I was at the peek of my dosage and they weren’t working anymore. We had moved and I didn’t want to explain all over again why I needed them to a new doctor. It’s embarrassing enough the first time. And besides, I was fine. I thought. I quit cold turkey and went through something I can only imagine is close to a drug withdrawal…. because it basically was. Chills, shakes, neaseau, headaches, endless sleeping, hysteria, you name it. I went through it for about a week. Take care of three kids on top of that…. not the greatest week of my life. They ate a lot of pb&j and watched a lot of cartoons. After that was over, I led a pretty normal life without any boughts of depression, and when I felt myself getting “down” I quickly recognized it and took care of myself how I needed….. more sleep, better eating, more active, etc. I thought that my previous encounters with depression were purely due to pregnancies, so I thought that from here on out I’d never deal with it again. I found this old post at the beginning of when things started to change.

Round 3 – Just this past fall I could start to feel myself….. changing. For lack of a better word. I wasn’t snapping out of it as easily. I found myself sleeping A LOT. Like, just fall asleep in the middle of the day and sleep for hours sleeping. Thank God the boys are older and are basically self sufficient, because I wouldn’t realize anything until I woke up 2 hours later…. in chair, on the couch, in my bed. I wasn’t as happy, not like I normally am. But I wasn’t sad either. I just…. was different. People annoyed me. I angered easily. My patience was completely gone. Noises got to me. I lacked any desire to DO anything. I wasn’t taking care of our house. And during all this I was supposed to be homeschooling AND co-coordinating MOPS. Yeah, the pressure was mounting and my perfectionistic characteristic was caving. So, in December I went in for meds again. On one hand I knew I needed it. On the other hand, truthfully, I was disappointed that what I thought was pregnancy related….. wasn’t really. Part of me still thought it was the overwhelming stress I felt I was under, and that after this MOPS year was over I could focus on one thing and the pressure would leave. So deep down, I thought this was because of outside circumstances…. not because my body was malfunctioning.

I’ve had a hard time taking my meds this time. I don’t take them regularly and when I forget, I forget for like a week. Or more. I think the last time I took a pill was 10 days ago. And yesterday I was INSANE. My friend saw it in me and said “you haven’t taken your meds have you?” NOPE. Haven’t. And today, I did everything I could think of to get motivated, and that’s when I saw it in myself again…. that lack of care. That want to just sleep. The wish that all noise would stop and I could just be alone and quiet. The body aches and fatigue. That’s an ugly mirror to look into when it affects your family. Depression isn’t just about being sad. It’s so much more…. on any given day, I can laugh and smile and have fun… but alone, I walk with a 1,000 pound weight on my shoulders and feel like I’m walking through sludge. 

I took one today when I remembered. Then it hit me today….. I need them more than I think. And apparently I always will. I am less stressed than I was in the fall or even in December, and I’m still acting like I was then….when I was blaming it on stress. Don’t get me wrong, stress triggers depression, but if you don’t have that tendency already…. there’s nothing to trigger. SO, as much of an advocate as I am for medicating yourself when you need to… it’s still a hard pill to swallow when you realize this will be your life.

So friends, pray for me please? To remember to take it everyday. EVERYDAY. I don’t know why it’s been so hard to remember this time, but it’s been a struggle that I clearly can’t fight on my own. 😉

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14 responses »

  1. HI Little One – papa will continue to pray you. I struggled with depression several years ago – but sought help and guidance and lots of prayer. Mama and i will make this a matter of real prayer. Mine was very severe – very! Love you ❤ 🙂

    Papa

    Reply
  2. lots and lots of prayers Brandy. You are an amazing brave woman and I am so proud of you for doing what is best for your family. 🙂

    Reply
  3. I hate, hate, hate that I can not tell thru IM’s (darn technology anyway) that you are having a hard time. I miss being able to see your face and know that you need a good word and a hug. Know I am always praying for you even though I am not there to see how each day is going.

    Reply
    • LOL

      When I’m chatting with you I’m fine because I’m chatting with you! 😉 Truly though, you know when I’m having a hard time, it’s the other just BLAH stuff you don’t see….and no one does really. So don’t feel bad. 😉

      I know you pray and I love ya for it!

      Reply
  4. Wow. I had no idea you went through all that, to that degree. And you know first hand what all I went through. You saw me at my darkest, lowest, ugliest time. Horrible time and humbling experience. But you are the one that helped me through it. Now being on the other side of this I can tell you I am so happy that you have decided to seek help for yourself just because I know how much good it really can do.

    Y’all have had some pretty daunting struggles. I cannot imagine. And at the same time I would absolutely say if I were to go through what y’all have been through I most certainly would feel the same way. I may not have the exact same struggles as you but I still understand being faced with such daunting situations. I’m here with you girl. I got your back.

    I know that I had post pardom depression. But I’ve had bouts of depression on and off for years. Undoubtedly I will have more run ins with depression in the future cause this life just isn’t easy sometimes.

    Know that I am prayerfully with you every step of the way girl. This issue is very near to my heart. Hurts my heart to see you struggle. I hope you know if you have times when you don’t feel very strong, you are so much stronger than you may give yourself credit for. I’m very proud of you. You are my hero. I love you to pieces.

    Reply
    • Love you too!

      And ya know, when you were going through what you went through, I had no clue really just how bad it was….. but I knew you needed support and help. I was only drawing on what I knew of my sister. Now, having walked through that…. I see it from a totally different angle.

      Fun stuff what having babies does to our bodies eh?! 😉

      Reply
  5. joyce hawkins

    Hey kiddo…you know we’re behind you…with lots of prayer and love! I am relieved to know that you are intent on being regular with your meds. Taking a pill everyday isn’t a bad trade-off for feeling better and being able to cope!
    I suspect the Lord will allow you to use the life lessons you are learning through this experience too…so that it won’t be time wasted. ;o) The Lord will redeem the struggles you have been through — and now…. look at all the prayer support you have too! =)
    G’pa Dan sends his love and support as well…and says he understands. It took him 20 YEARS to get himself on meds — after he was taking them regularly the guys he works with told him they wished he had started a long time ago! ;o) (He ASKED me to tell you that!)

    love you!

    Reply
    • I giggled a little at that last part about Dan. 😉 LOL

      I don’t think I’d survive 20 years without some meds! ha!

      Thanks to both of you. I love that you love me, love you too!

      Reply
  6. Socrates is famous for arguing that we must “know thyself” to be wise, that the unexamined life is not worth living. I think that there is something there. You’re words are inspiring because they’re honest. In my own life I have tried to emphasize that the best way to “kill shame” is via confession (James 5:16). I believe you’re on the right track, and that you WILL find healing.

    In my journey of getting to know myself, I have learned that I thrive under certain conditions. For example, I need to be alone OFTEN. And I need structure/routine. When I lose control of these things I am not happy. And I have learned that this is OK.

    I think that’s what you’re learning: acceptance. As for the “why” factor, I wouldn’t stress over it too much. I believe that when we’re depressed, there isn’t just “one” single reason for it, and that a huge factor is physiological – of which we may never understand fully. But we CAN learn to “suffer well”, and do so IN COMMUNITY with other, like-minded, positive people.

    Again, I think it’s great to say these things “out loud”, and I am greatly encouraged by this post.

    Reply
    • wow Jason, thank you! I agree with a lot of what you said….. I still haven’t found though what it is I need often. I’m kind of scattered about that. Often times I like being a homebody and left alone, but then there are times when I CRAVE attention and fun and being busy and constantly going….. I know I thrive on friendships and connections. With the internet and technology what it is, it’s easy to get that without ever hearing a voice or seeing a face, which I think is a downfall at times. I need the face to face.

      I have always been very open about when I’ve been depressed. I don’t like people thinking I have it all together when I don’t. I remember someone said to me “YOU? You’re on medication? You’re the last person I’d ever think would be depressed!” I put up a good front and put on a good act…. but I always want people to know it’s just that. It’s my “fake it till I make it” routine. 😉

      Thanks for commenting! (I haven’t seen your wife in a week. I miss her face! As do you I’m sure!)

      Reply
  7. update with a link in the post. I found an old post from after I had Owen when I started sensing things weren’t right….

    Reply

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