The old break up line of “It’s not you, it’s me”, but in this case, it really is me.
How do you tell someone that two minutes ago you were just fine and now you want to go crawl in a hole and hide? You know they can see it in your eyes that something shifted and it can even make the moment awkward at times. It’s bad enough having to deal with feeling like an emotional mess inside, but having someone else witness the shutting down makes it even worse.
If I tried to explain the feelings to someone who has never experienced them, what would I say? There is such a stigma already on people who have depression and anxiety. People say things like “suck it up”, “my life is hard and you don’t see me complaining” or “why are you so moody”. I’m not sure if they think we choose to be this way or if it’s just so uncomfortable for them to think about someone having uncontrolled feelings and thoughts that they just prefer to act like the entire illness doesn’t exist.
It’s also easy to judge yourself. I often think the same things about myself that others who don’t understand think. Which is weird since I should understand. But it is hard to understand something you cannot control. From the outside everything looks great. Great family life, beautiful home, a flourishing business and all the other things that are supposed to count towards showing we have succeeded in our lives. So, if all is so great, why does it feel so empty? This is the challenge that we who suffer from this illness deal with daily.
Doctors are not a big help. In this country they just want to put you on meds and call it a day. They don’t get to the root of the problem. The insurance system is set up to medicate the symptoms and not to deal with the cause. I have been fortunate enough to be able to pay cash for an excellent medical/therapy team. But it has not come cheap. Thousands of dollars a month, not covered by insurance. I can’t even imagine those who do not have the means to get the proper help and how much they must struggle. For years I depended on my insurance to help me find someone who can help. Instead they switched my doctors almost every time I went for a visit. Each doctor had a different diagnosis and of course a different medication they believed worked. Try being on 8 different medications in a span of two years. Having 5 different practitioners see you and tell you what they believe to be wrong. If that doesn’t make you “crazy”, I don’t know what would.
After several tens of thousands of dollars, my issues came down to two things. The first was that I was extremely anemic. My iron was literally untraceable when they got my blood results back. Over three years it took for someone to run my blood work and find out that mostly what needed was some iron. Unbelievable. The second reason was not so easy to fix. Most people who suffer from depression have environmental circumstances that have created the stress and trauma that caused the depression.
My depression appeared at it’s greatest after I miscarried a child before my son was conceived and born. The loss of a child (even before it has been born) is something I cannot describe. Everyone takes it differently. For me it was devastating. I still get sad and teary eyed when I think about it, over 4 years later. I have friends who have experienced the same thing and they too still have a place in their hearts and minds where they hold the pain and sadness. After we lost that baby we became pregnant with our son. Because of the trauma of losing the other baby my pregnancy was one filled with stress and anxiety not happiness. Every day I worried it would be the day this baby would die too. So, when he was born I was relieved he was finally out of my body and into my arms. I thought I was finally on track to being happy again.
I was wrong. I have found out that often when women get pregnant very soon after miscarrying , their hormones are out of whack. For me it was the beginning of a very long road of post partum depression. An experience I have already explained was filled with incompetent medical professionals and very deep, deep sadness and pain.
I could go on and on about what caused my depression, but if you have read this far, you too have probably experienced something similar. Most people who haven’t would never continue to read through everything I wrote above. So, although there is much more to write about concerning this part of my life, I choose to leave you with this thought for the evening and promise to return again soon.
-Beyond the sadness, there is light. We will find that light together, you and I. We will travel on a journey to finally find our peace. It is possible.-
Lots of love – Barbie