top of page
Search

Let Me Tell You a Thing or Two About Depression

Depression

Well, this would be a subject that I feel I may be an expert in. Twenty years of varying levels of anti-depressants, counselors, ups and downs and the like. Maybe this should have been the introduction to my blog because this is something I deal with every damn day. And truly how many of us have dealt with depression and anxiety at some point or another in our lives?

Here I sit. 35 years old, feeling like I should have a hold on this depression and anxiety by now. I mean, the twenty-years experience could at least get me tenure in the game of life. Right? Ha.

Wrong.

I wish there was a manual that could just break it down and give you step by step directions to make it better. I know that modern medicine is getting closer to figuring out what kinds of medicines metabolize better in our bodies, but it still seems like a crapshoot to me.

Hell, I could probably write my own fricking manual to certain meds and how they affect your well-being, but I am just a drop in this puddle and there are so many other factors that change the way medicine may or may not affect you.

As you can tell I am pro meds. Now, don’t get me wrong, they are not for everyone. Actually, I hope that you are reading this and thinking how other ways have been more beneficial to you. That’s awesome and I applaud your efforts. However, I have tried it all. I have gone from working out on a consistent basis, changing my diet, even using herbal supplements to try to help my moods. Yeah, it was a negative.

Negative, negative, negative.

The only solution I have found is good ol’ modern medicine.


I have heard it all from so many.

“You are no longer you on meds.”

“You have not tried my new purple drink, it’s life-changing and will change your body DNA.”

” They’re all gonna laugh at you.”

“The drug industry is all plotting against us.”

“You are one of the many that are over medicated in this modern society.”

And on and on…

Yes, some of those are fabricated and may just be thoughts that have floated through my mind. However, I don’t need anyone to convince me different at this point in time. I know a lot of people that can relate and the last thing they want to hear is how bad their decision-making skills are. Most of us are our own worst critics. Believe me, we know…you should have seen us before these little blue and yellow, purple pills. (If you don’t know this reference, I apologize. Not Eminem’s intention, but it just fit.)

I beat myself up pretty consistently in the past, thinking “What is wrong with me?”

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]

“Why can’t I just be normal?” [/perfectpullquote]

I am over that now and I realize that this is who I am. I need to get over myself and instead do what I can to help myself. Life is short. People will always judge and have an opinion, but that opinion does not need to affect me nor the way I view myself.

I promise you that I am my own worst enemy. I have been dealing with the many bumps, curves, ups, downs, and in-betweens of anxiety and depression. I know what it feels like to be in a very dark spot, with the feeling that you can do no good and everyone would be better off if you were not around. It is one of the lowest places you can be and I hope that you have never had the misery of feeling this way. Now, I promise you do not need to call the suicide hotline on me or take away all sharp objects. I feel like I can say that jokingly because I have been that person, I have walked that line before. Many, many years ago. Thank God.

When it all began

I am not really sure, nor can I pinpoint when it all began. I could blame my Mom, I could blame my Dad, I could blame my peers, I could blame myself. But I won’t. I will tell you my story and I will look full speed ahead, with the confidence to know that I will take care of me and I am surrounded by people that know how to help me take care of me. I am fortunate in that way. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. Especially, when I am feeling really low and alone.

I cannot pinpoint the moment when I began to be depressed. Honestly, I went back into my past piles upon piles of diaries and more than anything I was disgusted. Disgusted that I put so much emphasis on boys. Boys liking me, boys seeing me, boys paying attention to me. It was gross. It was a reminder to me that I will try my gosh darn hardest to make sure that my daughter and even my sons, never rely on another, especially a love interest, to define their happiness and sense of worth.

This is that girl. I hated everything about myself. I hope my kids never feel this way about themselves. Ever.


That being said, I remember my lowest of lows being when I was looking for something in a relationship with a boy. I think it was a love that I was missing in my home life. I wanted to be doted on and admired, maybe even someone to tell me I was pretty and give me some affection. Now, thankfully, I was not easy and honestly, I did not even have my first kiss until I was 14. But either way, I was looking for the wrong kind of attention thinking that it would one day cure me. It doesn’t. It didn’t.

Even though I was constantly obsessing over why or how any boy could ever like me, it ended there. I didn’t act on it.

On top of that feeling that I wanted to be loved, I was also extremely self-conscious and had a very low opinion of myself. I remember telling my friends that no one would ever ask me to prom (Yes. I predicted this when I was in the early pre-teen years). I did not foresee a future of love and happiness. Most of the time I did not think nor want to make it that far. I was just depressed.

Teenagers

The teenage years scare the shit out of me. So many people say, “Oh you just wait until the teenage years, you think they’re bad now.”

Well, yes. The behavior does scare me a little bit. I mean, who wants to deal with a hormonal teen that could turn on you at the drop of a dime and then demand to borrow your car. All the while, as a parent, you wear your heart on your sleeve with constant worry for their safety.

But what scares me the most.

What if they end up like me?

I spent a lot of time in my room. Alone. I wasn’t allowed to do a lot in the preteen/ early teen years, my friends can attest to this. I had to stay home a lot to help out with my sisters or even to babysit them because my Grandparents would go out one day on the weekend and my mom would go out the other. Both times, either my grandma wanted me to stay home because my sisters wanted to sleep with me or my mom wanted me to stay home, well for the same reason. My sisters drove me crazy but they adored me and I adored them. It was sweet. In that annoying, I’m going to go through all of your makeup and spray your perfume while you’re not looking kind of way.

You see, my mom was a single mom and I lived with my grandparents from the day I was born. There were four of us that lived with my grandparents (my youngest brother did not come until my mom moved in with her boyfriend). My brother and sisters lived there on and off, but for the most part, my brother always lived there and my sisters were there until my mom was kicked out in her mid-thirties. They would all take turns getting kicked out of my mom’s boyfriend’s house and my Grandma’s house for various reasons. My Grandma and Grandpa would get fed up, but then they would NEVER give up on them. It was a vicious cycle.

Some may disagree, but in my eyes, my Grandma and Grandpa were saints.

I don’t think that my family, at that time, recognized depression and anxiety as an issue or something that needed to be resolved.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”They’ll get over it.” or “It’s just a phase.”[/perfectpullquote]

This seems to be the misconception in many a household.

They did not realize that I would sit in my room looking at magazines of girls my age with perfect complexions and cute little perfectly shaped bodies (or at least I thought so) for hours on end. I would sit there wishing that I at least looked a little bit like them. I felt so ugly, too skinny, too pale, I had dark lines under my eyes, my eyes were not light or bright enough. It was ridiculous. Sadly, I still do this to myself, but I am much more able to talk myself through it and appreciate natural beauty. Sometimes.

My records of choice (or cassette tapes at that time) were bands like Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Metallica. Usually, the more depressing and self-loathing. The better. I can’t even imagine how many times my poor grandparents had listened to Comfortably Numb, having raised two generations of Pink Floyd lovers.

Totally off topic…that’s how I roll, but I still remember Grandpa shouting, “Hey teacher, leave those kids alone!!” When I would come out of my room. It would annoy the crap out of me and I would probably grumble, but now, what I wouldn’t give to hear him do that. Crazy.

Other varying factors of my ring of depression

This is the part where it gets tricky. I’m not an expert, but I guess I have been to more than a few experts that were able to help me decide what made my inner turmoil erupt.

I was constantly struggling with the feeling that no one loved me. I guess, if I could have stepped outside of my conflicted teenage mind, I could have seen some of the love that surrounded me. Unfortunately, that can be hard to do when you are dealing with depression. You seem to let the negativity and darkness overshadow the good. This is something I continue to struggle with to this day. Especially, when my depression and anxiety is at its worst.

I can tell you that my Mom and I did not get along or see eye to eye. We are very different people. This is something we have come to accept over time and we have even learned to deal with. Kind of.

However, my mom had me young and I was an emotional mess. It was not a good combination. My Mom lived a troubled life for quite some time. She tells me that she can barely remember yesterday, let alone what happened back then. But I do.

She would say “I love you” but her way of showing it was somewhat blurry. I felt that she was very angry at me. I don’t know if it was because of her past and each of us reminded her a little bit of those past relationships that did her wrong. Or if we were just like oil and water. I wanted so badly for her to tell me I was pretty, smart, that she was proud of me, but I felt like I didn’t know how to ask for that and she was not very good at figuring me out.

My mom and I have spent many years of not talking, disagreeing and just not seeing eye to eye. I always felt that my brother got more attention because of his extreme behavior, my sisters were closer in age and she had a little more of a closeness to them that I desired. My youngest brother seemed to be her chance to do it right and I will never be able to relate to the relationship that they have. I can say that I have opened up to my mom over the years and told her about these feelings. She swears that those were not her intentions and I do believe that she loves me, but this is just a piece of my puzzle that has made me the person I am today.

Something else that was a major stressor in my life, but I hated to say out loud was my Dad. There is a lot of anger and resentment there. I did not want to give him the credit for my pain. It doesn’t seem fair that someone that was not there for so long can be such a large part of why I felt so down and unloved.

I remember just crying and crying because I didn’t understand why this person that helped to create me, wanted nothing to do with me. For a while, my mom told my brother and I that we had the same Dad. They were both named Tom, so I guess there was that commonality and it made me feel better that he and I were in it together. Well, that was a lie.

I finally met my Dad somewhere around fifth grade. Can you imagine not hearing a thing about your Dad and then one day your Mom asks if you want to go to the mall to meet your Dad? Ummm…wait, what?!

It was weird. First of all, here I am an awkward teen going to the mall to meet some man that is supposed to be your father. You know, the guy that you had envisioned for so long that did not want anything to do with you? I wish I was an asshole. I wish I could have been shitty to him and said everything that he deserved. But that is just not who I am and really I was just so shy, beyond nervous and of course polite.

We met up, I feel like there was a hug in there and then we went to dinner. I just remember him trying to sneak glances at me the whole time. I guess that’s normal because honestly, I cannot even imagine being away from my children for years upon years and what that would be like. It was really strange for me, though.

We talked on the phone for a few months and I remember him sending me a few gifts for my birthday and Christmas and then that was it.

The phone calls were really hard for me. I was so shy and I remembered sweating profusely and shaking from nerves the whole time. I didn’t know what to say and he would talk about concerts he went to with friends and the kids that were supposedly my brothers, but it was all a blur. The anxiety of the situation took over.

One day the phone calls and letters stopped. I didn’t know why and I wasn’t sure how to feel. I mean, it got rid of the stressful phone calls, so it should be a good thing. Right? Not really. There is always more to a story and varying sides. Believe me, I have heard them all. But for now, I will only tell this much, because as a depressed teen, this is all that I knew.

Other Influences

I am pretty sure this was at the time it hit me the hardest. I was slowly getting out of the awkward teen years, but my confidence was shot.

I remember when I was at my worst. A “friend” and I would sit there and talk about how we would end our lives. Wondering if anyone would even care. We would wallow in our own misery, listening to depressing music, burning candles, usually drinking and sometimes crying. It was a bad place to be. Sometimes in life, we surround ourselves with others that are going through the same feelings and emotions. It’s usually the opposite influence that we need at that time. This friend of mine was drama and we together equaled disaster.

It was somewhat of a steady decline. I remember finally being able to have a little bit of freedom around the age of thirteen. I would ride my bike over to my friend’s house and we would get out her cheap vodka (you know the one with a red and blue label that just looked plain cheap) and we would do shots. It started there. Nothing too harmful, but not what I would want to find my 13-year-old doing.

The progression is not totally clear to me. I am one of those people that tries my best to focus on the positive and forget the negative experiences of the past. Counselors have told me that one day the truth will come out and I will even be surprised that I have blocked it out of my memory. I don’t know that I agree, but who knows. I have not had the best experiences in that realm of “expertize” either (I will talk about that at a later date).

Oddly enough, I also remember being really into ghosts, graveyards and Ouija boards. Nothing too uncommon for kids my age, but it’s not really something you should turn to when you are already clinically (not yet diagnosed) depressed and wanting to die. Just my opinion. I still did it.

I remember an incident when this certain friend of mine had her wrists wrapped up with gauze when I came over one day. We had done a lot of different things to try to practice a seance or something of that nature, no research was done, we just mixed up a lot of eerie circumstances and called it that. She was even more into the graveyard visits and often spent time with an older crowd that would partake in these visitations.

Long story short, she swore up and down that she had written a quote on her arm that she had seen on a tombstone and when she woke up, there were slashes all over her wrists. It’s hard to say. Honestly though, as suicidal as we were and how much we both sought out attention in the wrong ways, it makes sense if she were to self-harm. I felt like I was almost slacking and needed to take it a step further. How dare she do this without me?! That’s how my brain worked those days.

Fast forward to some time in my 15th year. It’s all a big blur. I am sure all of my family members recall it differently. I was in my room alone, as usual. It was another one of my depressive lows and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I really don’t like to think about it that much. It scares me still. I just remember finally getting the nerve to do it. I had already written a few letters to people that were important to me. (I just recently found them in my journal. Another piece that I had erased from my memory).

Let’s just say that I am thankful my grandma had cheap kitchen knives and I had no idea what I was doing. There were no how-tos, which I am sure you could find anywhere today. Sadly enough.

Horrible picture of me. Bad angle, fake smile, eyes not open all of the way. I would forever obsess over images like this and think about all of the things I wish I could change. We didn’t have the ability to take a selfie 20 times until we got the postable one.


This is honestly, a subject that I decided I will write in much more detail at a later date. I don’t think anyone that has never felt this dark hole of depression can truly relate. I feel like I want to write about it because it is an important part of who I am and in time, a turning point.

It is the reason I will be getting a tattoo very soon with arrows and my children’s names on my wrist. I used to think that life was not worth living and I wanted to end the pain. I thought no one cared and no one would miss me. If I ever feel depressed I will look at those arrows and I will remember why I am here, who would miss me and why my life is worth living.

Please know that you are not alone. You are loved. It may be an army or it may be a few people, but you are loved. God will always love you and if you seek him hard enough, you will find he was always there. I am pretty certain that is why I have made it this far. I will provide some helpful resources below but don’t be afraid to contact me if you need someone to talk to.

Sometimes getting help is the hardest step you can take. I promise that one day you will look back and be glad that you did. One foot in front of the other and one day at a time. That is all you can do. Never forget to take care of you.

Here are some resources that may help you. If you are feeling alone and like there is nowhere to turn.:

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]~ Stars can’t shine without darkness[/perfectpullquote]

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page