***Before continuing to read this story, please know that this can be a trigger for people that suffer from depression or other mental illnesses. If you are having thoughts of depression/suicide please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Around 4am this morning, my baby girl decided it was time that she needed a bottle to comfort her back to sleep because she is cutting another molar and miserable at sleeping this week. I couldn’t fall back to sleep so I decided to scroll through Facebook and saw a post in my moms group that was basically a letter to depressed moms to let them know that they are not alone. When I say depressed moms, I don’t mean sad moms or PPD moms but moms that have thoughts of no longer exsisting in their family’s lives…. that is me, I am THAT depressed mom.
It is not easy to write that because the word depression comes with a stigma attached to it. People hear depression and think she’s bat shit crazy. Which, according to my family I have my bat shit crazy moments but not the same meaning here. People think depression is just a crazy, psycho person who is either lazy and needs to snap out of it or someone who sits home plotting revenge on those that made them depressed…. I am neither of these people. I am a mom who suffers from feelings that she isn’t enough for her family and that her family would be better off without her.
The Beginning of my Journey
Let me start from the beginning because my depression isn’t something new in my life. If I truly look back at my life, my depression started when I was about 11 or 12 years old. The scary part of admitting that is that this is the same age as Danyella and I hope that she isn’t feeling how I felt at that age. I had no idea I was suffering from depression at that age or throughout high school. In High School, my guidance counselor just told me that I had anxiety when I tried to express how I felt but I knew it was more then just that. I didn’t know I was suffering from chronic depression until I was in my 30s!
When I was 25 and pregnant with Danyella, I was in a situation that made my OB believe I was going through situational depression so I was diagnosed with Zoloft. It worked at the time until the brand went generic and the pill wasn’t the same so it didn’t have the same effect on my symptoms. I went off of it and figured I would be fine. I went through my ups and downs but always told it was just that I was a single mom and stressed out. Just keep my chin up and I will be fine. I tried to get through each day but it was hard as hell! My family joked that I was the basement dweller because I never wanted to come out of the basement except to work, eat and care for Danyella. Those days/weeks/months/years that I just barely functioned and just cried all the time was the depression calling out but I didn’t know it.
In my 30s, I decided to go to college and took my first Psychology class. I have always been fascinated at how the brain worked and why people act the way they do. I loved this class. Well, I had no idea how much of an eye opener this class would be. I learned the different types of depression and how depression was different for every person…. including me! This sent me to see a psychologist and learn more about treatments for my depression.
That class was my realization that back in my tween years is when my depression started with my cutting. The type of cutting I did to myself wasn’t to feel the pain of a cut. I would take a needle, safety pin or steak knife and carve words that hurt me into my thighs. At that time in my life, I felt like the ugly duckling among the kids at school that made fun of me and my parents who were starting new families. That was my first feelings of wanting to disappear but I never it saw it as sucidal thoughts.
What If I Just Disappeared?
Over my 38 years, I couldn’t tell you how many times I have wanted to just disappear from my life. To one day just not wake up. I have never thought of ways of hurting myself or made a plan of killing myself. It is just the thoughts that one day I just wouldn’t be here anymore. Would my kids be happier without me nagging them to do things? Would my husband find a better wife and mother to care for my family? Would anyone really even miss me if I was gone?
Please don’t take this post the wrong way that I am actively trying to leave this world or my family! I am not trying to kill myself or make any of those plans. What it does mean is that I am human and suffer from depression! I am not just sad about my life! I do feel alone among my loving friends and family. I am not lazy when I feel like I can’t function beyond the basic tasks of caring for my family for the day! I am not being rude when I don’t text people back because some days/weeks a conversation is more then I can handle. I cannot just snap myself out of the pain that I feel. I cannot be shown enough love that I won’t feel like this anymore. Even medications need to be altered as life goes on because our bodies change and so do medications.
I wish people in my life and outside my life would understand my daily struggle of functioning with depression. Some days are wonderful and I don’t feel as much sadness. Other days I cry myself to sleep or sneak a cry in the bathroom. Somedays, I just lay on the couch, cuddled with Evie waiting for the day to end so I can go to bed. My children and family are my world. I couldn’t imagine my life without them but I can imagine their lives without me. Okay, my altered reality of what that would look like. No, I can’t just stop myself from thinking the way I do because damn I have tried! Yes, I have read or listened to nearly every self help, love yourself book on the market! I try these techniques all the time. Nearly everyday, I try to change my negative thoughts to positive ones until I give myself a damn headache! It doesn’t or hasn’t flipped a happy switch for me yet.
Am I looking to just give up on my life? No! If that was the case then I wouldn’t be writing my story for others to read. I live my life for my family, especially my kids because they are my life.
Reading that post this morning, gave me the courage to have a long needed talk with my family. They needed to know how I have been feeling lately. We made a game plan on things that need to change so that I can try and find the road to being happy again.
You Are Not Alone!
This post is for the moms and dads that suffer from depression to know that you are not alone! Please don’t feel ashamed for feeling the way you do or feel ashamed for needing/wanting to get help. You are human and everyone needs help from others or we would live in very isolated societies. If you are feeling like you are having suicidal thoughts or tendancies please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 or talk to a loved one who can help you get the help you need.