Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Why sad days scare me

My sweet little-gotta go- excuse to visit- reason to buy books- highlight the pages book club just finished The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.

I was shocked to hear that most of my little group couldn't relate at all to Esther's plight. I , on the other hand, was the only crazy in the room that TOTALLY got it. I have been Esther, way too many times in my life.

I was a brooding teen, depressed and low in self confidence, yet I managed to still have a blast with the right people. I struggled off and on with depression, complete with crying spells, over eating for comfort, and chopping off of hair in an effort to feel beautiful.

After the birth of my 3rd child, it hit full force. I was stuck in a foul-aired bell jar and I couldn't breathe. I didn't want to get up, clean, cook, or live. I often loaded my kids in the car and drove in circles, crying the whole time. I contemplated pulling 'a Marie Osmond' and driving away by myself. All I needed was my VISA and a pair of shoes....most days finding that much was an effort. I did stupid things, I was a horrible wife, and I just pretended to be a normal woman. It was the most horrible, darkest, loneliest time ever.
I won't go into details here, but suffice it to say, I did not value life. A summer on anti-depressants stopped the crying fit that had lasted days, but left me feeling hollow and robotic. After 4 months I went off it, never to look back.

I have learned a lot since then, and never been quite in the place I was at my lowest years, but bad days still scare me, especially if I have more than a few in a row. I can't help but worry- what if I start crying and can't stop? What if my children literally cause me to snap? What if ? What if?

On a good day, these thoughts make me laugh, roll my eyes, even admit how silly I can be, but on a bad day, they are more real than anything I know. So while I have had a little spell of bad days creeping around me lately I rely on what works for me now. Running to pounding music. Prayer and Temple visits. Massage and yoga. A treat by myself. A good book. A long, long nap. Taking vitamin B complex and St John's Wort, A weekend with my husband. He doesn't understand why I can't just 'shake it off' on these days, but he is very patient with them.

I guess part of this post is confession for why I have not blogged as much lately. Looking at the computer causes me to feel overwhelmed and anxious.

But today is a good day. Life is good. And to anyone who isn't feeling up let me just say..
I have been there.

PS- Kendra won my chocolate! Hope it brings a smile!


Kristina P. said...

I haven't experienced depression, but I have experienced anxiety and panic attacks. There were days when I literally thought I was going crazy. It's a really tough thing to experience.

I adore you!

CarrieAnn said...

Ironically, I just read The Bell Jar a couple of weeks ago. I devoured it in less than 48 hours. I felt like Plath put my thoughts and feelings into words. I can completely relate to this post.

Lynnae said...

Me too. Seriously, It runs in the family. I combat it with daily meditation, exercise, trying to be orderly, and really, REALLY being selective about the things I volunteer to do or am asked to do. Being my own 'personal manager' to keep the stress load down is hard but it works. I have to limit events per week or I just get stressed and cry (even if they are 'fun' events).

We are with you. Feel free to give me a call, too. We can whine together :)

The Hillbilly Banjo Queen: said...

Thanks for sharing. I have struggled with depression since high school. I have SAD and finally got a light and I load up on Vitamin D, but sometimes that just doesn't cut it. I also worry about runs of bad days. Usually by this time of year I am feeling very much myself and don't have to worry until about October. But this year I've never quite felt myself. I'm still struggling. I keep hoping it is just this year. Next year will be better. It's nice to know I am not alone. I'm there with you.

Stacy said...

Wow... it felt like I could have written that post. Was that book worth reading? I've been very depressed lately and it's been hard to get out of the funk I'm in. My meds don't seem to be working and from the amount of stress I've been under I think my mental state is taking a huge hit. My oldest child is battling a brain tumor and he's only 9. The doctors gave him 9-12 months to live and that was two days before Christmas. I'm grateful to read honest posts like this and to feel like I'm not alone. Anyways... thanks for being honest in your blog. I'll have to stop back and read some more.


ramsam said...

Ii already know why I wrote this today.... I appreciate the comments and honesty. Thank you to everyone... I love your support and stories


Wendyburd1 said...

The What If's can be so scary, I have them plague me all the time!

MosaicMagpie said...

I think you listened to your heart when writing this post. From the comments there are many of us that needed to read this. You listened to your heart and touched ours.

Lisa said...

This is all too familliar to me since my post partum depression is very fresh in my mind. I hate to say that the first 2 months of Max's life I sort of refer to a "Black Hole". But that is how I felt. I cried all the time. Like ALL THE TIME. I couldn't stop. I felt like my husband might leave me becuase he couldn't handle the crying anymore. I may have to do some heavy convincing to have more kids.

I had also experienced some depression in my high school years, and a 6 month period in college, but had never really thought of myself as a "depressed" person.

But I understand what you mean about sad days. I think if you are having more sad days than happy days, maybe it is time to seek some help. You seem to be doing well doing things you love and taking a time out from everything.

I had stopped blogging too because ANYTHING extra seemed extremely overwhelming. Don't worry. We still read! Whether you post weekly or every 6 months.

I have a lot more happy days now, but every once in awhile I have those crying days. You just do your best. It is hard being a mom, and I know for me it will probably get a lot harder. Prayer really helps. :)

Calvin said...

read. appreciated. understood. touched.

Monica said...

Your post made me cry, made me remember some really dark days, and made me appreciate knowing I am not the only one that feels that way. My husband does not understand the almost obsessive need to run, cycle, swim, yoga, etc., but has never known me without. I still have a lot of tough days, but I feel like the constant activity is the only thing that keeps the crazy at bay. The positive part of all of this is that it has made me so much more empathetic to those that are struggling. I would almost rather be in pain than to watch someone else.

whymsicalmusings said...

It is hard to feel so sad and yet there is a happy person waiting to break free. Thank you for sharing this. I am going to link this post for my youngest sister who is struggling with the same issues at this time.

When you least expect it you find a blessing hiding on someone you call friends page and your day is brighter.
Sending you a HUGE HUG!

XXXX Becky

Lee said...

Oh, big hugs to you. I have been in depression so deep I felt I was drowning in sorrw. And I went to counseling for a few years, to air it all out. It helped. I needed meds after the birth of my second child- I did nothing but cry all d ay, walk through life in a haze. iwened myself off after a year. I do believe it was hormonal- try tracking yours on a calendar and see if it matches your cycle at all. Mid-cycle is still murder for me- I turn into a screaming lunatic. I have started using sub-lingual Pulsatilla (available online or health food stores- and it really works). Feel better- hop on a plane an come see me. I'll hug you person!!