… except I’m sort of getting there. I think.. maybe?
That’s the funny thing about depression. At least, for me. It’s not just one day I realize, Oh, I’m depressed. No. It’s the weariness. The constant anxiety. The inability to feel joy in… anything. The numbness replacing happiness, contentedness, satisfaction. The big NOTHING. The empty. The what does it matter? The I just don’t care. The loneliness. The lack of hope. The ‘tunnel’ where I can never imagine anything ever getting any better.
But I’ve been depressed. Many times. The ‘tunnel’ is a liar. Things can get better, and they do.
It might sound funny, but I think in a way my previous experiences with depression help keep me afloat. I had a total breakdown in ’11 that culminated in my becoming suicidal, spending a bit of time in a psychiatric facility, and being put on some pretty heavy-hitting pharmaceuticals. While the drugs definitely help keep me stable, the darkness can still slip through the cracks. It can edge its way in. It can take me over little by little by little, without my even realizing it, until I’m in the throes of it and just gone.
Here is how having been depressed before, helps me control the onset (somewhat) when a new depression threatens. Depression: been there, done that. Made it through. I made it through before, I will make it through again. The power of positive thinking really works. I have to force myself to think positive, but it does help. While it doesn’t drown out the depression completely, it quiets its ugly, roving lies if I pile the truth on top of it. Knowing that I’ve been here before, I got through it and I will again is empowering, even in those dark times.
And, I’m a mom. I won’t succumb to the ‘tunnel’ that tells me I am worthless, stupid, a bad mom, and my kids would be better off without me. Depression is a liar. A vicious, vicious liar. None of these things are true. Could I do better? Sure. But I’m hardly unique in that. And for damn sure, I’m a good mom.
Since my breakdown, I’m much more self-aware. I see it approaching. This time, I won’t let it swallow me. I’ve everything to live for and every reason to be happy. I’ve fought this beast before and won… and I will again. No matter how many times it takes.