Depression and Anxiety

It is no secret that depression has plagued me since I was a little girl.  I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know what, when I was younger.  I thought everyone felt the way I did.  I was withdrawn, sad, angry, hurting…I just thought that was normal.

I trudged through life and on and off, I struggled.  I kept pushing it down…making excuses for why I felt the way I felt and did my best to ignore it.  I think the tipping point was the year my granny died.  Oh.  That woman.  I cannot tell you what the thought of her does to my heart.  She loved me.  She loved me regardless of my moods.  She protected me.  She taught me.  She was the epitome of love.  When she died…I lost a piece of my heart.

Again, I ignored the pain.  I blamed it on grief.

Then Tay and Shay came to live with us at 10 mths and 2 yrs old, respectively.  I threw my life into caring for 5 kids and my new kids were SO sick, therefore we were all sick.  They left us just as quickly as they came to us.  It was sudden, unexpected, painful… grief mounted and my days were spent crying or in bed.  I could not function.  I could not be a parent to my other children.  I could not be a wife to my husband.  I didn’t even want to see the morning.  My world stopped spinning.

I remember calling the drs office.  He was young and new and so eager.  The nurse actually answered the phone and I was weeping uncontrollably.  I kept saying “I’m done.  I can’t do this anymore.  I’m done.  Do something.  Help me.  I can’t do it anymore.”  The next thing I knew, the dr overheard me and he got on the phone.  He began asking pointed questions “Do you feel like you are going to hurt yourself?  Do I need to send someone to get you?  Do you have feelings of hurting others?”  Those questions confused me and I remember saying “well, good grief…I’m not going to kill myself.  I have kids and my husband would not know how to get any stains out of the carpet!”  I remember that conversation like it was yesterday.

He put me on my first anti depressant and anti anxiety meds.  I never took the anti anxiety meds because I didn’t want too and I was afraid that I would become addicted to them.  I have been on anti depressants on and off since then.  I do believe that there is a time and a place to use medications for those who are either depressed based on situations (these times you get on the meds to help you through a slump and then, with the advice and direction of a doctor, you can wean off of them)….and then there is me. I’m considered clinically depressed.  A chemical imbalance in my brain.  My disease and use of medication is no different that my dad with diabetes.  I would NEVER tell him that he can fight off the diabetes on his own through diet and exercise and to not use insulin.  I would NEVER tell my friend that she can fight the cancer off with better thoughts and vitamins and to not use chemo.  Sometimes, a person who is depressed, cannot exercise/eat right/use oils/blah blah blah to get out of it.

Recently, over the last 3 yrs, I have had a REALLY tough time.  It has been bad.  Epically bad.  I have spent more time in hospitals with my Lady, my dad, my son, etc than I have ever in my lifetime.  We’ve had financial bombs, car issues, our son’s illness, marriage issues, kid issues….it has been one hit after another.  I can’t seem to catch my breath.  My phrase has been “Lord, just keep my eyes above the waves.  Hold on.”

God is bigger.  He already knew all these things would happen and He has already created the perfect provision for everything that has happened, is happening or will happen.  I get that He sees the bigger picture…but my stomach and nerves are all over the place because I am still flesh and bones.

A couple of weeks ago, Hunter had IVIG one day and chemo the next.  Our roads were COVERED with ice and snow.  Once you got past the backroads, the main roads were okay.  They weren’t great, but they were doable.  A 3.5 hr trip took me 5 hrs…..with a 3 yr old.  Good times.

Once we were admitted, I got a call from home saying that it was snowing.  That it had been “blizzard” type snowing all day long and there was no end in sight.  We ended up getting between 12-14 inches of snow on top of a couple of inches of ice.  I had to drive home in that….with a sick child.

The first night was fine because we were tucked away in the hospital.  My nerves were shot, I had not slept in 2 days.  I had not eaten in a couple of days and the next morning….I was sicker than a dog.  If I could’ve have vomited, I would have…and almost did.  I thought I was coming down with the flu.  It was horrible.  I was too scared to eat because I thought I would barf.  I bathed in oils.  I tried to cool myself off with cold rags.  I tried to sleep (have you ever tried to sleep in a hospital….yep….that didn’t happen).

We finally got out of there and I made sure that I had barf bags and wipes ready for either one of us to need.  I did okay for about 2 hrs and then the roads were getting worse.  I had to stop and get gas and their roads were covered.  There was no blacktop anywhere.  I felt my vomit rising.  I was silently crying, trying not to scare the baby.  I knew the closer I got to home, the worse it was going to be.  I had had all that I could stand.

My sister called and she told me to get off the main roads.  Bless….she gave me the address to the closest Wendys.  She talked to me the whole way there…just about anything and everything.  She waited until she knew I was safe, stopped, and waiting.  I got off the phone with her and I called Bart.  He never made fun of me.  He never yelled at me.  He simply called my son in law, who has a truck, and they never missed a beat.  They came to my rescue.  Ben dropped off Bart and Bart drove me and Hunter home.  As soon as I saw him….my stomach instantly stopped hurting.  I could feel my muscles relaxing, my mind stopped swirling and I was safe.

I told him how relaxed and calm I felt and that is when he asked me what I thought about talking to the dr about my anxiety.  He never brings up my depression or anxiety….like never ever.  We talked all the way home.  He was so kind and encouraging. I finally admitted that life is messing me all kinds of up.  I called my dr and we got on the same page and he prescribed me the SMALLEST amount possible of an anti anxiety med that I only take when I am all in asunder (that’s my mama’s word).  I sought counsel from my sisters, my husband, and my mama….most importantly my doctor.

It is what it is.  I’m not ashamed of who I am or how I process things.  I’m not ashamed of being on meds.  My life is not easy.  My son has a life altering condition.  I have a daughter getting married.  I have another daughter graduating from college.  I have 2 children with FASD, I have one son who has single sided deafness.  I have another son ready to go to college.  My best friend died.

I work out.  I eat well.  I am sleeping (thank you Ambien).  I go to church.  I love Jesus.  I take vitamins (well, sometimes).  I am doing all the right things, yet I’m still plagued with a load of crap.

This is my February/March schedule:

Feb. 1:  G turns 17

Feb. 4:  V has bridal shower

Feb: 13:  Hunter turns 4

Feb 15:  IVIG treatment for Hunter

Feb. 17:  My dad’s bday

Feb 18:  Another bridal shower for V.

Feb. 24:  Alyssa turns 20.

Feb. 28:  Hunter 3 hr therapy sessions

March 3:  Victoria’s Wedding

March 8:  Noah turns 17

March 15:  IVIG treatment

March 16:  Blood draw for Hunter

March 24:  Mom’s bday

March 28:  Hunter 3 hr therapy session

Mix regular dr appts in there, homeschooling, Bart working out of town, and life……and you can see where my head is.  Do not be ashamed of seeking counsel or medication to help yourself.  You are not alone.  Jesus still loves you.

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