The dark and stifling place.
It's a place of no hope and no tomorrow's. You strain to catch a glimmer of light. But there is none. You scratch and claw your way to the surface hoping to find your way out. But you can't. The weight alone is stifling.
Unless you have experienced it yourself you will never understand. And that's okay. I don't want you to. No one should feel this way. Yet we do, don't we?
Depression is not just a feeling of sadness, although it that can be a part of it. Depression is not something you can just "snap out of". It generally doesn't come and go. It is something that exists within you. But it is not your fault.
What I have learned is that your depression cannot be just "gotten over". You need help, and that's okay. It doesn't make you defunct or have less worth. It is not a punishment for something you have done. It is real. It does exist. But you don't have to live trapped in the overwhelming darkness.
It's okay to admit you need help. A therapist or counselor? Maybe even medication. This is not the highroad. This is not failure. This is not giving up. This is being smart and calling a spade a spade and fighting the darkness with the tools available to you.
Your kind words of encouragement and support have been so overwhelming to me. I cannot begin to express my gratitude. They DID warm my heart. They DID help me feel surrounded with love. I needed that as much as I need to quench my thirst. But yet, they did NOT draw me out of the depths of what I am feeling. It doesn't work that way.
I am not afraid to admit I needed to talk to a therapist. And...I need medication. That combination is helping me see glimmers of light ahead. There is hope. There is a way out.
I've also learned something else. Although writing of my struggles and sharing my innermost thoughts with you is one of the most difficult things I have ever done...I am not just doing it for myself. I am doing it for you. So many of us just live in the darkness, live in our personal hell. Blaming and shaming ourselves for the way we feel. It's not right. It doesn't have to be this way. There IS hope.
I also want to share something I recently learned about myself and my past. Something had I known, maybe things would be different. Several years ago I experienced a very difficult depression...until recently, I didn't know how severe it actually was.
After my third beautiful child was born I began taking anti-depressants to help with post partum. I was on those meds for many years. Due to circumstances and the beginning of what I like to call a "crash" I felt like they weren't helping anymore. I was sick of taking a substance...so I quit. Cold turkey. No more meds. Was it ignorance? Pure stupidity? Probably both.
What that did is take a "normal" bout of depression into something much worse. It caused a manic-depression. What does that mean? For me, I did things completely out of character for myself. I lost my "filter". I lost my sense of direction. I lost my sense of who I was. Or "who" I belonged to. I made poor judgements and engaged in risky behavior. I hurt people I love dearly. Quite frankly, I remember very little of that time. What I do remember is fuzzy and frazzled...maybe that is a gift.
What I am struggling with today is remembering fragments of that time period. I feel guilty, shameful, embarrassed. Although I know I am forgiven by a God who loves me and has covered ALL of my sins, there are still consequences. Being manic does NOT excuse my actions, but it does explain some of them.
Why am I admitting this to you? Why am I throwing myself under the proverbial bus? Because I want you to know how serious this is. I want you to consult with your doctor or therapist before you do anything STUPID on your own.
My hope and prayer is that by sharing my story with you is not to gain more readers or fans. My hope is that you will begin to see the light. My hope is that you will know in the midst of your darkness you are NOT alone. My hope is that you stop shaming yourself for something you did not cause, and you get the help you need.
Although my hope lies in more than medication or my therapist, I know that I need those things in addition to my faith in my Savior to draw me out of this.
And my hope is that soon...we will be talking about boots and sweaters and the very best concealer I have found that is a must have! Soon.....but not yet.
Thank you for sticking around. Thank you for loving me in spite of who I am. Thank you for allowing me to be...well, me. I am grateful for you and your friendship....more than you can imagine.