Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Cycle of Despair

Depression is a devious cycle, and something I’ve dealt with since puberty. It sneaks up on me when I least expect, like an old friend I really just don’t want to see. The feeling of sadness for no particular reason is very difficult to explain to someone who has never experienced it before.

Sadly, my depression combined with Blueturtle’s rage anger made for quite a toxic environment. We fed like vampires off each others emotions; the more depressed I was, the angrier he became, and vice versa. It would have been so simple just to seek help, but we didn’t.

The true source of my depression stemmed from a combination of postpartum and losing my job, our primary source of income. I happily traded the job that made me miserable for more time with my daughter, who was only five months old at the time. I stayed home for the first year with my son, and it killed me to leave my daughter every day. Some days, when I got home from work, she seemed to be mad at me.

I think being home caused some resentment from my spouse, although he always said it made him feel less than adequate as a man not providing for his family. Ironically, he doesn’t seem to care to provide for his daughter now. I’m certain he’s trying to find a way to get out of paying child support. Time will tell. It bothers me more to hear my daughter say, “I miss Daddy.”

Being involved in such a volatile relationship has provided me with the opportunity to heal from all my past wounds. I have finally found a way to cope with the depression, and stop letting it take over my life. That doesn’t mean I don’t still have bad days. Sometimes the only thing I want to do is sleep, or cry, or both. Most of my days, however, I can find a smile.

A few things that have helped me…

·         Antidepressants – I can’t stand the idea of being dependent on a chemical, but sometimes people just need the extra help. I’m glad a gave in.
·         Therapy – Finding someone to talk to wasn’t easy. The first few times were terrible. The woman listened to me talk while she wrote on her tablet. Could it have been more stereotypical? I did finally find a very good therapist, albeit expensive, and she’s been wonderful.
·         WRITING!! – This blog isn’t just about getting my story out there. It’s very therapeutic! I have multiple journals and means for expression. The blog is definitely a spirit booster. I’ve been blown away by how many people have already read my posts. I can only hope to help just one person, if only just to smile, then I will have accomplished what I set out to do.
·         Staying positive – Even on my worst days, I look for the positive in things. No matter how bad you think the situation is, there is always a silver lining. Always. I will admit, sometimes I need help figuring out what it is, but that’s what my friends are for.
·         Spirituality – I am not a religious person at all. I can’t honestly say I believe there is a deity, but I’m not an atheist either. I follow the Buddhism the closest, but I don’t consider myself a Buddhist either. I believe everything is equality good and evil. What matters is how we choose, as individuals, to behave every day. There is no evil in love, so love is my religion.
·         Staying active – This one can be tough for me. I’m naturally lazy. I try to do something, even if it’s small, every day. Today I spent most of the day at the pool with my kids. They had a good time, and the sun felt wonderful on my skin. I even met some of my new neighbors.
·         Don’t take anything personally – Another difficult task for me, but it’s getting much easier. What other people think of me doesn’t matter. I can only control my own thoughts and actions. If someone attacks me or says something hurtful, I wonder what is wrong and how I can help, because what others say to me is only a reflection of them.
·         Don’t make assumptions – It’s hard to do, but never assume to know what someone else is thinking or what their motivation is.
·         Let go of the past – Because it’s just that, the past. It can’t be changed. It can only serve as a lesson.
·         Turn off the TV – Everything we see on the news is so depressing! The talking heads remind us how terrible everything is, and drive fear into us. I can’t tell you how much better I feel ignoring it all. I still love certain shows and film, but I don’t miss TV… not even a little bit.

“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!” ~ Dr. Seuss