Good Grief Charlie Brown

Posted on 01/Dec/2011

 

Depression:
An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts, that affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be wished away. People with a depressive disease cannot merely “pull themselves together” and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people with depression.

this is my story…

I suffered with depression for years and didn’t even know it! It was just the way I lived. If only others would act differently I would feel ‘better’.

…unable to find the words to release the noise inside my head. no amount of sleep would numb the pain. I turned to drink and for a moment it took me to a place where the pain could not find me!

I am grateful someone cared enough to say “I think you suffer from depression”. I did not see how my isolation, unable to bathe, difficulty functioning, you do for me what I ‘should’ be capable of doing for myself, ignoring my needs, neglecting yours, don’t want to get out of bed much less pay any attention to you, it is all your fault, I’m gonna make you feel guilty so that you will love me the way that I am…was depression! “I am not a weak person…I am strong-willed!

I was so immersed in my misery I could not see the impact it had on me much less those close to me. I heard their worry filled words…and when I would say “I will do it differently, next time” I meant it!

Broken promises! I call it the band-aid theory, I treat me…temporarily! When I self treated or self medicated it denied me the help I needed and gave false hope to those that love me. I tried for years to will myself different! Until the next time and there was always a next time.

After the birth of my third baby (long after), I finally reluctantly admitted (only because someone said do this or else), that maybe just maybe, it was depression kicking my ass! I will always be grateful to the person who loved me enough to tell me the truth. I just wish that it did not take me so long to reach out…someone recently told me that if I have one foot in the future and one foot in the past; I am pissing on today!

When I finally reached out and asked for help it seemed like a huge, as in monumental, task. I felt shame, embarrassment and fear of the unknown, not that I did not feel those same emotions before I asked for help, but now I’m saying it to another person and out loud – it was scary!

It wasn’t until Therapy that Postpartum Depression was ever mentioned and that was long after the birth of my first baby, many, many years ago and sadly, she did not survive, unable to find words, I did not talk about it and neither did my family. There was never any mention of Postpartum Depression and my ‘broken heart’ went untreated for years. Not to mention the physical part of what a woman goes through after child-birth. I eventually found my answer in a bottle, which only brought on more misery and chaos.

I suffered with bouts of depression on and off and then again after the birth of my second child and again after the birth of my third child.

…sitting on the recliner, holding my little one and nursing her, taking in her sweet scent…it was a beautiful moment! She was hungry and wanted more…as if someone lifted a switch something clicked inside me and I had enough! She cried. My body stiffened and I cringed at the thought of her touching me. I took her to her crib, laid her down, walked out of the room and closed the door. I laid on the bathroom floor next to her bedroom in the fetal position bawling; as she cried out for more.

Both baby 2 ‘big time’ and baby 3 ‘my little one’ survived birth, although both were difficult pregnancies (my body just does not respond well), they are both happy, most of the time and healthy, most of the time, super fabulous and beautiful girls. I love being their Mom. I have a wonderful family and incredible friends that love and support me. I have a partner that is simply the best! He is remarkable! He is the wind beneath…I mean he is the foot beneath my ass! I love him…he saved my life!

Help is out there…it takes only the willingness the size of a mustard seed to pickup the phone (and YES the phone will feel as if it weighs a thousand pounds). In the beginning, I did not do it for me…I did it for my family. A lot of harm has happened over the years as a result of depression. I was doing the best that I could but depression ruled and it has run havoc in our lives!

Today, I take responsibility for my actions (more like in-actions), as a result of suffering from depression. I don’t know what the future has in store for me but today I got up took my medicine, showered, put on make-up, met with my therapist, exercised, jumped in water puddles with my youngest daughter, listened to music, prepared my kids a healthy dinner, ate chocolate, played and lost at a WII sports game with my oldest daughter. Overall I enjoyed my day but most of all I was fully present!

I have come to believe depression is a poison that will eat away at my soul…the good news there is an antidote: learning and gathering information on changing my behavior, eating healthy, exercise, therapy, medicine, family, friends and laughing.

Most of all sharing my experience, strength and hope so that maybe just maybe it will help someone else!

Make Noise….

This is my “depressed stance.” When you’re depressed, it makes a lot of difference how you stand. The worst thing you can do is straighten up and hold your head high because then you’ll start to feel better. If you’re going to get any joy out of being depressed, you’ve got to stand like this. ~Charlie Brown

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. ~Leo Buscaglia

STICKS AND STONES ARE HARD ON BONES
AIMED WITH ANGRY ART
WORDS CAN STING LIKE ANYTHING
BUT SILENCE BREAKS THE HEART
~PHYLLIS MCGINLEY, “BALLADE OF LOST OBJECTS,” 1954

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. ~Leo Buscaglia

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