(I’m really nervous about putting this post out there. Like I’ve been sitting on it for days, terrified to click that publish button. I did a guest post here at Thoughts of a Lunatic, and have had a pretty warm response. Giving me that extra boost of courage I need to hit the publish button. A little bit because I’m afraid of what others are going to think, and a little bit because I hate putting myself out there. Fear of the backlash or repercussions of what I have said. What will people think if they only knew what I really thought and felt like on the inside? And this type of post doesn’t really fit with the theme of what I’ve been posting about. But someone told me recently that it can be amazingly freeing to write down this ultra personal stuff and get it out of our system. And I’m pretty sure she knows what she’s talking about.)
I have been depressed and anxious for as long as I can remember. Sometimes more than others, sometimes not at all. For a while I was taking Wellbutrin to help me with it, and it helped. A lot. It was hard for me to go in and talk to my doctor about wanting to be on some sort of medication, but it was even harder walking around dealing with myself and my thoughts. I was walking around all the time trying to hide my tears and being angry, instead of happy and smiling. And tired. I was always so tired. But more than anything, I just hated myself. All of me. Let’s back up, maybe I should start at the beginning.
I grew up living with just my sister and mom. My parents divorced when I was quite young, and I remember that every other weekend that we got to spend with my dad was always my favorite time of all. I couldn’t wait until that Friday night at 6:00 to go and spend the weekend with him. But when we weren’t with him, we were with my mom. And growing up with my mom wasn’t the most pleasant experience. She was an alcoholic, she was bi-polar, and she was un-medicated. She was mean, and she was abusive. She was a very angry person and she took that out on my sister and I. We stayed with her until I was 12 (my sis was 18 I think) and then we moved into my dad’s, and finally the big secret was out, everybody knew. Unfortunately by that time, the damage was already done. For years I had heard nothing but how fat, and stupid, and ugly I was. Eventually I believed it, because hey she was my mom, and she must be telling the truth. My self-esteem was naught from the get-go, and it certainly wasn’t improved much (or at all) over the years. After I graduated high school, I moved to Chicago to become a nanny. A few incidents occurred which led me to drowning all of my sorrows from the past 15 years and current events in alcohol, drugs and men. Bad, and definitely not the right way to cope with life for sure. I got pregnant with my now 11-year-old, and he has completely turned my life around, and I firmly believe saved me from further going down a dark and narrow path of destruction. I found out when I was 7 months pregnant that my then-boyfriend for the last three years was also expecting a child with someone else; 2 months before I was due. So that was awesome. I moved back to Ohio and started a new life with my son, with LOTS of help from my dad and step-mom (who I only call step-mom here to differentiate between her and my ‘real’ mom. My step-mom has been more of a mom to me than my real one, and I call her ‘mom’, she’s amazing). I had hit an all-time low a few years ago, and that is when I went in to my doctor to ask for some medication. It helped and I could definitely feel myself coming out of the fog and climbing back out of that dark black hole. I lost my insurance about a year after I started and therefore lost my prescriptions. I felt great for quite a while and recently in the past few weeks, I can feel the depression trying to sneak and creep its way back into my life. I found a picture a few days ago from when I was about 5. On the back my mom had written my name, and then this caption: “Ugly as can be”. Pretty awesome, right?
Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I struggle with thoughts day in and day out. I convince myself time and time again that I am single because I am too fat and ugly to actually get a boyfriend. That I’m awful at my job, and too stupid to actually figure things out here. And once I can see the light again, it doesn’t take much to pull me back down again. When people close to me never ask about whats going on in my life, big or small. Or make comments to make me feel like they not only aren’t happy with the positive things in my life, but actually wish I would fail at things. They acknowledge nothing positive in my life. Or take the hour conversation I had last night with a friend and in the entire conversation (via text- can that even be considered an actual conversation?) he didn’t ask me ONCE how I was or what I had been up to. Not once. It was just all about him and what was going on in his life. Made me feel as if I’m not even worth the breath (or thumb typing) to ask. Surely he doesn’t care enough about me as a person to even ask. Three steps back down in the black hole after taking one step out. Realistically I know that these thoughts aren’t true and it’s a bunch of rubbish (mostly. A few people in my life give me reason to believe otherwise). The problem is making sure my thoughts stay realistic. And not believing all the crap that is rolling around in my head at any given moment. “Fat” “Stupid” “Unlovable” “Worthless” “Social moron” “Awkward” And so many more things that I don’t even want to write down, or see on paper. A little bit because seeing is believing, but mostly because the language is pretty bad- I don’t want to offend the interwebz. I struggle with anxiety as much as I do the thoughts running rampant through my head. I have problems sleeping. I lie awake and just worry. I can’t sit still. I always think I am doing something wrong and am nervous on a regular basis. It’s annoying and I hate it.
I love reading Thoughts of a Lunatic, first because she makes me laugh. Secondly, she has recently posted some serious posts in the same general area of this, making me brave enough to confront my inner demons if you will. Or at least writing them down for the whole wide world to see. Finally, it’s nice to see that there are others like me out there in this cold hard world. I know that there are, but it’s comforting seeing other people struggle with the same things as I do. And by comforting I don’t mean I get a sick sense of pleasure seeing others struggle in their daily lives, but more like a sense of support, albeit a small one. A lot of ‘normal’ people don’t understand what it’s like to be in the mind and body of a depressed person. We don’t choose to be like this nor do we enjoy it. If we could ‘snap out of it’ or ‘get over it’ or ‘cheer up’ we would. Sometimes we just can’t, no matter how hard we try or how bad we want to. Just like someone with a cold one can’t stop coughing, we can’t stop our thoughts or our moods or our tears.