Friday, December 21, 2012

My depression story...

Okay, I'm going to start off this whole depression talk with the following statement: I am NOT an expert. Just because mine happened this way doesn't mean it happens this way for everyone. And my "advice" on the topic is NOT the same as getting PROFESSIONAL HELP, which I super highly encourage you to do, if you think you might be suffering from depression. End of rant.

I guess I'll kick off this shindig by starting at the beginning.

I have always been a "deep feeler." In my teen years, I was affectionately known as Katie Kaboom around the home front.

But I never would have labeled those emotions as "depression."

I had "low self-esteem" or "self-doubt," or I "felt isolated" (all signs of depression, by the way). But I NEVER would have called it depression. I was in student government. I made good grades. I had close friends. I was on homecoming court. As I said in my last post, I wasn't one of those people.

Looking back now, I realize that I have been battling depression for most of my life, but never more than January of this year.

I injured my back while visiting family over the Christmas break. Then I took an 8-hour car ride home. Then I REALLY injured my back about five minutes after walking through my own front door.

Forget New Year's resolutions, I couldn't even get off the couch. For two weeks, I lay there and watched Netflix. My husband was teaching and coaching and doing his best to run the household. Laundry began to pile up. Dishes went unwashed. Dinner consisted of PB&J or leftover pizza. And all I could see were the many, many ways in which I was failing as a wife and mother.

And those thoughts led to other thoughts... memories of past failures (and boy, I've had some doozies). Damaged relationships. Wrecked cars. Poor financial decisions. Lost jobs. Messy houses. Tempers. Weight gain. Regret. Regret. Regret.

And then my back started feeling better. But I didn't tell anyone. Because getting off that couch meant facing the world again... the world that contained all. those. failures.

And so I stayed there. And I watched TV. And the laundry and the dishes kept piling up. And I slept in the day. And I couldn't sleep at night. And then one awful evening, when everyone else was in bed, and I lay on the couch wrapped in the torment of all my many failures... I had a single moment of clarity... I think I'm depressed... and then... I don't know how to fix it.

The next morning, I called my mom and asked her to make the 8-hour trek to my house. I texted my Sweet Hubby, who was at school teaching, and simply wrote this: "I think I'm really depressed. Mom is coming into town tomorrow. I'm calling a counselor." And I did. I called everyone in the yellow pages.  Only one called me back, and he said he could see me that afternoon.

Thus began my journey to discovery and recovery. And in the next few posts, I'd like to share with you some of the most important things I learned (and continue to learn) about depression...

To be continued... 

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The Quote That Started It All...

I myself have twelve hats, each one representing a different personality. Why be just yourself? - Margaret Atwood