Taking It One Day At a Time
Today is one of my downer days. As a person suffering from depression, I get those a lot. Perhaps, I am doing better now then I have in the past, but those downer feelings sure do creep on me out of nowhere two or three times a month.
Why are you so depressed? You have two beautiful kids, a roof over your head, food on your plate, friends and family on your side. Sure your father is a dickweed, but you can’t have a picture perfect life.
I am met with this question a lot when folks learn I suffer from depression.
And yes, I do have lovely children, a place to sleep at night, food in my belly, and some awesome friends and family. It’s not like I wake up one morning a few times a month and announce, “Fuck it, today I feel like feeling like a piece of shit!” I can’t control it. And I’m fairly certain human beings don’t have a magical happy/sad button. Though if you do, I demand a refund for a faulty body.
There have been signs pointing to me having depression for as long as I can remember.
- Little Krissy stole my cookie during lunch in 1st grade and I cried my eyes out for several days over it. Least til I decided that cookie wasn’t worth my tears or she shoved another cookie in my face in a way to apologize.
- My parents divorced when I was 12. While any kid is sad about that, I took it to a whole new level. I made myself physically sick over it, that my mom had to rush me to the hospital late one night because I thought I was dying.
- Didn’t make the cheerleading squad my sophomore year in high school and I was beside myself. Felt like the biggest loser, for wanting to be on the team, the biggest failure, for not making the team, and an idiot for thinking I could even make the team.
However, there is one major event that kicked off my total downfall into major depression. Being raped at the age of 19 by someone I thought was a friend. And that rape lead to me being pregnant with my son. Now, I love the heck out of my son. I try to look at this as a blessing in disguise, but at the same time, rape is a very traumatic and emotional thing. I felt like it was my fault. I felt like a piece of scrap meat. I felt less than human. And then when I found out I was pregnant, I felt like dying because I had no way of explaining it to anyone. You see, I made the mistake of not telling anyone about my rape.
It wasn’t until I realized that my baby was a blessing and that my mom accepted me and my baby with wide open arms that I started a slow climb back out of being depressed. I had my up days and my down days. I even went to counseling, but I never did mention to the lady that I was raped. Though, I think she had an inkling of an idea that I was just by how I spoke about my unborn baby’s father. I had friends that listened to me and my mom that coached me. I started feeling like it wasn’t my fault and like a human again.
However, the depression always lingered in the back of my mind. I pictured it as a dog, waiting for pounce when it saw a weakness. So it was no surprise that I felt worthless and useless after my son was born and up til he was roughly 18 months old. When he was 18 months old was when I finally got the proper help I needed.
I was in the psych ward of the local hospital. Locked in a floor with only doctors, nurses, and other patients there with me. We had one on one meetings, we had group meetings, we had art meetings to get our creative juices flowing. There was a meeting every hour from the hours of 10am til 5pm. Minus one hour for lunch. I got prescribed some anti-depression meds. By the end of the stay, while I wasn’t fully happy and go lucky, I felt myself climbing back up again.
These days I no longer take the meds, but I feel like I have better control over my depression. Yes, I still have down days. But they are no where near what they were just before checking into the hospital. I understand my depression and others now know about it. I have great friends and my mom who will actually listen to me when I need to let lose. I also have a blog to let lose on as well. Writing about it certainly helps, and I feel a little better after writing all this.
Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. I can only take it one day at a time to see how I measure up in this big, big world.