Recovering

1 May

So… I’m not sure the best way, or of even a good way, to preface this. A lot of water metaphors are coming up, so I’ll pick the cliche and apologize: I’m going to dive right in and talk about my depression.

I first remember noticing the black cloud when I was about 11 years old. I was in seventh grade, I was constantly teased, and I thought about suicide. Not in a concrete, I’m going to do it, kind of way, but in an abstract vague sort of knowing. Knowing that other people had done it, that it was an option, and that sometimes it looked like a pretty attractive option.

The black cloud never really went away. It hovered at the edge of the horizon, ready to rain down a bunch of bad thoughts at the slightest provocation. You’re a bad person. You’re not good enough. You will never be happy. It stalked me throughout my teens, always hanging there, making me miserable.

In college it was worse. I let the cloud open and flood over me. The friends I did have I drove away, conveniently reinforcing the ‘nobody likes you’ thoughts.

20130501-210316.jpg

This guy knows what I’m talking about.

Over the years, I tried lots of things to make it go away. Therapy. Meds. And, sometimes, it works. I will go a full day without hating myself. I will enjoy life.

It will be quiet for a while, but it always comes back. And, for some reason, the months of February and March are always the worst. Maybe leftover traces of my Viking DNA are just preconditioned to be miserable those months. In Scandinavia, it feels like winter will never end.

20130501-210424.jpg
And then this guy wants to play chess and it’s really awkward.

So, anyway, the main point. These past few months – February, March, and even April – I’ve been drowning. The black clouds have been raining furiously. I’ve been sick – ear infection, upper respiratory infection, sinus infection. I’ve been sad about the no-baby situation, the mother-in-law situation, and still the father-in-law situation. I’ve had a hard time focusing. I’ve been grumpy and miserable.

I knew the clouds were coming, though. I saw them on the horizon, clear as could be. And so I did storm preparation. I talked to my doctor. I tried to take care of myself. I did things that made me happy.

And, the reason I’m writing this now, is to remind myself – it worked. I was still a good mother, spending lots of quality time with Danny. I worked really hard at both of my jobs and got lots of praise and high marks at the one. I am leaving for Australia two weeks from tomorrow. I made it! I have surfaced!

So, I want to remind myself, and anyone else who struggles with the same storms I do: you can do it. You can keep your head above water. You have people who care about you. You are still a good parent. Spring will come.

Now I’m going to sit on my porch with some lemonade and my dog. It’s going to be all right. And if you’re having any trouble with the black clouds, come sit with me and we’ll fight them. Together.

Edited To Add: shortly after I published this, a friend shared the following on Facebook. Coincidence, but a really relevant one. Thanks, Joe.
http://i.imgur.com/l7JquYD.jpg

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6 Responses to “Recovering”

  1. claudiabette May 1, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

    Another person who suffers from depression here 🙂

    Thank you for sharing that and I agree with you. I know that some of my “valleys” can get pretty bad but I always come out of them. 🙂

  2. sohobbes May 1, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

    Man, those valleys are hard!! I’m always available if you need someone to vent to. 🙂

  3. Vicki May 1, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

    Depression is an awful, terrible thing, and it feels like being mired in quicksand all the time! But I commend you for talking about it. I think there are so many things in this world that people deal with – depression, infertility, post-partum depression, addictions, etc – that are “taboo”. Nobody wants to talk about them honestly, which means they have to be dealt with in secret, and in shame. This just makes it worse. I’m always here if you need to vent, and I know that the other way around is open, too! Love ya!

  4. sohobbes May 1, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

    Love you too! You’re my favorite swan! xoxo

  5. Katie O'Kelly May 1, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

    I was wondering where your posts had been lately. So sorry to hear that these last couple months of winter/early spring are so rough. Glad to see that you’re coming out of it and that you can look back at this post in the future. 🙂

  6. Susan May 1, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

    I feel like I could respond with so much here. instead I will say we do what we must and work to be happy. Just like marriage having a relationship that is good with yourself is sometimes really really hard work. Thank you for having the courage to share. Know you are loved and that we are here for you if you ever need us. Loves.

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