I found this draft dated March 13, 2013 while attempting to clean up the mess that became my blog when Photobucket decided to opt out of its third-party hosting and charge $400 a year to every person wanting to embed a photo somewhere from their site (needless to say, I abandoned them).
I’ve taken a long hiatus from this blog. Namely, since I started working again. But I’ve found that, again, I need an outlet, and this is the place I feel it should be.
I don’t know quite when the depression started sneaking in on me again. It showed itself in brief glimpses here and there: after the births of my children, during the expected hormonal shifts of my menstrual cycles.
Always just slight instances and almost never anything I took as a serious matter.
All part of the curse of being a woman.
PMS:Every woman deals with it.
Except it wasn’t normal.
And it began to get gradually worse after each of my children was born.
It manifested and multiplied until slowly, each month, it began to devour me.
There aren’t any words to properly describe exactly how it feels to know that you’ve reached the end of your proverbial rope, just as there are no words to convey what a solitary experience it truly is, no matter how many people tell you they are there supporting you.
In those moments, none of their words matter. They are simply empty air falling on deaf ears and mocked by a soul that feels just as empty as the sound of whatever is being said.
Because they can’t possibly understand.
The motivation towards isolation sets in because, in the midst of it all, knowing you should be stronger but are incapable, all you can think is that everyone will be judging you for this weakness.
Not that it would matter…
Who could be a harsher judge than yourself…?
Eventually, the facade I was putting forth each day became too flimsy to hold up against the shipwreck of emotions behind it. For three weeks each month I could keep it maintained; feed it with delusions of how I was stronger than whatever this was.
But that fourth week… everything would come tumbling down around me. I finally reached the breaking point in February [of 2013], when I nearly drove myself to the hospital because all I could think was that everyone, including my children, would be much better off without such a train-wreck of a mother/friend/acquaintance/employee.
That was the first and only time I had/have ever missed work simply because I couldn’t even envision myself with the energy to view anything from an upright position.
I cried. Stared blankly at nothing for hours.
And I realized…this wasn’t me.
I needed help.
Follow-up: At that time, I was prescribed an anti-depressant, birth control pills, and an anti-anxiety medication (a PMDD diagnosis at the height of what is supposed to be a woman’s sexual peak – aka hormones abound), the second of which I was removed from as soon as my BP issues came roaring to the surface at above stroke-inducing levels (after 2 months of feeling like an actual human being, I will fully admit to crying in the doctor’s office when they told me I could no longer take the birth control pills to balance my hormones).
I spent 6 months loving the f*ck out of Xanax for 2-3 days each month, and the following year and a half re-learning myself and finally understanding how much toxic people/relationships/mindsets contributed to my emotional status before finally stopping all of the medications entirely. It was, at some points and in future years, another learning curve to get past without them, but this month marks 3 years that I have been med-free (for non-physical issues).
I will never say that all of this was mind over matter, because it definitely was not. Any battle we fight is, ultimately, one we fight “alone.“ It cannot be lumped in with anyone else’s, regardless of the things in common. The similarities within us allow us to relate and possibly commiserate, but we still must come into our own – on our own terms – alone.
It was a long road, but I definitely don’t ever feel as desolate as I did during those moments when everything made me feel so helpless and hopeless that nothing could ever fix it.