This is part 6
Start from the beginning HERE
In the midst of the raging storm there were always little moments of reprieve,
moments of help and hope.
One was that a friend from high school and his wife had just moved to Colorado like we had, and we became fast family friends. It seemed no coincidence to me that she and I clicked right away and that she was a psychologist. She could see my brokenness, she had been there herself, she knew about it. You know the old adage “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink” and she would lead and guide me and prompt me to get help but I wasn’t always willing or capable of doing it. She finally recommended a psychiatrist, realizing that medication might make a world of difference for me.
One of the hardest things to explain to people was this feeling of being stuck. Like you are in quicksand and you can’t move. Like even if you wanted to help yourself, you don’t know how or you don’t feel strong enough. I was just getting to the point where it was really becoming debilitating. It was effecting my family in bad and paralyzing ways, and we didn’t know what to do. All at the same time we had a baby and my husband had to work and we didn’t have a great support system around us, like the one we had left.
All I really had was my blog, to try and describe what I was going through, to try and help myself understand it. To write it down so that maybe, if I read it back, it would make some sort of sense and not just be a whole barrage of feelings I couldn’t sort through.
September 29, 2011
Depression Feels Like…
Maybe some of you have never dealt with this depression issue before. Maybe you think it’s a ploy for attention, maybe you think it’s all mind over matter, or maybe you just don’t have the slightest clue what it feels like, but want to help those you love who are struggling.
I want to share with you what depression feels like, at least to me.
I’m edgy: I feel like the world is against me, I feel like I might break down if someone looks at me the wrong way, no matter where I am or what I am doing. I took my son to the park this morning to play and accidentally pulled out in front of some guy, immediately making gestures of apology. He of course cursed at me, scowled and drove aggressively past. In one instant I both wanted to follow him into the parking lot and tell him off and cry all at the same time. I did neither and went on to the park.
I’m tired: I feel like I am moving in slow motion, it takes great effort to want to get myself ready. I would love to sleep, but I have a son that does not allow for that.
I’m overwhelmed: everything feels like a huge chore that I really cannot do. Everything feels harder than it should.
I feel anxious: anxious about my ability to function, think straight, handle things. Going to the mall with my son gives me very high anxiety. I think he is in this testing, active phase where he wants to throw fits and I already feel so tired. Nothing about going out sounds fun to me.
I still try and do it, but not as much as I might like.
I’m emotional: if I talk about this stuff at all, or think about it even, I am usually crying.
I’m lonely: I feel like a million thoughts are trapped in and running around in my head that I can not talk about, there are just too many of them. I don’t want to ask people to give me hours of their time to listen to me verbally process my junk, that is just unfair. But then it makes me sad that people can’t or don’t want to. I really want to start seeing a therapist for this very reason.
I’m weak/paralyzed: I have nothing to give, I feel like a blob of nothingness, or like I don’t have muscle or something. I feel like when I sometimes cry to myself at night all I can think to say is “help me”.
I’m needy: I need people; I need them really bad in my life right now. I hate being needy, I am the one that usually help, but I am truly at the end of myself. I used to think that I could choose to be better, and how I have tried, but I cannot. I need people who know me to speak truth to me and fight for my heart, because I lost it.
I’m lost: I know who I used to be, but I lost her and in her place is some girl/woman who I do not like at all.
I am all these things, and I know what is supposed to work to make you “get better” just DO more of this, just DON’T do that. But there is a difference between knowing what you’re supposed to do and judging yourself when you either don’t do it or feel like you can’t.
My friend who is a psychologist came over yesterday to help me find a doctor. I now need to go through her referrals and figure out who I should go to and when I can go to them. I know now more than ever that I need to do that.
So what can anyone do to help someone who is going through something like this?
Pray, ask questions, spend time, listen, listen, listen.
I think I am coming to some sort of pinnacle with all of this. I didn’t want to name it for the past year, I didn’t want to admit that I needed help, I didn’t want to admit that I couldn’t make myself feel better and now this is me, being honest and reaching out, because I need that.
The reason I share all this?
Because maybe then someone new who is reading this won’t feel so alone. Maybe so then someone you know who is sad, you can see a way you might help? Mostly because this is my blog, this a way to record my journey. A journey that I presume will lead to hope and betterment again, but the pain and struggle are a part of me right now, and I would only be a liar if I didn’t share it all.
And I went to that psychiatrist, she diagnosed me with moderate to severe anxiety and depression and prescribed me some medication. She also talked with me about my most pressing worries and frustrations and anxiety triggers.
All of the sudden I felt less crazy and more empowered. And things seemed to be looking up. I started taking my medication and almost immediately began to feel much better. We were about to move to a really nice apartment and my brothers family would be moving to the same complex. Before all that would take place we were going on a family cruise.
How couldn’t life get better? And it started to.
And as things got better, I got more determined to find that identity that I had seemed to have lost. Who am I? What is my life about? What am I good at? Where do I belong? What is my worth? These were all questions constantly swirling in my mind, if even subconsciously. And so I began to fill those blanks in, once again.
My nearness to God, however, was still absent. I wanted to be close to Him and trust Him, but I just didn’t know how. The truth was I was still mad at Him. Why was He allowing this anyway? Wasn’t it for Him that we had come out here to plant a church, and this bag of goodies was what we got? No, I would be doing this without Him, even if in the depth of my heart I still knew He was there, loving me.
Little did I know, we thought His intention was to help free those captives, but His plan was to help free this one.
To be continued...
, by Ashley Jackson