Tuesday, January 20, 2015

When Depression Steals Everything

Everyone has an opinion on it
"you just need to buck up"
"how is your walk with The Lord"
"why don't you just stop being sad"
"you don't ever look sad"
"what do YOU have to be sad about"
"what you NEED to do is.."

Don't say any of that.
Not a word.
If those words are on your tongue, bite it.

Depression is real and it kills.
It isn't always sadness.
It isn't always super bad, but it can be.
It consumes your every thought.
It makes dark days seem impossible.
It makes you stay in your bed to tired to get up.
It makes you a prisoner in your own head.
It makes you self medicate with drugs and alcohol just to get things quiet.
It makes you lose sleep and struggle through the day exhausted, but still smiling.
It makes you sit by your daughters crib waiting for her to stop breathing.

It has consumed me and yes I really did watch over my daughter waiting for her to stop breathing.
She was born 20 months after my first by scheduled c-section.
She was perfect with bright eyes, black hair and sweet kissable lips.
She never cried and she slept 6 hours on our first night home.

What did I have to be depressed about?
Two kids
One boy
One girl
A hot husband.
1 house, two dogs and an itty bitty salon.

The carnage that ensued in the days after we got home from the hospital
was horrific.
The gates of hell flung open!
The Farm Manager got the stomach flu
Puke everywhere
Then The Farmer
Then The Farm Manager AGAIN
It made its way throughout our families
Puke, puke and more puke
Oh, there was poop too
Lots of it.

It was NOT awesome and I am not kidding when I say I am sure I have a touch of PTSD from that week.
Mention the words
"I have tummy ache"
"I threw up all night"
and you will see me on the verge of or in full fledged panic.
It isn't pretty.

Then the word "SIDS" started rolling around in the back of my head because a local baby died in the weeks after my baby was born.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
I read about it.
I made Dr. appts to ask about it.
I KNEW my baby was going to die from it.

So, I sat watching her.
Watching her  breathe and
waiting for her to stop.
Unsure of what I would do if she did.
Her breathing was weird and she would hold her breath for a few seconds then start again.
I could hear every breath pulled into her lungs and every breath let out of her tiny body.

I ordered a sleeping pad for her that would sound an alarm should she stop breathing.
Our Dr. informed me that if she did have SIDS that if she stopped breathing and he was standing over her that he would be unable to save her.
I called him a liar
I was riddled with anxiety.
I was exhausted.
I suffered in silence never sharing how I truly was feeling not even with my husband.

2 C-Sections in less than 2 years and back to work after just three weeks.
In a salon you don't get to be sad or overwhelmed and let people know about it.
You pull up your big girl boots and get to work leaving your personal garbage at the threshold of the business.
I spent my days making people feel better and I would walk to my car at days end

I held it in and suffered in silence until it burbled up and I couldn't contain it.
I didn't want to let it out.
I didn't want people to know all the crazy going on inside me.
I didn't want people to think I was weak.

The night everything changed will not be one I ever forget.
We were at Char's having a game night and Fancy Farm Girl needed her diaper changed.
It was a poopy one and it wasn't what I considered "normal"
I freaked.
I know this seems like an odd thing to break down over, but I had heard rumors about the baby who died and how his/hers diapers had changed.
It might sound silly, but my fear was real.
I was losing it.

I told The Farmer we had to leave.
Right Now.
We have to go.
Confused he agreed.
It was the longest drive home ever.
We got home and I started to cry.

He told me he would get The Farm Manager to bed and feed Fancy Farm Girl so I wanted to go to bed.
I burst into tears and said
"I'll feed her because it's going to be the last time I get to"
Shocked and wide eyed he asked what I was talking about.
He just stared at me.
I told him I knew she had SIDS and was going to die that night.
Looking back I can see how crazy that sounded, but they were very real feelings.
Horrific empty desperate feelings.

Well, obviously she didn't die and my silent struggle was no longer silent.
 I sought out some medical treatment for myself.
It is hard to reach out when your struggle is viewed as
not real or you fear how others will view you.

I still can't sleep with her because of the way she breaths.
If she comes in our bed during the night I go to the sofa.
It isn't that I don't want to snuggle up and sleep with her I do.
I just can't.
It makes my heart pound and I become restless.
It makes those long sleepless nights come rushing back.

I feel sad for people who struggle with anxiety and depression.
You can't always see it.
Some of us are really good at covering up what is really happening inside our heads and hearts.
For awhile anyways.

It kills.
Your spirit
Your marriage
Your zest for life
Your ability to do more than just make it through one more day so you can fall into a pile of desperation in the safety of your own home only to do it again the next day.
Sometimes, it literally kills you when you can't see anyway out other than to take your own life.

And let's face it some people can be real jerks about it.
They say it isn't real, that you just aren't reading your bible enough, that you just need to stop being sad.
To that I say
It is dark and hard and it just layers on more and more everyday.
It consumes you to the point that it is the only thing you can think about.

What people who are suffering need are hugs, love, prayers and support.
A dinner made, an offer to take their kids, a coffee delivered a friendly reminder that they are loved, desired and cherished.
No more condemnation.
If you notice that people are closing down, not answering your calls and texts, not leaving the house.
You might not know what to say and that's ok just being there helps.
It's awkward and uncomfortable, but sometimes people need help breaking the silence.

Don't offer solutions, but instead offer
abounding love
Be sincere

Friends, you aren't alone in your struggles.
You aren't
I promise
and there is ZERO shame in suffering from
It is time that we feel free to talk about it just like we would any other illness.

If you or someone you know is suffering in silence
seek out help
I would love to pray for you.
Feel free to message or text me
No questions asked, not condemnation.
Whenever you need.

You are loved, desired, cherished.
You are stronger than you realize.
Yes, you.

Blessed is me..