Monday, February 27, 2012

Dark Abyss

Canyon Lands, Utah
I should have gotten therapy when I was pregnant with Hannah. I should have gotten on medication right after Hannah was born. I can only think that not knowing where to go to with therapy and becoming insanely busy with a newborn and a two year old, kept getting help and taking care of myself far from my mind. I slogged through day after day of just making it through. Being miserable, crying all the time, not wanting to do anything and never being able to fall asleep or stay asleep or nap became the norm. If Gen or Hannah had a tantrum, got sick or did any of the normal complications that come with children, I had a meltdown of my own. I was either too vigilant and immediately burned myself out until I felt crazy or I would be paralyzed with fear, guilt and the feeling that I couldn't handle it. If Russ had to stay late for work, I felt like I was going to have a conniption. There were several times where both girls would be crying at the same time and I would break down with anger and extreme sadness. I would run into my closet, shut the door and have a toddler tantrum of my own. All the while I would be hating myself. I felt like the worst mother on the planet and the biggest failure humanity could find. Sometimes I would get so low, that I just wanted to die. I didn't want to kill myself, I just didn't want to exist anymore. I felt like I was no good for my children, Russ or anyone else in my life. I wondered if everyone would be better off if I'd just disappear. But then those thoughts would scare and shame me and I would feel even more low and more alone. I felt like no one understood how I felt and I had no idea how I was going to go on day after day like this. I knew that nothing was going to ever change and that I was going to have this torturous and monotonous life for the next twenty years. I felt so trapped. I wanted nothing more than to change my life. But I knew that thought was so wrong and looking to other women in my same situation only made me feel worse. They were doing it. They were loving it. What was so horribly wrong with me? Not only was I a bad mom, I was also a bad Mormon woman. Yet through all of this, I hadn't realized I was depressed. I just thought that what I was going through and feeling, was a result of my situation and my inability to be good at it. On one of my many sleepless nights I suddenly had an epiphany. The thought came very strongly, clearly and powerfully that I was depressed. The next morning I took a depression quiz on WebMD and sure enough I was answering yes to all of the symptoms of depression. I'm still dumbfounded that with my psychology background and all of the times I must have read through the symptoms of depression, that I couldn't recognize it in myself. I told Russ later that night that I thought I was depressed and that I was going to go to the doctor again. I'm not sure going to the doctor was any easier this time than the first. I didn't want to admit that I had gone off of my meds on my own, nor did I want to talk about how depressed I was. I don't think anyone relishes the idea of crying in front of their doctor. I don't like crying in front of anyone. I went back on the same medication I was on before. I also asked about any recommendations the doctor might have for a therapist. He sort of blew me off and I got the feeling he didn't "believe" in therapy. So no help there and I let it go and started the pills. Once again they were magic and I was brought back from a horrible place of darkness, despair and loneliness. Best of all I could sleep again. That in itself was miraculous. Suddenly where sleep was the ultimate battle and the thing that constantly eluded me, now simply because the medication had kicked in, I could fall asleep.

Next: The special piece of Hell finding the right medicine can be. 

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