I really have no words but I need to write. This has been the most devastating few months I have ever lived. Every time it seems as though there may be a light at the end of the tunnel, another cave in occurred.
My body does not tolerate medications well at all. Every anti-anxiety or anti-depressant I was prescribed had serious side effects for me. The withdrawals from Ativan were extreme. I have complete compassion for anyone trying to get off of a chemical addiction and extreme admiration for those who have gotten clean and have stayed clean. My body is worn thin from difficult circumstances and the side of effects of the drugs and withdrawals.
I have always been able to keep busy when life became difficult but now the muscle weakness is such that my arms and legs feel like jello. For those who have been in this same place and made it through, what did you do?
When I pray I hear affirmations from the Lord:
Jeremiah 29:11New International Version (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
I think about Job, David, and Joseph who was sold into slavery by his own brothers. I try to be encouraged. How did they do it? How did they keep it together when all about them was darkness and difficulty? I relate the most to David, I think, because he majorly screwed up but God redeemed David’s life. God said that David was a man after His own heart.
“After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’” Acts 13:22
At this point in my life, I have found that I am without answers and don’t even have a whole lot of questions, just want to be whole and well. If you have walked a dark road similar to the one have been on and have made it to the light, I would love to hear how you have made that journey. I would be so encouraged by any sharing that occurs through this site.
Destating trauma – check
In shock – check
Depression – check
Dark pit of despair – check
Grasping hold for life – check
Climbing out of the mind fog – check
Amazing therapist – check
Devoted family – check
Unexpected support – check
Extreme effort to claw out of the pit – check
Increased good moments over bad – check
When there is no way that life can ever be what it was before, how does one rebuild? This “event” in my life has shown such an intense light in all of my life that there are no shadows for anything to hide within. I now know truths about things that I had no idea were falsehoods. It makes me want to run from everything and start all over again; somewhere new and fresh. My entire life imploded and now that I am digging out of the rubble, I am not sure what to do.
I have been reading a lot from Brene’ Brown and watching her YouTube videos; she is amazing. She is a researcher who has spent years studying shame and vulernabitily and through her research has found much wisdom. If you do not know of her work, I highly suggest you check her out ASAP. Bottom line, she concludes that all that is positive begins with loving our selves. Not an easy concept for most of us.
So in this intense need to rebuild, find meaning, start fresh, RUN, I am trying to turn my attention to the task of learning to love myself; to be kind to me; to give myself the chance to breathe. I am trying. It is not easy.
Where are you in your journey?
How are we doing?
I finally made it out on Monday afternoon to take a one mile walk; that is a first in months. It felt great to be out in the sunshine and warmth and to allow my legs to generate energy that made its way to my brain which helped to clear out the mental fog. And in those moments I think, “Okay, this feels normal, I feel “normal”. I am on my way to being out of the pit and on with life.” And then it can be three seconds later, the next morning or afternoon, and the weight descends once again. “Where did the Light go?!” “What did I do wrong to be back in this dark place?”
There are so many facets to this depression thing:
-people see us as lepers, not to be touched, better ignore the situation
-there are no hard and fast answers
-why can’t we just “choose” to be happy
-body needs to move for health; absolutely no energy in the legs
-being productive is so vital to moving forward, but when the mind and body are not working it is an impossibility.
-please feel free to add to this list; what you have experienced
So I ask you, my friends, how do we keep moving forward. What do we do when we have a good moment and then are thrown back into the darkness?
What I do know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that those of us suffering with depression/anxiety need a community of support. Those who will walk along side us no matter how ugly it may get; they love us more than they fear the disease.
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself. ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along,’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
So what fears are you staring down? How can we help you defeat that monster?
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
-Martin Luther King Jr.
I am cheering for all of us to take that first step…..and then the next!
Stepping Out in Faith,
On a recent visit to my therapist she had me take a test that reveals the types and amount of stressors in my life. There were about 43 questions and depending on the answer given there was a numerical value. The chart topped out at 300; my stress level was well over 500. Yep, it is amazing that I am just not puzzle pieces exploded all over the house. God of grace in action for sure. It is a severe roller coaster ride and I have NEVER liked roller coasters!
So what am I beginning to learn. When anxiety raises its nasty head, I need to address it immediately and prevent it from escalating. Once anxiety goes into panic anxiety the body chemistry is throw all out of whack and it depletes the body and then I am two, three, four steps backwards once again. Depression/anxiety is such a slow, steep climb. Please share with me your remedies for battling anxiety/depression. Let’s open up that conversation.
I appreciate all that you have to say and share. Let’s be that community that pulls together.
Joy and Peace,
The journey I have been on in these past weeks is one that is completely new to me and one that I do not wish upon anyone. The most difficult times in my life previously do not come close to comparing in intensity to what I have been walking through.
Depression is a creature that no one understances until the creature takes hold of you. I have been depressed hundreds of times in my life but being depressed is no relation to depression. Depression moves in and wrecks havoc on the mind, body and spirit. There is not a motivational message in the world that will turn depression on its heels and make it flee. Depression is a deep, dark pit that one cannot crawl out of alone.
I have had times of feeling completely alone, abandoned, rejected; as if I have a disease that others were afraid of catching so they kept away from me. I am learning just how little of the population understands depression or are comfortable walking with someone who is in depression. My eyes have been forced open to the horrors of depression and I will forever have compassion for anyone battling this devastating beast. I am also learning that I cannot fault others for not being able to understand and to be grateful for support that is given.
Through this dark, black time I have been blessed with support from people that I never would have thought would be the strength when I had none. My son jumped into action and found me the most amazing therapist; he also dropped everything to come be with me while suicide seemed in my mind to be the only answer. No child should have to watch their parent be in the state that I was in; but he chose my need over his own. My sister has watched over me like a mother hen; ready to defend and protect me. I had a long period of time where eating and drinking were just too much effort. The simple thought of getting off of the couch and getting a drink of water from the kitchen faucet was just too much. She would put water right in front of me and cook food and bring it to me. She called my doctor, therapist, anyone she could think of to try and find help/solutions for me. I lost weight and got very weak and I know it was very scary for her to have to watch me, but she did not give up. I have a naturopath doctor and a massage therapist, and therapist who have been an amazing team of support for me. Their professional knowledge has been invaluable but their continuous and unguarded support has been a blessing beyond words. And I have had someone who I barely knew before all of this, be a daily source of comfort, support and strength.
If you are fighting the ugly monster of depression, I want you to know that you are not alone. There are people who get it, who understand. Feel free to share here. I cannot promise to have answers, but I do promise to try and understand and listen. Together, in community, is how the ugly depression monster is defeated. No one should have to battle alone.