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There you are

2 Sep
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About a year ago, I was living in Amarillo and I was miserable.  I hated my job.  HATED it.  I was struggling to deal with life, but I was sure it was because my stress level was through the roof.  When I had a good opportunity to get out, I took it.  And when I told my mom that I was headed back to Corpus Christi, she annoyingly reminded me that “where you go, there you are.”  (you were right, OK mom)

Being back in CC has been interesting.  It’s kind of forced me to face some things and has given me the opportunity for clarity.  I recently started paying attention to my Facebook memories which go back to 2009.  It’s fascinating because it has allowed me to see a pattern that I wouldn’t have found any other way.  For 4 years in a row, at almost the exact same time of year, I was going through the same thing.  I was devastated and heartbroken over choices my ex-husband made and I was determined to take control of my life.  Determined to get to a healthier place and be happy.  And yet, by that time next year, I found myself in the same spot…  Even after I had been divorced for 9 months!!!

I couldn’t help but look at that and wonder, why?  WHY???  And how on Earth could I keep it from ever, ever, ever happening again.

Around 5 months ago, I wrote about how I was falling in love. About six weeks later, we had broken up. And I was miserable. Instead of going on a camping trip in Utah with his family, I spent a week in Amarillo mostly alone. I had a ton of time to reflect and it became clear to me that I needed some help.

The fact is that the more I felt myself falling in love, the more I fortified this wall inside of me.  My fear of being hurt was so great that any means of protection was easily justified.  I found myself looking for reasons it wouldn’t work.  I found myself creating problems, starting arguments, setting him up to say something I could take offense to.  It was a disaster waiting to happen and eventually it did.

At the time, I was all righteous indignation.  I am willing to admit that I was unfair.  The way I portrayed the breakup to my friends and family made it easy for me to justify.  But soon I felt that I was being dishonest with myself.  I started amending my words and I started reconsidering my judgment.  And I realized that I had been in the wrong.

I made a stunning discovery.  I realized that I had pushed away every man who I had ever loved.  For as long as I could remember.  I would push them away, regret it and then try to get them back.  I had repeated the same cycle over and over again and somehow not realized it.  And realizing that made me have to swallow a bitter pill and admit that this cycle played a major part in the destruction of my marriage.

I was aware that I had some issues to work though before I could have a healthy relationship again, which is why I purposely stayed single for two years.  But this new realization opened a door for me, and gave me the final push I needed to really start working on healing.

I’ve been in counseling (weekly) for the past three months.  I was ready to do the hard work that is necessary for it to really help you, and we have accomplished so much in that time.  I’ve come to better understand why I resort to such destructive means to soothe and comfort myself.  I’ve realized my greatest fears about relationships/love are actually of myself.  I understand why I’ve tried to find other people who would save me.  But more than anything, I’m learning how to heal myself.

Because, truly, I am the only one who can.

Yes, I need help from Heavenly Father and I need to access the atonement, but no one else can do the work for me.  No one else can make me feel whole and healed.

I’m not going to say that I am fixed.  All of us are lifelong works in progress, but I have been waiting to feel this peace within myself for many years.  I’ve watched myself repeat choices and patterns over and over again, all along wanting to change, but not knowing how.  It feels amazing to know how to change my path, to have a plan to survive crisis.  The hope is incredible.

I’ve shared so much of my struggle here over the years.  Feels pretty good to share some success. ❤

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While we’re on the subject of depression…

12 Aug

I’ve shared some of my experience before.

But I think we need to keep talking about Depression.  Because it’s real.  It’s a problem.  It’s a real problem.

On the heels of Robin Williams’ suicide, I have felt impressed all day to share more about my own suicidal period.  I am very nervous about sharing this particular topic, but I know it’s important.

Most of my friends were unaware that I was depressed and were completely unaware that I was suicidal.  Heck, I wasn’t aware that I was suicidal.  Mostly, I felt completely overwhelmed with life.  I knew that I was lacking motivation and hope about life.  I’d been diagnosed with depression but did not like taking anti-depressants and generally didn’t take it seriously.

While I was visiting family last week, we looked at some photos taken during those years.  I take one look at myself and just wonder how we didn’t figure it out sooner.  It’s written all over my face.  I had changed so much from the girl I used to be.

I was an interior design major at the time and my parents had cut me off financially.  It is an incredibly expensive major and they highly recommend you do not have a job because of all the projects you have to complete.  I had no choice but work.  I applied for and was received a promotion that upped my responsibilities substantially.  That last semester, I was failing my classes for the first time ever.  I didn’t know what to do and felt like I didn’t have options.  I wasn’t sleeping, I was eating terribly, and at some point I just checked out.

I’ll never forget the night I almost took my own life.

I remember not feeling anything.  I remember very easily making the decision to overdose on medication and making a plan to have a friend discover me the next day.  (On a side note, that particular fact mortifies me to this day).  I wrote a note on my door for her to come on in and got in the shower.  While I was showering, I was running the plan through my head.  So cold and unemotional.  I was in another world.  An unfeeling world.

I had my Dido cd playing in my bedroom.  As I got out of the shower, I just happened to catch the words of the song playing-

I just want to be safe in my own skin, I just want to be happy again

It was like something snapped awake in me.  I immediately started crying and shaking as I realized what I was about to do.  I prayed and got online to look for help.  I ended up finding a suicide hotline and started the process of changing my life.

I am incredibly grateful that I was saved that night.  I could have easily moved forward with my plan.  I don’t understand it now, but it was very real then.  I was not in my right mind.  I would never let myself get that point today.  And I know that my loved ones would get me help before it came to that again.

Hearing of others suicide and the outrage and wonder from others is always very sad to me.  I’m glad that it’s something you can’t understand, but I know there are MANY of us out there that can.  I pray that we will start to lift each others up who are suffering.