Happiness comes in all shapes and milligrams: Love was my antidepressant
"Happiness comes in all shapes and milligrams: Love was my antidepressant"
Depression is hopelessness, infinite sadness, dread of waking up in the morning, loss of interest in everything that once brought you joy. We all know that if you have ever read anything about depression, but what if those feelings are to motivate us to get up and change our lives, to do something better, a more purpose filled life? I have battled depression all of my adult life, however there was always a cause. I was unhappy with myself, unhappy with the things I was doing in life, heartbroken, abandoned and even chronic boredom has lead to depression for me. Depression is a vicious cycle. The sadder I got about my circumstances, the less motivation I had to change it, then sadder, even less motivation, then BAM just like that full on deep depression. When I let it get to that point I had to turn to medication I THOUGHT. Just salvation from the sadness and doom. The disappointment that I woke up alive and had to face the day. Yes that's depression, but not low serotonin. I did this to myself. I decided to be the victim of my own downfall by not being strong enough to GET UP and survive and thrive. I was falling victim to my own short comings instead of saying "NO I will not let this take me down". I could have prevented my deep depression episodes every single time but I didn't. Instead I put on the mask of Zoloft, the mask that makes being an unproductive, lazy, self loathing human seem ok. The mask that destroys our values, morals, goals, and our vision of how life should be. Zoloft didn't FIX anything. Zoloft made me not sad, that's it. It merely made me satisfied with being an underachiever, a sleep all day, do nothing person. For example, before Zoloft I felt bad for sleeping all day, I would wake up at 2:00 P.M and say "I am sleeping my life away, something has to change, I have to fix this." Although I completely lacked the motivation to change anything. After Zoloft I started sleeping even later in the day and wake up and it didn't bother me anymore that I was sleeping my life away. It didn't make me fix the problem. In fact it made it worse because it made me not care at all about my lack of productiveness. The conniving mask of Zoloft, and any other antidepressant for that matter because I've tried them all. Sadness gone. Motivation, still lost. So this is the revelation I came to, the moment of truth for me. You must must must fix the root of the depression or it will never get better, Zoloft just fools you into thinking you are better. Yes it helps you cope with the worst of it, once it hits that dreaded downward spiral into what seems like a living hell, but does not motivate you into changing what sent you down in the first place.
When I was a young teenager my mother took off, moved out of state with a man she met on the internet and never looked back. I stayed with my dad. I love my dad, but when my mom left us he wasn't always there. Physically and financially yes, emotionally he was dealing with her leaving in his own way. He wasn't home a lot, and quite honestly i'm not sure if he was equipped to handle an out-of-control, angry, resentful teenager like me anyway. He worked a lot, he stayed gone a lot, and I was COMPLETELY ALONE a lot. I never really had close friends or made friends easily. I always felt like an outsider, I felt like there was something wrong with me. I wasn't like everyone else. I was so sensitive, I got hurt so easily, took things way too hard. So you can only imagine that this young teenage girl who was alone in the world, who at one time was so close to her mother, the girl who, throughout her whole life, before this vicious slap from reality set in, reacted to being alone. ALL ALONE. I wanted someone to love me. Apart from my grandparents and my dad. They had to love me, and even though they never left and I appreciated all the love they had to give me, it wasn't enough to cure the void inside of me. I had severe abandonment issues, in fact I still do. I was terrified of being left by someone I love, I had a huge fear of rejection, and worst of all the worst case of low self esteem I think I have ever seen. I was on a hunt, a mission, for someone, anyone, to love me. I would do anything for attention, approval, and love. Then I discovered boys, AND that's when my life changed. NOT in a good way. I jumped from guy to guy, if one left I would just go find another one immediately. Being alone was NOT an option for me. I didn't have any standards or self respect. It was whoever gave me attention, and i didn't care what I had to do to get it. I would fall fast and hard. I was clingy, jealous, and completely terrified that at any moment they would leave me. Understandable when your mother, who was once your whole world, leaves you. If my own mother could leave me then anyone could, and always did. Being the extremely controlling and jealous girlfriend, I pushed them away every time. I knew it would, but my fear which turned into jealousy, that eventually turned into rage was beyond my control. I never understood why I was the way I was. I never even put two and two together. In fact I am 32 now and I just realized a few months ago the reason for all of this was because my mother left. It was so freeing to finally understand myself, but I was in for a downward spiral after that. Overthinking, over analyzing every past mistake I made. Wondering if it would have made a difference if i could go back and tell 14 year old me that I needed to be strong alone and learn to love myself instead of having sex with anyone who showed me a tiny bit of attention. I'm sure I wouldn't have listened anyway.
I had every classic symptom of someone suffering with EXTREME abandonment issues. A couple of spot on symptoms were being addicted to the newness of a relationship, and once it got old and I got bored, I was unhappy, and wanted to flee. I felt trapped when the relationship got to that point. Well this was definitely not a good thing for me to feel because I had just gotten married to my husband. I didn't want to leave him, but I felt the urge to get out, leave, abandon ship, keyword ABANDON, which is the other classic symptom of a person suffering from abandonment issues, to do just what caused them all their pain, abandon someone they love. And that's exactly what I did in a sense. We never moved out of the home. We stayed in the same home, but apart. No connection at all. It's what I wanted. He was totally against it, but supported me in any decision I was going to make. He is not the type of person to flee, he will walk through hell to fix what is broken, not throw it away like I have always done when I get bored with something. I pulled the classic "It's me not you" cliche'. Only it was the truth. His words, this sweet, simple minded man who loves me more than anyone else in this world ever has, spoke the most meaningful words I will ever hear in my life, "Do you think you feel this way because your mom left you?" Wow, out of all the psychologists, and therapists I've seen even they couldn't pinpoint this. I guess it took someone who truly loved me and someone who was desperate to find any way to help me fix me, he doesn't know how much he has saved me from my classic self destruction. I think I was actually speechless when he spoke those words because for 18 years now I have been dealing with these issues and me nor anyone else knew why, and it took this simple minded man to bring me to the biggest revelation of my life, because just like with anything else, you can't fix the problem if you don't know what's causing it. This was about to be the beginning of a major healing process, but it got dark, really dark, before it got better.
I already had my mind set on leaving, and was already on a downward spiral of depression before this revelation. I started researching everything I could find on abandonment issues. I had every single one listed. So, now that I understand the issue, time to work on the cure. It was a hard journey, but I was more determined to do this more than I have ever been with anything else in my life. I had spent so much of my life leaving people and hurting people I love, so much of my life being scared that people would leave me, sounds like a contradiction that I fear people will leave me but i'm also guilty of this myself. To better explain, if i felt comfortable, like the person truly loved me and only me, and there was no suspense of "Is he going to leave me today?", then I got bored in the relationship. It's typical of people with abandonment issues to crave the feeling of not knowing when that person is going to walk out on you, or to crave the pain of being left. Even though it hurts so badly when they do leave. It hurts so bad it sends you into a deep depression. You still crave it. You crave the uncertainty. This was not good for my husband. He has made me feel like I was the only woman in the world. He would do anything for me. I know he would never leave me. He has made me comfortable and gave me a sense of security, and it had made me bored. Remember boredom in abandonment issues equals flee. In the past anyone who I thought would leave me at any moment made me want them even more. To chase the unobtainable, to hold onto the ones who can't be held on to. I knew I had to fix things FAST. I love my husband. I never stopped loving him, even when I wanted to flee, but I was no longer IN love with him. He is the kindest most loving man I have ever met, and the only man who has ever treated me right. How could I let him go because of what my mother did to me?
The recovery process for me wasn't easy. I needed to recreate the original abandonment. Even though my husband didn't abandon me, us not being together and him going and hanging out with friends a lot, me not knowing where he was or what he was doing, made me feel so alone. It was my request for him to do this. I told him to go out, to not tell me where he was or what he was doing. For the first time since I was 14 years old I was "single". No one to comfort me. No one to have sex with to cure the pain of being alone. This is what I wanted and needed. This was my recovery process. If I wasn't able to go back and change my past then the next best thing was to finally spend time alone and heal, get to know myself. LOVE myself, and most importantly fix it the right way. I slowly was falling deeper into depression, this is when things got dark. It's not easy living with someone and not knowing if you are going to give up on them, or be able to fix yourself in time. I knew he wasn't going to wait forever so I had to do this fast, because it was hurting him too. Not knowing if I was going to leave him forever, or magically get better. The clock was ticking and I was so anxious. I wanted it to be fixed immediately, but this was going to be a slow process if I wanted to fix it. For two months I cried because I was alone. I fought back the urge to call him and tell him to leave his friends house and come home to comfort me. I cried so much those two months and I don't even know why I was crying most of the time. I never liked being alone. I have always been emotionally dependent on someone to fix my sadness. NOT THIS TIME. This time I was going to be there for me. Even though I had hit the deepest, darkest depression I have ever experienced in my life, I stuck to my goal. I now realize the saying " It's gunna get worse before it gets better" is the truest thing I've ever heard.
Still separated at this point, still battling deep depression, I still haven't had sex with my husband, or even kissed him in about two months. After handing my husband my pistol and putting a lock on it because I didn't know how much worse it was going to get for me. I was scared I would kill myself. It was a very real possibility. I couldn't take it anymore. I had to go to the doctor. I had to get antidepressants. I had to get the emotional mask. I have always hated antidepressants. They don't fix me, they only cover up the issues. They make you happy, but it's a fake happy. A medicated happy. Not a genuine fulfillment in life type happy. A fake. An impostor. My serotonin was not low. This was not a chemical deficiency depression. It never has been. My depression has always been triggered by something in life that's making me unhappy. So is that really fixing the problem? Absolutely not. The Zoloft had not started working yet. Or maybe it had but I still wasn't truly happy. I was set on leaving my husband. I didn't feel fulfilled anymore. I needed more. More passion, just more of everything and things get so stale. Things that were once shiny get dulled over time. Just when I thought it was almost over, I decided to give it one last shot because I was not ready to give up on this man who would never give up on me. After two months of no physical contact and no I love you's, I kissed him. Within one second, one quick tiny little second, instantly, I wasn't depressed anymore. I instantly fell back in love with my husband. I fell in love with him deeper than I did the first time. I remembered why I fell in love with him in the first place. I was happy. Genuinely happy, not medicated happy. I stopped taking Zoloft and I am not depressed. I haven't even started to fall back into depression. I now understand and have overcome my abandonment issues. I stopped obsessing about how my mom could leave her own daughter, because I know the issue never was that I wasn't good enough. The issue was within herself. It was her battle with her own mental illness. She was not capable of loving me and it was NOT my fault. I stopped treating myself as a victim and I healed myself, by myself. I am so proud for sticking to what I set out to accomplish even though it was the darkest hell I have ever went through. I'm stronger for it. The hardest walk is walking alone, but it makes you that much stronger. Best of all I don't feel the need to up and walk away every time times get hard or I get bored. I know now it was just the abandonment issues consuming me. I was saved by love. Self love, and the unconditional love of my husband. Zoloft could never compare to that.
© 2016 Natalie R