My Experience With Depression
I never thought that I would experience depression.
How does one go from being a joyful and happy individual, to a person who is now experiencing some level of depression?. This was a question I would ask myself every single day when it happened to me. I would spend hours in the bathroom just staring in the mirror trying to figure out how I got here. How did I fall into a state of depression?. I didn't know what it meant to experience depression, had no idea what the symptoms were or how it could effect me in my every day life.
Still to this day looking back on it, I don't I ever fully accepted the fact that I did indeed experience some form of depression. During this time where I was depressed, I found out that my depression was better known as, Atypical Depression. This form of depression is a sub-type of major depression, in which you experience specific symptoms that are associated with it. As my doctor would read me the list of symptoms that went with this particular type of depression, I was experiencing every single one of them. This was something I didn't want to hear or come to terms with. I could not accept that fact I was experiencing depression because like I said, I had that mindset 'these type things don't happen to me.' From that day on I would learn that this would be a big wake up call for me.
Around the time I found out I was experience some type of depression I had just had my youngest son. I got so nervous because initial thought was "oh my gosh, they're gonna tell me I have Post-Partum Depression." That was definitely the absolute last thing I wanted to hear in that moment. I was a little relive to hear that it was not post-partum, but not over the moon because in the end I still was diagnosed with depression. Depression was something I had never experienced. I would always just assume that I was just being moody from lack of sleep or something along those lines.
I remember thinking to myself "maybe this is just a dream, I'll wake up and feel normal again." Despite all the sleep I could manage to get, I didn't feel normal at all. I felt like a stranger to myself.
I became depressed the same time I lost myself.
If I had to narrow it down to the exact moment I fell into this state of depression, I would say it 100% happened during the time of a very toxic relationship. There was nothing good about this relationship anymore. I spent 6 years of my life with this person. During that time, a lot of things happened from cheating to physical abuse. It was so much negativity in that relationship, I lost the person I had molded myself into. My identity was gone. I had became this being who allowed this person to abuse me mentally, physically and emotionally. I just didn't know longer knew who I was anymore.
With all of the abuse I was enduring, and the stress from raising three kids under the age of five, I think that was when the depression arrived. I remember realizing that I was not my normal self. I had little to no appetite almost everyday. My reaction to certain things around me would either be way over top, to me not reacting to anything at all. I literally felt like a stranger in my own body. My thoughts were constantly all over the place. It became harder for me to focus on things and to get anything done around my house. I literally could not function, and I just didn't care.
With me losing myself, I felt like I was going through the 'trying to fit in stage' of life. It's like when you're the new kid in school trying to find where you fit in, and you have those few who call themselves your 'friends', but then some of them stab you in the back.That's how I saw my depression. It was never my friend from the start, but I didn't care I still allowed it to hang around. I was supposed to be talking to a therapist to help me get through my depression, and I wasn't. Anyone who knows me, knows that I hate talking about my emotions or anything that is going on in my life. I didn't want to talk at all and I definitely did not want anyone to know about the abuse.
I felt like I deserved what I was going through with my depression. This depression was my fault because of everything I was allowing to happen to me in the time leading up to it. That was what I told myself every day for two years straight. In my mind, there wasn't anyone that could tell me otherwise. And if they did, I would just say "you're lying. You're lying to make me feel better." In that moment, I didn't want help because I couldn't bring myself to trust the help. The last person I trusted, was now the same person who was abusive. I needed to find a way to deal with my depression on my own.
That night in the bathroom I knew depression had taken over.
During my battle to overcome my depression, two things happened. One, I started drinking very heavily and two, I turned my depression into an alter-ego for myself. I never named my depression just always referred to it as 'Her'. Since I was didn't want to agree to talk to someone or taking any medication, I wanted to get over my depression in my own way. I saw my depression as a battle with another version of myself that I wanted out of my body.
My first encounter with Her is one I will never forget. I was in the bathroom in the bathtub just soaking, trying to relax and have some me time. I remember having no emotion, and I was just staring into blank space when I jumped out the tub out of no where. I walked to my kitchen grabbed a whole bottle of wine, returned to the bathroom and locked the door. I sat back down in the tub and just downed the entire bottle. My depression was in the tub with me that day. She would giggle, smile and just so carefree. She looked happy. I wanted to feel the way she looked. So I went got another bottle of wine, drank that one until I was smiling and so carefree. The night in the bathroom, I knew depression had took over me. I lost track of so much time, I didn't even notice the water was cold. I felt so lifeless, I felt my depression consuming me.
Here I was in this tub full of cold water losing this battle with my depression. I was so far away from the finish line, that I lost all hope of overcoming my depression. I couldn't care much for anything, because my emotions were just gone. They were gone. I kept thinking and thinking "how can I win this battle?", because any plan I came up with would be thrown out of a window. I had needed a way out, from this depression and more importantly from this abusive relationship I was in.
Finding my way out of depression
In the months to come, my way out of the relationship finally started to happened, but I still had depression. I wanted to believe that when this relationship ended, then the depression would go away too. But the depression was already way to deep to go away that easily. I remember looking into a mirror one morning and saying to myself "you have to defeat this and you have to find yourself again." I knew I could find myself again until I learned to love myself again.
I hated myself so much and for so long, because I had allowed someone to do so much damage to my character. I knew it would take sometime for me to love myself again, and I started by forgiving the person who had put me through so much abuse. Once I forgave him, I was able to forgive myself and slowly start loving me again. As I started to love myself again, I saw my depression start to disappear little by little. I knew that my depression was my biggest weakness at this time, so I had to do my very best to not let it control me during this time of overcoming it.
I spent two years just soaking in my depression, it was time for me to find myself again and enjoy life. I wanted to laugh, smile, have fun with friends and family again. I felt like it was time for me to regain control of myself, I put the bottles down and that's when I begin to rebuild myself. I focused on the things around me that I knew for a fact would make me happy. I had my beautiful kids who are my everything, and every second I spent with them helped me get out of this terrible place I was. I also started working again, which ended up being the best decision I could've me in this progress I was making.
It took a while for me to get completely out of my depression. When I went back to work, I was able to find someone I could talk too and cry in front of without feeling like I'm just being told what I just want to hear. I had found a friend ho was not afraid of accepting my denial until I felt I could trust him. My friend knew what I was going through, he had experienced it himself. He told me "I know this is hard, but you have to be willing to let someone in to help." That's what I did, I let him in and it helped me so much. I never knew how big of a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders until I started talking to someone. It helped me express my emotions, and let go of all the pain I had built up from being depressed.
My depression had finally left me alone. I felt alive again. The negative side of my personality was no longer attached to me. I wasn't walking around feeling lifeless or empty, I had found myself again. I never knew just how much of a drastic change depression could make on your life, until I experienced it for myself. I look back on it now just wishing I could tell myself, "go talk to someone. Go talk to someone, be vulnerable, and lay everything out on the table, because it's gonna help." I learned that holding it in was never that way to deal with it. Everyone doesn't get out of their depression, there are some who don't even know they have access to the help. I had access to the help and turned it down. I made the decision to say no to help, and it just made everything worst for me.
So my advice to anyone who has ever experience, or is currently experiencing depression would be get the help you can. Talk to friends, family, a therapist, or whoever you can talk to. You are not alone. There is always someone willing to help, and be there for you every step of the way. No one is invincible, no one is untouchable when it comes to depression.