May 3, 2012  •  In Depression, Personal

At a Crossroads

My “big announcement” isn’t so much of an announcement as it is an update for those who read this and genuinely care about what has been going on in my life and what caused, and will continue to contribute to my absence from this blog.

My depression has returned. I am back on therapy and meds.

I am not entirely sure what caused my black hole of despair to return. Sometimes there really is no reason for depression — it is a horrible illness I would not wish on my worst enemy — but I do know that the past couple of years have been particularly rough on me, and the past few months have been some of the most trying on me and my family.

I knew that I needed help when I would start crying whenever I was alone. And because finding ANY alone time is so difficult these days, I would cry the most while in the bathroom. A hot blubbering mess in the shower? A regular occurrence. Sobbing while on the crapper? As pathetic as it sounds, this happened/happens all too often.

I knew that I needed help when I had a sudden urge to smack my child for being fussy. I have NEVER had violent thoughts toward my children before and this scared the crap out of me. I called J at work in tears, and asked him to come home immediately because I didn’t trust myself with the girls.

I knew that I needed help when just the act of getting out of bed became too unbearable to even think about. When I looked forward to each and every day with dread. When I failed to see joy in my children’s smiles. When I wanted SO badly to check myself into a mental institution and the only thing holding me back was knowing that we could not afford it.

I knew that I needed help when I began to have repeated and detailed thoughts of death and suicide and how much better off all my loved ones would be without me.

Both my psychiatrist and psychologist have told me that my getting out of bed, getting dressed and making it to their offices were courageous acts. They tell me that if I were not brave, I would have given in to the disease. I would not be taking care of my kids and trying to support my parents despite the fact that it physically pains me to even just sit up. When it takes all my energy to not be crying ALL the time.

But I certainly do not feel courageous.

And as much as I love my parents, even after all my struggles with depression in the past, they still questioned me when I finally confessed to them my condition: can it be that I’m just being overly dramatic, too pessimistic, too selfish, too irresponsible, and too lazy?

Who knows? Perhaps they are right. I am working hard to find the answer.

 

81 Responses to “At a Crossroads”

  1. Judy:

    I’m just a fellow dedicated follower of your blog, and I think you’re so brave in being honest about issues that are hard for people to admit to themselves, let alone the internet world! Being in the medical field, I see how devastating depression can be. I don’t think your parents are right, please don’t believe that. Unfortunately many people don’t understand that depression is a medical condition, but that just means people like myself have to do better in educating others and increasing their awareness. I believe you can overcome this and glad that you still have a good support system in place!

  2. You should be SO proud of yourself for taking the step and seeking help. You have a great family and support net, I just know that you will tackle this problem and be stronger for it. Sending love and prayers your way ~~~<3

  3. hi jenny,
    i hope you get all the support you need to get through these hard times. you are very courageous to even write about it and i really hope you recover very soon. keep blogging, your honesty is one of the best things about this blog.

  4. Christine:

    Untie I am so proud of you and who you are! Stay strong! I have always looked up to you!!

  5. You are courageous for finding the strength to acknowledge (and talk about) the problem and seeking help! I know J and the girls will help you through this rough time, and you will find relief soon. *major hugs*

  6. Rebecca:

    I care too! I love reading your blog, just wanted to let you know that you bring me joy in my day. Thank you for writing.

  7. Sending you a big hug and positive thoughts! You bring so much joy into your readers’ lives; we are all rooting for you!

  8. Helene:

    jenny you ARE brave! taking care of 2 young kids is an overwhelming job and you’ve been doing it great all along. i know depression will get you to the strangest places but we all can assure you that your loved ones would NOT be better off without you. you’re the one that j, claire and aerin love and treasure most in the world. so you WILL get better and recover, just for them!

  9. Hang in there! May you find the strength to push through!
    Lots of hugs

  10. Michelle:

    Take care Jenny.

  11. Victoria:

    Hi there I’m a regular reader. I think it is very brave to know to seek help when you’re deep in a state like depression. I have and I think a lot of people have or will have gone through a situation similar to this. I’d like to offer you this thought that has helped put me at peace many times before. That is the thought that everything passes, happiness, sadness, joy, etc. Nothing is permanent. I think of it like they’re trying to tell us life is just like one big surfing outing. When a really huge wave comes, you have to ride it out. Brace yourself for the pain and the difficulties and be clever enough to use all the tools within your reach (like you have) until it passes and there are smoother waters. I hope this gives you something.
    Take care, your happiness is just around the corner. Just battle it out for now.

    • Victoria:

      Also, I forgot to mention this. When the waters do clear and it’s a smoother ride the sun will shine and you’ll be able to have those serene moments again. Sip on your lemonade and watch the clouds roll by and just feel at peace. I just thought I’d add that in because I always like to think of my peaceful moment like that and I’d like to share it.

  12. Jenny, I have been behind on my blog reading lately, so I only just saw this. I just wanted to say that you’re a strong woman for being so self-reflective and I will be keeping you in my thoughts. Anything you need at all, please don’t hestitate to give me a shout.

  13. Greg:

    Jenny,

    Sometimes God takes us through dark seasons in our lives. I wish I could tell you why, but I can not. Somehow all things work together for good for those of us who are his children by faith. Don’t worry if there is some unconfessed sin in your life that led to this difficult place. Don’t over-analyze your life trying to figure it all out. Hang on to what you know to be true – the love of God, the love of your husband, the blessings of your family.

    It is true – life can be a train wreck. Most people with the strength to get up in the morning are just ignorant of that fact. Hang on to God, and as much as possible remain under good teaching and in the fellowship of a good church.

    As mentioned above – NAMI is a good resource for mental health information and support. Meds are a hot button topic in the Christian counseling area. I have really, really, really found helpful the articles and books by the people over at ccef.org – the Christian Counseling Education Foundation. Timothy Lane and Paul Tripp are Christian counselors who have written a number of books that I bet you would find very insightful.

    I’m praying that God brings you through this dark valley quickly…

  14. Hang in there, Jenny! I’m glad that you’ve acknowledged what’s going on and taken the right steps to getting yourself healthy!

  15. They are not right. It’s hard for anyone who never experienced depression to understand what it is, how it feels and that we have no control over it, it’s just not about making more efforts.
    I’m sending you best wishes of recovery, I’m glad to read you are getting the help you need. Take care of yourself, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and you’re not alone. xx

  16. Jen:

    I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day! You are a strong mother with beautiful daughters. I hope you feel better soon.

  17. erik:

    as someone who has also suffered (and is still suffering) through major bouts of depression- I feel your pain. May the Lord lift your head and give you peace during this difficult time.

  18. Anna:

    I love you, girl!!!

    It’s been a while since you last posted and I’m getting a tad worried without any news – I hope you’re allright and you’re getting the help and support you need.

    I’m keeping you and your family in my prayers. You’re very brave and I’m sure things will get better soon.

  19. ((HUGS)) for you Jenny. I’m just catching up on my reader. I hope you’re feeling better now.

    As for your parents, I once read somewhere that most Asians (who weren’t born in the U.S.) don’t believe in depression. Instead of saying they are depressed, they will resort to complaining about physical ailments that are a byproduct of their depression. My parents don’t get depression and stress either. They just see it as a product of life and that everyone has stress and unhappiness… it’s not an illness. So don’t worry about what your parents think. Do what’s best for you and your family.

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