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.


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81 Responses to “At a Crossroads”

  1. (((Jenny)))

    Feel better. Take care of yourself. What you’re feeling is very real, and you need to rest and take time to heal, just as you would with any illness.

    I think it’s more difficult for people who are extremely close to you (like your parents) to grasp your depression because they start to think they might be somehow responsible, even though they aren’t.

  2. Elle says:

    I admire your courage in sharing your struggle. Good luck to you and your family on your journey to wellness. You’re in my prayers *Hugs*

  3. I’ve been thinking about you, and just want to say I’m glad you’re taking care of yourself. I know of others who have been through similar situations and taken much longer to ask for/seek the help that they needed. Taking care of yourself is never a bad thing, and we’re all here for you.

  4. Susan L says:

    You are very loved Jenny.. I’m sorry for the pain you’re going through 🙁 Prayers for you and your lovely family. <3

  5. Di says:

    Good job recognizing what was happening and getting help. Don’t know if you read The Bloggess, but I loved her recent post “Depression Lies.”

  6. Jean says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that you’re suffering from depression on top of having back problems. I’ve also dealt with depression and have been on meds and in therapy for years. It’s a really really tough condition.

    It’s great that you’re getting treatment and have a network of support from your husband and family. The most important thing is not to see anything about having depression as a weakness. It is a true illness. Also, I completely agree with your docs in that it is very courageous to speak up and receive help. You are wonderful and you are great!

    You will be in my thoughts and I hope that things start improving for you soon!

  7. Carol says:

    As Oswald Chambers said, we’re made for valleys rather than victorious moments on the mountain top. While you’re walking through this dark valley, I hope you find peace and rest in simply being broken before God. You’re an amazing mother and a beacon of wit and candor on the Internets. Thanks for keeping it real as always.

  8. cindy says:

    It’s so strong of you to seek help and share this in such a sincere way with all of us.
    Wish you all the best and hope you will be able to feel better with the support of your family, friends and psych. help. Stay strong and keep on fighting!

  9. janie says:

    Wow, Jenny, I’m so sorry to hear you’re going through this. This might not be the best time to say something like this, but I truly admire your courage for airing this out on the web in such a public forum. I hope you feel strengthened by the number of encouraging commenters who have obviously beaten me to the punch. Take all the time you need to heal and do whatever you need to take care of yourself. It’s the only way you can then begin to think about taking care of a husband and family. Hang in there! We’re all behind you!

  10. Carly says:

    <3 you Jenny! I'm so sorry to read about your recent depression. I am glad to hear you are getting the help you need and deserve. You are such a caring, generous, and YES, courageous person. Your family is so lucky to have you in their lives.

    Take care of yourself, and feel better. Big hugs. xo

  11. Marisa says:

    Oh, Jenny… good for you. Somehow “brave” never felt right for me, either, when I finally asked for help. The act of asking for help never feels brave, does it? It is, of course, but it doesn’t feel that way.

    Perhaps strong or committed or dedicated or smart will feel more accurate to you; each word is true.

    Hugs to you, my friend, and kudos for being honest about where you are. In the end, our children don’t care WHY we have found a way to bring back joy, they only care that we have. Everything else doesn’t matter after that.

  12. Annie says:

    Jenny, you ARE brave. The very fact that you sought help shows it. Sometimes we get sick, physically or mentally and we need a doctor’s help to get better. You WILL get better! You are one of the most amazing mothers I know and your love for your children is absolutely amazing to see.

    I am proud of you, for seeking the help you need, for sharing such a personal struggle and for being here for me despite what you’re going through.

    I love you very much and support you in any way you need me.

  13. Hugs! I’m glad you had the courage to seek help and to also share with us. We’re here for you!

  14. Sandy says:

    I can’t imagine having the amount of courage that you have shown, just in publishing this post alone. It’s really great to see a mother out there admitting that it’s not all roses and butterflies all the time. That there are trying days, and that we can’t do it alone, I know that you’ve got a great support system (even if at first theyre having a hard time grasping the concept) both there IRL and here on your blog.

    Sending you hugs and lots of prayers…

  15. kim says:

    I can only add to what everyone else has said, “you are very brave”! I have lived with depression for a good deal of my life. I can only imagine how you feel. Remember your blessings, your family, and keep fighting! As a divorced mom to four, my children keep me going at my worst moments. I will pray for you Jenny. I believe you will be okay. Hugs aplenty!!!!!

  16. bonnie says:

    It took a tremendous amount of courage to share that here. I struggled a bit with depression in the past, and I can still only imagine the pain you must be going through. You’ll be in my prayers.

  17. wow, thank you for sharing. depression is real and it’s scary. i lost my dad to suicide recently. until that happened i assumed he was selfish, dramatic, and lazy- all the things you listed. having never been truly depressed (besides the baby blues for a few months) and always having a happy disposition, it was hard to imagine my dad’s perspective and despair. now i know it’s a horrible disease that took him. you are wise and courageous for seeking help right away. it’s good to hear a Christian speak openly about this struggle. may He grant you relief from your deep sorrow quickly. sorry so wordy and personal- i don’t know you personally, but i love your blog and always look forward to your posts. i’m rooting for you.

  18. Rachael says:

    Oh, Jenny, I’m so sorry. I have struggled with depression for many years. Mine is more generalized and related also to my anxiety and not as crippling as yours. I have never imagined self-harm. But I know how hard it is to get that help, and how it can feel like failing or having something wrong with you. Nothing is wrong with you. You have an illness, and there is help for you. I know that your parents love you very much, but please do not let talk of this being something you are DOING wrong get to you. You are NOT too lazy, selfish or dramatic. You are just part of a large number of people who sometimes needs help to get back to being your normal self again. I know it hurts. Just thinking about how much pain you’re in brings tears to my eyes. I will be thinking about you and praying for you to feel better again. (Hugs)

  19. Mandy says:

    Thinking of you. You may not feel brave, but you’re doing the right thing. I hope that the treatment you’re seeking helps you and your family heal.

  20. Grace says:

    Oh I am so sorry to read about your problems. I have struggled with depression myself, and it’s really terrible (I would take being in horrible physical pain any time).

    The good news is that it will get better. It’s so hard to remember that when you’re in the midst of a depressive episode, but it’s true. You are doing the right thing (as everyone else has said) and hopefully your positive steps will make your sorrow lift sooner rather than later. In any case, just keep reminding yourself that this is only temporary, and someday (very soon, hopefully!) you will be back to your old self.

    As you probably know, physical pain can cause depression (and then depression will make the pain worse, it’s a vicious cycle), so please keep treating your back problems as well!

    And I do want to tell you that the psychiatrist, psychologist and everyone on this thread are right, that you ARE being very brave. It’s so difficult to face the fact that you need help, but it is truly the very best thing you could possibly do, not only for yourself, but for your family. By watching you learn to cope with your feelings successfully, your daughters will learn coping skills too, and be able to deal far more successfully with any emotional challenges in the future. By being brave and getting better, you are showing them how to do the same, when they need to (hopefully never, but life is difficult for even the lucky). You are being a good mother.

  21. Sarah says:

    Oh Jenny, so sorry that you are in pain. You ARE brave to get help and with it you will kick depression’s ass!! Hug. xoxoxo

  22. I’m not sure what to say, but I want you to know that I care. I’m so sorry that you’re in so much pain.

  23. Austyn says:

    You ARE brave! I’m so thankful that you’ve taken the steps you need to take care of yourself and your family. I’ll be praying that you feel better sooner rather than later. In the meantime, just know that an internet stranger really enjoys reading your blog and has come to care about you and your family (hope that’s not creepy). Wishing you all the best!

  24. Jackie says:

    Of course I wish there were words to say that would make you feel better. But know that when it’s hard to find hope yourself there are others that will hope for you.

  25. jh says:

    I stumbled on your blog from a blog from another blog and had to comment on this – it really stung me and made me remember what depression is like. You described it so perfectly as a black hole of despair. I do hope you come out of the black hole soon, you’ll be in my thoughts and prayers!

    • marge says:

      Same here. Hang in there. Try not to let your parents’ denial get you down. They, like many, have demons of their own they cannot acknowledge.

  26. Anna says:

    Loooots of hugs and love and prayers and respect to you!!!

    I’m struggling with depression myself and my parents doubt me too (and my mother is a doctor!) – not fun.

    Thank you SOOOO much for sharing your experiences. I’m wondering how things will be like when I have kids – as always, the scariest is the unknown, so posts like this are priceless to me.

    Hang in there, you’re very very brave, and I hope you’ll feel better soon! 😉

  27. pooiee says:

    Sending tons of hugs and love from Malaysia!
    Be strong and have faith.
    You will be in my thoughts and prayers!

  28. Kate says:

    I care! I am sending thoughts and prayers your way. You are doing the right thing by getting help.

  29. thinking of you and hoping you find relief soon.

  30. Diana says:

    I have been reading you for a year already and I admire how honest you are on your blog posts. I just wanted to say I care about you and will be having you in my prayers. Hugs

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