I can't possibly be depressed!
It has been over a month since my last blog post. I typically don't just drop off the face of the blog like that. However, there were a few things that I was struggling with that I needed to take the time to address. It was imperative that I take some time to take care of me.
I know that I talk about taking care of yourself quite often in this blog. Because, YES – it is very important. And normally that means taking a couple hours for yourself. Being able to give yourself the care and time that it needs for you to feel a balance in your life.
I typically would be sure to take the time to do the things I knew I needed to do in order to care for myself. However, lately I had been noticing that many of those things no longer interested me. Things that I truly enjoy doing – painting, drawing, singing, playing with the kids… none of them seemed appealing to me.
At first I didn't really notice that it happened. At first I was just noticing that I was more scattered than normal. I couldn't focus on anything for very long. I would jump from one thing to another, never really completing anything. I figured that I must have some seriously bad shiny object syndrome… SQUIRREL!
It creeped up on me slowly, a change so minor in the beginning that I didn't really notice it. A forgotten item here, a missed deadline there, putting off various things because I simply had no desire to focus on them. Pretty soon all those little things added up before I knew it.
‘Maybe I have Adult ADD or something'… I mean I can't focus on anything for longer and a few minutes. I can't get any projects completed. Maybe that was what was going on with me. So I went to the local mental health facility to discuss my thoughts with them and see if maybe getting on medication would help my ADD.
After talking with the therapist they suggested that maybe what I was dealing with was depression and not ADD.
Pffft! No way, I'm not depressed! I'm not sad, not crying all the time, I don't feel suicidal… I mean that's what being depressed is right? So just give me the stuff for ADD, that's gotta be what it is because I KNOW I am not depressed.
I'm a happy person dammit!
So I got the ADD meds. I tried them. They kind of helped me focus, but not really. I found myself forgetting to take the pills and really it didn't seem to make enough of a difference that I needed them. I never even got the prescription refilled – hell I never even finished the bottle.
So if it isn't ADD then maybe I just need to get my ass in gear and be more mentally tough. I mean I have pulled myself up by my bootstraps before, I can do it again!
Not that easy Heather.
I went back to life as usual thinking I could just tough it out, that whatever was wrong with me would get better on it's own. I mean all my life I have been able to get over shit and just move on. It's worked before and it will work now!
I was drowning and couldn't stop myself...
After a few months of deluding myself into believing that I could just ‘get over it' I stopped and took a hard look at myself and what was going on.
I had allowed whatever this was to take such a hold on me that every part of my life was suffering from it.
- I lost several clients and had 3 months with absolutely no income coming in
- I was 3 months behind on the rent and all the other bills
- I had stopped paying attention to my home and was doing only what was absolutely necessary to take care of my family
- I had stopped caring about myself, how I looked, how I felt – there were times I didn't shower for days and didn't really think anything of it
- I was snapping at the kids on a regular basis about the stupidest things
I was drowning and I couldn't stop myself.
The crazy thing about it though was that I KNEW what needed to be done. I KNEW I needed to work on my business, I KNEW I needed to work on my house and my family… but I simply couldn't make myself do it. I had never experienced anything like it before.
All my life I have known what needed to be done and I just did it – but I couldn't make myself do that now. It was like I was driving a car toward a wall. I knew I was going to hit the wall. I knew that if I didn't want to crash into that wall I needed to turn. But I Just. Couldn't. Turn.
And I didn't know why – or I didn't want to admit to myself why.
So I went back to the mental health center. I talked with a new therapist and explained everything that I had been going through, everything that I was experiencing. My frustration with it all. Guess what she told me…
You are definitely struggling with some aspects of depression.
Deep breath. It's ok Heather. You can admit that you are struggling, it's ok….
It took the entire session for me to be able to finally understand and admit to myself that I was in fact dealing with depression. Not the I want to cry all the time feel like everything is hopeless depression. No this was different – but still depression.
I think that was the hardest thing for me to ever admit. That I was struggling with something that I couldn't overcome without help. I have always hated asking for help. I don't like having to admit that I can't do something on my own. I told this to the therapist and she looked at me with this knowing smile and nodded.
“That is likely why you are now struggling with this depression. Your mind and your body are tired. You have been doing it all on your own for so long there are parts of you that you have been neglecting.”
Hmmmm… that rings true somewhere inside of me. The somewhere that I push down in order to be the responsible parent. The part of me that wants to rebel and stop adulting. The part of me that was ignored for so long that NOW it will no longer be silent. It's no longer just about taking a few minutes for myself, it's about an entire part of who I am being neglected. And that part is now scaling a full on mutiny!
So what's next? Well for starters I have started taking medication to help with the depression. Nothing too major, low dosage only once per day. But I have to say I have noticed a MAJOR improvement since I started taking it. My focus is back, I am interested in the things I love again and I am motivated again FINALLY. Things are starting to turn back around – look Ma' I'm blogging again!
I am also seeing my therapist regularly. That phrase would have made me cringe not too long ago. Not because I have anything against therapy, it's a wonderful thing that helps so many people. I just didn't want to be the one having to ask for help. (My neurosis runs DEEP!)
Things are better and I am really glad that I finally sucked it up and admitted that I needed help and then had the courage to go get it.