Living with Depression ~ One Day at a Time

If there is one thing that living with depression has taught me it is to try and make the best of any situation.

It was easy to let it consume me everyday, and for a long time it did.
I’ve experienced dark times which could have taken over completely and left 2 little boys without a mummy.

I’ve doubted my abilities as a mother, partner, and as a person worthwhile of existing.

For far to long the thought of waking up to another day filled me with dread, the abrupt mood changes from anger to despair to indifference was as terrifying, I had no control and was at it mercy.

Leaving the house wasn’t an option, any kind of crowd kicked of a paralysing panic attack which would leave me unable to move my hands and arms barely able to breath on a good day and curled up on the floor in a cold sweat on a bad. 

Having to try and explain my thoughts to strangers who wanted to pigeonhole me into some category of mental health issues was impossible when I couldn’t even make sense of them myself.

Watching from the side-lines as my children grew from babies into toddlers and not feeling involved or responsible made me wonder if they would be better off with someone else who would be a better mother.

Remembering the person I was before depression took over only made it worse, nothing could make me smile, laughing was a distant memory and finding motivation for anything was impossible, I was a hollow shadow of my former self.

Trying to explain to family and friends that I couldn’t snap out if it and that just because I wasn’t crying at that moment didn’t mean I was all better was as impossible as it was frustrating. I wanted nothing more than to wake up and have this whole dark episode of my life behind me, but there was / is no quick and easy escape.

bunting
I don’t know what happened to make things look brighter.


There was no grand gesture, no epiphany, I didn’t awake one morning feeling lighter about life.

At first I didn’t even notice a difference.

I remember one day I laughed.

Like I hadn’t laughed for almost 2 years.

Tears streamed down my face.

I did the whole clapping like a demented seal.

I don’t even remember what it was now, I just remember thinking

‘Damn, that felt good’

As though a valve had been opened and the pressure was released.

It wasn’t a miracle instant recovery.

But is was a turning point.

Gradually the dark days would be interspersed with a glimmer of hope.

A smile at something said or done.

Waking up everyday would no longer fill me with dread.

The endless tears began drying up.

Anger diminished.

Sleep came easier than it had for months.

Life had a purpose again.

bunting

I began to feel like a person, a mother and a partner again.

I still have days which leave me exhausted by the emotional rollercoaster depression takes you on.

I still wake up scared of the day ahead.

I still cry for reasons I can’t explain.

I still have thoughts that I have somehow harmed my children who witnessed my downward spiral.

I still wonder if I was ever meant to be a mother.

I wonder when or if the label mental health issue will no longer apply to me.

I look forward to the day when going in to busy stores, going on a train journey or meeting new people no longer scare me and is as easy as it used to be.

I’m hoping for a day when I no longer recognise its a good day, because good days are the norm.

I’m looking forward with trepidation to a day when I no longer rely on drugs to make me balanced.

Seeing how far I have come, has given me an appreciation for just how valuable the friends and family who have stuck by me are, its all to easy to walk away from what you don’t understand.

 I’m grateful everyday to those who never gave up on me.
Even when I did.

bunting

I’ve been given a chance to see the world around me in a new light, it isn’t perfect, things can still bring me down, but I know now what and who I can cling to when I need help staying up.

I missed too much of children’s first few years, I will never get that time back, but it makes me appreciate all the more the little things they do now.

Spencer could have walked away many times, but he never did, he stuck by me and lifted me up when I felt I could no longer go forward.


He’s been my biggest and loudest supporter, telling me when I was making progress even when I couldn't see it.

I’ve re-evaluated what and who is important in my life, I don’t need to fill it with unnecessary people or things which would bring me down, they have taken as much of my life as I will allow.

From now on its about surrounding myself with only the good, with joy and hope for a less bumpy road ahead.

Depression, whatever its cause is an illness just like any other. 


Those who live with it {including partners} need understanding, patience and support not judgement or criticism. It can get better but is so hard to do when you feel all alone and misunderstood.

bunting

This has gone on much longer than I anticipated {both the post and depression}




Comments

  1. (((Hugs))) I applaud you for opening up and sharing what has been going on. I have close family members that have been battling depression for quite some time, and I have seen many of the things that you have posted. It is hard and heartbreaking for all involved. I am so happy that things are looking up for you, and I hope they will continue to do so.

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  2. Amanda, this is so eloquent and well written that anything I say would just sound crass and stupid and inarticulate. Thank you for bearing you soul. It brought tears to my eyes actually. Long may you continue making progress. xx

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  3. Take care, Amanda, wishing you many bright and happy days. I salute you for talking about this, it's something that most people try to hide but the more open people are, the more it becomes acceptable, and the norm.
    xox

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  4. You take care of yourself, Amanda. I'm glad that you have gotten better and I pray that you will continue to get better each day. Sending you {{big hugs}}.

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  5. Just landed here when trying to fns your umbrella piece, fate maybe! Anyway I so identify and have experienced depression off and on for years. Someone once said to me , that having kids must have sorted it and given me a reason to live......no, I never found that, it's not like that. Thankfully it's an infrequent visitor now. I've written a little about it here.http://www.mairistones.co.uk/category/explore-posts/mecfs/inner-critic-depression/

    I wish you well, and many more days filled with tears of laughter.

    Now to find the umbrella! X

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  6. I am impressed by your strenght to write about it! And it is great that you find your way out of it. Please never forget that depression is an illness, it is an imbalance in the biochemistry of your brain and once unbalanced it turns into a negative feedback loop (which enhances itself really badly). I know what I am talking about and even having studied biology with a main topic in neurobiology and cmoning from a pdyhcologist family, even I tend to forget this single fact. I would still suggest you to get some help (but be sure it is from a good therapeut, which was suggested to you and which has really all the proper education and not some "learning by doing". Even if there are good outside, most of them make it even worse... and even with the training one needs to find a person which suits oneself). I suggest that because there is always a reason why the balance in the brain shifted and to find out what happened gives one a help to prevent falling down. There may be a lot of reasons most people often don't think about. Going into deep depressions after giving birth is more common than thought! Or if you had an accident with a lot of pain or going through pain a long time, even if it is at a low level, are just basic body reactions which may lead into a deep depression. On the other hand there are also a lot of psychological reasons, some deeply hidden fears. If the "trigger" was some physiological stuff, then you can be quite sure, that it won't come back. If it is something in your experience and memory, have a look after it. Therapy is something where you can learn a lot about yourself and the world and enjoy life much more and also beeing aware of it's beauty! (but as I said... having a good person for this is important ;)) The strange thing is, that after going through so much like you did, one appreciates the good things in life even more and sees more than other people.

    Okay... I have more written than I intented to :)

    I wish you and your family all the best!
    *waves'

    Claire

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  7. brava. this just made me realized that we first "met" over my bipolar post...

    you are such a marvelous woman to have the strength and the courage to post this. it is a hard road to walk, always remember there are people to support you {ahem..me}. though i'm not trying to tell you about you... but i believe that you were meant to be those boys' momma. hearing you talk about them sweetly and jokingly and frusrated and protectively show that. keep up what you're doing, love.

    and remember, i'm always here. glad that you feel better than your darker days ((hugs))

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  8. I have Chronic Fatigue and Fybromyalgia, now it seems that Depression is a large part of it as well!Doctors, Doctors and more Doctors, pills pills and more pills!! I took a leave from work I work nights, so I thought some rest might work, now I only want to be left alone!! I live with my daughter and granddaughter who really don't and can't possibly understand this maddening cycle!! I am reaching the end of my rope! Becoming so antisocial don't have the energy for people! Don't misunderstand I am not and would never be Suicidal! I have christian values that I know that would be worse!! Just SOOOOOO Tired! Thank you for posting this!! It made me realize that others also suffer with this and maybe just maybe there is a light at the end of the Dark Tunnel!!

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  9. Did they put you on an anit-depressent or did you just start seeing the light?

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  10. I'm sure some people will really like this information cause this have genuine information for the readers.Thank you for sharing with us.NATURAL REMEDIES TO TREAT DEPRESSION

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  11. I accidentaly discovered your blog, firstly by your wonderful blogging tips. And now, when I read a few of your depression-related stories, I have nothing else than to applaud you, for your strength, determination and honesty. Yes, psychological condtions are nothing else but the same as other illnesses, and they should be treated as such. Without stigma and prejudice, but proactively and with support.

    Your newest follower,
    Aleksandra

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