Friday, August 15, 2014
Sometimes You Have To Look Beyond The Smile
I didn't know it could be this bad. How did I fall so far? So fast?
The gray cloud that descended upon me a year ago was getting darker and darker. It was now smut black.
I pasted on a permi-smile for my husband and kids, but once they were out the door for school and work, the tears I kept hidden fell out like a monsoon. There was no force on earth that could keep them in.
Why, I wondered? Why was I so sad, helpless, and coming apart like this? My life was good. Good family, nice home, a God-sent job, so why, when everything seemed so normal and near perfect on the outside was I falling apart on the inside?
The anxiety was getting so bad I could hardly breathe, and sleep was becoming non-existent, which only made it worse.
On the outside you would never know how I was really feeling. I could have won an Oscar for my performance. I would make it through the day at work and then fall into the couch exhausted and completely spent. Wondering how in the world I was going to muster the energy to even empty the dishwasher.
I would nap until the kids came home, get up,and then have to lay back down again. My kids knew something wasn't right, but they didn't know what. Trey knew something was wrong, he just didn't know how bad.
I finally went to the doctor.
I went in very unenthusiastically and without any emotion, explained how I was feeling and then wept. I couldn't hold it back any longer. I've never cried in front of a doctor before and I was so embarrassed.
She brought in a little Ipad for me to take a test to get a gauge for my depression and anxiety. All I could think of was great, she thinks I'm depressed and probably crazy, now what?
(It's not something you want to admit to. Almost like admitting defeat.The fear of what people think will make you keep it to yourself.)
Once I finished up she came back into the room with my results. I was 100% for extreme depression and nearly the same for anxiety. I can't say I was surprised it only confirmed what I already knew. But what made me freeze was the line that said, 'slight risk for suicide.'
Was I thinking of killing myself? Faintly. I didn't want to feel so heavy emotionally burdened anymore.
When you have the black cloud over your head. You DO NOT think clearly. Everything is obscured.
I knew I loved my children and would not want to do anything to ever hurt them in the way suicide would. I knew I didn't want them to grow up without me and have the memory of their mommy killing herself as my legacy.
But I was in pain, and all I wanted was relief. I faithfully took the anti-depressants and the anxiety pills. I forced myself to do yoga and walks, if for nothing else but to feel the sunshine on my face and feel the life of nature around me.
Slowly I came out and the depression lightened. Months later I'm still here and will always deal with some degree of depression, (it runs in my family) but hopefully not like before.
Now I know.
I know now that depression will make you consider and even follow through with something you would never have considered under normal circumstances.
My heart is heavy for those that are so burdened with the darkness that killing themselves would be freedom.
I have a deeper level of mercy and grace for those that are fighting this battle and then decide to end it the only way they know how.
I used to think suicide was the most selfish act a person could do. But not anymore.
Because when the darkness descends, nothing in your mind makes any sense-not to you and definitely not to anyone around you.
Christianese isn't the answer. Pray more, believe more, hope more, they all sound good and like reasonable answers to someone that has not felt the depth of pain, despair, and worthlessness that comes with severe depression.
I didn't seriously hurt myself because of my kids.period.
I didn't want to leave them and hurt them and maybe that was the grace of God showing me a way out and guiding me through.
I had people praying for me and loving me through this dark time. For me it made me stronger and gave me the courage to tell people how I was feeling.
If you are hurting and feeling like you may hurt yourself, tell someone! Bring those dark feelings to light. Find people you trust to talk to. Get counseling.
Do something, please don't do nothing.
And I promise as someone that has not only been there, but also as a Christian to only love and accept you, there will be no judgement here. You are loved as you are.
***If you are struggling, I would like to pray for you. Please email me @ asimersky at gmail dot com
at 3:00 AM