Friday, May 4, 2012

Depression

I feel a huge need to shout it to the rooftops (or at least write it on my blog) that my life has improved so much these past months, and I am happier than I've been for a VERY long time!

I've always considered myself a happy person, but these past 2 years were really tough on me. There were a lot of stressful events happening in our lives, and I didn't realize how much they'd affected me. (moving, pregnancies, babies, moving, pregnancies, babies..etc..)
I realize that mood swings happen to everyone, but these ups and downs I was having had been going on for too long. In my past I've sought professional therapy and counseling, which helped me to get through some tough personal issues I'd thought might have triggered my extreme downs. Those counseling sessions really helped, temporarily, and I was always grateful for the advice I'd received on how to deal with the challenges I'd been facing. But now it seemed I was frequently down for no reason at all, and couldn't figure out the cause of my suffering.
So when we moved our family back to my Hawaii home, I really thought I was moving forward, that I had put all my burdens behind me and life was going to be nothing but ups and happiness!
However, 5 months after we got here I couldn't get through a single day without sobbing, without loathing everything around me, and wanting it all to go away. I started to analyze what could be triggering my feelings of unhappiness, and pointed the fingers of blame towards my husband, towards my children, and towards all the people around me, simply for not being what I needed them to be. It was a very dark and difficult time for me, feeling like everything was failing me, and nothing was what I wanted my life to be.

One evening, during all this turmoil, I attended a Visiting Teaching conference at church. I sat there listening to the presenters, but all I could hear was,"Blah blah blah, visiting teaching, blah, blah blah." I got this sick feeling in my stomach when I realized that I couldn't even feel inspired about Visiting Teaching, which is normally something that I love. And that made me even more confused and sad.

There was a woman sitting next to me at the conference who I really like. She is bubbly, and friendly, and always has a smile on her face. After the conference was over, I looked over at her and felt the Spirit tell me to talk to her about my sad feelings. I didn't want to at first because it didn't seem applicable, but again, I felt the Spirit tell me I needed to talk to her about the way I've been feeling. So I opened my mouth, and somehow everything came out about my anxiety, my feelings of self-loathing, my ups and downs, my crying episodes, the yelling at my kids, the blaming my husband, the feelings that I couldn't measure up to anything life offered......
And she looked me in the eyes and said in the most loving and caring way,"You need to see a doctor."
Then she went on to tell me that she has been in my shoes, that she has experienced all these same feelings and more, and that it's okay; It's okay to admit to yourself that you have a chemical imbalance causing depression.

So that's what I did. I admitted to myself that I was experiencing signs of depression and I needed to get help.
I followed the Spirit and the instincts of my heart, even though going to see a family doctor was SO hard for me to do, (especially since I don't have health insurance nor do I trust doctors, in general.)
To sum it all up, I have been treated for depression for 4 months now and I can't say enough how much my life has improved for the better. I was so scared and so hesitant to go through with this, but it was exactly what I needed to do. And I am still cautious about sharing the details of my treatment because I know there are about a million opinions out there about how to treat depression. Just know that I am doing what is exactly right for me, and this has been confirmed over and again through my prayers and feelings from my loving Heavenly Father. And, not to mention, the fact that my whole life has improved significantly!

Of course, there is remorse for not getting this help earlier, and remorse for the people I might have hurt along the way, but I've realized time and again that there is a season for everything and now is the time for me to face this. Even knowing all that I know about depression and it's symptoms and effects on life, I still wasn't ready to realize it was happening to me. I know that in the past I wouldn't have been ready or humbled enough to accept this type of help in my life. I feel that God was preparing me to be able to make these realizations so I could follow through with my treatment.

Why is it so much easier to diagnose an injured limb, chronic migraines, or anything else physical, than to diagnose an anxious, depressed, and moody Mama?

I hope that I can always see myself honestly and open my heart to all the possibilities out there, because

Life is meant to be enjoyed!

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