So...depression is a bitch.
My first taste with depression came in the summer of 2010 during one of my placements for graduate school; I was paired with a preceptor (supervisor) for six weeks who was anything but kind, genuine, or trustworthy, and who blatantly had no interest in teaching me anything or helping me develop any skills or confidence. Don't get me wrong here, I definitely made mistakes and was far from perfect (I was a student!), but the outcome of that placement (she failed me even though she looked me in the eye the day before and told me she wouldn't) was not entirely my fault even if she placed the blame squarely on my shoulders. Needless to say I was crushed and traumatized from this experience and lost what little confidence I had in myself and my skills. Eventually (with a lot of hard work, tears, an incredible faculty advisor, and subsequent preceptors that, thankfully, were all awesome individuals and clinicians) I got through the rest of my program and graduated with my class. Most importantly though, I was able to pull myself out of the rut I had fallen into during my placement from hell and continue on with life as usual again.
Well, if my first experience with depression was merely a 'taste' then my second experience was nothing short of a buffet. Fast forward to 2015 when I was pregnant for the second time and in the middle of some serious tension and drama between a toxic group of people and myself. The whole situation really upset me (even deeper than I realized at the time) and emotionally I felt as though I were treading on 'thin ice' in so many ways. When my youngest daughter was born and I found myself in the middle of those newborn months with little to no sleep while simultaneously having to care for my older daughter, attempting to maintain some semblance of order in our house, and still having to deal with all the drama and all the garbage that came from the toxic group of people, the ice broke under me and I began drowning in the icy water.
Amongst other things I couldn't think straight, was moody all the time but didn't quite understand why, was so easily irritated (going from 0 to 10000000 in less than a second), didn't really feel like doing anything, and generally just felt like there a fogginess surrounding me that wouldn't leave me alone. That being said, I dug in my heels and fought as best as I could with the hope that this was merely another 'rut' that was just taking me longer to climb out of, but that I would be able to climb out myself just I had been able to do it before.
It took me around 17 months of living the way I described above before I hit rock bottom and found myself in the darkest place I had ever been in. I remember nights lying in bed with eyes closed and thinking simply lying there with my eyes closed was too much. While I was never actively suicidal and never had a suicide plan, my thoughts gravitated to death and dying a lot; I welcomed the thought of dying because living seemed too much and too hard. I remember telling God I was ready to die and praying, at times pleading, that He would "Bring me home" somehow. At the time I truly believed death would have been an easier option compared to having to continue on in the darkness while feeling completely hopeless, helpless, alone, and empty in every sense of the word.
Although it took me 17 months to get to this point, I was acutely aware that things were just not right within me much earlier on. I knew in my gut that I really needed to get help because everything I had done that had worked to get me out of ruts before just didn't work. This gave me a sense of failure which made me feel more frustrated and depressed at my inability to help myself which made me spiral down even further. It was a negative cycle that just got darker and darker. Despite being aware of all that I still couldn't bring myself to actually seek help until my thoughts surrounding death increased in frequency and my mood became so low that I knew (for the sake of my kids, my husband, and myself) it was totally unhealthy and I simply couldn't continue on this way; My family deserved better. I deserved better.
So, despite a lot of second guessing, a shitload of reluctance and hesitation, and complete dread just thinking about the conversation that needed to happen, I booked an appointment with my doctor with the purpose of disclosing my feelings and asking for help. It took everything I had to go to my appointment and say the words I needed to say because, in my head, finally admitting what was going on to a healthcare professional would fully sealed the deal that I was a complete failure at life. I went into my doctor's office expecting to leave with a diagnosis of mild depression and some tips of what I could do to "make things better," but I left her office with my diagnosis of severe depression, a prescription for anti-depressants and a list of psychotherapists (because my GP also strongly recommended psychotherapy for me as well). Somehow I managed to get through that appointment with a brave face and I remember even feeling a bit hopeful as I walked back to my car, but the moment got in and closed the driver's side door something in me broke and I wept like I had never wept before. I literally wept before driving home, while I was driving home, and when I got home.
Like I said...depression is a bitch.
Fortunately, in my case, depression didn't get the last say...and to this day it still hasn't. Yes, it filled my head with lies and tried to keep me down, but then I reached out for help and Love came and Truth set me free; This blog is a testament to that and I hope that you'll stay with me and keep reading as I slowly disclose more of my story, expose the lies that depression wanted me to believe, and share the truth and what I've learned as a result of my experience(s).