At this time last year I was not in a very good place. My trip to BlogHer was ruined due to a depressive episode that kept me from having the time of my life. My severe anxiety and paranoia left me crippled, unable to focus. I couldn’t function like a normal person because every day of every minute I pictured my kids dying a horrible death and my brain told me there was nothing I could do to stop it from happening. I developed obsessive-compulsive techniques because I thought it would help save my children.
My depressive episode started in June 2011. By October I wondered if I would ever be happy again. I was going to therapy every week and checking in with my psychiatrist every other week. I was told to take time off of work because I couldn’t function (which I didn’t take for fear of losing my job).
Appointment after appointment, my medications were increased or changed to something new. But nothing worked. They finally decreased one of my meds in late October. The change in my anxiety level was amazing. It’s too bad I didn’t know that too much of one medication made my anxiety the worst it has ever been.
So one problem was taken care of but the depression and anger was still there. I was defensive, irritable and just not a pleasant person to be around in general. I cried a lot when I laid down to go to sleep at night. I just knew I didn’t deserve this amount of emotional pain and it made me sad and angry that I had to go through another episode again.
In January, my meds were switched again. And so began the change I had been waiting for. Within a month I felt better. I was more centered and less likely to fly off the handle.
I kept going to therapy every week. I took my medications, one in the morning to help with the lows and one at night to help with sleep and anxiety. I also had an anxiety medication to take when I felt particularly anxious. I definitely took advantage of this extra med. I am not ashamed to admit when it’s needed.
When I lost my job in early June I could have gone to a very bad place. But the shocking news is that I didn’t. Although I had a bad day or three during the summer I felt happier than I had in a long time. Finally, finally, finally! I was back to feeling good. I enjoyed every day with my family. I had a blast on Fourth of July. August was amazing with Landon’s 4th birthday and our 6th wedding anniversary.
There was no longer a seesaw of emotion. I was even-keel. Relieved to be where I am. I must not forget to give Him the credit. I believe my strengthened faith in God helped me more than anything else. I am a broken being. But I am whole in the eyes of the Lord.
Now I take a deep breath and bask in the glow of a happy time in my life. In fact, I am doing so well that I was able to take a break from regular therapy! There was nothing bad to discuss!
Because of the nature of my disorder I never have any idea when I will slip into a depression. It is my hope that as long as I remain on my medications this won’t happen again. One of the pros of having a mental illness is really being able to appreciate the good times. And I do. I so do.
So, friends, I am finally in a good place. Just like I longed to be. Everyone is reaping the benefits. Me, Naaman, my boys, my family. I worked hard and I’m finally where I belong.
If you are experiencing a dark period in your life please know that there is someone else out there who truly understands the deep abyss of sadness that traps the joy from you. But you can and will get through this. I’m living proof.
Thank you for all the love and words of encouragement during this difficult journey. You’ll never know how much I appreciate it.