Redhead, nurse, sister, daughter, aunt, newly-ex-wife, sucker for lost animals, currently owned by Percy the cat and Spencer the dog. In the middle of some major changes–trying to figure out what I want so I can figure out how to get there.

This started as a comment on

Jenny’s

beautiful post.  I thought I should post it here as well.

I have battled depression and anxiety for most of my adult life. It is amazing to me that I still come across people at work (I’m a nurse) who will see a patient’s medication list and say, “Well, no wonder, she’s on lex*pro, P*xil, lith!um, or whichever other drug said patient might be taking.” I want to shout from the rooftops, “I HAVE BEEN ON ANTIDEPRESSANTS FOR MORE THAN HALF MY LIFE! DOES THAT CHANGE HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT ME?” I do not yet feel comfortable shouting this at work, but it is something I am VERY open about with friends, family, and even people I don’t know terribly well. I do tell people at work as I get to know them, and I tell them in the same way I tell them I have high blood pressure…because that is how it should be spoken about. It is not a personal failing or weakness, it is a diagnosis.
Even with all my experience with depression and anxiety, I was fortunate enough to be without suicidal thoughts…until I wasn’t…almost 2 years ago. My marriage was ending. I felt like a total failure for the first time in my life. I spent 2 nights curled up on the floor of my bathroom weeping and thinking about how much better it might be just to take every. single. damned. pill I could find than to keep feeling the way that I felt. I didn’t line up the pills, I didn’t even open a single bottle, but holy shit was my black hole deeper and darker than I ever thought it could be.
My now ex-husband helped me get the help I needed. I will never forget how RIGHT he was regarding that…even in the midst of everything crashing in around us. He didn’t blame me; he didn’t tell me to get over it. He was on the way to work and turned his car around and came back to help me figure out how to claw my way out of that ugly, lying pit of depression. I am fortunate that I had him to help me.
I don’t think that I was ever one to blame people who committed suicide. I always knew that it had to be terrible to get to a place where that seemed like the best possible answer. As I said, I wasn’t even CLOSE to taking action, but I would not wish for anyone to feel the way I felt.
Thanks so much for what you shared. Thanks for keeping on sharing it even when you don’t want to. We are a tribe, and when you speak, you tell things that not all of us are ready to tell…and by doing that you make it easier for the next person to speak his or her truth.

Comments on: "Depression is an Ugly Bitch" (7)

  1. lesliejeannene said:

    Jenny’s post and now yours prove to be so helpful to those of us who suffer and have the friends who say “get over it” its nice to feel normal when so many things in life feel absolutely un-normal. thank you for writing it down and making a very lonely life seem much less lonely.

  2. I sobbed when I read your comment on Jenny’s blog and followed you here. I could have written your comment, except that my husband didn’t see the severity of the situation. I saw it, I felt it. I’ve had a few people close to me commit suicide and though I’ve never blamed or condemned them, I never understood it….until about a year ago. I had the same experience that you did on the bathroom floor. I had a miscarriage in Oct 2010 (we still have told very few people) and spiraled….quickly. I have ignored my blog since then because I didn’t think I was strong enough. I may have to re-think that.

    I’m better now….most of the time. I hope you are too.

    Thank you for your comment and your bravery.

  3. Thank you for sharing your story. Jenny opened a door for all of us. I live in fear of my dark place. It’s always only a matter of time until I fall in. It helps so much to know that others have been there. I have only touched on “The Big D.” in my most recent post, but now I’m encouraged to tell the whole ugly story.
    Wishing you light.
    Part of the tribe,
    Libby

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this. I have a family member facing the same type of thing, and to be honest it is scary. We don’t really know what to say or do. But trying to help her understand depression is as much an illness as cancer or diabetes and is nothing to be ashamed of. The more people that speak up, the easier it is for everyone else.

  5. oh, I’ve been writing about the same thing. thank you for sharing and making me feel less alone. And yes, depression IS an ugly bitch!!!

  6. Mary Opalk said:

    Finally people who understand this disease. Finally I have found my tribe. Thank you everybody who commented on this. You all have helped me not feel alone this week as the ugly bitch depression touched me enough this week to threaten my sanity yet once again. I am on meds but I still can get sick to one degree or another.

    I read books to help me get out of my depressed thinking this week . They really help in addition to meds. This last bout I crawled out of the hole with the book “Attitudes of Gratitude” by M.J. Ryan. It’s not as simplistic as the title would make you think. It’s a guide to doing the deep work of awareness of what there is to be learned from the dark places and how to cop an attitude that gets you facing out of the dark hole. I literally read a passage every morning to get me on the right track. It really helps.

    I also keep the book “practicing the power of now” by Eckhart Tolle. I use that when I am really sick with depression and anxiety…but aAI should read it everyday and get stronger at being in the now where I can handle what is in front of me in that present moment. I first read the book by Eckhart titled, ” A New Earth-Awakening to your life’s purpose” What you find is that awakening …is your life’s purpose.

    I keep evolving as a spirit from every bout of depression and anxiety. I learned how best to treat people who do not recognize me for my intelligence because they think bi-polar disorder effects my intelligence and because they are just people who do not care to take time to recognize me and my accomplishments and they instead write their own narrative about me. I have to gently educate them without embarrassing them for being so stupid and uncaring and well …prejudiced.

    I also have to own my part for not communicating more about what I am doing to help the college I teach at. This would be my employer I am talking about. I am forced to educate them in the gentlest way possible to understand that I am a remarkably intelligent woman with so much to offer them. There is no going anywhere else in this economy. I am stuck working for them for now. And they have kept me employed despite taking off 3 months a year on disability. This happens almost every March when the illness seems to take me over.

    I am investigating getting my doctorate now. It took me 6 years to get my masters degree because of all the bouts of depression and anxiety/bi-polar disorder. I got almost all straight A’s and blew myself away with what I managed to accomplish.

    I hope to swim right past them into a whole new world filled with intelligent introspective people. That’s my goal.

    • With me it’s almost like I don’t want to get better. Don’t know what to do. Don’t go out anymore alone I want to and at the same time I hold myself back. Always feeling sorry for myself. can’t say anymore.

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