Girl School for Grownups

Like having a big sister, but better because I can't boss you around!

My depression story, part 1

on November 13, 2014

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Why do I write about depression so much? I think because I feel an urgency to put a face (my face, which is usually smiling) to this misunderstood disease. If this makes me the poster child (can a 50something be a child? I think not.), makes me the poster woman (ick), ok I’m going with poster chick. If this makes me the poster chick for depression, it’s a title I would be proud to claim.

Depression runs in my family. So does creativity, a wicked sense of humor, and no sense of direction. Not all tendencies are fully expressed in all of my relatives, although that sense of humor shows up more often than not.

It never occurred to me that I was depressed. As a teen I had the normal ups and downs that characterize adolescence. In my 20s my friends knew that at times I would disappear from their lives. (I still showed up to work, but couldn’t find the whatever-it-takes to return phone calls or go out with people.) But eventually I came back. I had kids in my early 30s and still didn’t know that the periods when I just couldn’t get them out of the house or the times when my husband would come home and take one look at my face and say “You are going out running!” (I was beyond grateful for the chance at some endorphins and some time alone) were anything but the normal challenges of having an infant and a two-year-old.

In my late 30s (deep breath) something happened that plummeted me into darkness I’ve never known. The specifics of what happened aren’t the point and that’s all I want to say about that. But I felt like I’d fallen and just couldn’t get up. I went to a counselor and she recommended an anti-depressant. I would have done anything at this time to find a way out of the dark. So I agreed to try it.

My husband was concerned about me taking medication and not at all sure it was a good idea. For one thing, he’s very sensitive to anything he takes so he does his best to avoid pills. And with our Biblically-based Christian faith, his question was “What if how you’re feeling is what God wants you to experience?” I understood his question as well as his concerns, but I also knew what it felt like to be me, and I was hanging on by my fingernails. And my mantra, my lifeline, became this thought:

I will do WHATEVER IT TAKES to be the wife and the mother that God created me to be.

Have a beautiful day, friends. To be continued…

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