I was Simply Existing

“When will the pain end?” “Am I alive only to suffer?”

Reading these two questions still makes my heart ache. I would often ask myself these and other questions when I felt utter despair. It felt like life had been a successive series of painful events. Sometimes one after another. My head was still spinning from the last blow when I got the next! I just couldn’t understand.

One thing I failed to notice was that I have never been alone while going through life’s struggles. I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by people who care, and yet, loneliness consumed me. The responsible girl in me, who took care of others, couldn’t allow anyone to help. Doing so would mean I was weak, and I wasn’t going to allow them to see that side of me. Putting up a strong front takes a lot of energy. And like all things it took its toll.

At my worse I would simply get out of bed to go to the couch. Sleeping every moment I was alone was my escape. Not being conscious was one way to not feel anything. I didn’t care to make myself something to eat during the day either. Sugary food was my comfort and I indulged in it. This of course didn’t help my energy level or overall health, but I didn’t want to bother with taking care of myself. That would require effort on my part and I felt I wasn’t worth it. I didn’t bother for myself, but I did for my family. On the days my husband found me in the kitchen he knew I was feeling okay enough. When I wasn’t, he knew it was bad.

This illness has been especially hard on my kids. My oldest has never liked seeing me sleep during the day or past a certain time in the morning. Before I was aware that I struggled with depression, I remember promising him that I was gonna try harder not to fall asleep when I shouldn’t. I wasn’t able to fulfill that promise and I felt terrible. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t fight it. If I was confused, I can just imagine how my kids they felt. After a few years of many doctor visits and tests, I was finally diagnosed with depression. I felt relief at finally putting a name to what I was suffering from, but also despair, because I was led to believe that without medication I would never come out of it.

I acquiesced and took medications for a few years, and I waited. I waited for them to take effect. I waited for them to make me feel better. The doses went higher and prescriptions were changed. More drugs were added. All the while I became more restless. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t coming out of it like they had promised. After all, these medications were finally taking care of the chemical imbalance in my brain. I felt like a failure. They weren’t working because there was something wrong with me. What else could explain their ineffectiveness?

I’ve mentioned before that my depression doesn’t stem from a chemical imbalance. That was the reason why these meds weren’t working for me. The source of my depression was trauma, and pills weren’t gonna resolve it. It took 9 years for me to realize that! During the majority of that time I felt like an empty shell of a human. My body was present, but my mind wasn’t. I wasn’t living, I was simply existing and going through lifes’ motions.

I’m learning to use the pain that kept me down, to help me get up. You can’t heal without feeling pain. Picture it like a fleshly wound. You know it will eventually close, but it forms scar tissue in the process. What I didn’t know was that I had kept my emotional wounds from healing, and they had festered; that was the pain that kept me sick with depression.

I’m finally letting others be a part of my healing process. I don’t care about appearing weak anymore. That’s what makes us human! And, now I’m aware that some people were just waiting for me to stretch out my hand. I’m holding on to their hand with all my strength just like they are mine. You guys have no idea how grateful I am for that!

It’s time to start living!

Love you guys ; )

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