This book is dedicated to Our Mommy Support Group and to that one local friend who always knows how to answer when I say, “I can't deal with this any more”. Thank you, all six of you.
This book will be like nothing you've ever read before, because it is going to be honest, and it's going to be real. This will be the most real look into depression/anxiety you'll ever see in your life and it will shock you, especially if you're lucky enough to not have this disease. This is a peek into what it's like for us on a daily basis, and it won't be pretty.
You may want to sympathize. You may want to cry. You may want to hug me, if you know me, but know that I have lived with this for years, and I will continue to live with it for years to come. You may relate to what I'm about to say, and if you do, know that I am with you. We stand by each other in unity because we know what it means to force ourselves out of that bed every day. We know what it is to pick our heads up when they feel like lead weights. We know what it is to hear someone say they love us, but not quite understand why someone could love us when we just don't love ourselves.
This book will be an eye opener or it will be a revelation that you are not alone. Either way, it will be interesting, because it will be real. Like it or leave it, I don't care. I just feel that some people need to understand what it's like in my world on a daily basis. The people who need to understand most are those who tell me to “just get happy”. I'd love to just get happy. I'd love to be inside a happy person's head if only for a day. I'd love to feel what you feel, and be “normal” for a little while. And I'd love for you to come into my head, because I feel that you just don't understand if you can tell a depressed person to get happy. To us, that is a dismissal of our feelings, our illness, and what we simply cannot control.
I was diagnosed with anxiety/depression a few years ago. I had a full panic attack, and thank God there was someone there who knew what was happening. She talked me through it and away I went on the ambulance. I had my vitals checked, and it all came back normal. After a followup with my doctor, I got my diagnosis, and away I went, on a lifetime of roller coaster rides through my emotions, and my relationships. My path is littered with broken things, from relationships, to jobs, to homes, to – just – everything. Everything breaks around me, and I just watch it happen. Part of the problem is me and my personality, but I'm convinced that part of the problem is my mental disease.
Let's move through every piece of my life, and find out how my depression touches every single piece. Let's find out how I live, on a daily basis, with myself and with the world around me. Compare if you must, judge because I know you will, but read. And if one person learns, then this book is a success in my eyes.
Family is a very difficult part of life for me. They have watched me for years and they know the signs of my anxiety/depression attacks. They know when I pull away, that's when it's coming bad. However, they are not the first people I reach for when I'm having a bad day. I don't bother them because I feel like they are tired of hearing about it. I feel like they have had enough of my whining and sadness and inability to get my head off the ground. I often feel like they care because they're stuck with me, and they have to, when that is the farthest from the truth. If they could scoop me out of this state and into a world of bliss, they would. They want to know first when things aren't going well, but they usually know last. This is why many people who commit suicide leave behind shocked family members – because we feel that we can't tell them about this. Also, if suicide is an option in someone's head, a real option, we won't tell a soul because we don't want anyone to stop us. If we do tell someone we are suicidal, we have just waved a white flag and we are asking for help. Often, family is the only help we get in these situations, so we won't breathe a word, if we truly want to leave this life.
Most families are there for a depressed person, but I honestly have lost contact with some family members through my depressed states. Some just get fed up with hearing about it and simply go away. Others yell and tell me it's all in my head and if I'm going to act this way then they're done with me. Still others will patiently listen, but will heave a sigh, tiring of my antics and my depressed state. I find myself cycling through family members just because I feel bad about bringing more stress into their lives. I also have only a select few family members who I really talk to about it, and even then, I usually just don't talk to them at all.
Since mental illness and depression run in my family, it's especially frustrating to hear a family member tell me to “get over it”. In my family, that's our mantra - “get over it”. When a family member died, a surviving family member said to me, while I was crying, that I had cried enough and it was time to move on. That was the day of the funeral. So, in my family, depression has not been taken seriously until recent generations, when really, it should have been taken very seriously for a very long time.
My father died when I was seventeen. He ate the business end of a pistol, or a shotgun, or something – I honestly can't remember. I didn't even know him that well, as we were separated when I was young, but the point is – these things are genetic. Family has a very big role in our mental health, and both my parents have some sort of mental disease. I should have been prepared for this, knowing my parents, and I should have taken steps to better understand what was to come for my future, but I didn't. I just let it all happen, I let myself break down, and I let myself succumb to the illness.
I consistently evaluate my relationships with my family, and I wind up over thinking it all. I am often the one to push away family when I probably should use them to help me get better. I am convinced, however, that there is no getting better for me, and that I should move people along because, after all, who would want to deal with me, right?