Depression. That word that no one wants to feel or talk about.
I was diagnosed with depression in 1993. After I had my first child. I had been a happy person all my life up until I started feeling off. Off in the ways like sad, angry, felt rage, tired, suicidal, and no motivation. I didn’t know what was going on with myself. How could I be like this when I just had my child. A child that I wanted, the family I had been longing for. I had a son, so why was I so full of these dark scary emotions.
No one wants to admit or acknowledge that they may be affected by depression. We want too be perfect. We want to be like everyone else. The sad thing is we only see what others want us to see. We have many masks we put on when we have to be around people.
When I started to feel all the emotions that come along with depression, I had no idea what was happening. I would be happy one day or minute and full of rage wanting to drive my car off a cliff or into a brick wall. I wanted to cry for no reason or I just didn’t want to come out of my room, see or speak to anyone, I wanted to die.
I spoke to my sons father about it and he told me to go to the doctor. I was afraid and ashamed that I could be one of “those people“. Not perfect. I didn’t want to be on meds to make me feel better.
My mother in law at that time was very supportive and put me in contact with someone who had been diagnosed with depression as well. I have to say, that was the point. I decided to go to the doctor and talk about what was happening, I couldn’t live like this. I had a son, a family to be here for.
The doctor told me I had a lack of serotonin in my brain and that was causing the major mood swings. She put me on Prozac. Prozac at that time was getting a lot of backlash due to people committing suicide when prescribed the medication.
I was on 20mg per day and I have to be honest I felt the difference in a matter of days. Maybe it was because I had succumbed to the diagnoses and talked about how I felt instead of hiding in my mind, but the difference was life changing. I was happy again and functioned like “normal“.
Back in 1993, there was no internet yet, so there was no outlet on social media where you could relate to all the others that were, or are struggling in the area of depression or suicidal thoughts. There was no one to secretly talk to. Just you against the world and the shaming and labeling. The hiding.
Today I am still on my anti-depressants and I am not afraid to say it. I am thankful for the science behind the medication that can change your life and HELP with depression. Could you imagine what life would be like to suffer without proper medication? I know I wouldn’t be here without it.
I still have bad days that bring me down but I know what it is now and I can handle the emotions. I take a day to myself whether it be a day of movies in comfy clothes or a few hours of nap time. I tell myself that this too shall pass and wait and distract.
My message to those suffering in the dark, alone and no good days in sight. Get help, reach out to someone, No one judges you as much as yourself, Self sabotage is the worst and can make things a lot more difficult. Turn that voice off and talk too someone. PLEASE. We need you, your family needs you, you, need you.
I am not ashamed to be “those people” cause I am one of “those people“.
What is “normal” anyway?
Together by sharing we can make a difference in peoples lives.
I hope this helps you today.
It takes a strong person to admit their faults but takes an even stronger and braver person to do something about it and TALK about it!
This is, Being Me Sober
I had a dream last night.
I was watching my son play and laugh. He was happy and I was crying in my dream. Someone in my dream was showing me what I had missed because of my drinking.
I was crying because I felt I had missed all of his childhood because of my drinking. I felt horrible, I felt sad and I felt I was unavailable.
Even though I was present and available for them throughout their childhood, I guess subconsciously I know they lacked the security as children. I know they heard the fights, they seen my depression first hand and went through the divorce of their father with me. They’ve seen abuse first hand, whether witnessing or being on the end of it from their father.
As much as I have tried to shield them from the damage caused from drinking, divorce, and abuse, there are moments that we, as parents, even the “perfect” parent, can not shield our children from.
There are moments of regrets I have as a mother that I do think of often.
I wish my children never saw me at my worst, I wish they never saw me as anything but a strong secure mom.
When we think of the times when our children witnessed our drinking episodes and what it has done to them emotionally we also must remember they saw us recover as well.
When I decided to give up the drinking I didn’t do it just for myself. I did it because I was killing my children emotionally. Killing any good they saw in the world. I was killing myself. Where would they be if I did die or continued in this drunk escape. We as parents are all they have, we are their world.
I wanted to get sober and be better but in my state of mind at that time I was so low and carrying so much emotional baggage that I did not care what happened to me, but I did care what happened to my children.
We can’t go back and repair what has already happened but we can make it better and heal. Heal each other.
When we are seen in recovery from either alcohol or drugs and we slowly start to love ourselves, feel good about our progress, and stay committed to our sobriety, our family and friends see that as well. They start to see the strength, the determination and the real person behind the fog.
The anger slowly starts to leave. The doors open for a new you to come through.
When I awoke from this dream I reminded myself that yes, there have been many moments of regret but there are also moments of clarity and forgiveness, for myself and from the ones I love.
They now understand the disease and reasons behind the bottle. The why?
They’ve gone through the recovery along side of you. With you.
Do you think we recover alone? Our family, friends, or whoever is begging you to sober up or get clean, they are full of anxiety, mixed emotions of hate, anger, love, panic. Constantly waiting for us to relapse. If and when we do. They go through just as much as we do. They are also in recovery.
Drinking is easy!
Recovery is anything but, it takes work, hard work, it takes strength and most of all commitment.
So if your tormenting yourself about past regrets, remember how much you fought to get where you are. How strong you have become.
When you think of your children, the damage, the regrets, think of the strength you’ve put back into their lives by watching you get well and recover and being here, sober/clean, physically, mentally and emotionally with them, that right there is showing them more than we will ever know.
Yesterday is gone.
Tomorrow is not here.
Today, is all we have.
This Is Being Me Sober
I have to say I can not believe it has been a year since I wrote to the world. Guess I’ve been a little busy having fun.
I really hope you are all holding up as good as you can.
We, my husband and I were away at our winter home in Florida when the Covid 19 hit South Florida. Every news channel and radio station had been talking about this virus and how fast and deadly it was spreading. Our kids were calling to tell us they had to cancel their flights to come down and ordering us to get home. Oh, come on, it’s not that bad. So we thought.
All the talk about 2 meters apart, stay home, don’t breathe! The entire world was shutting down.
Until we drove home and were ordered to stay indoors for 14 days and watching the news day after day did it sink in. This is really bad. This is really scary.
Now, 4 months in, I still feel we are far from getting over this, if we ever will.
My thoughts lead me to thinking about all of those struggling with mental health issues. How will they cope? How will they fill their day without being able to leave the house? How will this affect their sobriety and strength both mentally and physically? I am worried about my fellow warriors who are trying to live a life without alcohol in a pandemic. This is the first pandemic of our lifetime so there are no resources or plans made in place for when situations arise. My heart is heavy for those suffering in any situation, alcohol, drugs, abuse, depression, etc. Not having the outlets readily available to them at the time of a crisis.
In today’s world atleast we have online meetings that can be very helpful. But some need that person to person contact, so we arrange for a parking lot meeting and stay in our cars. We put glass shields up, we stand outside windows to say hello to friends and family. We adjust and struggle to live the life we are used to but now with strict orders and a whole new way of living outside our homes.
It’s a shock to our system, to our way of living. Not only are we faced with changing everything in and about our life, we now are forced to not hug, not touch, stay 6ft away from people, waiting in lines to shop anywhere, wearing a mask and so on. It brings anger, frustration and irritability.
The feeling of helplessness is on high alert for a lot of people and there are no outlets for them at this time.
What can we do for our community? What can we do to help?
We can do extra care for those needing help, we can make ourselves more available to talk, to calm, to support, by social media, by picking up the telephone and calling a friend who may need to hear your voice. We can grab a coffee for 2 and have a drive way coffee date. But mostly we can and will get through this if we stick together. Reach out if you need help. Please.
I’m thinking of all of you throughout this pandemic and hoping you all stay strong and safe.
We are all in this together. Even without a pandemic, we are in this together!
This is, Being Me Sober
State of Mind Recovery Coach.