The Depths of Despair

Dear Diary,

It’s been so long since I’ve written, that I forgot my password to login :/ I miss writing and considering the things I’ve been through over the past several months, I could do with the writing therapy. I started going to see a counselor in September after some crazy personal stuff happened to try to get a handle on my life again. She was helpful, but was concerned that my issues were not just psychological, but physiological too. So she sent me over to a psychiatrist to be evaluated. My appointment was on Monday. I was scared to death. I had already gotten over my slight hesitation to tell my counselor everything about me. I had been more afraid to talk to my husband about it. I was scared to let him see the dark and twisty places inside me. I felt like Meredith Grey…all dark and twisty. But regardless, I’m trying to be more honest with him about my depression instead of hiding it from him. It did neither of us any good. So the whole drive up to see the psychiatrist on Monday, I thought about what I would say. I literally had an hour and a half to tell her everything. How was I going to do that? I contemplated skipping my appointment and going to the mall instead for a little retail therapy. Then I remembered I had no money for that. Somehow, I found myself on the couch in her office. (I know, so cliche, right? But there was literally a couch.) I sat there while she asked me the general questions and I answered and examined the couch I was sitting on. I noticed it was made of some vinyl material. I reasoned that it was so that it could be easily washed. Then I wondered how many people had wet themselves while at counseling that they had to get a vinyl couch. She snapped me back to reality with a question that made me think. I answered her politely and we continued our session. I felt rushed and scattered to tell her everything that had happened in my entire life. Specifically since I had given birth to Jadon and struggled so hard with Postpartum Depression. All my skeletons came tumbling out of my closet (again) and I felt as though it was getting less painful to recount it the more people I had to tell it to. It still hurts though. See, here’s the thing about me. First off, I have a hyper-sensitive personality. This means I feel things more deeply than the average Joe. I am capable of having  a great deal of empathy. Which is partly why I am such a great actress. Things affect me more. I’m prone to being ridiculously happy and then ridiculously sad. (Thanks a lot, depression.) I’ve always had the hyper-sensitive personality, but since my struggle with depression began, it’s been working against me. The other thing about me is I have very few defense mechanisms when it comes to dealing with stress in my personal life. So I shove it inward, internalize it, ruminate over it and eventually it comes back out, affecting my day-to-day life. Well, I’ve been managing it okay so far, but I’ve had a particularly rough summer and well,…my stress reservoir reached max capacity and the dam burst…all over my life. Stresses that others can handle easily, I can’t. It takes me longer and handling it costs me more. It’s discouraging. At the end of our session, my doctor diagnosed me with “major depression and self-destructive behavioral tendencies.” She recommended I try St. John’s Wort and see if that helps over the next few weeks. If not, Prozac. Ugh. I’d really prefer not to medicate myself. I have nothing against those who do, but my body never has reacted well to any medications and I’m afraid of the ramifications. She sent me home feeling a mixture of hope and sadness. It’s depressing (no pun intended) to hear that you have major depression. But she seemed hopeful that I could get back to “normal”. She also recommended DBT which is a therapy that will help me learn how to process and deal with stress. I am hopeful that will help too, I just have to find a therapist that knows the technique.

Today was rough. Matthew took his diaper off and peed on the floor. Cleaned that up. Went upstairs later to clean up my room and go to the bathroom. Just as I came out of the bathroom, Jadon and Lilly come bursting in saying I had to go check out the mess Matthew had made. “Eggs everywhere!” They said. I groaned and went downstairs to find my kitchen floor covered in egg. That boy had gotten into the fridge and threw about half a dozen eggs onto the floor. I ordered the kids out of the kitchen and tried to start cleaning it up. The mess which covered about 10 square feet may as well have covered a mile. It seemed that overwhelming. I collapsed in tears for awhile before calling Tim. My sweet husband gently reassured me and coached me through how to clean up the mess. It seems silly now, but I was really upset and had never cleaned up egg off the floor before, and that stuff is tricky. It took me about 45 minutes to finish cleaning it up and the kids were anxious for their breakfast which I hadn’t been able to get them yet due to the slippery mess blocking my path to the pantry. We ate breakfast and ran our errands and came home to start school. But I couldn’t do that either. The kids were trying my patience and I just started crying. We skipped over school for today and just ate lunch. Then I put them down for naps, hoping they would fall asleep quick so I could take one too. Well, the boys fell asleep quick, but Lilly is still awake, so I’m blogging and waiting for her to fall asleep. I’m beginning to think a nap may not happen for me today. But I’ll be okay, the writing and quiet helps. Maybe I’ll just go take a bath. Anyway, just wanted to let you know I’m still here, I’m okay. Days are just too overwhelming sometimes to take one at a time. So I’m taking everything one hour at a time.

 

Till Next Time,

Ashley

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3 thoughts on “The Depths of Despair

  1. Depressive disorders are so rough, especially with little ones depending on you. The pressure is never off, which can be a good thing to keep you grounded sometimes. Praying all goes well with you. You’re doing the right thing—sometimes you just have to take care of yourself! Keep your chin up and roll with the blows, lady. You’re a tough cookie.

  2. I am praying for you Ashley, depression it’s very difficult and scary I suffer from that along with anxiety. Its very difficult and trying especially when you are trying to set an example for your kiddos no pressure or anything. It is a very uncomfortable but strengthening process. Just know you are growing as a person through all the difficulty. Thank you for sharing its nice to know that I’m not the only one that feels that as well.

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