It’s been a while since I’ve written in this blog. My intention when I started this was to have a place to write about our daily activities so that I could look back and remember things I’m sure I’d otherwise forget as well as to share a more detailed account of our lives with family that lived far away. And in the interest of being honest with myself, although it’s not something I particularly love talking about, my inability to focus on writing here (or anywhere for that matter) has been due to depression.
The thing about depression is that unless you’ve experienced it, it’s difficult to understand. From the outside, I have an enviable life. I have three wonderful, well behaved, hilarious kids. I have a loving husband who comes home every night. I can go to the grocery store and not have to worry about money. My family is supportive and there for me when I need it. Depression has nothing to do with being ungrateful — in fact, it only makes you feel worse to know you can’t fully appreciate what you have.
Chronic depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain and I have suffered with it on and off for most of my life now. Although I was medicated in high school, I never really thought it truly helped. So even though I knew things were worse for me than they had been in a long time, I wasn’t particularly motivated to get help. I have always pulled myself out of it before, I said. I can do this. I can feel better.
But the truth is that I couldn’t. People love to post articles about how you just need to exercise or you just need to eat better, that will fix your endorphins. And maybe it’s true — I actually believe it helps. But when you literally can’t move yourself from the couch, when nothing seems to matter and you drag yourself through every day merely because your children need you, making time to exercise seems impossible. Cooking anything more than mac n cheese seems like climbing Mount Everest. And it sounds stupid when it’s written out like this, but it’s just like any other illness — your body isn’t functioning properly. You can’t help feeling that way and you can’t just “motivation” yourself out of it. Not when it gets that bad.
So after several months I finally made an appointment and got myself on an SSRI. And the world of difference it’s made to my life… It’s like night and day. I can get the kids dressed and leave the house again. I can try new recipes. I can clean and schedule appointments and work on house projects. I can laugh with my babies again. I don’t feel disconnected from my husband and everyone around me. As most people say who have been in my position, I only regret I didn’t get help sooner.
But that means I hope to be more active here. To talk about house projects that I actually have the motivation to work on. To post about my wonderful babies. To show off things that I’ve cooked. To be able to remember happy things again and not just how terrible I feel. It’s nice to feel like I’ve rejoined the land of the living. 😉