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Everyone has heard of depression but very few discuss it openly. We look through our Facebook newsfeed and see so many people sharing posts about political views, openly talking about religious views, and sharing funny pictures. Yet, how many posts are shared about depression? Very few.
I suffer from depression. I was actually diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). It's not as bad as it was in the past. I don't suffer from as many anxiety attacks but I know that I can't watch a movie that contains death scenes that remind me of my husband's death. My family doesn't talk about it. To them, I'm just going through a mood swing. They don't openly acknowledge it and you know what, that's OK. I've learned to deal with that but I often wonder how different the environment around me would be if they did acknowledge it and did talk about it.
To read more about my personal experience with depression, check out my blog at Single Mommy's Life: Depression is REAL.
Depression to me has always been something you see on TV or a friend of a friend of a friend suffers from it. I never in a million years thought that I would have depression then again, I never thought that I’d be diagnosed with PTSD or be going to therapy every other week. It’s one of the joys (insert sarcasm here) of being a suicide survivor.
Depression is REAL and boy, does it SUCK! I don’t know when I’ll get those mood swings and as much as I try to help it, I can’t. I’ve done a lot to control them but it seems like they come whenever they feel like it. The worst part is that no one in my family seems to understand that. They feel that because it’s been almost 4 years, I should be better, or “over it” by now.
What they don’t seem to understand is that it’s not that easy. It’s not something I can control, because, believe me if I could control it, I would have by now! I’m a control freak, I like to know every detail in advance and I like to be prepared for the unexpected. Tell me we might be going out of town next weekend, and I will be asking: when are we leaving? when are we coming back? who’s all going? what are we going to do there? what about food? what’s the weather going to be like? etc. Again, I’m a control freak lol.
But seriously, when these mood swings strike, all I want to do is hide under my covers and sleep or just be alone. As a single mom, that’s HARD. I can’t just tell my girls to leave mommy alone because she doesn’t feel like dealing with the world. I know when they are older, they’ll understand or atleast be more understanding than my family but I can’t just ignore them. They still need the only parent they have to be on top of everything.
See to me depression isn’t about wanting to end my own life like most people assume depression is to everyone. For me, it’s just about not wanting to be around others, I have absolutely no desire to interact with the world or have the patience to deal with everyone’s emotions. There is no rhyme or reason, and it comes at the most random times. Again, no way to control it.
This weekend was a perfect example. I have a full house, as in my (pregnant) sister, her bf, her 4yr old, my mom, the girls and I. That’s A LOT of freakin’ people in my house. Whenever my sister is around my mom, it’s like she becomes a whiny little girl (harsh I know but bare with me). To me, my mom always had her favorites (my 2 youngest siblings) and normally, I don’t care but on days like the past 2 days, I didn’t want to deal with it. God forbid, I so much as ask my sister to help because she’s pregnant. My sister has a craving, go get it for her doesn’t matter what you’re doing, because the baby is craving something and I don’t have it.
Which leads to the feeling I have that my mom plays the favorites game with my nephew and the girls. I know she loves them all the same but she coddles him so much more. This is where my depression really gets to me and I KNOW I should have stayed in bed.
So we’re at the store, he whines because I didn’t get the cart HE wanted. I told him to not whine in the store and he takes a swing at me. A freakin’ SWING AT ME! Are you kidding me?! You are 4 years old! I went to take him outside and my mom tells me to stop, to leave him alone, that he acts that way because of us….huh?? Normally, I wouldn’t care but I was in a funky mood and blew up on my mom. I told her how I hate that they give special treatment to my nephew but not my girls. This happened earlier today, I still haven’t really talked to her since then.
It just goes to show that if I wasn’t feeling like this, I wouldn’t have blown up the way I did. Depression for me is a beast. I’ve tried reading different articles that might help, I’ve the stories of others but no luck. No matter what I do, I can’t shake this. I know sometimes, I blow things out of proportion, but it’s not like I do it on purpose. My family doesn’t get it.
I’ve been going to therapy every other week for over 2 years to see if we can pin point what triggers my depression or the panic attacks I have but no luck. They seem to be random. It’s something I’m still learning to deal with and while I keep hoping it’ll just go away, I know I still have a LONG road ahead of me.
For those that deal with similar mood swings (depression or not), how do you handle them? What helps you get by??