shining a light on depression

This was posted to my MFP blog in OCT 2012….

 

 

I want to preface this post by saying this is something I wrote LAST year when I was unemployed and feeling very depressed. Last month I went through a severe depressive episode due to a side effect of some medication and it got me to thinking about and looking for this writing. I wanted to share this with you all to help you gain some insight into the hell that is depression. I AM NOT feeling as bad right now.

 

If you deal with depression PLEASE get help. There is no shame in talking to someone or taking an antidepressant. I have been suicidal (in the distant and not so distant past) and know that sometimes having a trusted friend that you can call on is the difference between life and death.

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone always says “oh you wouldn’t understand what I’m going through” or “you have no idea what I’m feeling” when trying to describe depression. And for the most part they’re right. Until they meet someone who’s been there. I’m not talking about kiddie pool sized depression either. You know, eighteen inches deep and everyone has on life jackets and floaty arm bands and snorkel sets.

I’m talking about the diving pool that you just jumped in off the twenty meter dive two seconds before you remembered you don’t know how to swim. Hell you aren’t even sure you could float or even find the surface. The only options you have are to kick (and pray you’re kicking in the right direction) or give up and die. After a while (sometimes it’s a short while, sometimes it’s not) you run out of energy. You can almost see the top of the pool. You might be inches away. Then you realize that you aren’t. No matter how hard you struggle you can’t break the surface. There is this elephant sized chain holding tight to your leg holding you down. That’s depression. Sometimes you’re inches under. Sometimes it’s a mile. Sometimes you might get your head above water, and days like those are the ones you live for.

The people who’ve never been there stand on the side of the pool and do one of two things. One they ignore you; either because they don’t see you (it’s not easy to recognize someone who’s drowning) or because they think the pool is not too deep for you to stand up in. Or two, they try to help by throwing concrete life preservers at you. Advice, that should really be called “advice”, because it has no practical use other than as a paperweight (which I’m sure we can all tell isn’t very useful when trying to swim).

But then there is the group that’s been there. They know that look in your eyes because they’ve seen it often enough in the mirror. Those are the friends that jump in with you. They hold your head when you can’t swim any more. They know where to find the keys to unlock that elephant chain. They have small tips and tricks to help you get to the shallow end where the ladder is. Those friends are gifts from God, of that I’m certain.

December is usually a difficult month for me. My dad committed suicide in jan. The sun isn’t out as long, days are shorter and I’m solar powered. I live my life outside and to be inside kills me. I know that Christmas is supposed to be about Christ, but the commercialism of it is depressing.

This year is especially hard for me. I worked my ass off to graduate with honors. I killed myself for a place that didn’t care about me. I made improvements and helped residents but none of that mattered and they fired me. And now I’ve put in 40 applications and only had four interviews. I’M A GREAT NURSE! I’M A DAMN FINE NURSE! But I feel worthless because I can’t provide for my family.

I’m also lonely. I’m a woman. I have needs. I want to feel loved and wanted and needed. I want to feel appreciated and cared for. I don’t want to be in charge anymore.

I feel like all I do is screw everything up. I know in my head that isn’t so but my heart tells me this.

I don’t want to whine. I have so many things going for me. I have a roof over my head and I’m warm and well fed and the lights are still on for now. I don’t want anyone to feel bad for me. I’m not asking for anything other than your prayers.

This year is especially hard for me. But this year I have something that I’ve never had before. I am closer to God then I’ve ever been in my life. Just because He has been silent doesn’t mean He isn’t there. Like in the footsteps poem this is one of those times that I cant see His steps but He is carrying me. I know that and I feel that. So now I can rest my head on His shoulder and let Him carry me. I don’t have to be strong. I don’t have to be wonder woman.

I guess I’m really just trying to give you some insight. Because someone who is dealing with depression isn’t always going to look depressed. That cashier who just snapped at you? The loud mouthed guy at work who always yells at everyone? The kid on the playground who just shoved your kid? The teenager at the fast food joint who just threw your food? The bitchy woman at walmart? Ok, chances are that some of them are indeed just jerks. But some of them are drowning, barely able to reach the surface. That’s what depression does for me. I get irritable. I get crabby and cranky… Sometimes I cry, but mainly I yell.

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