I’ve been struggling a lot lately with high anxiety and that horrible fear that I am sinking downwards in to another depression. Just seeing any decline no matter how slight can be made so much worse by fear. I don’t want to go back to that depressed place that I have been before. Stuck in total darkness. Anyone who’s ever “been there”, never wants to go back and the anxiety this creates is rather self-defeating but it s hard not to do. That said? This time is VERY different from any other time in my past.
In my past, depression came like a thief in the night. It just stole whatever it wanted whenever it felt like it. Then all of a sudden I was depressed and didn’t know why.
Now I know that in my case, there are usually reasons that have brought me down even though I was unaware of what they were.
Depression when younger was understandable. Life was crap.
Depression during my first marriage? Life was still crap but I added a useless husband and 3 small children to the mix. I was terribly overwhelmed.
Then the depressions came that seemingly had no cause. I’d gotten out of a bad marriage, pulled away from my birth family, I was a single mother but I loved it! No one was hurting me. I was making good friends and lived in a decent place. So why was I depressed then?
Depressions also followed me years later in to my 2nd marriage. Life was so good at this point. I just couldn’t figure out why the heck I wasn’t happier.
I went up and down from happy to sad like some sort of Ferris wheel on speed. I am not manic or anything like that… I just had no coping skills. Even though my new husband was amazing (and he still is 17 years later), my kids were doing well, I had friends, a good job, a nice home… I just still felt so down so much of the time.
I tried medication after medication with very little success. They took a bit of the edge off but not much of it. I grew increasingly depressed and suicidal thoughts just never went away. This went on for over a decade until I hit rock bottom and landed in hospital for 4 months out of 1 year. It was the best place to hit rock bottom and as I have said before. I am very grateful for being sent there. I wasn’t very grateful when I got sent though… not grateful AT ALL actually. 😉 I’m human…
While in the hospital I actually learned that depression is often a sign that something is not being taken care of. I learned that my self care and self nurturing skills were horrible. I basically didn’t do either. AT ALL. I wasn’t eating properly and my sleep was horribly disrupted as well. Just try not having a good sleep for a decade or two and see how happy you feel at the end of it. I was so stunned.
In the end I learned a ton of skills that really helped me get me get back on track in a healthier way.
I also learned that my depression was largely caused by my secrets. Due to my secrets, I had cut myself off from getting much needed support. Professional and amongst my friends. I am not blaming myself for this. I needed a safe place to let them out for the first time and in hospital with great nurses, I had found that place and I was safe.
*** A MAJOR side note here. This hospitalization was also when and where I got a proper diagnoses. DID and PTSD… not depression and anxiety. Those were symptoms and not the root cause of my biggest troubles. ***
I recall a saying that was shared with me a lot because I did not have the ability to express how I felt very often. Happiness was easy but the rest of it was (and still is) nearly impossible. The saying was something like “Depression is anger turned inside”. I’ve also heard “Unexpressed anger is the root of depression”. I have no clue where either comes from but in the past few days, I have started to realize this is why I am sinking down again. I am slipping backwards because I am angry and I have absolutely no clue what to do with that.
I wish I could just have a big hissy fit and be done with it but truthfully? I have no clue how to express anger in a healthy way. Everything that sounds good to me right now will not end well.
I will take this to my therapist. I will either find a way to deal with this here or find a safe place to do it. I won’t let it fester any longer now that I have realized why I am starting to feel so down.
Isn’t it great to actually know WHY you are starting to sink down? For me it feels like a huge breakthrough and I wanted to share it with all of you because I hope that the next time that you start to feel really down, you will be able to take a good look at what you have trapped within yourself that needs to get out in order for you to be healthy. I can’t tell you how to do it but therapy is always a good place to start. Heck, just knowing WHY you feel that way is a HUGE start!
So if you are reading this and feel really down on more days than not, stop and ask yourself what your life is lacking. Are you not getting out enough? Are you not eating well? Does your sleep really stink? Do you have secrets that you are terrified to share? Are you in a great deal of physical pain? Perhaps you are like me and need to seriously blow a gasket or two but just don’t know how to do that yet?
At least when you have figured out why you feel the way that you do, you can begin to heal. I’ll be right there beside you. We can do this together. 🙂