Stand Tall and Find the Sunlight

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. 🙂

Sunflower1

 

 

9 responses to “Stand Tall and Find the Sunlight

  1. You have every right to be angry Heather, for many reasons. Will your therapist will help you express it – as you say – in a healthy way? I’ve been struggling too a bit lately and just get so angry about the slightest thing. It’s exhausting – for me and my poor husband. Lack of sleep is certainly a factor, but good news is I have my first ever appointment with a therapist on May 7th. Big step. And thanks to you Heather with your good advice and loving support. If you need to vent, I will be glad to listen!xxx

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    • Thank you Wendy!
      May 7th? That is nice and soon. I am so proud of you for getting help. That is often the hardest part.
      I don’t know what my therapist will do but I feel she will try to help me however she can.
      Let me know how it goes on the 7th. ❤

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  2. Thank you so much for your posts, Heather. I’m in the process of my own reawakening, ready to understand what is precipitating my depression and anxiety so I can take control of my reactions to life. I’m rooting for you 😀

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  3. Before Tina (the 6th girl to come out in my wife’s network) came outside, the other girls called her ‘the screaming girl.” They had no connection to her, but they could hear her screaming inside. When she finally came out, she attached herself to me in a way that none of the other girls have done so, and for the first year or so, from time to time, she would wrap her arms and legs around me like a toddler and bury her head in my neck and cry, scream or do whatever she needed to do to release the emotions safely.

    I’m not quite sure how much your husband is involved in the healing process and if he is emotionally stable enough (because it can be very taxing at times), but what I did is kind of attachment theory basics with me being the ‘safe haven’ and affect regulator so that nothing became overwhelming to the girls, even though it felt that way to them…

    Good luck to you however you decide to process and stay safe!

    Sam

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    • Thank you Sam. Your suggestions really help me a lot.
      I am blessed with a very supportive and stable husband. We are newer to DID than you and your wife are (the actually knowing about it part LOL) so I am still often unsure of what I need and he is also unsure of how to help.
      This anger feels so overwhelming. My husband and I have discussed it but neither of us knows how to deal with it.
      I think I need to learn more about attachment theory and safe haven basic. Do you have any suggestions as to the best place for that? I will share what I lean with my husband.
      Thanks again Sam. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Heather,

        I don’t know how much of my blog you have read. I have written a series on attachment theory and there is a tab at the top that will take you to all of the relevant articles. I have also included some links to my sources within the articles, but I’ll be honest, most of my sources weren’t specific to d.i.d. or trauma, but I have read them and then applied them to our situation. The one on affect regulation is most specific to your question (link below).

        You recently mentioned that you are considering allowing the others out. I think that would be key, too, though I know many experts are against it for some reason. When people decide not to engage the actual people(insiders) within the network who experienced the trauma, but only the host, then they severely limit the effectiveness of whatever they try because they are working thru a ‘middle man’ essentially(imho). I also have a tab on my insider-oriented approach. To be forewarn you, this approach has gotten me blacklisted from various d.i.d. groups and yet I feel it is the reason my wife/girls rarely have panic attacks anymore, have few triggers left, have never been suicidal, never needed any medications or hospitalizations, and other things that seem part and parcel of most people’s healing journey.

        I wish my blog were better organized as there are now over 200 entries, but most of them detail the methodology I have used to walk my wife thru the healing process if you can find what you want. You are always welcome to ask me specific questions and I can either give you the link to an appropriate entry or answer it specifically as some of my oldest entries are a little dated and I have a much better understanding of things now than when I first started the blog.

        Good luck to you and your husband.

        Sam

        https://samruck2.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/attachment-theory-and-affect-regulation-the-roadmap-for-healing-d-i-d/

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      • Wow Sam! Thank you for the wonderful information!
        I will certainly read up on those sections of your blog and I have a feeling that my feelings match yours in regards to an approach. Experts feel it very important to only speak to me yet in 40 minutes yesterday, my Helper Julie was able to unlock BOATLOADS of relevant, current issues that really needed light shed on them. Just so you understand how I feel about it… I am ALL for it but find it difficult to find therapists whom agree and will work with me in that way. I am already nervous enough about it (normal nervous I think) so if a therapist is hesitant, it doesn’t work.
        I have read your blog but obviously not enough. Tomorrow I have some free time so I will rummage around.
        P.S. My blog tomorrow is all about Helper Julie and the appointment that I just mentioned. I was so pleased about it even though I feel off kilter today. I hope you will read it and give me your feedback. I am curious to know what you think.
        Thanks again for the help and the link!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Eye opening blog!! Anger is something I am having to deal with and I never knew it could turn into depression if not dealt with. Thanks for the knowledge!

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