God is so ironic, don't you think? Today's my day to "blog" and the topic is depression. You'll get why that's funny as you continue reading.
Our speaker, Susan Leonard, asked what it is we think of when we think of "Depression," whether it be ourselves or others, and we were told to write something down.
Having personally dealt with depression, medication, and some super-fun therapy and psychological evaluations, this is what I wrote:
I literally feel like I've failed most days. Don't worry, this doesn't get me down like it used to, praise God for Zoloft; however, it's startling even to me that I still feel like I've let everyone (including myself) down.
At the age of 20, my first major depression struck. It was mostly caused by some relationship issues and a lot of unresolved feelings and anger. I didn't seek help at that time, but I pushed through, and I was eventually able to finish college, get married and have 2 beautiful girls before my next "episode" at the age of 28.
According to Ms. Leonard, a "Melancholy" personality can potentially contribute to depression. Well, that's me. I'm creative, perfectionistic, blah blah blah, all those things. I also am genetically predisposed. Yay me.
Anyway, when I was 28, I'd had my second daughter, had the baby blues, and never quite recovered. In fact, it got much worse, and I knew I had only two choices: seek professional help, or become a blob.
Realizing that blobs don't make very good mothers, I decided to get help. I was diagnosed with Bipolar type 2, began anti-depressants, and starting seeing a lovely therapist who helped me to battle some pesky demons from the past. And I got better -- MUCH better. I felt happy again, I enjoyed my kids and my husband again, and I rediscovered my creative side. I taught myself to knit and starting writing again as well.
So meds are great (when needed), but Susan is so right when she said that a major key in your depression journey is RELATIONSHIP. If not for my dear husband who encouraged me to get help, and hugged me when I was feeling so unlovable, and for my friend who went with me to my first doctor appointment, and for my other friends for suggesting I contact my therapist.... Well I don't know where I'd be, but it wouldn't be good.
I don't know what you needed to hear today, but I really needed to hear (again), that it's not my fault. That I'm not a failure. In fact, I'm a hero. Depression felt like a big giant was sitting on me, and I fought that giant. So...
Ask for help, tell a friend, do the work. I promise it's all worth it.