Depression. I know what she looks like, and can usually see her coming from a mile away. Over the years, I’ve prided myself on having the skills to keep her at bay. I’ve armed myself with being more self-aware than most, constantly assessing how I am doing. How I am feeling. Working to be the best version of myself and creating a life I love has helped me feel fulfilled on a daily basis.
But this time, she crept up on me.
Depression can be triggered
I’ve been dealing with uterine fibroids (see my post on My fibroids treatment dilemma) that have become much worse over the past few months. The anemia from the fibroids was making me tired. My uterus is now the size of a football and I look 4 months pregnant. It is pushing on my bladder. I am uncomfortable. I need surgery to get it out.
After much headache and time trying to find the best care for my issue, I found a reputable doctor who I can trust. But about a week ago, I received an email from his office telling me the date they were trying to get me in for surgery was not going to work out. I’d have to wait another month before getting the hysterectomy to remove my fibroid-filled uterus.
For some reason, reading that email telling me I’d be dealing with these symptoms for another month made be visualize Forrest Gump. Remember the scene where Forrest had been running over thousands of miles? He was running and running, then all of a sudden, he stopped. He turned around and said, “I’m pretty tired. Think I’ll go home now.” I am Forrest. And I feel exhausted.
But it’s not just physically exhausted due to feeling unwell. I feel mentally exhausted. I just want to crawl into bed and sleep.
Depression doesn’t discriminate
Depression. It’s been a few years since she’s come to visit. I am reminded that she can appear with no notice at all. I had been feeling reclusive for the past couple of months but brushed it off due to my fibroids along with my busy schedule and all that I wanted to accomplish.
The networking events I had been so excited about hosting and attending at the beginning of the year started to wash away in my mind as not worth my time. I packed my schedule so tight each day down to the minute, with work for this blog and my jewelry site on top of my regular mom duties. In the meantime, my fibroid symptoms were getting worse and I was always tired. But I tried to push through. I stopped exercising. I started to spiral and that email from the doctor was my tipping point. The negative thoughts crept in and took over my mind.
I could lay low and work through this on my own until I am back to my usual uplifting, positive self. But if I am an example of anything, it is to live with truth and authenticity in life and through this blog. I don’t want to hide while I’m going through the hard stuff. Life isn’t just about cocktails and jewelry and favorite recipes. I find that people are so afraid to truly show themselves. But I would much rather know the full person with all their struggles than just the perfect window view.
Depression does not discriminate. You can have the family, the house, the job and everything else that looks great on the surface but still fall hostage to depression. You can be grateful, happy and love life but still have unexplainable sadness. Having it doesn’t make us weak. But there is such a stigma, isn’t there? People don’t talk about this enough.
I am hopeful that someone who struggles with depression and anxiety is reading this so you know that you aren’t alone. It’s ok to talk about it. In fact, it helps to do so!
Acknowledgment is the first step to get out of depression
The first step is to recognize when you are depressed. I find once I realize I am in it, it’s the start of the road back to myself. When you’re feeling the dark clouds over your head for no apparent reason, hang in there. Don’t beat yourself up. But push yourself to get out of bed. To go for a walk. To do things that normally make you happy. And talk to someone.
Coming out of a depressive state isn’t a light switch where you’re all of the sudden happy. It is a slow process which takes time and may require professional help. Ask yourself questions. Be kind to yourself. And get the help you need.