My own experience was, in part, sparked by the diagnosis of an eventually fatal heart problem with my dad. But the reality of life is that it doesn't always take a huge tragic event to lose who we are to depression. It can hit you out of nowhere, and once it buries you, it can feel almost impossible to climb out. I buried myself in my room and watched dramas.
My kids suffered, my husband suffered, and I became a lump. I stopped writing. I only went out when I had to work or was pretty much forced. And the negative thoughts in my head were nonstop. I knew I was being a horrible wife and mother. I horrible human, for that matter. But I couldn't find the energy to do anything about it.
The hard thing is that I can't tell you how I climbed out. I can't pinpoint the moment I moved beyond the heaviness that sat in my chest every day. Or all the horrible thoughts that consumed me. It may have been when my father actually passed away and I was able to say goodbye. Or when I realized that my worth was not wrapped up in if I sold another book.
It probably happened because my family never gave up on me, and just kept invading my space. Jumping on me and hugging me, even when I was just a blob on my bed. I do know that I may have moved past the heavy depression, but I still suffer a bit of social anxiety, which I feel is left over from that time. It doesn't just disappear with the wave of a wand.
I don't have the answers, but I hope that our story might start the conversation. Because I know it's something most people don't, or just can't talk about. But it shouldn't be that way. If you are diagnosed with a physical disease you don't feel ashamed to tell people about it. Why do we think differently when it comes to mental health? Not just depression, but many other psychological ailments are taboo to talk about. As a mother I want my kids to know what I was going through. Especially since as a teenager my husband went through a period of depression as well. My boys will hopefully never have to deal with it, but I want them to know they can talk to me if they are feeling that way.
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