I became really good at pretending.
I was diagnosed with major depression almost a year ago today; whenever I look back on my life I think I have always battled depression even at a young age. I have had an interesting life and a good life overall which is why it is so frustrating that I wake up every day wishing I was dead.
Let’s pretend you are my therapist and I’ll lay on your couch (my therapist never had a couch in her office, just rocking chairs). My childhood was fine. I had 2 parents in the same house until I was about 8 years old then I lived with my dad for the rest of my childhood and high school career. My mom was around, but I prefered to not be around her since she was diagnosed bipolar but honestly believed my dad paid the therapist to say that so he could get custody. This was something I accepted and moved on with by the time I was 10 years old.
I didn’t have an abundance of friends at school, but this also didn’t bother me. I was surround by my family. I had a cousin (who is 5 years older than me), aunt, uncles, my Gram, and above all else I had my dad who all raised be to be the person I am today. I was an A/B student my entire middle school/high school career. I knew I wanted to go to college and become a teacher after high school. I had my entire life planned out because that is what my dad taught me to do and then have plans B-Z just in case things don’t work out because they never do.
I have the privlage of being a white hetrosexual, and I mostly have had serious boyfriends. I had 3 boy friends in high school, another 3 in college, and then I got married. I did have a 6 month time period where I was making a lot of crazy mistakes, but nothing out of control to the point it would mess up my overall goals in life.
MY POINT IS that I didn’t have a traumatic life like you see in the movies or study in textbooks about. So let’s fast forward to about 4 years ago. I was on my way home from work; my first full time job teaching (8th and 7th grade actually). I was crying because my “favorite student” (I like to call him “that kid”) once again was not following directions, he refused to participate, he refused to ignore everyone and wanted to cause a scene with the other students to lead a revolt. I felt I had lost control of my classroom and I had absolutely zero support from my fellow teachers, my administration, or student parents. I had this realization that maybe I was not cut out for teaching. The one thing I wanted to do for a career my entire life. Then I started to have a panic attack. I couldn’t breathe, I was driving but couldn’t see the road, I just kept driving as unsafe as I felt. Then it hit me that if I got in a car accident that I wouldn’t have to deal with this feeling anymore. If I just plowed right into a pole, there would be no more pain and no more failure. Continue reading “This is how it started”
My depression really sinks in when I stop keeping myself busy. It’s a fine line for me to have the option to relax, but not stare at a wall for 2 hours straight. I came up with a listing of things I try when I start to feel my depression taking over my life, and I find myself analyzing the texture in my ceiling. Mental health care is about finding what works for you.
- Call or text a friend
- Read a book or blogs
- Binge watch TV or movies
- Make a meal with real ingredients
- Get outside
- Snuggle an animal
- Craft using my Cricut
- Take a￼ nap
- Build something
- Clean something
- Organize an area in my home
- Take a nap
- Take a bath
- Complete a writers block buster for the heck of it
- Look at my list of short term and long term goals
- Plan a trip
- Play a video game
- 5,4,3,2,1 senses exercise (list 5 things from one sense, 4 from another, etc)
- Make my husband snuggle me
- Try something new
- For the love that is holy, leave your house/property
- List 5 things that you are good at/why you are awesome
- Listen/play music
- Stay away from social media for 24 hours
- Look for companies to apply to your dream job (even if you’re not applying today)
- Get dressed in something that makes you feel good
- Paint my nails
- Try a new hairstyle
- Look a tattoo designs
- Rearrange the furniture
- Paint something
- Focus on relaxing each individual muscle in my body
- Practice a new language (Duolingo is actually a really fun app)
- Schedule the rest of the day or the next day
- Draw a picture (even if I’m terrible at it)
- Complete or work on completing a puzzle.
- Watch movies, tv shows, or videos that I know will make me cry
- Plan my next quilt to sew
- Actually sew a quilt
- Talk to a deceased loved one (out loud or in my head depending on the day)
- Dust the ceiling fans
- Make a list of projects to complete for each room in the house
- Print pictures off to hang up in the house
- Arrange flowers in a vase for the room I stay in the most
- Look at pictures of animals I’d like to have
- Research adventures to go on within driving distance
- Sit under the clouds/stars
- Make a list of what is causing me to stress and write how I can make each item less stressful
- Pretend I’m giving a friend a pep talk for whatever is bothering me
- Eat a healthy snack
- Online shop (even if I don’t purchase anything)
- Research an interesting topic
- Complete some task that’s been bothering me
What are some things you use to distract yourself from self harming, anxiety, depression, etc.?
Sometimes when depression has taken over my life it’s as if I am not even capable of completely the smallest tasks. I will go to bed thinking of al lithe productive things I’ll get up and do like go to the gym and clean the kitchen. Yet, I wake up and I don’t want any part of existing.
I am and have always been a breakfast is required type of person. There is no skipping breakfast for me. Today, when I woke up all I wanted to do was stay in my bed. I kept thinking of all the things I wanted to eat, but couldn’t bring myself to get up and actually make it.
Depression is not just sadness. It’s something that knocks out all of your capabilities of living life, the bare minimum of life.
Eventually I’ll feel like I can move forward, but there’s no telling how quickly I’ll fill back up and be under water again.
There is a part of depression that really gets under my skin. I can deal with the helpless, hopeless, and constantly tired; I’ve accepted those as part of my life forever. I cannot stand the feeling of needing to cry but having my tears locked up in some sort of vault.
I feel like I’m drowning but no one else can see the water that’s reaching levels above my head. It’s as if all parts of life have liquified into tears and are held within my body, yet I don’t have the key to unleash them. I know if I could just release even just a few years then I’ll feel like I can breathe again.
No amount of running, yoga, writing, or gardening can help me out of this moment. I just have to wait for it to pass. Until it does, I want to lock myself up in my house. I want to hide from my husband. I don’t want to bring anyone else down with me.
I just want to be able to cry and let everything out. I have no clue how long I’ll feel this way. It’ll stop once I’m breaking at the seams and not an ounce of liquid can be held back any longer. I’ll think of every way to try to cut, rip, and squeeze them out. Eventually I’ll cry. Eventually I’ll feel like I can move forward, but there’s no telling how quickly I’ll fill back up and be under water again.
Wow! Big shocker there. I feel like most blog writers want to write a book at some point. I’ve wanted to write a fiction novel since I was 12 years old. I have countless word documents of short stories, terribly written love stories about my current crushes, and even a screenplay from when I wanted to be a director for a short period of time. I have notebooks of novel ideas in storage, and I can’t tell you how many partial chapters I have written for each of those ideas.
I want to write a novel, and I think I finally found the one worth dedicating my time to.
The problem is it’s just so overwhelming when I look at it as a whole. I struggle with what to include and what to leave out. I have all these ideas, but can’t decide how important they are to the overall story. Then I start belittling myself about all my half-written works from the past.
So I am here. Telling you all that I am going to try to write a first draft of a novel before my baby arrives in February 2019. I’m writing the goal down and putting it out into the world in hopes I’ll actually follow through.
This has very little to do with my actual depression, but it does have to deal with my everyday life.
Lately, I have had a difficult time being alone during the day. My husband has been working late hours, and my friends seem to be exhausted from work to hang out in the evenings. As a result of the lonely feeling, ive been watching a lot of Netflix, movies, and Hulu to fill the empty silence.
Have you all watched Netflix’s To All The Boys I Loved Before? It is seriously adorable. Yeah I’m a grown, married, mother-to-be woman, but I love how adorable this movie is! It’s wholesome and sweet, and a thousand percent predictable.
I’ve pushed play on that dang movie at least 3 times in the last week. I’ve put it on while washing dishes, folding laundry, and even during cardio. It’s cute and it makes me happy because I’ve always been a sucker for predictable romantic movies; from Snow White to Silver Linings Playbook.
Anyways: bring some cheese happiness to your life and watch the Netflix movie.
I let myself get lost again. I know what has helped me become as normal as I can be, yet I let myself get off track. I let myself lean into my depression without and hesitation. I gave up on the fight because I just got tired of it. It’s so exhausting to have that constant battle with myself. So I gave in.
I’m trying to get back on track, but I feel lost again. I am not sure who I am anymore. My true identity is constantly shadowed by what I feel I should be in other peoples eyes and by what depression tells me to be. I want to reach goals. I want follow through on plans. I want to be the best person I can for myself and my friends and family.
I need someone to help my push the reset button.
Do those people live in a bubble? You don’t have control over every aspect in your life.
There are so many cheesy inspirational quotes out there, many people like to remind those who are depressed that “you are in control of your life. You are in control of your own emotions.” I completely understand where those sayings are coming from. They center around the fact that the way you choose to react to situations in your life are your decisions.
Do those people live in a bubble? You don’t have control over every aspect in your life. You don’t have 100% control over your emotions, especially when you are struggling with a mental illness that effects your emotions. I can’t just positive thoughts my way out of depression.
My depression stems from the fact that I want to do things the best I can. I want to make people happy. I want to make life great and easy for those around me. It is literally impossible for me to do those things, and it took an unsupportive supervisor in a community that didn’t value education to make me realize me life goals are unattainable.
According to all these “you are in control” people, I should just choose to accept this and choose to move onto something different. My heart and soul still want to make the lives of students easier by challenging them to think outside the box. My heart and soul want to smile at others and listen to anything they need to get off the chests. Do you know how impossible it is to change the entire essence of your being?
It’s difficult. It take every part of your mind, but you also have to keep functioning. So not do I not only have to change my entire personality with every once of energy, but I also have to keep up appearances of a functioning person.
I have no control over the people who yell at me. I have no control over the fact that the world still turns when I wish my heart would quit beating. I actually have very little control over what happens in the universe. The only thing I have control over is trying to live under the rock that is my country home and pretending I don’t need relationships, money, or anything else.
It’s the first day of school for people all over, and I am sitting at home watching Everwood on Hulu and trying to talk myself into a shower
It’s that time of year again! People posting pictures of their kids on the first day of school. I notice school parking lots full of teacher vehicles all day long. Teacher friends sharing their classrooms ready for the first day of school (I’ve said it before social media can be the worst). It hurts to see all these kids and professionals ready for the first day of school, and I am not.
It’s this little pang of guilt and desire every time I think about missing out on the first day of school. I always wanted to throw up on the first day as a kid and a teacher, but I want to cry now that I’m not going to be there. Part of me feels like I have let down every expectation anyone ever had of me; I let down myself because I failed. I failed as a teacher in my own eyes.
If I didn’t fail as a teacher, I wouldn’t have had my complete mental breakdown. I wouldn’t have put a strain on my relationship by trying so hard at being a teacher. There are thousands of teachers all over the country (and even world) who have the capabilities to plan, grade, give feedback, and communicate with families outside of the school hours without throwing away all the other pieces of their lives. I failed as a teacher, and that’s why it hurts my heart but also is embarrassing to me.
It’s the first day of school for people all over, and I am sitting at home watching Everwood on Hulu and trying to talk myself into a shower and brushing my teeth. I failed at the one thing I worked my entire life for, and I don’t even want to try again because I’m scared it’ll take me back to those moments of crying under my desk during lunch.
I’m linking photo credit to this photographer today because not only did she take the picture, but she MADE this gift for her child’s teacher.
Every time I express me feelings of depression to people who don’t fully understand it, I get a variety of responses that are typically all the same at the root.
“Life is tough”
“Things don’t always work out the way you plan.”
“Life isn’t always fair.”
“You just have to ignore the negatives and focus on the positive.”
All of those pointless responses just tell me that what I am feeling is normal and it’s just the way life is for everyone. Which I have learned to accept that depression will always be apart of my life. I will always have to struggle to feel like I need to live.
Honestly, I don’t always feel like fighting. I don’t see why I’m required to put up this fight daily. If life is supposed to feel this way, why do I have to live? If everyone feels the way I do, as they repeatedly tell me they do and completely understand, why don’t they understand how exhausted I am everyday?
The truth may be that life is difficult and full of struggles, but I don’t understand why I’m required to be apart of it then.
The zoo. That was my mistake
Today, I redid our household budget. Somehow our bills doubled what they were in January when the last time I redid our budget. I’m sitting here looking at a sheet of paper with color coded expenses to try to narrow down what we could eliminate.
Even if we eliminated all of the luxury expenses (cell phones, internet, Netflix, etc.), we are still $2000 over our current income. There’s nothing else I can cut back on without deciding we are just going to eat fewer meals (and I even have a 20×20 garden to supplement our current grocery budget).
I keep shaking my head and hearing that voice say “I made a mistake”.
I shouldn’t have quit teaching. I was able to save up $10,000 in 3 years when I was teaching. I paid for our wedding, the down payment on the car my husband is currently driving. If I were still teaching, money wouldn’t be an issue. Instead I would still be in the situation or feeling overwhelmed by meeting the needs of others (ie: my students and their parents) before my own basic needs (ie eating, showering, and sleeping).
We shouldn’t have gotten pregnant. I am currently 12 weeks pregnant. We thought we could do this. We thought this was a good time since I wasn’t working right now. To be honest, part of me even thought “if I get pregnant, people will stop harassing me about being a stay at home wife.” This May be the mistake, but how can I say this little Human I am growing is a mistake. People spend YEARS trying to create a human; they pay tons of money to drs so they can make their own human. I have been given the greatest gift of all, so how can this be THE mistake.
I shouldn’t have gone to the zoo. Last year on the day I decided I was going to die, I went to the zoo instead. I took my niece and nephew to the zoo with my aunts. We had a blast. It was so much fun, and no one realized the purpose was because if I was responsible for being an aunt that day then I wouldn’t swallow the mixture of pills I collected chased with tequila and NyQuil.
The zoo. That was my mistake. I should have ended my constant battle when I had everything organized, and ready to go. Now I have a tiny human to grow, and I’m committed to at least February.