“Snap out of it!”
I used to hear that a lot. I couldn’t figure why I couldn’t just “snap out of it.” I mean, I was a happy-go-lucky kind of girl. Not many things bothered me and I easily went with the flow. It just seemed that out of no where I couldn’t concentrate. I felt as if my smile had faded and an empty stare had taken its place. Nothing made me laugh anymore. I didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything. The only reprieve from this darkness was sleep; lots of sleep.
When my episodes of depression first started, I could hide the way I was feeling. I could put on a fake smile around other people and seem fairly normal. However, when I returned home, my true feelings of inadequacy arose. It wasn’t long until I was back in my very dark bedroom alone. I didn’t want anyone to know how I was feeling. In all actuality, I couldn’t have described it if I wanted to.
As my depression progressed, my marriage and other relationships started to suffer. I felt so hopeless. I couldn’t imagine that I had anything positive to contribute to anyone. If my children wanted to see me, they had to knock on my bedroom door and talk to me in a dark room. They couldn’t figure out what was wrong. My children began to think that I didn’t love them and that I didn’t want to spend time with them. If there was a time that I came out of my room, I was angry and irritable. I didn’t want to be around people. I didn’t deserve to smile and I didn’t feel that I had anything good to say. My husband tried to help me. He kept the kids quiet. He fed them and bathed them and cared for them. For almost a year, he was a single parent. My children were growing while I was sleeping.
Finally, a friend of mine encouraged me to get help. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do. I just kept telling myself that “tomorrow it would get better.” However, feeling better on my own never happened. I eventually went to see my family doctor and the road to recovery began. She prescribed some medications for me and we talked of the things that I needed to do. I came home that night and made a schedule that I was determined to make myself follow. I took baby steps.
Becoming my “old self” again didn’t happen overnight and I still suffer from depression. Today, I handle it very different. I make myself get out of bed. I try to look for the good in everything. When something upsets me, I talk about it. Most importantly, I smile as much as I can. I am not embarrassed about my depression and I am actually quite thankful for it. You see, I allow myself to have a down day once in a while, because that “down day” helps me appreciate the good days all the more.