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Re-doing the future...

user image 2012-06-01
By: Stephani
Posted in:

Please bare with me as blogging is not my greatest talent. Opening up and expressing myself has always been something I'm not great at either. This week has been a tough one for me, so this will most likely be a venting blog. A apologize ahead of time for this blog having no point, and also for it's randomness. I have honestly debated for a long time about whether to post this or not. I ultimately decided to because I thought maybe there would be at least person that can relate.

A little back story:

In Oct. 2001 I was diagnosed with a chemical imbalance (depression and severe anxiety), and hospitalized at the age of 14. I can remember every minute, hour, day, week and month that I spent there as if it were yesterday. When I was younger I always wondered why I was always so sad. I knew I was different from other kids because they were happy, and I wasn't. My whole life I have lived under a grey cloud that weighs me down everyday. When I was younger I tried to kill the sadness with drugs and alcohol. They gave me relief, but that relief was always short lived. As soon as my buzz or high wore off, there I was again back under my cloud.

I know a lot of people suffer from depression these days, but it is still a subject that is not talked about enough. A lot of times the ones who talk about it only suffer from temporary depression, or a mild form that was brought on by a sad event. They go through their depression, and then they get over it. I wish I could say it was that way for me, but unfortunately it's not. When I was diagnosed, I was given a pill and sent on my way. Back then it was shameful to take an anti-depressant. I kept my hospital stay quiet, and only my 3 best friends and close family knew about it. Other "friends" from school were told many different stories, but no one knew for sure what was going on.

It took a few different pills to get the right fit for me, but after a couple months it was helping. This may sound strange to those who don't suffer from depression or anxiety, but I finally had a grip of what it felt like to be "normal". When I say normal I don't mean what society calls normal, I mean normal as in I finally felt like I should've felt my whole life. Happy. My cloud was gone, only rarely would it trail far behind me. I could finally interact with my friends and classmate like a happy teenager would. Every time I would spent time with my sister she would ask me who took her sister and replaced her with this talkative, hyper person. I wanted to do things with my friends. I wanted to draw, and listen to music. I didn't have to wake up everyday and put on my "plastic Stephani" and pretend I could function. I could actually do it, and I wanted to!

Unfortunately though, along with all that happy, I still had shame bottled up deep inside. Shame from having to take a pill in order to function like every other person. In my mind, no one I knew had to take a pill to make them happy, they could be happy on their own. Why did I have to take this stupid pill just to feel normal? I was angry. I was angry at a lot of different things. We all have things from our childhood that aren't such happy things, but I held on to mine for far too long.

When I started my pills, I was told by the Dr. that I would be on them for the rest the of my life. Most people who need anti-depressants are only prescribed them for a relatively short period of time. I stopped taking my pills about a year after I was diagnosed. My Dr, was not happy with me at all, and to this day still checks on me through family (he's been our family Dr. for longer then I've been alive).

My life since going off my pills has been a roller coaster of crazy. After I stopped the medicine I started hanging with the wrong crowd and I got involved in things I knew nothing about. Things got pretty bad for a while, and I kind of spiraled out of control until about late 2005. I was at a bar (under aged) and I fell and completely shattered every ligament in my right ankle. Because I was put in a HUGE boot and on crutches for 8 months I had to move back in with my mom. Looking back, tearing my ankle all to pieces saved my life. I was on a crash course to nowhere fast, and the train was about to derail. During my time isolated on my mom's sofa is when I met my husband. He was the best thing that could have happened to me, and in the first year we spent together my depression never showed it's ugly head.

I told you all of that, to tell you this... In the 6 and half years that I have spent with my husband, he has never had the chance to experience how happy I truly can be. He's never seen the person I am with the help of my medicine. My cloud is back, and it's in full force.

My depression is probably worse then it's ever been. I have gotten great at hiding it, but it's truly getting harder every day. I'm kind of lost and drowning in my thoughts every day. I will never revert back to drugs, or my old lifestyle. But, I'm more so going in the other direction now. I'm becoming a complete hermit, I don't ever want to leave my house, and the only reason that I really do is because I have to work. Even going to work is becoming a challenge. I LOVE what I do, but my depression is doing what it does best. It's so great at making me not give a shit about anything.

My Mom wants me to get back on my med's, and in my heart I know that is what I should do for own sanity, but still I'm conflicted. I have all these thoughts jumbled in my head and I can't express them. I just feel so frustrated and sad.

I honestly have no idea where this blog is going, or why I'm even writing it. I don't talk to many people about my depression, because most don't understand it, but I guess it's nice to just get it out regardless if anyone reads it or not. I wish I knew how to express myself better.

06/01/12 06:16:40PM @valrie:

Thanks you guys. The point in my life that I mentioned previously in comments here was a definite metamorphosis for me. Prior to that I was always negative, always keeping people at a distance and doubting them, being bitter for the things that I simply could not change...
I started waking up in the morning and telling myself that today is going to be another beautiful chapter in my life, with a supporting cast full of amazing individuals of whom I can learn so much, and if things fall flat then keep moving forward because it's not the end of the story yet.... If I let it be so.

Taking in as much positive energy as I can as well as exuding it has been the primary objective in my "mental" life and I definitely feel the difference. Have you ever tried spending the day being friendly to strangers? Making eye contact and saying hi to people you walk past, starting conversations in the check out line at the store, etc? It's actually very internally rewarding and it really blew my mind that it was that simple. People need to feel cared about and I don't mind sharing that feeling now that I know that not everyone I meet is intrinsically "bad".

Hey, here is something silly that makes my entire day start off on the perfect note:
If I go to bed while playing the Bill Cosby: Himself dvd I actually wake up laughing the next morning. It's so weird but highly effective. :P

Anyhoo, Stephani, your absence did not go unnoticed this past week and I truly hope you find a way to get past this trial set before you. I would love to see some of your drawings sometime! I also used to keep my drawings at hand at all times but I have soooo many projects and obligations that I find my crafting somewhat unbalanced and haven't drawn in a long time. :)
as aggravating as it feels, if you need the medication then you need the medication. Perhaps you can try your hand at art therapy and see where that takes you. Since you are slightly resistant to taking the pills then starting off with therapies to see if you can go without them is always nice. If not then you can say you tried and it didn't work but in the end you need to look out for your best interests for stability, especially since you have a family to also help take care of.
Knowing the difference between what you can and can not change is the biggest step towards moving forward in your life. Taking action is the 2nd step and, this step can be baby steps or it can be giant strides; whatever you find less stressful. This post is one of those realizations and, if you re-read it to yourself you will get affirmation on what your next step should and will be.

Goddess grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

(my "tweaked" Serenity Prayer)

☮ soaring eagle ॐ
06/01/12 03:25:03PM @soaring-eagle:

yea i been thinking for days that valerie desserves to be a guru..

wekllll i do think that you should do what u need to do to be healthy

i have many friends in worse shape then you who refuse to even consider therapy let alone pills ..they just wont fdo a thing to help themselves and i hab=ve to take that role of them down when they have a kno=ife to their throught or are about to swallow handfulls of pills and i can understand not wantung to feel "broken" and admit they have something wrong with them..but theres got to come a point wher e you try to make things better instead of just assummng it has to be that way or that u desserve the suffering for some reason

06/01/12 03:11:02PM @stephani:

Valerie- You are always so helpful, and you really give great advice. It's amazing how much you care about the people on here. I read your comments on others blogs and what not and you always seem to have the nicest things to say. So I thank you for that. :) It is nice to have someone who understands and can sympathize. I think deep down I have felt how you do about the pills which is honestly probably why I stopped taking them years ago, but another part of knows that I am now beyond the point of return with out them. It truly irritates me that I may have to dependent on pills for the sake of my sanity. I'm kind of at the point where I'm almost out of the will to force myself to do things that I used to love. Drawing is my favorite thing in the world and I can't tell you the last time I picked up my pad and pencil. I didn't log onto here for a couple days either because I just couldn't bring myself to do it, and I really enjoy interacting with everyone here. I know that sounds silly though.

☮ soaring eagle ॐ
06/01/12 02:24:34AM @soaring-eagle:

theres drugs you take to ..have a good time or whatever then theres thiose u take cause u need it andno val the thing was nothing like electro shock therapy or anything its totaly non evasive does nithing permenant it kinda i think in a way vibrates the brain that shakes loose r[things clogging chemical receptors i[or somtethung not sure how it works but it just makes yoir brain work lmore correctly awhule

awhile back i met this girl kayleigh..aka si=unshine really amazing person..ikm kinda afraid she maybe dead now but when i met her well when she was born she was born with hydrosephalitic head or whatever its called water on the brain she was never suposed to live 8 months ..never walk or talk but had 28 brain surgeries 3 of which were developed just for her she was the 1wst personto evr have she survived.. but was born to a homeless addict mom and grwew up in foster ho,mes where she was raped 26 times before her 8th birthday..wat 9 she hopped a train to head to a rainbow gathering on her own..didnt make it at 7 her and her twin had the olsen twins contract to be in that show that made emk famouse but she neeed surgery again so couldnt do it..she had 6 career s by the time she turned 18 including turning down a multi million dollar record deal ..anyway im just telling u her background so u can sorta get an idea of how her mebtality coun]ld be ..pretty scrwed up even tho she was such a amazing talented strongand ..magnetic person (she stepped out the door the entit=re neighbourghood gravitationaly wa pulled to her ..literaly ppl from blocl[ks away just stopped ..turned around and surrpunded her she was that magnetic and charasmatic)

she was a lesbian when we met i was the 1st guy she ever really trusted or wanted to be with but was so tortured by her past shed lay in bed holding my hand but shaking ..shed cram herself into the craxck between bed and wall and shake and bounce up several times a night terified by her thoughts and voices..yes she had voices that torturedher still..

sg=he then one day just vanished awhile .got involved with a cop the cop got her adicted to coke and her depression got severe..she was hurting jherself constantly..i never saw that side of her when we were togethershe was i9n and out of the mentakl host]\pitol getting shock treatments ..losing her memories..losing her personality..but not losing the was so hard to watch..its been 3 years now since ive heard frim her and im afraid shes probably dead

i still to this day wished i could have done more to make a difference and hel p her..shed been tortured more then anyone i ever met yet as still 1 of the strongest ppl i ever met too

i wonder if i had a pount in telling you all tyhis ..if there was 1 ..i think i lost it huh

og=h yea i think it was that treatting it now with a pill sure beats being hospitalized and having to have much more severe treatnents that are harmful

no that want it i guess i had no point..except that yoir blof=g really made me think about her and wish i knew what happened to her

srry for rambling

06/01/12 01:54:32AM @stephani:

I can hide it pretty well, most people who don't really know me probably wouldn't know. I'm good at putting on my "plastic stephani" as I call it. My Mom is the best person at calling me out on it, I know she worries. It makes things more difficult because my husband has never really known anyone that has dealt with depression, and he's never suffered himself. He doesn't understand what I go through on a daily basis, and really doesn't understand why I would need medication. Which honestly is a lot of the reason that I've been off it for so long.

Thanks for the advice though and I'll definitely check out what you said though.

As much as I would like to take medicinal marijuana, I promised myself I'd stay away from it, along with my other vices. I've had 7 years drug free :)

You are right though, there is shame in suffering, it's no way to live life. Sometimes I feel like I'm so used to it that quite often I don't even notice it until I hit a manic patch (which doesn't happen that often).

06/01/12 01:53:14AM @valrie:

In response to SE's reply:

That brain shock thing you were mentioning... does it work sort of like an electric lobotomy? That would scare me a bit.

I also find that I get feelings of fulfillment when I accomplish tasks that I feel are important to me. For instance, my yard is crap at this house so I decided to do a little gardening (even though I have a brown thumb and know next to nothing about what I am doing.) I ended up transplanting my huge jade plant and more than a dozen aloe plants that were struggling to a better location together. When I was done I felt somewhat high from the feeling of accomplishment I got and it really put a dent in my depression. Even more so when a couple days later the aloe started to flower.

So, setting mini-yet, realistic-goals and pushing yourself to follow through with them could help you emotionally and physically (since you will be keeping your brain and body active and not in mope-mode.)

06/01/12 01:45:27AM @valrie:

I can actually relate quite a bit. My mother was diagnosed with clinical depression at an even earlier age than you were and has been on some sort of medication since. I have always had really large bouts of depression (in fact I'm struggling with one right now) but I have never been formally diagnosed as clinical.

When I was younger my mom pressed for me to go so a psychologist but thankfully, never forced me to. I put it off because of all the stigmas surrounding it and fear about learning something scary about myself. It wasn't until about 4 years ago that my depression hit a peak that scared the crap out of me.

Usually when I am depressed I sulk and get moonstruck. This particular time I was under a lot of duress (which I can go over in PM if you are truly curious.) What was different though, about this time, was that I caught myself thinking about killing myself and I found myself involuntarily hurting myself. This really scared me because I distinctly know that mutilation and death are NOT solutions to the problems I was having but they sprung out of the depths of my soul so quickly that it was frightening. It got me thinking about when the time would come that I would actually kill myself, in auto-pilot to something stressful.

So I started to see a therapist. The first therapist offered to me to discuss drug treatment but I declined. I try to take less meds, not more, and I am already on plenty for more important, body functioning, reasons. Over the course of 2 therapists I found myself truly feeling relief from my weekly sessions. Being able to spill the beans to an unbiased person who LISTENED was a great way for me to unload the burdens and come to my own realizations in regards to my feelings and actions.

I stayed in therapy for a bout 2 - 2 1/2 years which was plenty of time for me to get myself back into control.

I used to write all the time about my feelings and then I stopped for a long period of time. Now I write when I am truly worked up about something and I read it out loud to myself so that I can give a self-evaluation. I will also try throwing myself into things that I truly love (ie. reading books, crafting.) I find that all of these things help me stay in control.

Going back to your own story, have you talked to your husband about your past experiences with depression? This was one of the hardest things for me to discuss with Greg when we started dating. One day I just kind of exploded into crying. It's so hard explaining to someone that you are crying for no apparent reason -- they usually don't believe you.

If he does know, have you told him that you feel like you are falling into a depressive funk now? Have you discussed the possibilities of medications (and, honestly, I don't think people are "truly" happy on meds I think that the meds make them feel as if they are -- no offense meant,; this is the way I have always felt about anti-depressants.) Have you considered therapy as an option?

☮ soaring eagle ॐ
06/01/12 01:37:13AM @soaring-eagle:

im actualy surprised cause yiu seem like a happy person to me and im usualy pretty sensative to others states of beings so normaly would pick up on this (more often the situational type then chemical type) and well thats something you must realize is it is a chemical thing..and therefore is best treatted chemicaly (that doesnt mean meds are the only answer but talking things thru wont help as much as altering yoir brain chemistry will) one way to do so is herbs..t john s wort has been used aqlot to treat has low dose marijuana..hifg dose or over use will make depression worse so u gotta use low dose ..medicinal sdosing m,entality

not dependency

if meds are your ownly answer theres no shame in that..there is shame in suffering..and causing siuffering in others who care and not treatting it imagine if it was psychosis not depression..and it caused you to harm your husband or cghildren and you didnt treat it allowed them to be harmed cause you didnt want to depend on a pill to control yoir psychotic episodes..

why do you feel its ok if yoir suffering..being harmed ?

try herbal treatments 1srt.. go to i think it is talk to dr mary about her herbal depression treatments

theres a new depression treatment that involves magenetic resonant imaging (mri) or ultrasound or somethung u saw it on dr oz (flipping thru channels) they put this thing on yoir head u feel a tapping feeling and it pinpoint bombards parts of your brain with eir=ther sound or magenetic energy and in minutes yor depressions gone but u got to redo it every few months and since its b[=new its xpensicve

u can also try avcupuncture

if u try those ..and ..back flower remedies (great fior all sorts of emotional issues) and the naty=ural remedies or alternative treatments dont help then by all means take yoir pills

ps..some depressions ..called sads are trated by light or sunlight so ..get out of the hourse4 more even if u got to force yoirself..the sun will help alot

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