March 28, 2012

You're Going To Be Okay

Recently, I discovered a blog post by a lady calling herself Honest Mom.

It's about fighting depression.

I may have been the youngest goth
known to mankind.
As you might or might not know, I battled depression for a long time.  I still do, really.  I began to write a comment on her blog post, and I just found that I couldn't stop.  I just kept writing and writing and writing.  Before I published it, I paused.  Was it really okay to just sort of dump all of this on somebody?  And I decided the answer was 'yes.'  Because I wasn't just dumping this on anybody.  I was telling a story, and it was a story with a moral.  A good moral.

And so I share that comment here, with all of you, because I know how many people fight with depression in silence, feeling more isolated and helpless than people who have never experienced depression could possibly imagine.

I write this because, particularly as I find myself struggling occasionally with thoughts that I know are fundamentally depressive thoughts, that suicide is the fifth leading cause of death for pregnant women.

So pregnant mamas, PPD mamas, PPD daddies, and everyone else out there who has ever battled depression, I write this for you as well.


I totally understand.

I have battled depression for basically my whole life.  When I was about eight, I stopped sleeping.  Just... stopped.  Nobody has ever seemed really clear if the depression caused the insomnia, or vice versa, but in either case I found myself contemplating suicide before I was nine.  I attempted once, when I was fifteen.  It was a genuine attempt, and a miracle that it didn't succeed.  I kept fighting both the depression and the insomnia until I was in my twenties, when after a sexual assault I DID start sleeping, but had chronic and uncontrollable night terrors.

The only thing that helped was meeting my husband, who's presence in the bed keeps he night terrors away.  When he gets up in the night, or wakes up early in the morning, they come back.  Still.

That said, I'm doing a lot better.  Miraculously, I didn't have any problems with PPD... or at least, I don't think I did.  I think I had waves of depression that continued from the other waves of depression in my life.

But I can say this, after almost twenty years of fighting depression... it gets easier.  It really, truly does.
I can't tell you how long it takes for it to get easier.  In my case, it took about nine years.  It never truly went away, but it became... easier.

Dealing with depression is like dealing with losing a limb.  You have to relearn to function, and the more vital the limb or more profound the depression, the harder that is.  But it does get easier.  And then, one day, you realize that you're actually sort of kind of *happy*.  Inexplicably.  And that realization ruins it.  But then you have another one.  And another.

And then one day you catch yourself worrying about what would happen if you fell in front of that oncoming bus and died, and you think to yourself, "My god was THAT morbid," and it hits you that you've actually been pretty much happy for a long time.

So yes, I still battle my depression.  And sometimes, my insomnia.  I've been on and off a million meds (not one worked for me, and I flat out refused drugs that would be hard to quit if they didn't work (much to the chagrin of my shrinks)), and I've tried a million things to make it go away.

But there are only two things that I know make it go away even a little bit, and I can't vouch that they'd ever work for another person.  And those things are sleeping well, and finding a couple of diversions that actually get you out of your head a little.  Hard with kids, I know, but there are some.  With kids, one of my new ones is photography (not that I'm any good), and one of my old ones that sticks with me is reading comic books.

I can't imagine how difficult it must be to learn to live with depression while you're learning to live as a mom.  I can't imagine how hard it must be to believe that the thing that is making you depressed is something that you love and absolutely cannot quit.

I recommend that you stop thinking about "what is making you depressed," ever.  Because it doesn't matter what is MAKING you depressed, what matters is how you DEAL with it.  And it seems to me, having only just discovered that you exist, that you're doing a pretty good job.

Sorry to write you a whole novel over here... I just understand how hard this must be, and I really truly sympathize and wish you only the best.

Good luck.  And again, I promise... it sucks in the meantime, but it DOES get better.

It really does.

And you're going to be okay.


  1. Thank you so much for this. I honestly feel like this is a serious problem with A LOT of people. No matter what color, gender, effects so many people. And in some communities, it is something you should be ashamed of. That is so not true. Can you imagine how many lives could have been saved if the problem was addressed? We need to be more aware and no it is okay. Everyone is different and the remedy is not the same. I talk about how I found myself in health and exercise on my blog ( I am such a better person for it....a better mom and wife. Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. Get out of my head! I posted something similar today. I had some pretty hardcore PPD, and just yesterday I realized that I'm okay. I'm not cured, I'm not totally out of the woods. But I'm happy. I'm okay.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  3. @HippyFitMom I know your blog! I don't read often, because... well... I'm lazy, and you totally blow my mind with your dedication to a healthy lifestyle. Me? I've spent the last twelve hours figuring out exactly the best way I can make chocolate covered fake bacon.

    Thanks for the support!

  4. I love that you shared this. Your honesty- and the hope, too.

  5. I expect that chocolate fake bacon recipe.

  6. Chocolate covered fake bacon? Um, yes. Definitely yes.

  7. I've battled depression for most of my life. I finally found a medication that works (for the most part) about 3 years ago. It helps me to enjoy life and to feel actually "happy". I've thought about going off of it but I am terrified of going off of it because I don't want to be that person I was before. The person who hated life and hated everything around me. The person who cried every day. I hated living that life. I don't want to be on medication for the rest of my life but I'm scared of dealing with it again.

  8. Sooooo, I've been perusing, er, stalking your blog, and we live in the same city. Neat. I live way far south, by Midway. You likely live on the north side?

  9. @Angie Nope! We're south siders! We live in the U of C area. Want to get together for a playdate sometime?

  10. I don't know you and in fact this is my very first visit to your blog but I'm just so happy to hear the positive in your post and that you are doing well. It just made my day. Hope the happiness continues. :)

  11. Thank you so much for sharing this. I know that your words will help someone else who is reaching out by searching online for something, someone, anything at all to get them through. You're doing that today.

    Hugs to you for all you've been through and again, thank you for sharing such powerful words.

  12. As someone who has dealt with depression and anxiety for well over a decade, one of my biggest fears is how it will factor into motherhood. I plan on having kids in the next few years, and I'm slightly terrified of how my depression will effect this. Because, as you've pointed out, it DOES get better and easier over time, but it's a very slow going process. It took me years to realize that I was stuck in a cycle of going on meds, finding one that worked, then after awhile feeling better, going off my meds, and plunging into depression and paranoia. This is very typical of certain types of depressives, and I was aware of this, and yet somehow kept doing it anyway. It would throw my whole life off track, sometimes I would wind up in the hospital, AND I STILL KEPT DOING IT. Because figuring out depression is a slow process. And so throwing kids into that mix? Despite the fact that I'm in a good place and have made a lot of progress, adding kids in is still pretty terrifying. I'm glad to see moms addressing the issue of depression - it makes it slightly less scary to know that I absolutely won't be alone.

  13. My love for you just keeps on growing. You are such a beautiful person!

  14. This is a very good article! You left me a comment not long ago on my blog, thanks for stopping by. I will be adding the link to this post on my resource page, under the article category, you will be the first, but hopefully I will come across more bloggers with similar post to add on.




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