March 1st was a while ago. I know I don’t have regular readers but if I did, I wouldn’t now. I’ve never been very consistent but this was a long break. I have a hard time writing about something I’m still in the middle of. I’m coming our of it now, so I am able to explain a little of it.
So, in the last 8 months I’ve bought the home on Turtlcreek, in Edmond (everyone thinks we are in Guthrie, nope!), I have painted almost the whole interior of the home; trim, cabinets and ceilings included, had the carpet replaced along with the patio doors, HVAC, hot water tank and garage door. I’ve taken care of my kids and my husband… decently, but somewhere in the middle of it all I lost myself. This last year has been the hardest that I can remember. My body changed significantly, as well as my mind, my heart, my soul, my friends, my surroundings. And not just once, but over and over and over. I think of that analogy of sitting at the edge of the ocean and the waves just keep hitting you, too fast for you to get up and too slow to sweep you away. I shut down and didn’t even know it. All of the sudden I woke up and thought, why am I so sad.
My husband is my coping mechanism. He is my distraction, along with my kids. They keep me busy and make me laugh and I almost didn’t notice how depressed I was. If I were healthy they would be a source of joy but in the state I was in they were reduced to medicine, and there were definite moments when I didn’t want to take my meds. I didn’t want to do anything. I wasn’t wallowing, I wasn’t mad, I simply had no drive. The question, what would you do if money were no object… I couldn’t answer it. I couldn’t answer any questions. Not simple ones, not complex ones. I’d ask my kids, or my husband, or someone else to make the decision for me. I understand that a body in motion stays in motion and a body at rest stays at rest…. I was fast asleep and I couldn’t gather enough energy to start moving again. I was doing just enough to get by. I had never felt this way before.
The scariest part was I realized my relationships with my family and my friends… and God were all based on my feelings. Whether or not I felt loved, or felt appreciated, or felt taken care of, irregardless if I actually was. When you have no feelings, when you are numb, you think there are no real relationships. Like they don’t exist. My brain knew that wasn’t true but my heart didn’t. I was lonely, even around people.
Only one thought passed through my brain…
“If you want something different, do something different.”
I had to do something I didn’t normally do, so I started seeing a therapist. She was kind, and empathetic. She listened and felt what I was feeling. She was exactly what I needed at the time. Every week she gives me homework. I had to get a hobby, read a certain book (Search for Significance.. highly recommend), find a friend, exercise, meditate, and stop worrying. The things that helped me the most were the hobby and not worrying. See, when I was worrying, I thought I was planning. Planning for disasters, for kidnappings or car crashes, for burglars, or illness. Those six months where we were living with other families I was “planning” for when my kids were too loud and rambunctious, for when we were in the way and for disappointment in never finding a home. I was wasting loads of energy on things that weren’t probable, except the kids thing. I spent hours planning for this horrible life. I have this weird quirk, maybe you do too, when something good happens, I think its going to last forever. But, on the flip side, when something bad happens, I think IT will last forever. So when we moved and it didn’t go right, when we got pregnant and that didn’t go right, and then we tried to buy a house and that didn’t go right and I made a friend and that didn’t go right, I thought the pattern was just going to continue. Forever.
I was full of fear. I made every move based on my fear of conflict, fear of failure, fear of not being good enough, fear of embarrassment, fear of being passed my prime, fear of what other people thought about me. I became absorbed with Stephen, if he was successful then I was too, if he was happy, I was too, and so on. He became like a shield for me, I felt protected from all my fears with him between me and all of them.
But, planning isn’t worrying. Planning is unemotional and organized and it has an end goal. Worrying is overemotional, crazy disorganized and leads you no where.
(Here is a great read I found on fear: How to be Free from all Emotional Blocks and Fear)
So every time I began to worry, I just told myself no! Then distracted myself with a book or a recipe. I could have done that before, its not rocket science but I was completely unaware that was what was leaving me so exhausted.
The hobby, is still something I’m keeping to myself but simply put, I made a decision based on my love for something, not based on my fear of something. I hadn’t done that in a very long time.
So all of this to say I am feeling better. I am doing better. And just because I am a pastors wife, a christian, someone with lots of friends and my daily needs are met doesn’t me I am not susceptible to depression. Everyone is. It is the devils way of keeping you down and by the time you realized whats happened you have fallen asleep to life and have no idea how to wake up. WAKE UP!!!