Things have gotten a bit chaotic around here for the holidays. The recession has finally impacted us, so it has been a very handmade holiday; therefor, I have been very busy, but I am still here.
We also lost a car, which has added a bit of stress, but we have adjusted. There was another factor to my absence.
Now I tell you this not in the spirit of over-sharing, but because it is something very misunderstood. I suffer from depression. Not the spoiled-little-girl-didn’t-get-her-way-and-is-pouting variety that I’ve seen people try to pass off as depression for attention or drugs; but Major Depressive Disorder. In short, this means the chemicals in my brain are out of whack, so I can not just “snap out of it/get over it/choose to be happy.” I first had a problem in high school and sought help in undergrad. I was on meds for two years and then was finally able to control my emotions without meds. For many years I was fine. In my experience, when I am doing good I can continue to do good and even deal with stress and negative situations almost as any “normal” person would. However, it seems to me that if something big happens, or too many things steamroll on top of each other, I can loose control of myself, as though that triggers the imbalance. Once that starts, if it keeps going unchecked I get to the point were I can no longer “fix” myself. The only way to get back to “normal” is with meds to regulate the chemicals again.
Well, for the past several years the steamroll has been going. I didn’t want to see it, I didn’t want to admit it. I was so proud of what I had achieved in undergrad. For the first time I could look in the mirror and love the person looking back. I didn’t want to believe I had fallen back. Unfortunately, the reality was I couldn’t even look in the mirror any more. Not only because I had gained 80 pounds (on top or the 20 I had already needed to loose,) but also because there was a part of me that saw who I was becoming. Sure, in the grand scale of the world, I was great. Saving the world one person at a time. But at home…I have an amazing husband, and I was so unreasonable to him. I got so mad at him because he didn’t understand what I was going through, and, well, he didn’t understand what I was going through, so he couldn’t help. Eventually it was the weight that caused me to seek help. I was on the verge of being agoraphobic, and I knew I would never lose any weight until I dealt with the depression. The depression was causing me to be lethargic, and therefor not exercise, and it was also causing me to have no hope of ever loosing weight, so I would just eat whatever, what was the point of even trying.
Well, after many months of trying different meds, dealing with crazy side effects, finding a crazy allergy that could have killed me, steroids to fix the allergic reaction, more meds, and experimenting with dosages and what time to take pills, my amazing Doctor and I finally have me on the path to recovery. I have been able to talk to Doug with a clear head and really explain what I was going through. He sees the difference in who I had become, and who I am now. So much more like the girl he fell in love with. Now I just need to be the same size as her. The change happened so gradually that he just didn’t know it was a real problem, he just kind of thought that was who I had become.
I still have the weight to loose, but I feel like I can actually do it now. Life is so much better. I knew I had fallen, but I didn’t realize how far until I got back up. I had forgotten what it felt like to just be calm and at peace, to go a whole day without fear, to know I can face the future.
Now, I did not share this for pity. I didn’t even share this to excuse my absence. As I said before, I shared to educate. So many people suffering from depression don’t realize it, or feel guilty, or feel that it is not a real medical issue. So many people who know someone with depression don’t see it, either because the person is hiding it (I was great at that), or because they think the person has just become a whinny jerk/brat. Many times it is what happened here, the change just happens slowly so you kind of miss it. It’s like your tan fading. You spend a week in the Caribbean and come home all mocha~ie, then every day you fade a bit. Eventually you are back to milky white, but it just happened so gradually you didn’t even notice. However, if you go back and look at photos of the last day of your trip, you think “wow, I was so dark (hope I don’t get cancer.)” Well, it’s like that, you just fade away a bit every day, until you don’t even know yourself any more.
So there you have it. If just one of you understands depression a bit better, I am glad I shared. If someone gets help, or helps another to get help for depression, then I am ecstatic.
I will most likely still be rather absent until the new year, but I am going to do my best to be around a lot more after that. I know my family and friends who don’t live nearby enjoy the pictures and updates, and it’s a good history for the girls. Maybe Santa will get me a Dragon, or something of the like, for Christmas and I will be able to speak my blog, and skip over typing! That would be extremely nifty!!
“It’s not how many times you fall that matters, it’s how many times you get back up.”
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