Open and Honest

Last night was one of the worst nights I've ever had with depression.  Normally, I would lock up the painful feelings for several months before opening up about them, but since starting this blog, I want to be open and honest.  I want to share how I felt while the feelings are still fresh, tender, and raw.

Yesterday, I woke up feeling slightly anxious but mostly just lacking motivation.  I didn't want to do anything but lay in bed all day.  I opened the blinds and looked outside.  It was very cloudy.  I knew it would probably be a hard day if the sunshine didn't come out.

I forced myself to get ready, dragging my feet and wishing that it was an option to lay down all day and do nothing.  Then, my daughter woke up, and I got her ready too.  I'm thankful I have her to make me do something during the day, when I feel awful.

I knew that in order for the day to be productive at all, I needed to get outside for a while to get some fresh air.  I got my coat and shoes on, along with my daughter's, and I decided that we would go on a little walk around our apartment complex.

I opened the door to go outside and a cold, crisp wind hit my face.  I took a few steps out and decided that maybe my walking idea was a bad one.  I tried to tell my daughter that we needed to go back in, but she didn't like that, so I let her play in the leaves for a few minutes before convincing her that we really needed to go inside.  

I felt miserable.  I didn't enjoy watching my daughter play in the leaves.  I didn't enjoy the fresh air.  I didn't even focus on the present moment at all.  All I could think was how I wanted to go inside, lay down, and escape my gloominess.  I wanted a do-over already, a day where I woke up to sunshine, smiles, and motivation to do something good.  Oh how I missed the summer and longed for that time when I didn't have to fight these battles, when I was so productive and helpful to others and energetic as a mom.  I don't like the person that I am when I am struggling with depression, and I find myself spending hours during the day wishing that I could be the me without depression.

We went inside, and I put on a movie for my daughter to watch.  I wasn't mentally able to entertain, play, have fun, or do anything.  I didn't want to lose patience with her, when none of this is her fault, so I sat on the couch next to her feeling completely disconnected.  I kept looking at the clock, watching the minutes slowly tick by, wondering how long it would take until it was finally nap time.  There were things that I could have and should have done, but just the thought of them made me feel overwhelmed, so I didn't do them.  

Nap time came, I put my daughter to bed, and got on the computer.  I checked Facebook, email, blogs, more Facebook, more email, more blogs (just in case someone updated in the last 5 minutes).  I wanted to escape.  I wanted something to make the time pass until my husband got home, something to distract me from the numbness I was feeling.

When I realized that there was nothing new to read on the computer, I turned it off and went into my room.  I laid down on my bed and stared at the ceiling.  I felt guilty for not having the dishes done and for not intending to do them.  I felt angry that I wasn't the "fun mom" that I want to be and that I can be when I feel good.  I felt apathy.  I didn't know if I cared that I was doing nothing but lay in bed and feel awful.

My daughter woke up from her nap and I got her out of her crib.  I needed to do something with my day and to get out of the house.  We made a card for a friend's son who just had a surgery and left to take it to him.  I thought maybe doing something for someone would pull me out of my funk, maybe serving would put the sunshine back into my cloudy day.

We took the card and visited, but the gloom stayed.  I was supposed to go to the store at some point, and the store is fairly close to where our friend lives, but I didn't want to use my energy going to the store, so I didn't.  Instead, I went home and wasted more time just sitting around wondering how to get myself motivated.  

My husband got home, and I felt nothing.  I forgot to show any interest in him being home, because I was so caught up in my own thoughts.  He hugged me and kissed me, but I felt no warmth in my heart.

In the evening, I had a piano lesson to teach.  My heart was racing as I drove to their house.  I kept fighting myself from making any excuse as to why I couldn't come.  I didn't want to see anyone.  I didn't want to try to muster up some fake energy and happiness.  I made it to the lesson and it went well, but I still had no feelings.  

I got back in the car and felt the tightness in my heart increase.  I wanted to hide from everyone and not come back out until I felt better.  I forced myself to drive home, carry my things upstairs, and walk in the door.  I got my daughter ready for bed, snapped at her a few times for doing normal kid things that annoyed me at the time, and put her to bed.  

My husband asked if I wanted to watch a movie.  I agreed, hoping that a movie would take away the ever-increasing tension in my heart.  We started watching "The Haunted Mansion."  The more I sat there bottling up my feelings, the more intense they became.  I kept fidgeting as the tightness in my heart got to be almost unbearable.  I felt panic and fear, but for no reason.  I couldn't stay still, because being still gave me time to remember how awful I felt.  The pain built up even more.  I wanted to scream out, "I can't do this!  Go away awful feelings!"  But my mouth stayed shut.  I tried to get comfortable, but after several attempts, I gave up; I went to my room to pray. 

I walked into my room and fell onto my knees next to my bed.  I kept repeating, "Heavenly Father, please help me.  Please help me.  Please help me."  I didn't know what else to say.  I started to cry.  The agony grew.  "Please help me.  Please help me.  I can't do this alone.  Please help me."  

I heard my husband walk into our room.  He knelt down next to me and put his arm on my back.  I grabbed his shirt and turned around to hug him.  I gripped his shirt tighter and felt the need to grip it as tight as I could so that somehow it would release some tension in my heart.  I started sobbing.  "I feel so awful!  Please don't let go."  

He held me until I was okay with us moving to a more comfortable position.  We moved to our bed, and he asked me to explain what I felt.  I told him that there was an awful pain in my heart and that it was unbearable.  He asked if it was a real pain or a metaphorical pain.  I didn't know how to answer that.  It was a real physical pain, but not the kind of pain you feel when you get hurt or when there is something physically wrong.  I tried to explain, but I felt at a complete loss of words.  I told him that I would never want him to feel this, but that sometimes I wish he could feel just a little bit of it to know what it's like.  I asked him if he believed me that it was awful and he said, "Yes."  I continued crying, and my mind turned to Christ.  My husband didn't know how I felt, but Christ did.  I felt a small feeling of comfort and peace.  I asked my husband for a blessing.  He stood up next to our bed, placed his hands on my head, and gave me a blessing.  I don't remember a single word that he said now, but I remember that I felt a reassurance wash over me, and I knew that somehow my heart would be alright.

Today I feel a little bit better.  I still feel scared, sad, and pretty unmotivated, but I know that with Christ and my husband, I will make it through even the darkest moments!

1 comment:

  1. Shantelle,

    I think you and I should be very good friends, because I've had several days like this. Days I want to make any excuse to not go to work, and even fun social outings are awful. Mine stems from General Anxiety Disorder, which can cause depression, just as depression can cause anxiety. It's definitely a chicken or the egg conundrum. Either way, I'm impressed with all your honest writings and would be happy to talk with you any time on Facebook or whatever. I know that weird heart and chest pain, and the apathy. I hope today and the rest of the week are much better for you! :)