I need to… But…

Shutting out the depression strengthens it. While you hide from it, it grows. -Andrew Solomon
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/depression

It may seem odd that my second post is about my battle with depression. I’m sure many people would ease into, tell you a little more about themselves before they drop this bomb. However I feel that to truly understand who I am as an artist, wife, and mother I need to start here.

I can’t honestly tell you when the depression started to creep into my life, but I would say like most women it was problem sometime around puberty.  When puberty started for me my life was already in turmoil, my parents were separating, and my life as I knew it was falling apart.  So I suppose that makes the most sense.  While I battled depression and anxiety through my teens it was mild, I could pretend it wasn’t there.

I always felt like something wasn’t quite right, during that time but I just pretended it wasn’t there. I started wearing my masks then, and as I got older I just added more mask. And once I went through pregnancy and taking care of my babies, the depression started to take over, and still I ignored it.

Before I knew it I was so deep that everything caused rage, because depression was my life and I couldn’t find my happy, as my mom always says. I was so miserable I wanted everyone around me to be miserable, so I yelled and screamed and was a pretty horrible person and not the mom I wanted to be.

I almost lost everything, my husband was tired of it and my children were scared of me. But still I couldn’t believe it was my fault. I was sure that it was all my husbands fault, until I started to have the same problem with the rest of my family then I realized it was me.

Once I realized it was me it was still hard to admit it, to admit that I needed medication. I feel like there is this stigma sounding stay at home moms and anti-depressant I didn’t want to be one of those moms that was so overwhelmed with motherhood I needed medication. I didn’t want to be that mom.

I finally decided that I need to get the help I needed, because my children needed me. They needed me to be able to find my happy.  There were  so many things that I needed to do, but I couldn’t.

Depression is exhausting, I know everybody says it but I feel like it can’t be said enough. Everyday was a battle, my mantra was I know… but… or I need to… but…  My hair was always french braided and I always worried about what I was wearing. I was sure if I looked good and put together no one would know how miserable I was, it worked flawlessly.  So flawlessly in fact that when I was in denial, and I would tell people that my husband thinks I’m depressed, they laughed, and it made it easier for me to believe that lie I was living.

I could talk about my denial forever, but that wouldn’t be helpful to me or anyone else so I will wrap up this post on a positive note, on a note that I hope will help people.

Living in denial won’t help anyone, and it won’t  make you better. Just like the quote at the top says it will just make the depression stronger until it takes over your life. Taking anti-depressants doesn’t make you a bad mom, in fact it will actually makes you a better mom.  When I first started counselling my counselor asked me a simple question “If something was wrong with your heart you would get help, why wouldn’t you do the same thing for your brain?” You aren’t you diagnoses, your diagnoses  is just a part of you, and its something important you learn to live with.

I have depression, and I have anxiety but I’m not suffering with them anymore, I’m learning to live and thrive with them. I’m glad that I’m getting help because finding me again has been amazing.

20180812_154912
A Self portrait. 

 

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