Helping Family Understand…

I’m rewriting this for my family, so that they might understand better. I don’t want you to be scared, or hurt. But I want you to understand what I deal with on a daily basis. This takes a lot of courage, because I’m baring my soul here. There’s not a lot of people that will understand. Just please don’t judge, try to read with an open mind.

I hope that when you read this, you don’t feel pity, but you become more understanding. It’s not a quick fix. It takes time to heal. Therapy helps, praying helps (religion doesn’t fix everything, sorry), BUT medicine helps too. You have to remember that this is chemical. My brain isn’t releasing enough “happy” chemicals to balance the others. That’s why they call it a “chemical imbalance”. Depression is not my fault or a weakness. It affects at least 1 in 10 people. That’s a lot.

Everyone goes through a rough patch sometimes. The severity varies between people. Depression can be a sadness, a loneliness, a darkness, an absence of joy or life. Depression for me varies on the time of day, what stress I’m under, and what has gone on that day. I usually feel empty, distanced. I feel destructive most times. Sometimes, I wake up depressed or anxious. I just wake up and I know something is wrong. I sleep a lot, or not at all.

I think about what I’ve done wrong. Things I haven’t accomplished. To be honest, sometimes, I think about how much I want to hurt myself.

You see, cutting, for me, was never about trying to kill myself. (I bet most of you reading this are shocked, because no one knew. I hid it for years, a secret I held close. I was a very good liar, unfortunately for me. I should have told someone when it started, but I covered myself with lies so that I wouldn’t be in trouble.) I don’t want to die. It was just a way to handle the pain, the emotions that I couldn’t control. I could control the pain. How much it hurt, how much it scared me, I could even control the bleeding. The one thing that I could control in my world of chaos. It scares people, because they don’t understand. They see “scratches” and worry about it, wonder where they came from, and think that I’m trying to kill myself. But I’m not. I see myself trying to revert back to that time. But I feel more and more tempted to cut, especially when I’m upset. Truth be told, I gave in to it a couple of weeks ago…And the shame that I felt lead me to lie again to the people who mean the most to me. I don’t want to hurt any of you. So, when you asked, I lied, to protect you, to protect me.

On the days that I am low, I feel vulnerable. I feel like, like I’m never going to get up from this blow, so why bother? It hurts, because I can see that it hurts those around me. For example, when I’m home with Hubby, and I’m having a bad day, I can see it in his eyes that I’m hurting him. I know that he feels like it’s his fault, that he’s done something wrong. When in reality, he’s done nothing, it’s just me. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I don’t know what will make me feel better. I don’t know when I will feel better. But being forced to get up, when all I want to do is stay in bed, is not helping me. I need comfort and love, and compassion, and some patience. Hubby has been so good about taking care of me when I’m down, but who is taking care of him? I worry that I am killing him. Slowly, but still, killing him. I can see the light dim from his eyes, there used to be a sparkle, and it’s gone? Why? Because I’m killing that sparkle. Me and my foul moods, my anxieties, my attacks, and my depression, it’s all killing him. So why am I selfish enough to hang on?

A friend of mine, to whom I’ve expressed this fear and feeling, says that it’s because I took care of myself for so long that it’s hard to accept the help from others. I want so bad to believe her, but it’s so hard. I just keep feeling like I’m killing him over and over, and there is nothing I can do about it. I have tried to give him options, given him opportunities to leave, but he won’t go. Which really says something about his character. It means that he loves me and that he really believes in “for better or worse, in sickness and in health”. I fear that, without him, I will die. What would I do without him? I can barely handle him being gone for a class, just for a few days, how could I honestly live without him?

I worry about Mom. I mean, I know that she’s here for me, when I need her to be. She is such a great person, and a wonderful mother. I worry that I’m going to do something and lose her forever. And that’s not something that I can handle thinking about. I feel like, that if something happens to her, I will lose myself… I know that she gets tired of hearing my struggle, maybe it’s because she feels as helpless as I do. It’s hard to help someone with as many problems and issues as me. It’s not easy to hear all of my problems and sadness. I know, sometimes, it upsets her.

My depression takes many faces. Whether it’s the want or need to hurt myself or others, or to just sit on the couch, unthinking. Did I say that already? Sometimes, when I feel depressed, I just stay on the couch or in bed, and I know that it really concerns Hubby, because he instantly knows that something is wrong. He keeps asking me what’s wrong. And I can hear him, but I can’t respond. Like something in me doesn’t want me to respond to what he is saying to me. He sounds distant when this happens, half the time, he is right beside or in front of me. I just want to sleep, or hide away. Other times, I am mad as hell. I want a fight, and I will get in Hubby’s face. I pick fights. I feel like my brain moves faster, there’s a ton of thoughts at one time. I’m aggressive and agitated. Some days, my depression is a good thing, because it makes me want to clean. I feel like I can accomplish anything. I’m creative, I’m inspired. Some days, I feel close to normal.

BIL posted something about depression on his Facebook the other day. It was something along the lines of what happened to him that turned him against the church, and God, and people in general. I want to feel for him. But I can’t. Maybe it’s because I’m dealing with so much crap of my own that I don’t have the time to sit there and figure out what’s wrong with him. But at the same time, I used to say that I couldn’t feel sorry for him because he brought it on himself. But that’s not fair of me to say. I didn’t bring my depression on myself, so why would I say that about him? No one wants to be depressed. So I shouldn’t have ever said that about him. I should have used my brain to think about how I would feel in that situation. The difference is, I feel like he wants to wallow in it. To have pity parties for himself and to have others feel as miserable as he does. Do I do that? I don’t know. I hope not, because I really don’t want to be “that person.” I feel like, if he would try to get out of the house more, to maybe make a life for himself, it would help distract from the pain that he feels. But what do I know?

I feel like a lot of people don’t understand me. I often think that everyone is mad at me, and more than half the time, they aren’t. So why do I do that? I always assume that everyone is mad. I always assume that I’ve done something wrong. I can blame that on my childhood because nothing I did was ever right.

It’s getting to the point now, that I can’t enjoy everyday things. Things that mean a lot to me, I find no joy in them. I don’t answer the phone anymore. I let my voicemail catch everything, or almost everything. So, if you’ve been trying to get a hold of me, it’s not you, it’s me, and I’m sorry. You’ve done nothing wrong, I just can’t answer my phone. Which, yes, I do realize is a very bad thing.

This is my depression: my life is meaningless, I am alone, everyone is turning on me. If I could find a corner, small enough, and shrink to hide away, I would. It’s dark. Seeing people having fun, upsets me. I want to cut. I need to cut. But then, everyone is going to be mad at me. Hubby might leave me. Hubby is leaving me. Mom hates me. Everyone hates me and no one understands. I have no friends. I will never get passed this. Breathing hurts. Living hurts and I just want it to go away. Just leave me alone.

I know it’s all lies. I have a great family, supportive and caring. I have friends, though not many, they mean a lot to me. I make a difference, without me being here, nothing would be the same. Hubby loves me, and he is not leaving me. Mom loves me.

How did I get to this point? Am I not enough? I mean, that was my first thought, that I’m just not strong enough. I’m not coping. I’m starting to shut down in weird places, things that I used to thrive with, I freeze. I shut down or break down. It’s getting hard to live like this. And this is why I seek help. This is why I am on medications. Because without my medications, all those lies that are listed up there, they become my reality and I have no escape. So if you’re worried about the effects of me taking pills, be more worried about what would happen if I don’t have them. I’m OK for a couple of days without them, but more than a couple, it’s really hard. The last month or two, my behavior, that’s me without my medication. You don’t like that me very much, and neither do I. So before you start saying that I don’t NEED medication, remember what the last two months has been like.

New Update: I’ve been placed on a new medication. It’s used to treat different disorders — Bipolar disorder and Major Depression Disorder. I take it before I go to bed. It seems to be helping, although, I’ve only been taking it since last Thursday. I was also given something “temporarily” for anxiety. I’ve only had to take that twice, or maybe it was just once, I can’t remember… I have a new doctor. She’s super nice and concerned. She says that she is going to help me. She said that she’s “treating [me] like [I’m] bipolar”. — Bipolar disorder isn’t the worst diagnosis in the world, if I actually get that as my diagnosis. Although the cause is unknown, what is known is that it has a genetic component and can run in families. Seeing as how my brother and my uncle are both bipolar, there is an actual chance that I could be too. And, if I am, at least I would know, that way we could treat it better.

I am trying to help myself. I get out more, and I’m not avoiding phone calls quite as much. I actually called the doctor myself! And I was able to talk to her about all that i had been feeling.

I actually made it through an entire weekend at work without crying on my way to or at work. That’s a huge accomplishment for me. It hasn’t happened in a couple of months. I’m proud of myself.

I am still dealing with my anger. What’s going on determines the intensity, but I feel like I am more in control. When I’m dealing with frustrating residents, you know, the ones that really push buttons, it’s hard to not go off on them. When Hubby and I fight, it’s hard to not want to hit him…Yes, I know that’s bad. But I’ve told you already that I feel destructive.

The thing you need to know right now, is that I am seeking help and I’m ok. Maybe, right now I’m on an up swing, but that’s ok too. At least I’m Ok. So, now you know. I hope you understand better. I’m open for questions, if you have them, which I’m sure you will. I don’t want you to feel like I’m crazy. Because I’m not. A lot of people feel the same way I do. The fact is that this abnormality makes me normal in some circles.

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About Preslee

I am diagnosed with Bipolar 2 Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Panic and Anxiety disorders, and PTSD. I write about my own personal experiences and thoughts.

Posted on April 30, 2013, in Mental Health, Support and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I hadn’t seen this one until now and am so glad I didn’t miss it! One of your best. I hope it was well-received by all involved. ❤

  1. Pingback: Explaining Without Explaining | Eros & Psyche

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