Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Suffering Silently. Depression.


I’m pretty sure after hearing the news about Robin Williams tonight, most of the world was shocked. He spent his whole life making the world laugh, when he was so lost inside. It was so saddening that it takes something so tragic and permanent for people to talk about depression.  Why? Why aren’t more people raising awareness? Why are people so afraid to admit that they are struggling? There are so many of us who are suffering silently.

Does this make me less of a woman? Less of a mom? Less of a wife? Even less of a friend? At times… maybe. Only because no one understands. At least, I didn’t think anyone did. It’s not like I have a cast on my arm… now that, you can see. You know to offer help or be a little more kind that day, because you see their arm is broken. They are temporally suffering.

When you struggle with depression is it temporally or permanently? This I can’t answer. We are all different. I feel like with each pregnancy I struggle longer. I’m not sure if that even falls under post-partum anymore either. It hasn’t gone away.  

I finally decided to seek help after I had our first child. My mom talked to me in confidence that she thought I was suffering from post-partum. Then I remember having a discussion with my husband. It sucks. It’s hard to admit that you “failed.” That’s how I took it anyway. Why couldn’t I be strong enough mentally to adapt to all the hormone changes my body was going through. Why couldn’t I adjust to the changes having a baby brought to my life, naturally? I’m not sure why.

I got help for a little while, but later talked myself into thinking “It’s all mental. I can fix it without medication.”

Was I a failure? Am I still a failure after having THREE children and STILL suffering? No, but to be completely honest… the thought crosses my mind sometimes.

I see people post how we are in charge of our own happiness. I agree, but some of us can’t control 100% of the time.

I see this quote posted on Facebook quite often and it’s so true.



 

Depression is a battle that you can’t see.

Most people would never know I suffered from depression. I don’t think I am around anyone long enough to pick up on it. You have good days and bad. If I’m having a bad day… I stay home.

Let me stop right there and say this: Just because I’m admitting that I suffer from depression by NO means does it say that I am crying out for help. I don’t need help. I just want awareness. I have already sought help from my doctor.

Another disclaimer: Just because someone suffers from depression doesn’t mean that they will harm themselves or others. There are different degrees of depression. Just like there are different degrees of all diseases.

I thought it would be interesting to ask a few questions to two close friends of mine. Ladies who I have shared with about MY depression, who are also silently suffering. Their answers may surprise you. These two ladies are completely different from one another. They live different lifestyles, come from different backgrounds, and certainly are fighting different battles. I wanted people to see that it doesn’t matter your lifestyle, or how much money you make, or how you eat, or physically how healthy you are.

 

Friend #1

1)      What are the top five feelings you experience when you are feeling depressed?

Alone, sad, confused, afraid, self-hate

2)      What are a few things that help you to feel better in that moment?

Exercise, deep breaths, time alone to think, think of life accomplishments. All to know I am worth it.

3)      Did you seek medical help/medication?

I did seek medical help, but later than I should have. I suffered depression most of my life and was on and off medication most of it but really didn't accept it until a year ago, and have found the right doctor and meds. So glad that I did.

4)      How long have you suffered?

Most of my life.

5)      Do you feel like suffering from depression is frowned upon in society?

I did feel like it is frowned upon, especially in the military. Something is wrong with you if you are depressed. You're broken.

6)      If you could offer advice to someone who is suffering what would it be?

I would tell people to not be afraid. No one even has to know you have depression. Once you are on medication No one could even tell. But most people suffer from depression. With how stressful life is, there would be something wrong if you never has suffered from it at some point. Get help

 Don't let it consume you anymore.

 

Friend #2

 

1)      What are the top five feelings you experience when you are feeling depressed?

My top feelings are usually a heavy feeling of worthlessness, anger, sadness, emptiness and guilt.

2)      What are a few things that help you to feel better in that moment?

I do a breathing exercise when I'm feeling overwhelmed. Most of the time, I just cry. Crying can be purging for some...for me it's me actually recognizing that I have these emotions and I have a chance to actually "feel" them. I also talk to the people that are the closest to me...having them just listen comforts me. It's very validating.

3)      Did you seek medical help/medication?

I do seek medical attention. I started in 2008 with a therapist. As I began to work on myself, I add more doctors along the way. I see a psychologist to prescribe me medication for my depression and anxiety. I also see a life coach. She helps me create positive actions in my life while living with depression and anxiety. And I also attend a private group therapy with about 6 people. We are from all walks of life: successful, broke, genius, young, old, black, white, men and women. Depression doesn't pick people by gender or class...it's something that effects everyone. Going to group has taught me that when we are all stripped down, honest and raw...we have the same problems. And we all cope with them in different ways.

As far as medication...I take a very special cocktail. It was tailored for me by my psychologist. Often people suffer from situational depression which is temporary...they can take meds for a short time to get over the hump. And there is clinical depression. It's a chemical imbalance that stays with a person... it's part of their make-up. Everyone is different and any medication recommendations should be provided by a licensed dr.  

4)      How long have you suffered?

I have major depressive disorder and sever social anxiety. I was diagnosed in 2008 but after getting help, I realized that I've lived with this all my life. My family or myself did not recognize the signs at the time. I was described as shy or quiet. And I was thought of as lazy or thought I couldn't amount to anything because I couldn't apply myself.

5)      Do you feel like suffering from depression is frowned upon in society?

I definitely feel that society frowns upon depression. And not just depression but a whole slew of mental disorders. It's something that's not talked about because a lot of people don't know enough about the topics. I think society looks down on it because it's something that people can't see. They can't see inside a suffering person's head. Often people that are fighting a mental disorder hide it to keep their jobs, not worry their family or not be judged by someone who won't understand.

6)      If you could offer advice to someone who is suffering what would it be?

The advice I could offer to someone who is suffering from depression...be honest with yourself and get help. Get help when you start to see signs. Don't wait until it's too late. Tell someone you love that you need help and that you need to be taken seriously. Thinking that you can overcome depression by yourself isn't realistic. Knowing that you overcame depression because of the help you received and with the people who stood by your side is empowering. You can always start your life over and be who you want to be. Just reach out.

 

I also had another friend who shared this status this evening that I felt was worth sharing:

"If Robin Williams' death proves anything it’s that anyone can suffer from some form of mental illness or another. The brain, like any other body part can malfunction or cause problems. There is SUCH a stigma on mental illness of all kind. Not all illness looks like schizophrenia or Alzheimer's. Depression and anxiety affect more people than we know. The MORE we talk about these illnesses and quit making people feel like they are not normal or crazy because they suffer from them, the less likely things like this are going to happen. If you believe you are suffering from some type of mental disorder (whether you believe it's chemical, hereditary, or situational) GET HELP! Seek assistance. You cannot combat it alone.”aking people feel like they are not normal or crazy because they suffer from them, the less likely things like this are going to happen. If you believe you are suffering from some type of mental disorder (whether you believe it's chemical, hereditary, or situational) GET HELP! Seek assistance. You cannot combat it alone.

 

All we want is for people to know. We don’t want people to walk on egg shells or think we are crazy. I promise, we aren’t.  



Rest in Peace Robin Williams. Hopefully your story will inspire people to understand the struggle is real.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Music.

Music is what my soul has been trying to say.... but couldn't find the right words.

There are lyrics that I feel were written just for me in that very moment of time. Songs that give you hope when you feel all is lost. Songs that describe why your heart is exploding from love. Songs to your parents, your children, your husband, and your best friend.  Music is a universal language. You can read the lyrics without hearing the tune and still be moved. These songs.... They found me at the exact moment I needed to be found.

The moment I moved to Texas when I was 9... Looking out the U-Haul window as my dad stood there crying:

"Don't Take The Girl" by Tim McGraw (He told me to remember this song)
"Love without end" by George Strait (He would sing it to me when it came on the radio)

When my dad died:

"Does Anybody Hear Her?" By Casting Crowns.
"Who'd You Be Today" by Kenny Chesney

My Wedding Day:

"Because You Loved Me" by Jo Dee Messina (Our first dance)
"Pride and Joy" by Stevie Ray Vaughan (Yes, I walked down the aisle to this!)

Life songs:

"Broken Together" by Casting Crowns
"Washed by The Water" by NEEDTOBREATH
"The House That Built Me" by Miranda Lambert
"I Can Only Imagine" by Mercy Me
"I Will See You Again" by Carrie Underwood
"Dirt" by Florida Georgia Line


When I wanted to quit while walking the 60 miles for Susan G. Komen:

"Roar" by Katy Perry

The songs that remind me of the love I have for my husband:

"You" by Chris Young
"You Found Me" By The Fray
"All of Me" by John Legend
"Springsteen" by Eric Church

My Kids:

"Never Grow Up" by Taylor Swift
"Butterfly Fly Away" by Miley Cyrus
"Butterfly Kisses" by Bob Carlisle


The thing about music is it never lets you down. It's always that voice in your head when the whole world is quiet.

There are more songs. Lots more, but you get what I'm saying.

Whatever moment you are in right now... find a song. Just know that there is someone else who is listening to it at the same time you are... trying to convey the same message.



Hey, Mr. Sessions.... You're my favorite song.










Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Never Grow up...

I read one of those articles today that have been posted a million times on Facebook...

To be honest...I hardly read articles on Facebook.

This article hit me HARD.

Didn't cry, but I wanted to.

It was a letter she wrote to herself about becoming a mom, again. She wanted to remind herself that no matter how tired she was, just to kiss her baby one more time because they won't be that little ever again.

I keep finding myself wishing I could speed up time. Terrible Two's are in full sing with Miss K. She has done every. single. thing. to test my patience, to test my sanity, to test my breaking point. I look at her more often then I should admit and think "Oh baby girl, please  grow out of this stage." It's heartbreaking. She is a piece of my everything. I would give anything to freeze time... to hold her in my arms when she is tired... Or clean up after the horrendous mess she makes on a daily basis.

I'm not ready to let her grow up.

I keep finding myself wishing I could speed up time. Fierce Five's are ever so present for Mr. L. He knows everything. He corrects me on a daily basis of all the things I do wrong. His mind is a sponge so every second he is awake he is yearning for knowledge. Asking me a million questions, how to spell a thousand words, and to make him a hundred snacks. I look at him more often then I should admit and think "My sweet boy, I can't wait until you can spell on your own and make your own snacks." (In my defense, he ALWAYS asks me right when I sit down to pee, feed the baby, or after asking him if he wants anything and he tells me no.) It makes me feel like a horrible mom. He is my heart.  I look at him and see so much joy. I would give anything to freeze time... to spell out a million words and to answer all his questions about life. ("How does your Dr. get babies out of your belly?" or "Are you a Missionary mom? Are you ready to tell the world what you know about Jesus?")

I'm not ready to let him grow up.

Then there is Baby S. Three weeks old today. Already.... Need I say more?

Being this tired reminds me of all I have to be grateful for. These kids are mine. (Well, James' too!) They make me laugh. They make me crazy. They make me cry. I'm not the perfect mom. I try my best though. They're happy and loved so much.


I think I've listened to this 100 times tonight. At least 100.

It makes me want to wake them up and just snuggle them. It also makes me thinks about how my mom and dad feel (or felt) about me. I understand now. I wish I would have fully understood while my dad was still here. They brought me into this world, yes.... but they LOVED me through everything. Through my terrible two's, fierce five's, my MEAN teenage years.

My dad made me feel loved until his last day on this earth.

My mom loved me through my train wreck of a life after my dad died. My anger, the drugs, the alcohol, the horrible relationships.... (Gasp, I'm not perfect. I told you.) She stood by me... she held me... she helped me see the light again.

I want to be just like her. I want to love my kids as much as she loves me. And I will.

Just remember... As they grow... We Grow too.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Last page in this Chapter.

Pregnancy.

When you begin motherhood, I felt like this was really it. Really time for me to grow up because it wasn't all about me anymore. I created a life, and no matter what I had to put them first.

Along the road... I got lost. I'll admit it.

With each pregnancy I struggled with post-partum depression. I think each time it got a little worse. I finally agreed to meds, but as soon as I got the swing of things... I got pregnant again. (Don't misunderstand, This was EXACTLY what I wanted.)

Now.... Having just had S (Baby #3), I am WAY beyond done. I am ready to close this chapter of my life. I'm ready to raise my kiddos and find myself again.

With all of this being said.... I can't help but feel a sense of sadness. I'm turning 30 in a few weeks and I will never have a baby growing inside of me. I will never have strangers rub my belly (No I never minded that. They were always so caring.) I will never have the hospital experience again. Man, did I LOVE that part. All THREE times. Having people gush over this life you just brought into the world. Yes, they still gush about L and K but it is always about how big they are which just makes me sad.

Here is our first picture of officially becoming a Party of FIVE!!
 
 
 


So my next chapter... What will it be about? Will I be committed into a padded room?

My main goal for my 30's is falling more in love.

Falling more in love with my husband. (Is that even possible?)
Falling more in love with my children.  (Even through the fierce 5's, the terrible 2's, the oh so tiring first few years)

Falling in love with WHO I AM.

Today I started my weight loss and fitness journey again.

Yes, AGAIN.

It's a never ending battle.

I wanted to open up publicly on my blog so people can get to know me better. So they can see my struggles, fears, accomplishments and maybe feel like they aren't alone. I am NOT perfect. Nor will I ever be. CAKE seriously is a food group in my book. I will fail a few times I'm sure, but I am determined to make 30 the best year yet.

Thankfully I have an amazing support system. Oh, how they are amazing.

My husband. He is a fitness freak. A sexy one at that. He is always inspiring me, encouraging me, pushing me, failing with me and showing me how to just jump right back up. He seriously is AMAZNG and has never made me feel bad about my weight.

And a new supporter is my friend Elizabeth! She came into my life for SO many reasons. God has some of the BEST timing! She brought me into the wonderful world of MOPs and truly has blessed me more than she'll ever know!  Did I mention she is going to be my accountability buddy???  Woo Hoo!!  I guess going to get margarita's will have to wait until we meet one of our goals!

And everyone else. I know it's really a broad category to throw everyone else in but there are WAY too many people who love and support me. So, thank you! My success is your success!



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Monday, June 2, 2014

Never enough time. Ever.

I have been SO exhausted in the evenings. Around 6 pm, I start counting down until bedtime. All I want to do is drink a glass of wine and not hear the word "mom" for about 30 seconds. Is that too much to ask?

I found myself telling my 5 year old I was changing my name. He innocently replied "What are you changing it to? Mallory?" Nicely played son.

As a mom, you find yourself experiencing such strong exhaustion at the EXACT same time you're feeling extreme love and fulfillment. There are so many things that I want to complete in a 24 hour period that just don't get done the entire year. Sitting down to blog is one of them. Crafting... Is that a thing of the past? Ooohhhh How about reading a book? Can't tell you the last time I did that. I hate to admit it, but I haven't even read "50 Shades of Grey." Gasp.... I know!

How mom's find time... I don't know.

As soon as I get done with dinner, baths, brushing teeth, and putting each kid to bed I just want to sit on my 8 months pregnant butt and watch trashy TV. (I DVR'd The Bachelorette tonight!) Oh, but before then I am tucking Logan in for the 30th time. He needed one more kiss. One more snuggle. One more.... anything he could think of to NOT go to bed.

You know what? He is going to stop wanting that "one more" kiss. He is. Kora will eventually brush her own teeth. It happens.

Life keeps going no matter how much sleep you miss. How much you don't complete in your 24 hour day. It never stops.

As exhausted as I am... I am bursting at the seams with love. With gratitude. How in the world did I get picked to be their momma is beyond me! I'm so blessed that I welcome these yawns.

Being a mom is the most amazing experience I have ever had. I really don't know what purpose I had before them.

My kids make me scream, cry, laugh, be silly, worry, learn, strive to be better than I was the day before.

They complete me.

I know once Sadie gets here, I'll be even more tired. I have no idea how I am emotionally or physically going to be able to take care of THREE... but I will.

Have I mentioned that it's almost 2 am and I still have stuff to do before Monday's sunshine bursts through the windows? 

It will wait. My kid's childhood won't.



 
Did I mention that we decided TODAY we were going to move to a smaller house? Not only that but we found a home hours after deciding we were going to look... and BAM. We sign the lease tomorrow. That's a blog for another day.
 
Goodnight Y'all.