What do you do when everyday life scares the shit out of you? How do you get through and go through each day? This is what I have been dealing with for several months.
Depression is not a kind illness, and yes, it is an illness. I began this depressive episode being afraid to bring my daughter to her friends' birthday parties. I felt I was marked and the other parents would know something was wrong with me. I simply did not want to be around other people. It progressed to me feeling high anxiety in the evenings, during my "unstructured" time, for even with the normal routines of dinner, bath, getting my daughter to bed and then hanging with my husband, I felt I was coming apart at the seams. Not a good feeling. Not at all.
Being a mommy while depressed is not easy. One minute I am loving and wonderful and the next I feel irritable, which is really masking my anxiety. At this point, we now have it down to a good and positive rhythm, and I owe it all to my husband. He is an amazing dad and has picked up in certain areas where I left off several months ago. While I continue to get better and get pulled out of this dark hole, my husband and daughter patiently wait for the real "me" to return.
The thing is, I won't be returning. I have grown, blossomed, changed in so many ways as a result of my treatment that my husband and daughter will be getting a better wife and mommy... in fact, they already are seeing pieces of that. People joke about therapy, and I do too, but you know what? It did wonders for me in the past when I was depressed or working through something, and it is doing something rather amazing and breathtaking right now. I see myself in a healthier way. I can allow my husband to love me -- the good and the not so good -- and I can love him, fully, in a way I wasn't able to mere months ago or ever before.
Things happen for a reason... it may sound trite, but it is true. I have been through hell these past months and am not yet out of the woods, but I am finding my way. I use my resources in a healthy way, like family and friends and I have the utmost respect and compassion for my psychiatrist. It takes a village to foster growth in children, and I believe it takes a village to help someone with depression get through to the other side.
So, when I leave work later today and pick up my daughter from preschool, I will probably feel overwhelmed and anxious about getting through the evening, but I have a whole pack of people I carry with me now to cheer me on and help me. You see, that is the biggest change of all: I can feel my "team" fighting with me and for me. This team consists of my family, friends and my psychiatrist. I am no longer angry at my depression; it has brought me to this place in my life where I feel more able to give love and get love. While this is new and scary for me, it is something that feels good and I have not had that feeling very much these past months. While I still may see the glass as being half empty instead of half full, I can strongly say that change is good.