11/06/2014 05:03 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Giving a Voice to My Depression

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With my young daughters strapped in their car seats, I focused on the route to our day care. I followed the double yellow lines as if my life depended on it. If I dared to look away to the right, I might spot a telephone pole. Like a magnet, my car and my mind, seemed drawn to those unforgiving towers. The nightmare played out in my head: a brief impact and finally the end. Oh sweet relief. My sadness and anxiety would be released and I would no longer be the burden on my loved ones that I imagined myself to be.

No. The girls can't be a part of this. Their lives just started. They don't deserve this. I must focus on the route. Why is this drive so long?

At home, my husband didn't know what to do. He didn't know the evil thoughts the depression had planted in my mind. He only witnessed my rage. He protected the kids from my screaming. He contained me while I threw TV remotes and jewelry boxes around the room. I behaved like an alien, while he cried silently. He held me while I lashed out at an unknown enemy.

I drove that route for nearly two months without deliberately steering my car into a telephone pole. I couldn't tell a soul about those thoughts. I believed if I shared those dark thoughts, I was weak. But I wasn't weak. Like a broken bone, my brain was falling apart and needed aid.

Once I gave a voice to those suicidal thoughts, our lives permanently changed. I was hospitalized for quite a long time. I left daughters without their mother and a husband without a partner. I couldn't stop my tears from falling. A myriad of antidepressants and mood stabilizers came and went as part of the pharmacological treatment. Most of the medications failed. I received inpatient ECTs. (They're not barbaric in our modern times.) They actually worked, jump-starting the happy chemicals in my brain. No longer a suicide risk, I was able to return home. Mostly medicated, I was not able to complete all my motherly duties. My Love did all he could and more.

I wasn't yet whole. That process would take years. But going home with the hope my future existed was a start.

This post first appeared on Welcome To Grand Central.


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