Monday, June 19, 2017

Depression



I can't remember if I have written this post before. I apologize if I have. I could claim early ALZ but I'm hoping (and praying) it's just stress and mommy brain.

Long story short....I have low self esteem. It wasn't helped in school by kids that made fun of my massive forehead, fat knees, or gymnast figure. I was well liked because I was funny and irreverent....but I was not well loved by my peers.

I remember a co-worker (at my gift wrapping High School job) did my make-up and straightened my hair for the Asheville Junior Assembly Winter Party (I was secretary as a Senior). People were shocked I wasn't totally unattractive. An X-boyfriend from High School asked me to dance, my lifetime crush kissed me on the cheek, it was fabulous.

But like I said, people liked me for my humor and personality...not my looks. That does something to a girl. Especially when middle school girls locked me in their attic during a slumber party b/c I wasn't cool. And then called me on a Swatch phone to tell me I wasn't welcome at the popular table anymore. Those years were horrible. And one of the few details my Mom remembered before she lost all her memories. She remembered the names of the girls that called me that day until a few years ago. I have never cried so hard.

The depression has haunted and followed me into adulthood. It was officially diagnosed in College when I thought I would again be the well-liked smart girl. Um....UNC had LOTS of those girls. And unfortunately I based my opinion of myself on what BOYS thought of me. Stupid. (Hindsight is 20/20)

I battled it in College and went on an Outward Bound Course in Mexico. Two weeks of Sea Kayaking in Baja California brings about some deep soul searching. I bottomed out the semester after that and then posted a 4.0 GPA and one of my happiest semesters after that. How? I wrote off all the boys and found good study partners (Tri Delt Anne, you were a savior)

I am now 37 and faced with this horrible adversary again. I cannot regain my former figure no matter how hard I try. I know anti-depressants make you gain weight (WTF) but I have been trying my hardest to lose it. That, coupled with the stresses of motherhood, working, and a dying mother....well you can imagine it is hard to eat kale when I just want to pour cheese on my face and have a Pinot chaser.

I know a lot of you won't understand this world. This place you listen to Fields of Gold by Sting or Midnight by Coldplay and sob. It sounds like a scene with Jared Leto from "My So Called Life" but depression is something that takes hold of you and you can't shake. It is crippling. It handicaps the most able of minds. My best protection is exercise and the damned antidepressants that make me fat.

I write this for others that are going through the same. As Robin Williams said (something along the lines of), the brightest lights sometimes have the darkest lives. I turn myself "on" at parties and social events but truth be told right now I just want to be in bed. I have to credit HSM Core for being a huge mood lifter and to social media for some of the friends I have made recently that check in on me.

Depression is a beast. It overtakes you like Asthma and you are left breathless and helpless against it's powers. It has been my adversary longer than Duke. I am stronger because of it and I know I can defeat it. I just need time. And understanding.

If you know of someone battling a mental health disorder reach out to them today. Tell them you love them. Tell them that even though you cannot fathom what they are going through that you are there for whatever they need. I have been blessed with friends like this and I attribute them to my ability to write about this today.

I also want to thank my parents for being so open minded. I could tell them anything, any feeling, and they would validate it and listen intently. They never cast aside my feelings. They were, and partially still are, the best. I think that is one of the harder aspects of losing one's mother. She could tell me what parenting young children while working is like.

(Yes, I am fine. Don't mean to scare anyone. Just wanted to write an authentic representation of what depression is like. I have a fabulous therapist, fantastic drugs, adorable children, and an incredible village.)


8 comments:

Lauren said...

Great post! I'm more of an anxiety girl myself, but boy did this resonate.

Megan said...

I don't personally know what you're going through but I do wish you well and I'm glad you have a village to look out for you. My husband manages his anxiety with exercise so I know how much that can help.

Christie said...

Oh Kat - you inspire me. Really! I talk about your blog often...how eloquent it is. How "real" it is. You have a gift with words. I remember that about you in high school. I know we're not even in the same city - but if we ever are I want to see you.
But for today...I'm sending you xoxo. You're a strong, beautiful woman, who I'm proud to know.
~Christie

Millicent Black said...

I am praying for you. Hang in there!!!

Carol in Denver said...

Thank you for such an honest message and for the quotes from Robin Williams. Some people who have never suffered depression can't fathom what it feels like; this blog entry may help them understand a bit. My mother tried her mightiest to crush my spirit and to some extent succeeded. Such pain in childhood can create a thick layer of psychic sludge around a beautiful, wise, witty and kind core that is one's true nature. One must repeatedly penetrate that sludge to contact that true nature within. My task in life is to decide, again and again, what is going to be my relationship with this adversary? It's as if depression says, "What are you going to do with me?" If I answer, "I will sit with you, and look at you, and write what I see and feel from your presence" it may retreat for awhile. It needs respect but not obeyance.

I'm old now, and depression doesn't plague me like it used to. I no longer take an antidepressant but I do take 500 mg of L-Tyrosine daily which helps keep me on an even keel. The pharmacist who recommended it said it can be taken in combination with some prescription anti-depressants.

Be kind to yourself. At night before falling asleep, think of ten things that brought you pleasure that day, or satisfied you, or of which you are proud, or of which you are grateful. Repeat nightly. And may creation comfort you.

cessc said...

if you would like please email me cesscarr@me.com. I have battled this but found what helped me and would love to share IF you want. I do not sell anything. just feel called to offer my experience.

Sandy P said...

It's July 27. Where are you? Are you ok? There's a bunch of us out here who hang on every word you write. I guess there's a little bit of "at 17 I learned the truth" in every single one of us. At some time or another we all go through the stinking parts of life. Hope you're ok. Good would be great, but sometimes ok will do.

mcompton said...

I love your posts, they always hit close to my heart home, I am in your same boat,but much older