Thursday, January 29, 2009

A little more real

I have to start out by telling you that this post is very hard to write. I told someone the other day that I like to view my blog as a personal journal and sometimes I forget how many people read it. That is, until some random person walks up to me in Target and starts talking about the blog. So, I hope you will all understand how difficult it was for me to write this post. And yet I hope it helps someone all the same.

I struggle with depression. I like to think it is all my Granny's fault who was bi-polar most of her life. I never knew my Granny before she was "sick" as we called it. She was usually very good about taking her medicine, but I always knew from an early age what bi-polar was and what caused it; therefore, I always try to remain very concious about my mental health because I also know it can be passed down.

In Jan. of 2006, my Granny passed away. On top of this, we had sold our house and were living in an apartment because we couldn't find a house we liked to buy and we didn't want to settle. Prior to this point in my life, the only time I had ever struggled with depression was post partum in October of 1998 right after I had Anna. The first part of 2006 proved to be too much for me, so I ended up crying in my doctor's office where he gently reminded me that I wasn't crazy...I just needed some meds to make sure the chemicals in my brain didn't stay completely whacked out. He started me on Paxil 25 CR. I felt great. Yes, I struggled with the fact that I was taking medicine and I certainly didn't shout it from the rooftops. I think I mainly felt guilty that I didn't rely on God enough to fix me.

So, here I am three years later. Many times I have thought about coming off the medicine, but somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered what that dark period of time was like, and honestly, I have felt so good I didn't really think about it that much.

A few months ago, I should have noticed that I was becoming a little more withdrawn. Sleeping a little too much during the day and not being able to sleep at night. Worrying about things that I certainly can't control. Although I am not weepy, I am certainly not motivated. I find myself scared to death as I realize that I don't think those "happy" pills are working for me anymore. What if I am really screwed up in the head? If you are reading this and thinking, "I had no idea"...well, don't feel bad. I am really good at covering up things and trust me, depression is not usually a topic of choice for me. So, I finally spoke up at the beginning of the week. I am seeing a doctor today and although I am scared to death, I know I have to do something. Laying in bed is not working and the guilt I feel over having no motivation is going to eat me alive if I continue down the path I am on.

I am putting this out there to show you that yes, I do struggle. I am struggling right now. Will you pray for me? Also to tell you that if I haven't returned a phone call, haven't answered the phone, etc. please don't take it personally, I just can't right now. Don't worry, I'm not going to hurt myself or anything crazy like that, but I just feel weird talking about it and honestly, I have slept so much this week that there's a good chance that I was out when you called. I want to get better, I have faith that I will get better, but right now there are times where I feel like I am swimming with a 40 pound weight wrapped around my ankles.

Was this a depressing blog post or what?

16 comments:

Susan said...

Brea,
Thank you for sharing your heart and being so transparent. I know it wasn't easy. I think its amazingly brave for you to admit that you are at a place and struggling. The very fact that you picked up the phone and contacted someone to see about it took a lot of courage. Someone is going to read this blog post- someone who has been struggling a long time with depression but never got help or maybe someone who has just recently started experiencing it- and they are going to take strength from your courage. Its no easy thing for us as women to admit that we need help - whatever that help may be. I think you are relying on God to take care of you and it seems to me that God is saying, Brea- lets go see someone- I don't think these meds are working like they should. And I see you listening. :) I'm praying for today's doctor's visit and for the upcoming days.

kbell said...

Oh girl, I'm there with you.

I have battled depression for most of my adult life. Most people never did know because I did my best to hide it. My mom & husband didn't even know.

There is definitely something so freeing in opening up about it.

I will be praying for you.

alison b said...

sometimes putting one foot in front of the other is all we can muster for the day right? thanks for being so transparent. you're not alone.

Leslie said...

Love you Brea!!!!!

Linda Cumby said...

Girl...I take Prozac and have struggled with those same issues...I went cold turkey one time and my doctor told me I was CRAZY for doing that...so...I have been taking it for 10 years now. Thank you for sharing your heart. I think that depression is seen as such a taboo subject in the Christian community and should not be. Love Linda

Linda said...

Praying for you as well, Brea....

Anonymous said...

Praying for you Brea.. You know I am always here for you.. anytime..

Vickie

Beckie said...

Brea
I love you, and adore our friendship! Please know you can call me day or night. I had to call on a friend almost every night for about two or three months when I was in a "dark time", just know I will be that friend for you if you need me to be. I am proud of you for being so open about it. Talking about it more helps, I promise. You and your family are in my prayers "huggs" beckie

Jessi Knack said...

Brea you are an amazing person. Reading your blog inspires me to be a better Christian and a better mother. Thank you for being open and “real”. You touch many lives and you have definitely touched mine. I am and will continue to pray for you and your family. God is good and He will see you through this.

BusyBeeMom said...

I love you, and am here to talk if you need me. Meds can work. Therapy can work. The combination of the two is the most preferred treatment. Call me if you want a referral to someone local. You can get through this...I promise. Take care and let me know how you're doing.

Laura

Anonymous said...

Reading this a little too late, but I would suggest you ask your doctor to check your thyroid levels. Thyroid problems can often have symptoms similar to depression. It may indeed be depression, but if you have thyroid problems as well, then you must get on the correct meds. (I remember an earlier post where you were concerned about your weight, so this made me think of your thyroid). Blessings.

Julie said...

Hey Brea!

As you know, my mom was BP. So I've grown up very aware of my mental health as well. Thing is....if you're very aware of your mental health then you are not BP and probably just need an oil change!

My meds have gone up and/or down over the past decade. I love my "happy" pills. And really don't care what other people think. There are people out there that have some serious issues mentally and no pill in the world is going to help them. I'm just glad my struggles are of the chemical type! It's just a pill. Strength and dosage are just our way of keeping up with the chemical mutiny going on in our brains.

So...take your pills, hug your kids, smile at Jonathan (and tell him that "I just don't feel like it" will pass!! ;)

And know you are loved. Even by people that live very far away. :)

Amy said...

I dealt with postpartum depression after London. It was wild. It took me months to admit it, accept it, and do something about it. Looking back, I'm not sure why I was so embarrassed by something I couldn't control....but I was. After getting on the meds, I was a new person. I am thankful for meds that helps us when we need it! Proud of you for being so brave and open with your struggles. You are not alone!

kristina proffitt said...

Praying for you, Brea! BIG hugs!

Susan Smith-Alltop said...

Hi Brea, Thanks for keeping it real, it took a lot for you to make that post. I am praying for you! Go to my blog there is a prize for you.

mayhem said...

Thanks for talking about it when sometimes people won't or can't. I know it's not easy, and we all appreciate your openness.