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mellon collie and the infinite sadness

Its never easy to admit that at times, i struggle with depression.  I mean, I think thats what im going through.  Some back ground before I really get the ball rolling here… I KNOW that in the past that I have struggled with it, having had experienced things at the age of 16 that I would never wish upon anyone. Thats a long story, and a very unfortunate sequence of events that I will not share here, not today, probably not ever. Lets just say that I am a better person because of it, my outlook on life is (STILL) positive, and I am very lucky to say that I made it out okay in the long run.  Honestly, I dont know if it was because of those experiences that began to shape my still developing brain into experiencing "bouts" of depression here and there.  It was many years after that, 9 to be exact, in which I never had those feelings again.  Still, at the age of 25, I really had a lot going for me. I had graduated with a masters degree, accepted a job at a State University in Kansas as an admission counselor, I was in a steady relationship.  Then all hell broke loose. I graduated in May 2004.  A week to the day, was spent at my grandmothers funeral. We buried my lifes center, my safety, my unconditional love, my all. A week after that, I started my job, and although this was a positive stressor, it soon became negative as the position i obtained was "stolen" from a graduate student who put her time in the office during her graduate school, and some of my peers were not accepting of the fact that I was the one chosen. (I NAILED the interview, which was essentially a powerpoint presentation to the University "BIG WIGS").  No joke , I TAUGHT myself to use powerpoint, and the interview was a mock how-would-you-sell/present-this-university-to-prospective-students-and-pare nts. I never worked in that office (ironicallyIi was the student health secretary, a path that later came to light when I quit the Admissions job and went to nursing school). I simply made it relatable, was candid, and honest. (I did know an undergrad student who worked there at the time, who called me to tell me that what ever I did was awesome because thats all the admins could talk about.  Once I got the job, I was snubbed, overheard racists comments in the womens bathroom by two peers in regards to me, and had to share an office with the grad students while others had their own office. Basically was made to feel miserable. Then of course the relationship I was in, ended in infidelity, (which normally, I can get over…however he had a five year old daughter I loved to pieces) The combination of  it all, the good, and the bad, was at that time something I didnt handle well.  I couldnt sleep, i couldnt eat, I lost 20 pounds without trying. I would cry, yet somehow I excelled at that job, getting promoted within 6 weeks of hire, again this did not bode well with the coworkers.  I slowly began to withdraw from my friends, and the things I loved (back then it was running, and reading) I remember one night just this overwhelming sadness, or something coming over me, and I couldnt take it. I called one of the nurses I had once worked with at the health center… it was MIDNIGHT.  I was trying to express to her how I felt, but I couldnt.  My heart was heavy, and it was racing. Honestly I dont even think I was making any sense to her. She came and got me, she had me stay on her couch, and we together called my mom (who as a kid I tried to approach with hey---im feeling kinda sad maybe I need some prozac) and my mom had an awful experience with antidepressants in the 70s (and she believed that mental illness/depression was for those spiritually weak.) She no longer believes that :) But it was then that she actually listened. It also helped that my friend, an older lady, was both a nurse and a mother, and she spoke to my mom at length about how thin I was, how my hair was LITERALLY falling out, and the circles under my eyes. How SAD I was.  Even through the sadness however I NEVER thought about harming myself or others (This may be due to having seen first hand the repercussion of suicide, and having to deal with the aftermath at such a young age (16). For that I am GREATFUL.   I began taking prozac, then paxil, effexor, wellbutrin, nothing really worked. I mean the prozac did for about 6 months.  At about this time, I had quit my miserable (well paying) job, to move to a bigger city, to go to nursing school.  I took part in a research study in which I took ABILIFY with my current antidepressant  This was 2005, I made about $2,000 as a guinea pig, spent a few nights in a shiny medical facility, had blood drawn, EKGS done, to make sure this experimental medication wasnt doing me harm. It didnt, however it didnt make me better either, I was one of the FEW that had this outcome, thus I was released from this research study as I was not improving (they continued to monitor my well being, I just could not receive any more medication (but it wasnt helping anyway) Survived nursing school, and disclosed to a classmate I had depression. This was someone who actually grew up with my youngest sister. her response "what do you have to be depressed about? good question at this point I was a year + from the sequence of events that lead to this depression. But that question haunts me today. Being a broke college student once again I soon ran out of my meds, somehow after quite sometime, the sadness lifted.  I dont recommend quitting meds just so you know.  And what I know NOW, its a miracle I didnt have a seizure or anything worse from just stopping cold turkey.  But that question that I mentioned that haunts me today, right now is "What do you have to be depressed about?" My life here in Texas, is amazing. Weve been here 10 months now, and it is HANDS DOWN THE BEST DECISION my husband and I made for our careers, and ourselves. We have made friends easily here. We both have jobs we love (for the most part, but vastly hands down we prefer our jobs here vs the jobs we had in KS. )  Yet lately, the sadness is back.  The not sleeping, or sleeping in. That thing is back..the one where you dont even want to do the things you love, but you dont even know why.  I have always loved working out, running, swimming and now cross fit. But lately, it has been hard for me to convince myself to go.  Monday was really bad.  out of nowhere my heart began to pound and i felt helpless, lost.  I called doc to renew a RX for xanax, something Ive taken just prior to moving here but havent had to since. I took it, then went to yoga.  Even though it was hard, I went.  Im glad I did too because that yoga did more for me than the xanax…. I think.  That Jen, shes for sure an amazing instructor, her love for yoga, (and fitness) shows! I am just so glad I didnt publicly break out in tears, as I feared this might happen.  So what do I do now? The hardest thing is to admit that this thing, this cloud, this depression, or whatever it is is back. The scary thing, what if meds cant help? (yes i KNOW all too well the "advice" on continuing to sleep well, eat well, and exercise, but until you are faced with this, you really dont know how DIFFICULT that can be.) I see a doctor tomorrow.  We (they) me (denial?) thought it was low vitamin D, but that has been corrected and here I am, still this weird ball of misplaced energy or lack thereof.  Why am I sharing this? Good question.  When I started this cross fit journey, I felt it important to be honest with myself… But then theres this whole fan-uh-lee component that I really didnt realize I was in for, thus I feel the need to be honest with you all, too.  And I know for a fact that Im not the only one. Ive read older blogs, Ive been a part of conversations during believe.  Each and every one of you has a story.  Not a single one of us has it all figured out…. But I envy yall for being able to show up, despite your own personal struggles/hardships. At times, it is difficult for me to go to work, to get out of bed. But I know in my heart of hearts that its just temporary.  Every thing, really, is temporary.  Maybe by sharing, I can help others realize they are not alone at this thing called life. I am guilty of not being the first to ask for help… Im a nurse, my job is to help others. I fear shame, a negative stigma that society places on those of us who have mental illness. But today, I felt compelled to write, to share what Im going through, and to not be afraid of what may be judged upon it. My God loves me unconditionally, as I am. And for that, I can smile. So yeah… thats where Ive been lately, lets see where I am in the next few months, as I seek help (and spiritual guidance). 
Take care of yourselves, and EACH OTHER.

Viewing 1 - 3 out of 3 Comments

  • SarahH 08/08/2013 12:07:36

    you're in a good place, girl.  you're surrounding yourself with the right kind of people and staying involved in the right sort of things, which is hard to do when you feel that way.  proud of you.  the rest will follow!!
  • ToniE 08/07/2013 18:58:26

    Thanks Andy 
  • AndyL 08/07/2013 12:59:14

    This was tough for me to read, but I`m glad I did, and I`m thankful that you have the courage to share that with all of us.

    I also struggle with depression, severely at times, and I know how alone it can feel.  I guess I don`t really have much to add, but just know that you`re not alone.


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