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I’m not a stranger to depression. I live in the frozen tundra and seasonal depression is a way of life up here. I went through previous bouts of depression after my sister died and after my first miscarriage.

It’s back. It’s been slowly building for months.

I hate it, but I have to deal with it now.

It’s not normal to sit on the couch and sob because my house is a mess and it seems like all my friends have older kids who don’t leave toy cars all over the floor. Everyone has problems. Everyone has issues. If my kids were older, there would be other messes, other problems. Wishing my children were in high school is not going to fix anything.

I feel like everyone around me has their life together while I’m falling apart. I have no interest in taking care of my house. I don’t want my pets anywhere near me. The puppy I didn’t even want, but has completely attached himself to me, needs training, but I can’t handle it. Our latest (surprise!) litter of kittens need to be litter-box trained. I can’t deal with that either. My children annoy me. Important paperwork that needs to be taken care of sits untouched because I can’t process the thoughts about how to even fill them out. My kitchen is a disaster. My living room looks like a tornado came through it. I have a load of laundry that is probably molding inside my washing machine right now.

I’ve never understood people who run away from their lives and start over. Until now. It’s really tempting. I used to go for drives by myself when I needed to blow off some steam. But now, I can’t trust myself to get behind the wheel because I don’t know if I would come back. I know my husband and my children need me. I stay because of a sense of duty, but my heart isn’t in it right now.

On Sunday, I had a really bad cold. With my husband home, I could go in the bedroom and rest. I took a good book, my laptop, my phone, my headphones, and stayed all by myself in bed for most of the day. It was the happiest I’ve been in weeks – being alone and able to do whatever I wanted. I read. I napped. I listened to some favorite music. I watched a movie that didn’t involve animated creatures. It was heavenly. When I finally had to leave the comfort of my room and my bed, I had to resist the urge to kick and scream and act like my 3-year-old when he’s overtired and I tell him he has to take a nap.

This morning, a family issue required my action, and I had what I’m guessing was an anxiety attack. I shut down. I could not do what was needed. I started shaking, and tears poured down my face. Thankfully, that action was able to be put off until tomorrow and I have time to prepare myself mentally for what I need to do.

This is scary.

My husband recognized last week that I’m not well and insisted that I get help. I met with my doctor yesterday, and she put me on an antidepressant. Unfortunately, I know all too well from all of my husband’s bipolar medications that mood and brain altering drugs can take weeks to take effect. I do no look forward to the wait.

I’ve made an appointment to meet with a therapist. I’ve let some family members and my closest friends know what’s going on with me and everyone has been really supportive.

But I still feel so very, very alone.