As I surf other bipolar and depression blogs and read about other people's experiences with these illnesses, I am often reminded of the year I spent clinically depressed after I received my formal diagnosis of Bipolar I. I was forced to resign from a job which I was a breakout success, and I felt as though I had lost my identity. I felt like a failure. My life was a mess and I was so incredibly sad. I am pretty sure that I cried at least once a day for the entire year of 2006. That sadness, combined with the crippling anxiety I felt, made me feel like things would never get better. Luckily they did. Thanks to the devotion of my husband and family and friends, who all helped me to pick myself up, dry the tears, and regroup.
Once I was able to get my meds on the right track, it was just a matter of trying to change my thinking. I needed to think of what happened to me as a chance to have a fresh start. And that is what I did.
But that doesn't mean that I have forgotten what it feels like to be depressed.
I remember what it felt like to want to lie in bed all day. I remember how it felt to mope around all the time. It took such a tremendous effort to just take a shower, do my hair and makeup and put on a decent outfit. And even when I did that, I usually didn't feel all that different afterwards.
I don't ever - EVER - want to feel that way again. I want to be there for my kids and my husband. Every single day.
A friend of mine who I used to work with recently lost her husband to suicide. It makes me so sad to think that someone took their own life. Mainly because I know that it could have been prevented. But also because I remember that I myself actually had suicidal thoughts back when I was taking Prozac. I was lucky enough to have a support system around me and when I mentioned to my husband and my parents that I didn't feel like life was worth living anymore, they helped me to get the help I needed to work through it. I owe them my life. If it were not for their care, concern, and actions, my suicidal thoughts may have strengthened and I might have acted on them.
Depression on the outside seems like such a simple feeling to overcome, but when you are actually experiencing it yourself you realize that it is a lot more intricate and overwhelming than it may appear. It is my hope that anyone who reads this and then comes in contact with someone in their life who they suspect is suffering from depression, they will help that person to find the help they need to get well. There is hope.