Depression is a nameless bullet. It can strike anyone, anywhere at any time. I have suffered from depression most of my adult life. I went through years of therapy, so much so, that I could be a therapist. I’m not belittling what they did for me because a lot of the time, I left seeing things in a different, more positive light. It felt good to be happy and upbeat after leaving a doctors office you arrived at down in the dumps. I needed the help every single time. When you go through so much hurt and pain sometimes you get to the point where you know its time to talk to someone. No one wants to completely lose it, especially when you have children and other people counting on you to keep it together so you can help keep them together.
Looking back, I think a few of my issues stem from having to act strong while going through the hardest times of my life. At 19-20 years old I found myself suddenly involved in making huge medical decisions about my dad’s care and life in a coma. As a nursing student, unfortunately, I didn’t know as much as everyone thought I did, but still, I was the one everyone looked to for answers. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t mind at all. The entire situation made me work harder, research and learn more and made me determined to be the best in my field. I tried to work through my depression but struggled.
In therapy, back then, I talked a lot about the emotional and mental abuse I endured in my nine-year marriage over and over again. I kept my childhood experiences to myself. But a small part of me thought that the source of my depression had to run deeper. I didn’t truly realize until I was in my forties that I was more damaged than I thought.
Without delving too deep, out of respect for my mom and her wishes, I’ll just say we had a difficult childhood. She helped us through it whether we recognize it or not, by letting us make our own paths in the world. As the youngest, I thought I was less affected than my five siblings. I thought because I didn’t let myself believe or put any stake in the things we endured mentally, I would not have to worry about my childhood affecting my adult life.
I’m here to say that y’all, whatever abuse or hardship you go through as a child, especially for a prolonged period of time, will challenge you one way or another in your adult life unless you work through the pain. I used to catch myself yelling at my two-year-old daughter and then realizing she had no idea what was happening. I was taking my hurt and unhappiness out in her.
The day I went to hug her and she flinched, afraid of me; I packed up my two babies. I drove to my then husband’s job, told him I needed a break and was going home. From there I hit the highway. I drove 14 hours from North Carolina to Alabama with two toddlers by myself. I could not have my children afraid of me like I was afraid as a child! I needed my mom and her guidance. That was the one and only time I felt like I was following in old footsteps.
Still, I blamed my depression on my marriage and my subsequent illness. But I had to admit to myself first that my childhood had a huge effect on who I was as an adult. At first, I just wanted to experience the world. I wanted to be seen. Then once I was out there, I wanted to hide. I didn’t want to be with more than one man and married the first man I ever loved. I suffered from social phobia, agoraphobia, I couldn’t open my curtains or blinds, I was afraid of being alone, had to keep my doors locked, had fear greater than average of strangers and never made any friends outside of work and high school.
The reason I suggest therapy for anyone who has been through trauma or depression is because it helped me through these things. I’m not completely cured. I still fear leaving my home, but once I do, the fear disappears. But I’m trying. I still suffer from bouts of depression and sometimes get overwhelmed as I struggle through it. I do take a medication every day that helps with the chemical imbalance causing the depression. I haven’t been to therapy in well over ten years but I have no problem going if I need it.
These days prayer had helped me so much. I love knowing that I can ask my prayers warriors for prayer and they deliver. Sometimes I have to go into my “war room” and talk to God one on one. This year has taught me that the best place to be is by yourself. I didn’t think I could get through the things I went through this year, but I did. One of my favorite sayings is two simple words, “But God”! Because somethings, like depression and nervous breakdowns, you know you would not have survived without divine intervention.
If I know you, I’m praying for you. My mother is a praying woman. Without her prayers for all of us, I don’t want to think where we would be. It’s a blessing in itself that she taught her children, her grandchildren and now her great-grandchildren about God and how to pray. She’s the strongest woman I know because she never allowed depression to interfere in her life for too long. I wish I was strong enough to do that. But I recognize that I have gone thirty plus years denying I need to talk to someone about my childhood in order to be free of every fear it still has cast over my life. But God!
Blogging really helps me to get things off my mind and my heart. I feel free when I write and post something that I feel has had me bound. I’m adding taking care of my childhood pain to my vision board for 2019. I never thought I would get to this point where I would be open to talking about this along with the struggles of the past year. BUT GOD😇