One Year Later

true confessionsOne year later, am I really doing better?

I’ve struggled with this post for over a week now, and it hasn’t gotten any easier to write.  But I’ve learned that writing when I don’t want to face something is sometimes the best thing I can do.

As I’ve shared previously, a year ago I was NOT a happy mom.  I was in the pit of depression.  It’s been a long climb back, and I honestly still struggle at times.

A year ago, I was climbing out from the covers, trying hard to put one foot in front of the other.  No matter how I felt, I resolved to fake holiday joy for the benefit of my family.

I did.  And somewhere along the way, I wasn’t faking it any longer.

One year later, what have I learned?

I’m more fragile than I used to be.  Emotionally, I just can’t handle stuff the same way.  I cry more easily.  Stress gets too me sooner.

I feel things more deeply.  Including the good stuff.  I laugh more easily than I ever did.  I’m intensely aware of the weather and how amazing small things can be.

I take myself far less seriously.  There’s something about hitting bottom where the entire world can see.

(ok, maybe not the ENTIRE world… just everyone i know.)

It’s not that I don’t care what people think anymore… more like I know that people will love and accept me no matter what happens.  Once the mask comes off, there’s not much point putting it back on.

So I take bigger risks now.  I’ve already fallen down, what else can happen.  Somewhere I realized I’d rather spend my life being ME.

I realized I have to live with myself.   No matter how hard I’ve tried, I can’t escape my own self.  I can try.  I do.  I try to run away from home.  But ultimately, I can’t leave myself.  So I learned. I’d rather be someone I like (even if other people don’t like me) than someone I don’t like (even if other people do.)

I lack the confidence I used to have.  I used to believe I was bullet proof.  I thought I could do anything I put my mind to, could handle anything life threw at me.  I believed I was strong enough for anything. I’m not.  I can’t.

I gained confidence I can’t explain.  I discovered that my weakness is my friend.  It’s through my weakness and brokenness that I learned to rely on God.  The one who can.  The one who does.  The one who is.

I discovered I’m funny.  Honestly, if you had asked me two years ago if I was funny, I would have told you no.  I never thought about the quirky little way I tell stories, and if I did I certainly didn’t see it as funny.  (yes, i’ve dreamed of being a writer since i could remember… but i never thought i was any good at telling stories or thought that i had anything worth saying.)   I may never be funny in the stand-up comedian way.  But I’ve realized I can type words that make other people laugh.

Would I ever chose depression?  No.  I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.  It stinks.  But I do see the blessing.  I can see how my life is better and richer for the experience.  For that I’m profoundly thankful.

I think I’m going to make it.  I’m realistic enough to understand that I will always be at risk for depression.  Last year wasn’t my first time in the pit, so I know how this thing goes.

I want you to know…

The pit does have a bottom.  If you’re struggling with depression, there does come a point when you find the bottom of that hole.  You don’t keep falling forever – it just feels like you do.

There is a way out.  Sometimes it requires professional help or a prescription.  Sometimes, it doesn’t.  Good friends, a loving God, and a healthy dose of sunshine seem to help.  Just don’t lose hope.  Don’t give up.  Don’t settle for laying at the bottom of the pit and wallowing.  Find the help that you need.

There is life after depression.  It’s worth the struggle.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://thishappymom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/DSC_0036.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Houston Mom Blogger Susan Baker has a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood. She has two elementary school boys, one engineering husband, and one cat. She has a strange fascination  for eggs, socks, and books.  She spends far too much time on Social Media and at Target. She is crazy in love with her family.  She serves an amazing God.   She lives an ordinary life filled with wonder. [/author_info] [/author]

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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Comments

  1. Wow, as someone who has also struggled with serious depression, I admire the amount of courage you had to write this post.

    • Jean, thank you. It was (and is) scary to talk about. Everyone I know in real life knows about my struggle and understands. Talking openly about “it” makes it easier. When I tried to keep it a secret, I felt shame. The shame feeling kept dragging me down and back into “it” which made me feel like a failure (which also…). Ultimately, being open about the whole thing was part of the cure for me.

      But… I’m generally careful about who and how I discuss the subject. It’s not generally the first thing I tell people about myself. I want people to see me as happy and “normal” before I’m willing to discuss it. So sharing it on my blog does feel kind of risky.

  2. Thank you. I know it took great courage to write that and put it out there! I have recently been through some amazing struggles. Places I never wanted to go, very deep pits. But I found the same thing. The God I knew all along, met me there. And I know Him better now than I ever did. God has called me to be transparent about what I have been through, so He can help others through me. Sounds like He is using you the same way.

    • It IS a part of why I blog. I know I’m not alone. The big debilitating lie for moms is that we’re alone, that no one else feels like we do. The truth is that many of us struggle with depression. Many of us are baffled by our kids. Many of us feel like we’re losing the laundry war. I want people to know they aren’t alone.

  3. Wow! I had no idea but I’ve only known you through Twitter and your blog for a few months. You must be doing the right things for you and I can tell from what you write you have a great perspective. Keep it up! As they say “You’ve come a long way baby!”

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