This post has been saved in my drafts in different forms for over a week. I've come to terms with my depression and am fine with talking about it. I'll admit it to friends, family, co-workers, and strangers on the internet. But it's a different story when it comes to discussing the details. Even when my mind is screaming "Help me" on the inside, if someone asks what's wrong, the answer is always a simple "Nothing" or "I'm fine." I love my wife, trust her with anything in my life, and trust her more than anyone. But when it comes to opening up, it's a huge struggle, even if I'm talking to the most important person in my life. I can think about what I want to say, tell myself that I'm going to say it, and then it gets lost somewhere between my brain and my mouth. I've written this post with all the juicy details, I've written it completely vague, and I have at least 3 drafts that rambled completely off topic. Suffice it to say, I have no idea how to approach this. I'm going for something in the middle.
I hit what was probably the lowest point I've seen yet. My medication clearly wasn't working the way it should. A marriage counseling appointment turned into a mostly "What's got Craig down" session, because as of lately that seems to be the biggest barrier in my relationship. And then I reached the point where I struggled to find the motivation to leave the house and deal with people. I was leaving work in the middle of the day without telling anyone. Other days I just wouldn't go in at all. I have dealt with depression and the lack of motivation to get out of bed off and on for a few years. But never had it reached the point where it effected my work life or my ability to cope with the simplest things. This in turn caused more tension at home. The Pretty Lady in My Life was worried that I was going to screw up my job (a legitimate concern that I could not see for myself) which would be really bad deal for all the obvious reasons and even more so due to the fact we are under contract for a new house that's in the middle of construction. I was having anxiety attacks on my way to work, sitting in the parking lot in my car convincing myself that I did indeed HAVE to go to work. When I was at work I basically locked myself in my office and avoided social interaction. Through all of this I also dragged my family through the mess with me. I couldn't see it at the moment but I was short tempered with my kids and spent more time locked away with my own thoughts than interacting with them. My wife watched from the sidelines, worried and not knowing how to help. Her attempts to talk to me or help were met with aggression. We had vowed to be by eachothers side through it all, but I don't think either of foresaw anything like this. She certainly didn't deserve it but thankfully she continues to stick by my side.
I wish I could say that through therapy I was able to pinpoint where all this started and how to keep it from happening again. Or at the very least, that I found a way to work my way back out of it. Unfortunately neither of those is entirely true. I have some ideas about what caused it, not handling stress well, ineffective medication, not remembering how important it is to take time for myself and stop bottling feelings up. I have some ideas about what helped me start the long climb back out this too. Most importantly I admitted to myself that I wasn't going to fix it alone. I followed through with my appointment with a psychologist at a local diabetes center that I had made and cancelled once before. She has helped me realize that half the battle is controlling the negative thinking that comes with depression. She showed me ways to relax and fend off the anxiety. I saw the doctor who manages my medication and re-evaluated my needs, which ulitmately led to sticking with what I'm currently on but at a higher dose.
I don't know what the point of this post is. I think just to get it out my head. And also to let anyone out there who might be going through the same thing and wanders onto my blog that it's OK. You are not the only one going through this. And there is nothing wrong with you because of the way you're feeling, You're not a lesser person. And most importantly, don't be afraid to accept help. It's hard to share what's going on and admit that you are struggling and need some help. It takes a strong person to accept what's going on and take the steps to move forward. And you are strong enough, you can do it.