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A Story About Living With Depression – Not a Fairy-Tale
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My blog is a place to get my story out. I really don’t have a story. Does anyone have a story? A story implies a happily ever after. I truly do not believe in happily ever after. I don’t believe they exist in life, only in fairy-tales. Fairy-tale lives are just that, tales of once-upon-a-time, and I do not live in once-upon-a-time land. I live in Illinois. In Illinois it rains, snows, and I cry.
I am not rich, I am not poor. I live what I consider a “comfortable” life. I love my home. I hate my home. I call it a home because it is where I love to be; where I want to be. I love when it is full of children and laughter. I have always dreamed of the perfect home. I definitely am not a clean freak, but I love to have a place for everything and everything in its place. My house is too small, too full of people to have places for everything. Yet, I love my house. I know that after forty years of trying to build the perfect home, perfect is not attainable. It is what it is. Yet, I still want a fairy-tale castle, even though they do not exist.
I have anxiety and depression. I live with anxiety and depression. I try not to let it define me, but it does anyway. My house holds my depression. It defines my depression, it is my depression. I sit here all day and dream of things. I dream of fairy-tales that will never happen, because they don’t exist. I dream of perfection. A place for everything and everything in its place. Do you watch television and wonder why you can’t have a nice house like that? I do, I wish I had nice. I wish I wasn’t embarrassed by my house. I have anxiety and depression.
One room, one room in my house I love! The living room. Strange how we call it a “living” room. It is though, we live in this room. It is perfect, was perfect. It now has a huge bleach stain on the carpet. Yes, a bleach stain! I am seeking perfection, cleaning a stain, accidentally grab the bleach instead of the carpet cleaner. Now there is a bleach stain, in the middle of the room. Again, perfection is gone. No such thing as perfection!
Two rooms, two rooms in my house, I hate! The kitchen and bathroom. The kitchen is clean, yet looks filthy, the bathroom is clean, yet looks grimy. We moved in with plans, plans of fixing, replacing, and making these two rooms perfect. I wait, and wait, and wait. I am not a proud person by all means, but I am embarrassed by these two rooms. No matter how hard I scrub or arrange, or decorate, these rooms are horrible. They are part of my story, my fairy- tale castle.
Why did I bleach the carpet? I always have my Clorox kitchen bleach on the counter. I use it all the time, because my kitchen never looks clean, so I use bleach to make it smell clean. I keep the carpet cleaner on the counter too. I want my living room to look perfect . With a dog, it is difficult. So, I grab the bleach instead of the carpet cleaner and guess what… I ruin the one room I love. My castle tumbles down. It really isn’t the bleach stain that tumbled my castle. It was my mind, my thinking.
I cried last night. I cried because my carpet, I cried because I am failing. I am failing at life, at being a wife, at being a mother, at being a grandmother, at having a perfect house. I cried myself to sleep. I woke at three in the morning. I wanted to get up and fix my carpet, but I knew it wasn’t fixable. I wanted to fix my kitchen and bathroom, but it is impossible. I wanted to fix me, but I knew I wasn’t fixable. I wanted to get up, but I didn’t. I didn’t want my husband to ask me what was wrong. I didn’t want to explain I feel like I am falling apart. There I lay, picturing the white spot on my carpet, I thought about my house, my blog, my life. I thought about my mind and why it is so messed up.
Anxiety and depression are sneaky. They sneak up on you at the most inopportune time.
My sister once said to me, “Why are you depressed, you have everything. A great husband, kids who love you and a nice house. You have no reason to be depressed.”
I can honestly say, she is correct! I have no reason to be depressed. Depression is beyond reason. There is no reasoning with depression. At times, I think, the world would be better without me. I thought this last night. I thought my husband deserves someone who is always happy, loves to exercise, loves canoeing, hiking and mountain climbing. I think the world would be happier without me. I don’t want to think about me. I don’t want to be self-centered, selfish.
I think about my thinking all the time. I went through years of therapy. I know it is chemicals in my brain that are whacked out and misfiring. I don’t know why I have depression. I was born this way. An overwhelming feeling of not belonging, this happens to me all the time. At times, I feel I am alone even when I am surrounded by people that love me. I hide it, I don’t want people to think I am seeking attention. I don’t want to be self-centered, selfish. I guess I feel this way because my whole childhood I was considered/called spoiled, self-centered, selfish. I was depressed; I am depressed. Depression is my life, but I cannot let depression be my life.
This morning I crawled out of bed, picked up my head, looked at the bleach stained carpet, the not so perfect kitchen and bathroom, shrugged my shoulders and laughed. I got my cup of coffee and sat down and typed this post.
Thinking it through – Yes, there is a bleach stain on my carpet, a kitchen that doesn’t look television perfect, a bathroom that is ugly, I have depression and anxiety. These things can change, they will change (our plan is remodel kitchen and bathroom this summer)! These things do not define me. Depression and anxiety are sneaky, they pop up when you least expect it. I will not let it define me today! I will never have a fairy tale life. I don’t want a fairly tale life. What I do want is, love and laughter! I have love and laughter! I will laugh it off, kiss my family and then remember what I do have, and move on with the day. I am happy that I have a “comfortable” life. This is my happily ever after. It is not a fairy-tale, fairy-tales don’t exist. My story does, I do! Sometimes it rains, sometimes it snows, but there is always sunshine waiting on the other side. This is my once-upon-a-time!
Coping with Depression
I can’t even explain how important it is to seek professional help if you are depressed.
Depression is so difficult! Your negative thoughts take over and nothing seems to make sense. You begin to think obscure thoughts that don’t even make sense. Over thinking everything! All the things that you need to do to cope with depression are even more difficult when you are going through a bad episode. However, I have learned, through several years of therapy, ways of coping with my depression. I will admit it is difficult to manage coping skills when you are in a low time, having a list and looking at it helps remind me what I need to do cope!
Here is a list of 10 things I do to cope:
- Think it through – Challenge my negative thoughts (this is what I used in this post)
- Talk it out with my dog
- Have a “Safe” person to go to when I am really low
- Draw or color
- Read a happy book
- Listen to Jazz or happy music
- Go for a drive and sing at the top of my lungs
- Clean my house (can be difficult if I am really down, but always makes me feel better!)
- Get some sunlight – Get out of the house!
If these coping skills do not work, I will immediately call my professionals.
Do you suffer from depression? What do you do to cope? Comment with some ideas on ways I can cope with my depression.
A few resources I have used for my Depression and Anxiety: Click to Buy