Thursday, October 2, 2014

Keeping it Real

I've see a lot of things lately about mom wars and lifestyle padding on social media.  I think it's human nature to want others to see you in the best light possible, especially since our society seems to see entertainment value in other's struggles.  Mom's wanting their friends to think they're supermom and almost believing it themselves.  Couples wanting their families to think their marriage is perfect (I've definitely been down that road).  Women wanting their girlfriend's to think they have an exciting life.  I really do understand that, who wants to admit to struggles and pain in public?

I've always tried to keep it real, but I'll admit I tend to only make the good known.  This morning, I posted pictures of my kitty cat romping through the garden I planted last week and then about new recipes I was trying out.  I actually went out and fertilized all my plants and tried a new recipe, but that was in the first few hours of the day.  The rest of the day, I did as little as possible.  Besides chauffeuring the family around until 3, I did nothing else.

Doing nothing for a day or two is totally okay, doing barely anything for a few weeks, isn't.  I've struggled with Major Clinical Depression most of my life.  I've been on and off anti-depressants for over twenty years.  Most of the time I can pull myself out of a funk without medicinal help, once in awhile, I can't.  Right now is one of those times.

I've been rear-ended a few times, a couple of those accidents totaled my vehicles.  I started seeing a chiropractor at the age of 8 after a New Year's Day outing with the family in Lake Tahoe ended with my entire family in the hospital.  I say a few accidents, but the total is actually around 9 of them.  All of them by the other vehicle being operated by someone driving under the influence.  I suffer from pretty bad neck and back pain.  Add in Endometriosis and PMDD and I struggle with chronic pain.  In the past, doctors have tried to treat me with pain killers and sleeping pills.  Seriously one doctor wrote me a prescription for 90 pills of percocet and called it a one month supply.  That just doesn't work in my world, so I stopped all treatment and just dealt with the pain for years.

Recently, I got tired of hurting every single day from the time I moved in bed in the morning til the moment I finally got comfortable in bed at night.  So I found a family physician who didn't want to stuff pain killers down my throat.  Instead, she prescribed a nerve blocker, Neurontin and a muscle relaxer to be taken right before bed.  It's done wonders and I actually go days now without pain.

Unfortunately though, some of the side effects are depression, suicidal thoughts and tendencies.  Luckily, suicide isn't something I'd ever consider.  I have too many people relying on me to ever take that route.  Getting rid of your problems that way only adds to the problems of those you care about.  That's never a solution.

However, my depression has come back full force.  I've literally had about five loads of my clothes sitting in my living room for about two weeks now, waiting for me to fold them.  That kind of makes it impossible to vacuum as well.  My house is clean, it's just not tidy, there's a big difference.  I'm just too tired and lack any sort of motivation.  The worst part is it's easier to just keep washing a few outfits and cycling through those than to look through that massive pile to find something different.  At least I'm still wearing clean clothes, even if it consists of the same yoga pants and t-shirt every day, right?

I am working to get it under control, I know there's a major problem.  I've withdrawn from my family almost completely and I can't function like this and my family needs me functional.  I've started Effexor ER, an anti-depressant, but haven't yet reached therapeutic levels.  I always try to take the least amount possible and fight increasing my dosages but I think it's time.  I've also been trying to force myself to put on a pair of jeans and doing at least one big thing daily.  Today, I not only fertilized the garden, I also made beer bread AND put on mascara to take my son to the Dr.  I'll admit once I was back in the house for good, my yoga pants went back on, but at least I was dressed for part of the day.

Depression is a very serious illness.  We recently lost our beloved Robin Williams to suicide and unfortunately, depression ends that way all too often.  It's not something that should be kept quiet in hopes it will go away but something that should be acknowledged so that help can be received.  Everyone should become familiar with the symptoms because it's a very common illness, especially in women.  But that doesn't mean that it doesn't occur in men.  I've lost both an uncle and a step-brother to suicide and it's the ones left behind that suffer for it.  If you notice symptoms of depression in a friend or family member, talk to them about it.  Become a support system, but remember it's not just something you can force away.  Sometimes, it's really hard to fight your way back to the surface.

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