It's been a tough couple of weeks. Posting has been sparse and there's good reason for it. I'm going through what some might call a 'rough patch'. I've hit a wall. No, not a literary wall, but rather a mental wall. The kind that forces you to stay home from work. The kind that puts you in your vehicle and drive to the clinic to ask for help. And that's exactly what I did.
I've been feeling overwhelmed for awhile now, but receiving the call about my mothers' health crisis has put me over the edge. This situation has brought on tremendous feelings of anger, bitterness, guilt and sadness. So much so that I've reached the point where counseling and medication are a necessity. I've always shied away from counseling because of negative experiences I had as a teenager. I once confided in my high school guidance counselor what was going on at home. She called the Ministry of Children and Families because she had a duty to report. After MCF apprehended me, I was taken to their office where my mother's hateful glare awaited me. After an intense interview, I was returned to my mothers' care but only after my mom agreed to attend family counseling once a week. We went one time.
Desperate for help I started going to the Boys and Girls club for counseling at the recommendation of my high school guidance counselor. I felt that I had taken some control back in my life until I disappointed again. I was at my weekly counseling appointment at the Boys and Girls Club and after the first twenty minutes I realized my counselor had closed his eyes and fallen asleep. Needless to say, I never went back. I felt humiliated and embarrassed. I was convinced that my 'story' must be boring, otherwise why would he have fallen asleep?
Fast forward to ten years later when I was a new mother diagnosed with Post Partum Depression.I was prescribed an anti-depressant and referred to a counselor. This was the first time I'd been medicated for depression, but not the first time I'd been referred to counseling. I struggled with going but in the end decided it was one way to fill up an otherwise lonely day with a newborn. My counselor was wonderful. She listened to me and told me how strong I was-but that I had to make some decisions in my life and confront some big issues. The biggest issue I faced was the slow moving train wreck that my marriage was fast becoming. It was if a switch had been turned on. I took my baby and left and moved away to start over.
Throughout the next 6 years depression hung over me like a big, wet, blanket. During the two years that I was a single mother I faced some of the darkest and loneliest times in my life. While the medication helped with lows it didn't address the anxiety that creeped up on me. I became an expert bullshitter-I could look people right in the eye and tell them I was okay-when in truth, depression and anxiety were crippling me. I found work and I went back to school and finished college. I met a wonderful man and married him. I decided to stop taking my medication.
Two years later I gave him a son. On the surface my life was perfect. But inside, feelings of despair, anxiety, and anger were slowly eating me up. With the many ups and downs that working mothers face-the juggling and stress of it all took it's toll. I found myself asking for help again. Once I felt that my depression was under control I would stop taking the medication again and load up my plate up with hobbies, volunteering, work, errands, extra curricular activities, etc until I was overwhelmed and stressed out again. Then the anxiety and depression would come knocking and the cycle would start all over again.
Several times in my life I have thought about my childhood and reflected on the cost it has had on my life as an adult. But until recently I have not given my past the focus and energy it deserved. My mother has recently been diagnosed with cancer-and her illness has forced me to face how I truly feel about her. The past two weeks have been tough-as I've struggled to let go of some immediate responsibilities in my life so that I can focus on getting well. I'm averaging 3-4 hours of sleep at night and can barely get through a day of work. My stomach is in knots and I'm socially defunct. I have also stopped drinking-it's one less flame to put out later.
I have had no choice but to seek professional medical help again. And this time I'm completely committed to seeing it through. With the love and support of my husband I am sticking with counseling and medication until I can get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. My little family of four is headed off to Cancun Mexico for Christmas this year-if for no other reason but to try spend some much needed time together. So, my dear readers...I thank you for your patience as I put blogging on hold for the short term. I need to get my life in order and re-prioritize it again so that I can start to heal and get better.
Warm holiday wishes to you and yours this holiday season,
Blogging about all things women.
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