Poofy Cheeks: My Struggle with Depression–Part 1

January 9, 2013

My Struggle with Depression–Part 1

This is not my regular type of post but I am committed to sharing more about myself on the blog this year and my journey with depression.

Yes, you read the title right. There is something less than a dozen people know about me. (Until I press publish on this post). For nearly the past two years I have struggled with depression. It comes and goes and for me I can only describe it like the commercial that says depression hurts. I have written this post over and over in my head a thousand times but I wasn’t quite ready to share it yet. I didn’t want this post to be a reason for people to feel bad for me but rather a way to bring awareness. Depression is still something that seems to be kept hush-hush and swept under the rug or hidden. I think for some people they hide their depression because it may be seen as a sign of weakness or embarrassing (which is how I initially felt). The fact is that many people struggle with depression and talking about it or getting help can really be the best thing.

A Mom's Journey with Depression

It all started in the Spring of 2011. I had my two boys and at the time Wyatt was 3 and Mason was almost 2. I was working part time, taking online classes and was home with the boys on my days off. My husband works a high stress job which requires 12 hour shifts and rotation between nights and days every three months. I felt overwhelmed. I either felt like I never got a moment to myself or was struggling to meet due dates on my schoolwork. I was in a constant state of stress and anxiety along with mood swings. I blamed the mood swings on my irregular period and birth control. After Mason was born I had an implant put in my arm which was supposed to last three years. Now after nearly a year and a half my period became irregular and I just didn’t feel like myself. I didn’t know if it was because I  had joined the gym a few months prior and had lost about 20 pounds but if anything I thought that would have helped my stress level. When things didn’t get better I called the doctor and made an appointment to have the birth control removed. I spoke to her about my blues and she told me that they could have been due to my now smaller size and the power of the birth control. I opted to stop taking birth control all together.

A few months went by and my period returned to normal. My happy go-lucky self did not. I had always been a smiley glass-half-full type of person. I had always tried to see the light in any situation but there was this constant stress of bills that never seemed to be up to date, the feeling of loneliness while my husband worked or slept and on top of that my grades were the worst they had ever been in my life. I tried to keep myself so busy that I couldn’t even think about the stress. There were still bad days when I yelled at my kids for being too loud or energetic around the house or literally cried over spilt milk. Most of the time I cried though. I cried when I was mad, sad or for absolutely no reason. All of this seemed to happen behind closed doors and while my husband was at work.

A Mom's Journey with Depression

My husband is my best friend but he didn’t understand it. He would get fed up or mad with my attitude. He didn’t even want to be around me when I cried because it got to the point where it was a regular thing and he didn’t know how to handle it. None of this made things any better. When he wanted to go places on his days off and I gave him a hard time he thought I was being selfish. I wasn’t communicating my real feelings with him and assumed he should just read my mind. I assumed he should understand that I was going through a rollercoaster of feelings and just needed his support. Looking back it was my way of crying out for help but not in a very good way. Sometimes people need you to just tell them straight out what is going on. Deep down I knew I was depressed and something was wrong but I was too proud to admit it. My husband wasn’t able to put it all together. I felt like I was carrying the weight of resentment towards him on my shoulders and the more I kept things in the worse the next wave of depression would be. Things went on like this until the Fall when my husband finally started to see what was going on and planned an intervention of sorts but everything got worse before it got better.

To be continued….

(This is the most exposed I feel I have been on my blog before so please be kind with your comments. I am not asking for pity but rather sharing this because I want to bring awareness to the situation in hopes it helps someone else who is going through what I have gone through on this journey.)

24 comments:

  1. cudos to you for telling you story! the blog world is a wonderful supporting group of people. Love that you are able to talk about this.

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    1. Thank you Brittany! I completely agree - it is filled with tons of women who support one another through the thick and thin!

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  2. I love the quote "Depression is a flaw in chemistry, not in character" but it is so difficult to remember that when you're flailing about in the midst of depression. You know I've dealt with it for many years. I'm learning to talk about it more freely because I am realizing that so many other people have their own story about depression and if people read your story they can see how pieces of it are like their story. Thanks for sharing your heart, sweet friend, you are amazing!

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    1. I love that quote Jill! Sometimes it just hits when you least expect it. Hearing from others that battle depression has really helped me work up the courage to share my own.

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  3. Wow, I just "met" you the other day on instagram, when I shared my shop with you and I feel like I can totally relate. I'm in school full time, working full time and raising 3 kids, luckily my husband can help out, but its hard. We struggle with bills and I feel I'm stressed all the time. I always cry and I don't have any friends (I have reasons ) thanks for sharing!!!! xo

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    1. It can be hard to have friends when there are times when you feel like you don't even know yourself. Take care and try to find a few minutes to yourself each day!

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  4. I think you'll find a lot of support!!! That is one of the better parts in this blogging media world. The way we can connect with each other. So we can find out there are other people that go through the same things. Way to feel like you can expose the area's that arn't all put together.

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  5. I can't imagine the strength it took to share that part of yourself with us! I have always thought you were such a happy person! Sharing your story and helping people be aware that they might be having the same problem is such an unselfish thing to do Kelsey. I'm also glad you learned and figured out that your husband is here to be your teammate and not battling you! thanks for sharing this with us friend and know that we are all here to listen and support you!!

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    1. Thank you so much Skye! I think one of the things I want to relay in all of this is that things can look good from the outside but you don't always know what is going on inside. :)

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  6. Thank you for sharing, Alex! You're brave for taking the steps to help yourself. I have been dealing with anxiety off and on for a really long time, but much more frequently after Berkeley was born. I've been to my OB and have been talking to a psychologist too. It really really sucks sometimes, but is comforting to know other people are going through similar battles and its not just some thing "wrong" with me. I'm glad you have the support of your husband and family and you have lots of friends who love and care for you!

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    1. Thank YOU Jen! I agree. Finding others that are going through the same or similar situations has been one very comforting thing for me. I can totally relate to the 'something is wrong with me' or 'I am crazy' type thoughts. When you see people everyday and they look so happy it can be an eye opener to know they are on the same adventure. xoxo

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  7. Good for you for having the courage to share your story, Kelsey! I know you'll help someone by being so vulnerable.

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  8. Thanks so much for sharing. We were also in the same boat a few years ago, however my husband was the one. (General Anxiety Disorder) He has had lots of treatment, we have felt the stigma but we have come out stronger as people and as a couple. All the best,may God bless you. Dont give up, you are normal.

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    1. Thank you! It has certainly brought my husband and I together! There have been rough times but learning to work through it together as a team has brought us closer.

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  9. I dont know you..not even a close follower..but God leads and ..you follow ..ya know?? Amen to you!! Wrapping you in huge warm hugs from one mom to another. Press on ..keeping looking for answers to how you are feeling. Hormones can toss you around like a rag doll...I have been that doll. Anxiety and depression does not have you...they are just things, like high bloodpressure..it runs in families...the strongest people I have ever met are those who are not afraid to say help me. Talk about it...shout it out...shine His light on it...so proud of you. blessings

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    1. So touching and encouraging. Thanks for that...«the strongest people I have ever met are those who are not afraid to say help me.

      I hope this helps Kelsey, cause it helped me!

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    2. Thank you so much for your encouraging words and support ladies! I always feel like He is preparing us for something and it isn't always clear in the beginning. I feel like I was meant to share this and have it touch others that might also be struggling.

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  10. Thank you so much for sharing. It's important that society starts to recognize this as a (sadly) regular occurrence. Sharing your story is a way of "normalizing" the stigma.

    I do suffered from depression and anxiety. My parents and husband (boyfriend at the time) also found me hard to be around and often told me to stop being "pitiful" which made it harder. He still doesn't quiet understand, but we've definitely come very far together.

    hugs, friend!
    We are stronger than our weaknesses.

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    1. Thank you for sharing girl! The response to this post has been amazing and has filled my heart. I don't feel as alone in my struggles. Knowing that other people have been or are going through this is the best support!

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  11. Thank you for sharing. I have been there myself. I am glad that you are finding the strength to share and talk about it. I know that it will help others hearing your story.

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  12. I am not a female, but I have dealt with both depression and Bi-Polar for at least 20 years and with me, at least, the hardest part was to actually admit that something was wrong. I would offer hope through your church family, through an organization called NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) (www.nami.org). They have a program called Connection and a Family Support Group. The Connection group is for those who are dealing with (AND suffering from) a mental illness, and the Family Support Group is designed to provide support for family members.

    Remember, no matter how it feels, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

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  13. Wow. I could've written this myself. I have always struggled with anxiety and irritability, but for the last two years I have not been my cheerful "everything will work out" self. I have a significant other who works nights and I have just felt so lonely. I just ran across your blog looking at a recipe I found on Pinterest, but maybe it was meant to be. I am doing much better now, and I hope you are too. It is very hard to lay it all out and those who have never felt this way think that we are either lazy or weak or not motivated...it is much more than that!

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Your comments make me smile!