Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Top 4 Worst Experiences of My Life: # 2 Depression

I'm sure many of you can relate to this.

Just less than a year ago, life started becoming overwhelming. Too many things at once, ya know. Soccer four nights a week and all day Saturdays, plus managing my younger daughter's team. People asking me to make videos, host parties, do them favors, constantly. I mean, I don't work, I've got all the time in the world, right? Right. Of course my inability to say no didn't help in the situation. And in all likelihood, I've probably suffered from depression since about 1986 without being treated, so there's that. Anyway, so I'm juggling, kids, and husband, and house, and family, and friends, and soccer, and, and, and guess what, I drop them. Not one or two of these proverbial balls, but all of them.

First I stopped answering the phone, except for my husband. People, all of them, were driving me crazy. I was frustrated, irritated, and moody. I couldn't remember a day that I hadn't cried for some reason or other. In my mind, I knew whoever was on the other end of the phone line was going to want something from me. I just didn't want human contact. I wanted time to think, to contemplate my answers. I only communicated through e-mail and text. After one morning of five phone calls in a row, unanswered, I finally had to text my friend and tell her I was no longer taking phone calls. I thought this was perfectly normal. Even Rusty was telling people to just leave me alone, don't call, don't ask for anything, just leave me be. Some listened, some didn't.

Then I stopped everything else. I did little to manage my husband's soccer team, stopped volunteering at the kids school, stopped going anywhere, stopped doing anything for anybody. I couldn't even make simple decisions, like what to cook for dinner. So, I also stopped cooking, cleaning, filing paperwork, including some bills (yikes). The only thing I continued to do was write, which was good because I could take every emotion I was feeling and put it into what I was working on. Some of it turned out depressing, some angry, but in my opinion, it all turned out good (not perfect, but good). One result was my new novel Mending Fences.

January came around and I wanted everything to end. I'm not talking suicide. I'm not that brave, or cowardly, however you look at it. I mean, I just wanted everything and everybody to go away, including my family. I felt like a lousy wife, and an even worse mother. I just wanted to be alone. Call it what you will, rock bottom, nervous breakdown, midlife crisis, it's just a label.

My family was not too happy about this of course, and I was pretty much forced to get my mind straight. I was truly surprised when my doctor told me this was not normal behavior. LOL. She also told me I more than likely suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, of which apparently Washington state has an alarmingly high rate (can you say rain?).The course of action I took is not important, unless you want to know, I will be happy to share it, let's just say I'm better. I'm not perfect, but I'm better. I'm still my normal angsty self but I'm more productive, my mind is clearer, and I don't cry every day. These are all good things.

If you can relate, feel free to comment. If you have questions, please question me. If you think I'm crazy, I'd love to hear from you too.

Stay tuned tomorrow for my # 1 Worst Life Experience.

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My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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