9 times out of 10 I am aware that I am a strong, confident, independent woman. I recognize that I am beautiful for who I am and I know that I contribute in a positive way to the lives of others. 9 times out of 10 I know that I am a good mom, or at least that I keep TRYING to be a good mom which is most of the battle. 9 times out of 10 I am able to see things objectively and give myself plenty of grace while still holding myself accountable for my own choices.
And then there is that 10th time.
It never seems to start with food, (though food is often used as a means to cope when in fact it makes things worse.) It starts with doubt. It starts with me doubting who I am, that I am enough for the tasks inf ront of me, that I am enough period. On that 10th time all I see is my failures and flaws. I feel deeply broken and impossibly alone. It is hard to describe the certainty with which I feel this when rationally I know it is basically crazy. And when I get back out of it and see things a bit more clearly I can see the truth – Depression lies.
The challenge with depression however is that you are fighting with your own head, and your head already knows your greatest weaknesses. It knows the worries you carry in your heart and how to exploit them. To fight depression is to fight against yourself, and it is also to fight for yourself. It is virtually impossible to recognize your worth when each thought of yours is reminding you of all that you lack.
The triggers for these days are varied. Sometimes they are obvious (hi there hormones), and other times they come without warning (a little PTSD trigger here, a cruel comment there). Sometimes, if you are lucky, it lasts a few hours or a day. Other times it lasts for a week or more. During that time I do my best to keep up the facade that I am fine – I take care of the kids, I do the dishes, I do my work – but the reality is I want to crawl into a bed and not come out until I feel better.
And I eat and I hide.
When I first started meds three years ago I assumed that they would clear up these days. That they would simply not exist any more. What the meds do is lessen the severity and the length of these times, but there are still days when it seems impossibly hard to be me. Meds don’t solve the problem, but they do give you a life preserver to help you weather the storm when it hits.
As I re-emerge from these periods I feel sheepish. I know better than to believe myself at those times, yet I so easily become trapped in the well of despair. When I emerge I have to take stock of what I’ve missed, and what needs addressing – get back on the food wagon, weigh in, work out, face facts.
And yes, ask for help and call for an appointment with the therapist.
Depression lies, but sometimes it is believable. But I am stronger than the depression and when I am not I am learning how to ask for help.
So if you want to know where I was, it was that 10th time. It was ugly. It still is a little ugly, but it is getting better.
Depression lies so there is power in claiming the truth. I struggle, I overcome, but some days are harder than others.