My depression started after I miscarried 4 months after Olyvia was born. I remember the panic attacks and the days where I could not get out of bed. There were numerous times I’d be getting ready for the day, and a switch inside me would flip and I would literally start panicking, screaming, pulling my hair, and sobbing uncontrollably. There were times I’d look in the mirror and see an ugly person…a monster. I locked myself in my room and would lay in bed all day. I would skip out on family dinners, friend get together’s, and church. I literally was not myself. Dave, now my ex-husband, was very patient with me. He always tried helping. He tried consoling me the best way he knew how. The song “Jesus take the wheel” by Carrie Underwood had just came out, and more times than one, on my drive to work it would come on the radio, & that was my saving grace of not driving off the mountain side- that and Olyvia was always with me.
This was the start of my battle with depression and anxiety and thoughts of suicide. Also, this was the start of getting on medication to help me. They did help, but I too quit taking them because I thought I didn’t need medication after a few years of being on them. Well, I miscarried a second time in-between Abi & Sophie, and by then my hormones, depression, & anxiety escalated. So back on meds I went. During my divorce, my depression/anxiety worsened, as well as the suicidal thoughts. I surrounded myself with the wrong people and people that brought me down. My self-love, self esteem and my worth was shot. My first attempt I ended up in the Behavioral Unit where I spent 5 days; That’s when my meds were adjusted and the psychiatrist couldn’t reiterate enough of how important it was to stay on them and be consistent. Slowly, I quit taking them thinking I was fine, but knew deep down I was a walking time bomb. By then, suicide was a constant thought. I would think of ways to end my misery. Last fall I was found unresponsive in my apartment because I overdosed and my family was basically told I wouldn’t make it, but if I did, I would have brain damage. I was life flighted and spent 3 days in the ICU intubated, with cords hooked up to monitors, IV’s, and I had pneumonia because I aspirated.The next 2 days I was moved to the IMC floor where I was discharged in my parents care- still had pneumonia, and had to wear oxygen, & I still was battling depression and anxiety. How I didn’t die is a miracle. I remember waking up in the ICU with family members and extended family members at the foot of my bed and by my side. My Grandma Day, who has passed on was by my side… I saw her, and felt her presence. She is my Guardian Angel. Its been a long road of recovery. Even to this day I think about suicide. I battle with my thoughts and fight to keep going. People who do not understand, tell me to stop being depressed. They ask me how could I even possibly think of ending my life with my 3 beautiful girls who need me more than ever; and a family who loves me so much. I’ve been told it’s selfish of me. I know all these things. I know suicide is not the solution- but, it’s like tunnel vision. Sometimes it is so hard to reason with myself and see beyond the demon within me. I feel ugly most days, worthless, a failure as a mom, daughter, and friend. I think it would be so much easier on everyone if I was gone, because then I would not be a burden. But, I know this is not true. I need medication. I cannot miss a day of taking them. I finally understand they are what help me through my darkest moments. It’s not a cure-all, but it does help. People need to be aware that postpartum depression, depression, anxiety, and panic attacks are SO REAL! It is an illness that is so debilitating. And it can sneak up on you at any time. Or, it can be triggered by certain things. I’m not ashamed of my illness. I want to share my story, in hopes it may help others, as well as help me heal. Those of you who don’t understand this mental illness, please research it. Please try to understand. Be there for that person. Don’t get upset or run away… but help them know they are worth it. Love them. Hug them. Listen to them. Talk to them. And, be patient with them. It’s an everyday, ongoing battle for me and so many others. It’s not a sign of weakness. IT IS REAL.
I am not sharing this picture because I want pity, but I’m sharing it because this was a moment captured that I see me in a very life-threatening circumstance. This is a reminder for me to not end up to that point again, but instead, speak out, ask for help, ask for support, and don’t give up.