I’ve often read, “When life deals you lemons make lemonade”. I always thought that my life was pretty good. It wasn’t perfect, but I was happy enough and I was grateful and always able to find that happy place to go to. But turning forty, giving birth to my second child and my husband going off to study in the evenings changed all of that for me and my perspective on how good life could be.
I’ve always been slightly anxious socially, and a thousand thoughts a minute race through my head constantly about what people are thinking about me and how should I act, will they like me?, I hope they like me! etc. Maybe these feelings are apparent in all of us, but I do believe more apparent in some of us rather than others. Anyway when things get tough, social anxiety can grab a hold of you and drag you down. Some people seem to go through life dealing with every blow by the “dog eat dog” version of things, or by “I just don’t give a shit” and move on with it. But not me. I’ve always been introspective and socially inadequate. Anyway, this anxiety has always been there, but when I hit rock bottom I never thought it could get quite so bad.
After giving birth to Kai I was ecstatic, as most women are – but things suddenly went down hill. After years of telling my husband to go off to university he finally decided to go ahead with it. I thought it would be perfect timing. He could study in the evenings, help out with Kai during the day while I was working full time (mind you we have a nanny) and during all of this upheaval I also turned forty. They are three pretty big things to go through and to top it all off my husband seemed to fall for someone at his university ( I stress seemed to as he denies any of it ever happened).
It was after I went back to work that rock bottom really hit. I was feeding my son at work everyday during breaks and lunch (thus no social time with colleagues), working full time, getting up in the middle of the night to deal with feeds, going to work tired all day, taking care of my other two children, and then coming home to Kai all by myself every evening.
Meanwhile my husband was off studying. We never saw each other unless I waited up for him each evening and I was so exhausted by my days and nights that;that was a huge ask for me to put myself through. Tired, exhausted, moody. My period was coming every two weeks and I fell into despair, deep dark sad despair. I had no way to pull myself out of it. I was constantly worried about my relationship and his involvement with his female friend who he was communicating with secretly. He turned away from me and I felt so ugly, overweight, vile, sad, lonely and loveless. I became depressed.
When I look at all of this now I can see how that could happen. I was exhausted. I was giving all of the time and getting nothing from nobody in return.
I loved my Kai and my girls, but even they were not enough. When I questioned my husband about everything he denied it, but things on the surface were not good. He was not even giving me any time on the weekends it was all for his university friends, when he was with me he was online with them on his secret group. My life got so low I felt like I needed to end it (but I never would because I’d think about my children, they were my only hope). I was crying all of the time and I was lucky I had work because for some part of the day I could just forget about everything, but mostly I couldn’t focus on my work either.
Physically I was sick all of the time and one way to pull yourself out of depression is through exercise, but even that I couldn’t do. I had no time. Life dealt me lemons and all I could do was produce bitter tears. It pushed me into a deep dark hole. I didn’t want to speak to anyone. I didn’t want to see anyone. I couldn’t be happy. I was constantly thinking about ‘him and her’.
This went on for one and half years. I tried drinking vinegar to change my hormones because I was still getting my periods every two weeks which caused me to go into deep moody depression and sadness alternating every two weeks. I tried the pill and after consulting with a psychic online I finally went to the shrink and got some medication for my depression. Although I knew I was sad I thought I was going to be able to combat it. That I would have the strength and will power to change it.
The first few days were horrible. My depression was worse than ever. I felt suicidal and dirty like I’d taken illegal drugs and my mind felt crazy. I rang my shrink right away and she told me to keep taking the drugs as it was my depression I was feeling. Then for the next couple of weeks I went into a kind of bubble like state where I was on the inside looking out it stopped me from feeling anything. During this time I was unable to meditate or even cry. I felt like I wasn’t my real self like I was an ice queen incapable of feeling. After several months though, I found myself feeling good. I can live, I can appreciate life again. I can see colours and sky and sunshine and feel.
I remember a friend of mine telling me her husband was often depressed and never comprehending the concept of depression. I said to her “surely he can pull himself out of it”, but you can’t, it’s a one tracked thought process and you want to, but you just can’t stop it. It’s like your brain is programmed to cry or to recall every failure and mistake you’ve ever made or in my case every worse case scenario my husband could be doing. I felt like my whole life turned upside down from this depression, and although I’m still in recovery I feel like I am recovering. I had to grow spiritually in a different way. Something in my life had to change. Now I know I just have to slow down. I was completely overwhelmed, drowning and getting no support. After my medication I started turning my life around. The way I was being treated was unacceptable. I demanded more of my husband and I promised to give him more of myself.
To anyone out there. Take my word for it. If you feel overwhelming sadness see someone about it. You need medication it could very well save your life. Don’t let your social anxiety get the better of you and take away the beauty that life has to offer.