Thanks for the concern – the following is an example of how I feel when depression overwhelms me – I am NOT feeling this way now.
Words my mental illness plants in my brain. They sneak in under the cover of dark, rearing their ugly heads when I least expect it. Defences down, I am bowled over by the intensity and severity of the words. I do my best to fight. I do positive self talk and affirmations. I stay away from sad movies and TV. I seek out my husband who counteracts the force of the words.
But sometimes, sometimes I can’t fight. They overwhelm me, those words.
They tell me I can no longer do my job – that I am missing things with the families I help and I have made some major mistakes. I find myself compulsively checking my notes and second guessing what I have and haven’t done. Before home visits I sit in my car, taking deep breaths and trying to will the panic attack away. My heart races, my palms are sweaty, it feels like an elephant is sitting on my chest. I push down the feelings of inadequacy and will myself to be calm and receptive to the family I am there to help.
They tell me I am a horrible mother. That I have missed some major things with my children and I have failed them as a mother. They tell me that the boys would be better without me, a mother who is a burden and source of stress and anxiety. I am aware of how much I am yelling at them and that serves to throw me in deeper into my depression.
They tell me I am a lousy spouse. That I have no interest in anything and have trouble connecting on a personal level. My caring husband wants to help me but I don’t know what to tell him, how to help me. Which then leads to me further berating myself for not being able to share with him.
Those words, they tell me my family is better off without me. That I am nothing. How can they miss me when I am nothing? I try to tell myself that I am loved and wanted but the words are too strong. I have trouble getting out of bed. I watch mindless TV for hours and sleep is my new best friend. Lots and lots of sleep. And lets not forget the eating – anything and everything. The more unhealthy the better.
And sometimes. Sometimes things get so bad I fear for my safety. I struggle to try to explain to others what is going on with me in that moment. I just know I feel so bad that I am thinking of killing myself.
They take my mental health away. They almost take my life.