July 16, 2012

Gettin' Real



I have asked the rest of my blogging pals to get more tangible and real in their blogs. Naturally, I have to hold myself to the same standard. I’m going to get really real today in a serious life talk way, so be warned.

Today I start a job working under a psychiatrist and a counselor… where they and I deal mostly with mental illness. Mental illness is largely ignored, denied, and covertly shunned in the general community. However unbeautiful it is, its real… and I’m one of them.

I can remember depression starting when I was a sophomore in high school. I would get so overwhelmingly sad and anxious for no apparent reason, and then I would try to find reasons, even make reasons (separate myself from every one and thing) just to make it make sense. My parents had no idea what to do with me, I went to a counselor for a little while, I honestly didn’t get much out of it because I was scared she was going to make me use the puppets sitting next to her chair to talk about my feelings… haha.  It was never very constant, the depression, just would hit me every now and then.

I was fine most of the year, but every year I would “fall into the pit” at one time or another. One by one things that I thought I had settled in my thoughts started coming undone. The best way I have found to explain this is the egg crate metaphor:

via
Each egg in the carton is part of your life: Family, relationships, aspirations, God, religion, etc... Then one day one egg doesn't fit in the carton anymore, you know it should fit because its an egg... in the egg carton but it doesn't. Its so confusing, you thought you knew... but now you don't anymore... and because that egg doesn't fit, you question the other eggs too. If this goes on too long, the eggs break... either on their own or because you break them. And then you've got to rethink, restart everything, trying to get some eggs back in the carton, settled enough to be functional and not consumed with everything that has fallen apart.

In college, my parents found counselors for me… all a huge fail…

“I want you to sit on the edge of your bed, look in a mirror and say, “Who am I?”
-Um, no thanks.

Then this other lady wanted to medicate from minute 5 of meeting me, which I had been strongly against at that point. I wrote her off for that, and because she looked like Laura Linney and I had just watched Love Actually... So she was just the girl with the potential hot boyfriend, talking to her crazy brother on the phone topless.

My first year of marriage was especially tough on me, not that it isn’t for everyone… but I had no friends, no familiarity with the city, no job, and nothing to do. I hit bottom. I don’t think I could have even warned Rob for what was going to happen. It was probably about 5 solid months of depression or what I like to call “crazy town.”

Somewhere in between crazy town and real life I had some good hours each day and created Sunday Hatch, the etsy store… and eventually the blog. I think when then inside of your head is so ugly, the only way to cope sometimes is to put as much beauty into it as possible. Creating beauty from ashes… makes you feel real again and closer to God in a way.

I finally went to the doctor last year after 11 years of unplanned visits to crazy town, and was diagnosed with Cyclic Depression and started on anti-depressants for the first time. They worked which really means to me that I’m not crazy and something really is wrong with my brain. Would have been nice to figure that out sooner.

I went to a counselor last year who also had depression. Can’t tell you how big of a difference that made to go to someone who understands from experience instead of just knowledge. She asked me, “Who in your family suffers from depression… its hereditary” I replied that I couldn’t think of anyone. Then she asked me how many alcoholics were in the family… yep. Apparently the same chemicals in the brain that cause depression are the same ones that lead to anxiety and addiction. They just show up in different ways.

Chances are one of you reading this has something going on. I took me a long time to figure it out so I hope by being really honest about an ugly subject, shows you that life goes on, even gets better… and mostly… its not your fault. Once you’re in it… most likely nothing you try to do to fix it will work, its not in your control. Its just a burden to carry, but not without help. I would love to talk to you about it, or even if you're just having a hard time. Please feel free to email me (danielle.goates@gmail.com) and we can meet or chat on the phone.

" and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor." Isaiah 61:3


3 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. thanks chris, stopped by the store yesterday but I missed you!

      Delete
  2. Sweet transparency. Love you my little sweetie, Mom

    ReplyDelete

 
Goat & Spoon © 2013.

Design by The Blog Boat