I usually don't share certain parts of my life, because I find it places a label upon my head. However, God put it on my heart to blog a little about one of those things tonight. I feel as if I should be sitting in a room of people and stand up and say, "Hi, my name is Terri, and I suffer from severe depressive disorder." "Hi Terri." "Hi group!"
This is a true story, though. I have suffered from depression for as long as I can remember. I understand most people suffer from self loathing in one way or another. Especially women as we have a certain standard of beauty placed upon us. Mine goes much deeper than that.
I was 15 years old and going to my brother-in-law's youth group. I had made my dad angry over something, and instead of the general teenage response, it is ALL MY PARENTS' FAULT! I took the blame, and I also took a safety pin and scratched the word STUPID into my calf. I wanted to always remember how stupid I was. This was sure to remind me, and also my first time to cut.
It became glaringly clear after that how cutting myself became a way to make mental anguish physically tangible. I continued to do this off and on for many years, until I was 28 years old in fact. I have to stop here and make it clear, I do not share this to get an "OH MY! How awful for you!" or any response at all. However, this story does have a point!
You see, even my husband was unaware of how serious my depression and cutting were, until one day I nearly killed myself. My son, who was 2 at the time, walked into the room right as I was about to slit my wrist. Now, MOST people think that slitting your wrist is a stupid way to commit suicide, and most people only do that to get attention. For me, it was the most comfortable way I felt in hurting myself.
Praise God for that wonderful kid! He saved my life, and he continues to do so day after day. As the years have passed, I have learned more about what I call my disease. I truly believe depression is a disease too often over looked! It eats away at a person, until there is an empty shell left.
An adult with insight into this awful condition, I try to watch myself for signs of melt downs. I watch for ways my life shows that I am heading into a valley. Extreme sleepiness, muscle aches, impatience, headaches, etc. For me, depression becomes a very physical thing. Today I hit a rock bottom.
I woke up hurting so bad I couldn't even breath. My head was pounding, and all I could think was, "If I could just sleep, I would feel 100% better." The more I slept, the worse I felt. I ended up lying on the couch for hours!!! No shower, finally brushed my teeth around 5:00 pm. (I know it's gross, but when your body is so weary....)
Today my disease beat me. It won the battle, and I ended up wasting an entire day on my couch with my eyes closed blocking out the world. I feel extreme guilt tonight because I missed playing with my sweet son. I didn't eat healthy and definitely didn't exercise. Where does this leave me?
With a choice. What do I do with this? I pick myself up tomorrow and dust off the guilt and pain. I move and exercise and LIVE. I learn from what happened and push on. I don't know why God put it on my heart to write this out. Maybe so I can see the words for myself. Maybe so someone can read them and learn? Maybe because I need you to know how very much your encouraging words mean to me.
At any rate, tomorrow is another day!