Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Skeletons in the closet...

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! 

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