To be 100% honest, I don’t know how to start this post. I have been writing about my past issues with depression lately, but today I want to talk about an episode I had with depression just about six months ago.
I am not a doctor. I am not a specialist. But I have experienced depression. And if I can help someone by sharing my story and being real and open, I am all for it.
And to be totally honest, this is not something that is easy to talk about. The only people who really knew I was suffering from depression at the time were my husband and possibly my mom.
How could people not tell?
Because I put on a brave face and lied to myself for months. In my mind, I didn’t have time to be depressed. I had a family to take care of and a baby boy that was having developmental issues and a new job that I was about to possibly lose. And it was all more than I could handle at one time. So I lied. And faked happiness. Because I was ashamed. And overwhelmed.
I know, I have written about making sure you get help and watching out for the signs of depression. And I want to yell at myself for not taking my own advice. But depression is so much harder when you are going through it. My brain was so foggy and so tired from faking my happiness that I just didn’t have the energy to admit I needed help.
So let’s just start from the beginning. Approximately one year ago, I left a job where I was very comfortable to do marketing at a local bank. I loved it, and I LOVED the people I was working with. It seemed like I had landed my dream job.
Around that time, Simon’s pediatrician started showing concern about the muscle tone in his legs. He was six months old. We were referred to a pediatric neurologist at Norton’s in Louisville.
I felt like someone punched me in the gut. My head was spinning. My perfect baby wasn’t perfect. My healthy baby wasn’t really healthy. He started physical therapy and we found out that he was behind with his major motor skills by about three months. I was absolutely devastated. Words like cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy were thrown around. I truly didn’t understand where I went wrong and why no one could tell me what was the cause of this issue. I thought about it all day every day and cried almost every night. And I waited. Waited to hear from the neurologist on when we could get an appointment.
About one month into my new job, I found out the bank where I was working was being bought out by another larger bank one hour and a time zone away. Another punch in the gut. There were few details, but I was told I should know something in the next three to four months. More waiting.
That is when it all starting spiraling out of control.
There were too many unknowns in my life. I didn’t know what was going on. I had zero control over any of it. I couldn’t stand to just sit and wait. I have always been someone who takes action! This was uncharted territory.
So I slowly crept into my depressed state. I was flat, would cry at the drop of hat, but I always put my happy face on when I wasn’t alone or just with my husband. I did not want to believe that I was depressed. I admitted I was sad and overly stressed, but I couldn’t admit I was depressed. I had been there before and knew I didn’t want to be there again. So I turned into a machine.
At that point, everything in my life was turned into a routine. I didn’t have to put too much thought into anything I did. Because when I did think, I cried. So I woke up, I worked out, I showered, I took care of the boys, I went to work, I fake laughed and fake smiled. But I was miserable.
I finally decided that I had to take control. I might not know if I would have a job in so many months, but I did know I could look for a new one just in case. I might not know what was going on with my sweet baby, but I could hound the hell out of the neurologist’s office until they finally scheduled his appointment.
After four months of being depressed, unsure and completely out of control, I was offered a new job. It was the perfect fit for me. I now work at a Mental Health Center, and nothing is cooler than working for a place with a mission that is your passion. I am passionate about helping people face their demons and better their lives. I have been there and I am better now. And I want to help you get better too.
Right after I started my second new job, which was right at six months ago, we had our first appointment at Norton’s. They ruled out cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy and a few other scary diagnoses.
The combination of those two events gave me so much relief. I cried happy tears. I had made it to the light at the end of the tunnel. I remember going to my birthday dinner with my husband and drinking a glass of wine and telling him how depressed I had been and how such a weight was lifted.
And now, things are so much better. Simon took his first steps a few weeks ago. I love my new job. And I feel great about life.
It’s so cliché to say this one more time, but everything happens for a reason. It might seem like the shittiest situation in the world at the time, but it made me a better person. So don’t ever give up. Do whatever you have to do to keep fighting. And if you need a pep talk, I am here with open arms.
Until Next Time,