The Big D

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i have felt prompted for some time to share my story. i don’t feel like it is unique in many ways, most people have similar stories. but it is personal. very personal. and i have this overwhelming feeling that i need to share it with others.

i struggle with depression. i have always struggled with bouts of sadness and insecurities, but they always seemed like normal parts of life that we all go through. it wasn’t until recently that i realized i was struggling more than i could handle. and i needed someone/something to throw me a lifeline that i couldn’t throw myself.

i started feeling this way soon after Elijah was born. i didn’t think i had post-partum depression because i was generally happy. as the months went on and school started again, i could feel my little soul struggling harder against the trials we faced. i knew they weren’t big trials and people face worse things everyday. but for me i felt like i could barely hang on and was falling more into despair as time went on.

with disappointment after disappointment piled on top of one another, i felt like i had lost control of my little life and especially my emotions. eventually i felt like i had completely lost myself, lost who i once was.

i knew i was a mother.
i knew i was a wife.
i knew i had accomplished a lot as a student.
i knew i had a supportive family.
and at times i knew i was Daughter of God.

but it wasn’t enough. there was still so much that i was missing. and even more, there was a feeling like i was destined to feel this way forever.

i had glimmers of hope throughout this time.
i even shared a lot about those good times (here, here, and here).

i was reading over these old posts one weekend and thought to myself,
where had that girl gone? where was the confidence and love i had once felt for myself and for others? how could i be the wife/mother/friend/daughter i need to be?”

those posts weren’t lies. it wasn’t a facade i was trying to create to make me sound like a perky, awesome mom/wife/woman. they were the true feelings that i had in that moment. however, those moments lasted only a couples of days/weeks at the most. then i was back to feeling bad until my next “epiphany.”

the truth is: i had to go to a dark place before i finally found the joy/love/light i had been looking for.

it was a very hard/trying/emotional/personal experience for me. and i never want to go back there. but at the same time, i am very grateful because i would not have learned what i needed to learn to get help. [and hopefully, help others.]

i say all this not to get pity. i also don’t want to make others uncomfortable with sharing my personal feelings. but as i learned what i needed to do and have talked to others about my feelings, i have realized there are others out there like me who may need a lift, a hug, a hand, a smile to get out of their trap of insecurities.

i am still not perfect. i still have a lot of practicing to do to get to the place i really want to be. but i feel so good about the path i am on. i feel confident in my abilities and of the abilities in those who are lending me help and support.


Katy said...

I love you Megan! Thanks for being so honest. While it was not as serious and lengthy as many people's, my post-partum blues [pardon my word choice] sucked. Big time. But it also gave me a glimpse into what it's like to have know you have it, to know you're feeling terrible about yourself, to try to tell yourself to feel happier but you just can''s allowed me to now empathize with others. So...yeah. I truly do feel for you. And I'm proud of you for doing your best to work your way out of it. You're a strong, beautiful person! Anyway, Happy Monday. :)

kristen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kristen said...

Thanks for sharing! I'm glad I'm not the only one. Just the other day I was crying because I was super depressed--- thats when Olivia came and gave me a hug- it was the sweetest thing ever. And I knew then that I must be doing something right. But I am glad to know that I am not the only one suffering. I think women should talk more about this stuff--- it really helps to know what other people are going through.

Kate said...

Wow Megan! I just want to say I admire your honesty and strength. As a maternity nurse, I know postpartum depression is all too common. Looking at the science aspect of things, I know that it's absolutely not your fault to feel this way; blame it on your darn hormones! Motherhood is exhausting and it takes a lot out of you. I don't think peope acknowledge that enough. You are a strong woman and I appreciate you for sharing this! We are all here to support each other :)

Amy @ Amy Day to Day said...

Thanks for sharing your personal story! I struggled with post-partum depression as well, but not many people know. Mine was mostly irritability and not being able to handle every day situations like I normally could. There are more people like you than you know, most of us just aren't brave enough to talk about it!

amy day to day

Ana Paula said...

I also suffered depression after I had my daughter and while going through school. Before that I would have the occasional blues but nothing compared to actually being depressed; it was the worst time of my life even having it all. My husband doesn't quite understand how depression works and how sometimes, even having a great life as we did, you can be depressed. Having gone through it and having done therapy to get over it I learned to sympathize with those who suffer it too, like Kathy said. It's much like being a living dead person.

It's great that you realized what you're going through and seeking help. I did therapy and it was the best because my therapist taught me a few coping mechanisms to avoid getting into a depression again and that's something that "happy pills" will never give you. Anyway... I love your blog. I love your candidness. Sometimes we're too afraid of showing our true colors for the fear of pushing our problems onto others but you know what? When we show our true colors, that's when we find true friends too, those who will stick with us through the bad moments of life. :)

I love your blog!


Ana Paula - Pretty in Polka Dots

Jenn said...

Good for you for recognizing it for what it was and for learning what you had to do for YOU! A lot of people just brush it under the rug because they feel guilty for being sad, or that they have "no right" to feel the way they do... I suffer from depression (every day, garden variety) and even had to move from the Northeast to the South because the winters were too dark... Anyway, I'm happy you're able to see where you want to be and how you want to feel :-)

Alexis Kaye said...

You are fabulos! I don't struggle with the same thing, but I definately have some things I struggle with. It's comforting to hear your story. Thanks so much for sharing :)

Autumn @ Autumn All Along said...

Thanks for sharing this. I struggle with different things, but I know how crippling depression can be. I know how embarrassing it can be to fill out a psychological assessment and step into a counselor's office. I know how it feels to feel ungrateful because so many blessings in my life...but feeling so stuck feeling depressed.

Recently, I just out of a few months spell and it's nice to see the sunshine out there.

Ryan and LeDawn said...

its so hard to be open and honest, but I not only think it's good for others, but SUPER benificial to you. I had bouts of depression when dealing with infertility and I decided sharing our struggles would help others, but in reality it helped me more. One thing I always said to myself when down was "just keep swimming" I felt as if I was drowning some days and I figured if I could at least stay afloat I could make it to the next day. So happy you shared this personal side of you and I hope you continue to have better days! {{{HUGS}}}

Lauren and Jason said...

I had no idea sis! I'm sorry you have had to deal with this. You are a wonderful sister/friend/mother/wife. Thanks for telling, though! And by the way, that picture is adorable! LOVE YOU!

angiedunn said...

as you know, i've totally been there. totally get it. i still struggle sometimes, but i have found that there is a purpose to it all....and through the healing you learn the most beautiful lessons.thanks for sharing, girl. you're awesome megan!

Unknown said...

Megan, thank you so much for sharing this. I think not being alone in the struggle with depression is in itself life-giving, even when it doesn't always feel like it. I admire you, and wish for the best as you keep going toward the light!