digging the hole

photo (1) photo (3)
[crappy but cute picture of E-rock]

one of the best things seeing a counselor has done for me has been making me aware of when i start to spiral down my hole.
i can see the signs more clearer,
and i have the hope that i can shake it off easier instead of succumbing to the fog.

when i start to dig that hole back to the dark place i:
don’t eat [just make food for Eli],
sleep all day,
am tired even after sleeping all day,
very quick to react & get upset after {even just semi} bad days,
excuse away outside activities,
let the loads of to-dos pile on me,
and all around feel sorry for everything and anything

i’m a mess.
i’m a big emotional mess.
and a lot of times it feels like i can’t do much about it.
it just becomes too overwhelming.

after moving and Adam started school, i felt myself going down this road
again.
i was constantly frustrated with Elijah.
even after sleeping soundly through the night, i would still doze on the couch while Eli watched cartoons, take a nap when he took a nap, take another mini-nap after dinner, and still go to bed regularly.
i wasn’t taking care of myself or trying to be productive.
i didn’t want to go anywhere during the day until Adam came home.
i don’t really remember making any meals.
i just felt like i was carrying a heavy load all the time.
and felt so sad even though things really were not that bad around me.

this started going on for over a week until i realized what was happening.
i could feel myself falling into the pit and realized i needed to fight it instead of give in to it all over again.
that is one thing counseling helped me with; it gave me the right tools and vocabulary to know how to overcome these i-just-want-to-shut-the-world-out feelings.

now once i start feeling consumed by everything i have a simple game plan to help me: 
:: i take a shower, put on make-up, and actually get dressed cute for the day.
{not to say that anytime i stay in sweats means i'm having a bad day. this just helps on the real bad days}
:: i try hard to make a real meal for Elijah and myself.
:: i get out of the house; we either walk around outside or go to the store.
{which can actually be a terrible experience but i have high hopes each time}
:: i try to make a plan for the day and stick to it, even if it’s as simple as:
1. wake up
2. play with Elijah
3. run errands
4. make dinner
5. go to bed
:: i try to make simple, realistic goals for myself that i know i can get done and feel accomplished.

even just doing these {seemingly} little things makes a world of difference!

i'm grateful for the knowledge and awareness i now have to live a happier, healthier life,
for myself & my family.
it definitely helps make the days seem brighter.

------------------------------------------------------

i am sure i'm not the only one that gets feelings like this at times
[having gone to counseling or not].
i'm sure i'm not completely alone.  
so that’s why i share these experiences in hopes that we can all support one another and that it can help even one other person that may be going through the same thing.

22 comments:

Kels-hoboheart.com said...

You post brought me to tears. I've been sitting on the fence about weather or not i should go talk to a therapist. I just had my son 4 month ago and am (i think) having some anxiety/obsessive thoughts issues. I've had these "ruts" before and have always worked my way out of them myself- but now having a baby i dont have the time nor energy to. My husband attends BYU but unfortunately im not a student so i'm going to try to seek out a therapist through my obgyn. Thank you so much! i know somethings up but i've just been scared to confront it- i guess i fear of being diagnosed crazy and having to be locked up lol

lo @ crazy ever after said...

I see a therapist. I hate the stigma that is associated with a person in therapy. That a person is weak. I see it completely opposite. It takes a lot bravery and courage to put yourself out there. To admit you have to work through things. A weak person can't do those things. I see someone because I've fallen a bit (sometimes a lot) into a depression over being unable to have a baby with my husband. Couple that with a higher level of anxiety in general and it's become a recipe for disaster. I want to be healthy, both mentally and physically for the day we do have a family. So I can be a good (or at least a tolerable) wife and someday a decent mom. No shame in that. Good for you for having the STRENGTH to make the necessary changes in your life.

Amanda Schroeder said...

Yeah. I'm actually trying not to bust up in tears in front of my work computer right now. It's amazing to hear what counseling has helped you with. I left you a comment on your last post..and like I said, I would absolutely adore you if you could e-mail me just BECAUSE i have a few questions about depression.

tandaschroeder@gmail.com

Sunni said...

Thanks for this post Megan. I seem to have days more often than not that I get frustrated at myself and start saying negative things like "I'm a failure" when things don't go right, even though I know that's not true. It is good to know that there are other people who get down in the rut like this and hear how they get out of it. Thank you for inspiring me to do a little better in my day :)

Kelly said...

Megan....this post comforted me so much. To see someone I see as so put together and sweet to struggle with this too encourages me so much. I've struggled off and on with the same thing off and on for what seems like forever. When you are in that whole it can feel like you are so alone and no one would understand and you just feel dumb or at least I do. Thank you so much for sharing your story so the rest of us don't feel so alone. Love you girl!

Kim Mcilrath said...

Wow! Your honesty and vulnerability is breathtaking! THanks for putting yourself out there like that! I am so glad that you are able to reflect back on it and work to being healthy for yourself as much as for your family! You will be in my prayers!

Stella said...

You're definitely not the only one! I think I'm more likely to feel like I'm heading into that pit whenever I'm experiencing a big life change--like marriage, moving, etc. Good for you for recognizing the signs and doing something to help. I know it will get better soon.

I love the quote from Pres. Hinckley: "It isn’t as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don’t worry. I say that to myself every morning. It will all work out. If you do your best, it will all work out. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. He will not forsake us. … If we will put our trust in Him, if we will pray to Him, if we will live worthy of His blessings, He will hear our prayers." I love that he doesn't say that there's anything wrong with us if we do feel overwhelmed--he just reminds us that it WILL work out. And even Pres. Hinckley had to remind himself daily that things would work out!

Stella said...

Also I had a mission companion who used to tell me that "my best" varies from day-to-day. Sometimes "my best" is getting out of bed in the morning. Other times "my best" is getting all the things done on my to-do list and baking cookies for my neighbor... But every single day just can't be like that!

Natalie said...

This post is exactly what I needed to read today. Ever since I had my surgery I have sort of been letting myself go. I haven't been getting ready everyday, am eating like crap, and have been so tired and worn out. I need to start digging myself out because I don't want to go back to my bad place.

eryka {from abcde} said...

You are not alone. Things will all work out. I struggle with this EVERYDAY too. For me, I really have to put my stuggles in the Lord's hands and really work on being happier!

Thinking of you! XO

Smith said...

Thank you so much for sharing Megan. Counseling was hard for me accept as well. I waited till my breaking point before going, I was too scared to admit I needed it. Your bravery to the viral world will truly help others. It's comforting to know I'm not the only young mother who struggles to even get dressed every day.

{[Jessica]} said...

Always remember YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!! As someone who was diagnosised with depression 6 years ago. I have found ways of learning to handle my struggles. Also, upon the amount of reading I did with it, it NEVER truly goes away, we just find happier moments in our life. Always remember this too shall pass!! Pray about it, share about it, talk about it and it will get better. Hang in there!!

Autumn said...

I went from a really busy, stressful teaching job to moving cross country and not being able to find a job at all. Devin works a lot and almost all of the families in our ward are older than us by three kids (which is easy because we have none!) so I feel I a missing a lot of that social intimacy I crave.

I definitely find myself feeling like this during my first stint as a stay at home wife. I hope I find a job soon, but I'm also glad to know this is how I feel about being home before it happens.

Depression isn't fun. It is really a daily battle and sometimes it is a hour by hour process. I always appreciate how open you are about this though!

Brittany TYD said...

I totally understand how you're feeling. I'm glad you're being intentional about living life to the fullest! It's easy, for me, to slip into a life of anxiety and depression so I'm proud to hear you're taking the reigns.

Ashley Brooke said...

Therapy has helped me personally and so many of my family members overcome all sorts of issues. You're right- it doesn't take away the pain or make the issues go away, but it gives you the awareness of warning signs and the tools to come out of it. I actually got my Masters in Psychology thinking to go into marriage and family therapy, but in the end it wasn't the right path for me. Things will get better :)

Ashley said...

I don't know if I could have described myself any better than this. I've been here so many more times than I'd like to admit and it was all my decision in the end. I stopped focusing on taking care of myself and the needs that I had and became the person I didn't want to become.

Now I set mini goals or milestones like you do to keep myself moving and focused on a regular basis.

Good for you for noticing what was happening and pushing through!

Mel said...

I just started to realize that I've been in one of those black wholes for about a year now. I've always been a pretty melancholic person but since about a year I've completely stopped hanging out with friends. I have pretty pathetic Day Routine that I stick by (Like, getting up, making breakfast, walking the dog...etc....nothing really serious) About 6 months ago I realized how bad it really was since I made excuses to even not bring the dog out. I have no idea where all of this came from....and I'm actually considering to go to a therapist since a couple of weeks now. But...I don't know...for some reason I'm a bit scared. You blog definitely gives me hope that they really do help though.

I'm so happy you are able to realize and act accordingly when those times hit you!!! That must be so helpful!

Kylie said...

I can totally relate, especially since having my baby and all that entails.

Alexis Kaye said...

I've been there. It's frustrating! Yesterday at school I had a breakdown (after getting bad, stupid news from my OB doctor) and couldn't stop crying because I was just so overwhelmed and frustrated and exhausted. I just went home and called it a day, haha! There are things I have to do for myself though. Sometimes I have to take a day where I don't let myself worry about anything. This day also includes good food, good movies and a treat, haha

Kelly JS said...

I'd be surprised if any mom didn't have these feelings periodically. I have been there. I think you are stronger for going to talk with someone. You are an inspiration. I read through all these comments. People need to talk about this more. Good for you & thanks!!

Kassi Mortensen said...

Making a plan for the day is a great idea. I do that too... when I'm feeling blah and not like doing anything, I just make a short list of to dos. Like dishes, one load of laundry, one phone call.. then it usually builds on itself.

Kathleen said...

I just stumbled across your blog today, and this is one of the first posts I read. I want to tell you how much this touched me. I have struggled with depression in the past and have recently found myself starting down this exact road you described. After reading this, I was struck with a realization of what is happening around me. I owe it to myself, and to my family, to get better. Thank you.