Facing Reality (Or: When Reality is Kicking Your Ass)

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I’ve always been the “Silver Linings” girl. Well, maybe not always. I did have a rough time as a tween/teen. Still, since adulthood I’ve tried to always keep on the bright side, to put a positive spin on things, to see the good in people and  believe in their best when they might not be showing you their good side. It hasn’t always been easy, but I’ve tried – and mostly succeeded. There’s been times I’ve been down pretty deep in the doldrums, times where it lingered. Somehow I’ve always pulled myself out. I’d hesitate to call it anything like depression because I’ve seen depression, I’ve seen what pain others feel, and I was never that deep, never that lost. This year has been rough. I’ve said it many times. It’s knocked me down over and again, every time I’ve tried to pick myself up. I thought it was just the bad times knocking me down. Those were the reason I couldn’t pick myself back up so easily. Those nasty, horrible events were the reason I couldn’t drum out the doldrums as I always had before. They were the reason the good times didn’t have the luster they usually did. In the past couple of weeks I’ve had to be honest with myself. I’ve had to be honest with my husband. And I forced myself to be honest with my doctor. I am depressed. I can’t do this on my own. I’ve been trying to claw my way back out for months all on my own. All it’s done is left me nasty, bitter, and angry on top of depressed. I was always worried I’d insult those with severe depression by admitting mine. However, my bipolar husband thinks I’m being ridiculous by thinking that. As he put it, “Would you not admit you were sick because someone else has cancer?”  Sometimes, he’s pretty damn spot on. So here I am. Being honest with you all, as I’m attempting to be honest with myself. I am surrounded by my family, but I feel alone. I am surrounded by joy, but I feel removed from it. I feel like I’ve tried to reach out, but no one reaches back. I’m tired of not going out, because I don’t see the point…and because I’m afraid no one will care either way if I’m there anyway. I feel like the bad is winning. That we will never be in a good place again, personally, financially, physically. I’ve begun to seek help, but I think it’s going to be a long row to hoe. And I’m so tired of feeling alone. Read more »

Depression Is Killing Me {By Erik}

I have depression, amongst other problems and it’s killing me slowly, but surely. I’ve taken medications and been in therapy almost all of my life. Nothing seems to take, nothing seems to help. I have a wife, three kids and I should for all intents and purposes, be a happy person. But I am suffering. I feel little else but pain and loneliness. I don’t want to be this way, but I don’t seem to be able to escape it. It’s akin to drowning, being so close to the surface yet feeling the weight pulling me back down. I want to be happy, to enjoy my family, to enjoy life, and be a happy, productive, positive person. I seem to infect everything I do with my doom and gloom, my job, my friendships, my marriage, my kids, the list goes on. I suspect my wife is tiring of me. I think my kids are growing apart from me. I can barely function at work without causing problems. My friends don’t want me around because of my negativity and gloom. I’m at the end of my rope. I have been suicidal in years past, the most recent last year. I was in a group therapy class for a while which really helped, and some new meds that I really thought were working. But my meds crashed hard on me, which they all do invariably. Tried several others this fall, had a myriad of bad side effects, so I decided (after discussing it with my Dr.) that I needed a medication break. I haven’t had one in several years and I have bouncing from medicine to medicine. But this leaves me in my bleak state, and barely able to function normally. I think at some point I am feeling sorry for myself (or so some people tell me), that I am just wallowing in my misery. But I WANT out, I don’t want to stay like this anymore. I also think that if I dismiss my problems as feeling sorry for myself, I may not be accepting that I have a truly crippling disease. It’s chronic. It won’t kill me, but it will make me wish I was I dead. It will not eat my physical body like cancer. Instead it will feed on my soul until there is just a husk left, no personality or self anymore, just a mess of quirks and poor decisions, unlovable or unwanted. Does anyone understand this? Do I feel alone for a reason? Or is it just self pity? I have had a lot of people tell me that I just need to stand up and be strong. To read self help books. To suck up my weaknesses and stop feeling sorry for myself. I literally don’t know where I stop or start anymore. Where I belong in the world. I know that I need to be with my family, but I don’t want to drag them down to my depths of despair. And that is where I am. In despair. I accept and own all of my actions as a result of my problems. I don’t advance at work. I don’t provide well financially for my family. I am not the husband or father I want to be. I am not the person I want to be, seen as someone who is likable and respectable. Who am I? Where am I? *Written by my husband Erik. He has spent the past year in deep struggle to regulate his depression/bi-polar/ADD issues – including a myriad of diagnoses & medications. Right now he is in a very dark place and has written this. With his permission, I post it.  Please offer him as much support as you can.  Read more »

by Sarah Cass

Multi-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.

This Is My Husband (Part 1)

I’ve spent a couple of days trying to figure out how to write these posts now that I have the all clear to do so. Then I realized I had to start at the beginning. This is my husband Erik (handsome, isn’t he? Just help me out & tell him to shave). He was born here in the same small town we live in.  Just the next street over is where his parents lived when they brought him home.  He was adopted 3 days after he was born, and it became official some months later. When he was first born he proved to have some issues with his eyes & their musculature and ended up having seven (if I remember correctly) surgeries on them before he turned 2. Whether it was the surgeries or genetics, we can’t know – but shortly after the turmoil of constant surgeries there came some personality issues. At 3 years old he was put on his first medication.  Since the age of 3 the sort of medication and the diagnosis has changed over time.  He’s been on Ritalin, anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, and he’s shunned them all at times for the self-medication of alcohol (at both inappropriate and appropriate ages). To hear him describe it, he always felt separate.  Apart. The outsider. In school. At home. In his own head. Some of it he blames on the sense of abandonment he still feels for being adopted.  Some of it on his own “stupid” biology.  He also heaps a lot of blame on himself. For so many years he floundered. Made many mistakes. Lashed out in anger. Pain. Confusion. Chaos. And then, he broke. As most people with mental disorders do. He wound up in the stress center – checked in for a period of time. Once he came out he had the clear cut diagnosis of severe depression.  He was put on several meds before settling on a mix of Effexor (which I have come to despise, but more on that later) and Wellbutrin.  Sent back out into the world “better.” He thought his life would be good after that. It was supposed to be better. But mental disorders are never that easy – and never that cut and dry. *~*~* *More coming soon. It’s a long story and I shortened this part intentionally.  There’s much that happened before we met that I don’t fully know or understand…and things we still can’t talk about…and that don’t need to be said. I mostly wrote this for a little background before we get into meeting me & the life we’ve lived up to this point and where we are now – and where he is now. Read more »