Saturday, January 3, 2009

Journey on a Winding Road: Could there be a Better Day?

This has been absolutely one of the worst days in a long while. I barely slept last night despite going to bed at 10:30. I woke up with strange dreams; I couldn't get comfortable in my own bed; my brain was running like a freight train. I woke up more exhausted than when I went to bed.

The children have been fighting all day. And not just "He's picking on me!" fighting. They have been pulling hair, attempting to scratch faces, squealing, screaming and generally in one another's faces to the point that I'm not sure which child is which.

The noise has been beyond unbearable. The cacophany of squeals and screeches has smashed into the glaring yaps and barks of the two dogs trying to chase squirrels off the deck from inside the house. The TV's clamor has only compounded the already pounding ruckus and chaos.

And my ears seem to be the only ones registering any sound. "Please clean up your playroom, " was met with jumping up and down and screaming and wailing and gnashing of teeth. I had to leave the room to control my temper and apparently did a really pitiful job of it because my hairbrush snapped in half in my hands.

I would cry but I can't. I would yell but that would just be more noise. I would take a nap but what's the point? My body seems completely unfamiliar with all versions of rest.


And that is what a bad day looks like to me. On a good day I would have told you that the children were making me crazy with their picking at one another. The dogs never would have registered and I would have used words like "whining," "temper fit," "giggles," and "shrill laughter."

On a good day I would still have a hairbrush. On a good day I would throw in the towel, pop some popcorn and let us all just veg out for the afternoon.

But today isn't a good day. Today I am on a low. Today I am facing the fact that I am one of millions of Americans with undiagnosed depression who has not sought professional help and who probably won't because of the stigma that I see attached to it.

Perception is reality so this is my perception and therefore my reality in regards to depression. People who are suffering from depression are on medications that they cannot function without. Women who are suffering from depression are one missed snack away from becoming unfit mothers who can't distinguish hallucinations from reality. Admitting depression means I need to be on a couch somewhere discussing my childhood with a perfect stranger in an attempt to regulate my medication.

Is any of this true? Absolutely not! Women can be good mothers and still cope with depression. People who are on medications for depression are just like people who being treated for any other ailment - they are doing it to feel better. Depression does not equal therapy although some people can benefit from it and resolve some of the causes of thier depression through the treatment.

This is where I am beginning my journey. But because I have a serious aversion to going to the doctor; because I would rather shove bamboo under my finger nails than even attempt taking an asprin; because I inherited incredible stubbornness from my grandfather, I am going to take every step and "natural" path I can before I look to a doctor and pharmaceuticals. Call it foolish. Call it making things harder. But it's my journey.

I hope to share successes and failures. I'll be researching and studying and sharing my journey but don't worry. The Bowl won't be dedicated to me and my situation. Depression is a PART of my life but not every day is a bad day.


jennifer said...

Oh, girl... I understand. I've been adamant for 10 years now about never going back on medication, and for a long time it was no big deal. But the past year has been really rough, despite the fact that it's been a really good year. I've considered on several occassions calling the doctor myself, but to me it feels like I failed myself. I'm still trying though. If you ever need anything, you know where to find me =)

AJ said...

Just know that you are not alone. I get the blues and get down. I hate the Doctor also. I only go when I'm pregnant. That sounds bad doesn't it. So I'm on this journey with you!