In May, I had a decision to make. I could tell the truth or continue to hide it. I finally did the right thing and chose to be honest. Mostly because it’s not the kind of person I want to be. Before I get into THAT, Let me back up a bit. About 4+ years ago, I started seeing a mental health professional. I don’t love admitting that but it’s the truth and sometimes the truth is messy.
I might as well just say, this post is going to be one of my messier ones. The thing is, to some degree, we are all a mess. No one has the perfect life or the perfect kids, the perfect spouse or even the perfect house . . . unless you happen to have subway tile AND shiplap!
The truth is, it’s not natural to share the messy parts of our lives. It’s usually why we avoid being honest. Who wants to be seen as a mess? I most certainly don’t, but that’s where I was five years ago, an emotional mess. And if I’m really being REAL, I’ll always be a bit of a [hot] mess.
It was December of 2012. I hadn’t thought of it as a mental breakdown, but that’s pretty much what happened. I was 36 years old. Looking back, things are a little fuzzy. I was attending UW as a full-time student + full-time mom. It was a lot for me to take on.
By winter break, I was barely holding on. I was six months shy of earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree, a long-time dream of mine. My oldest daughter was six months away from graduating high school. Not only was it a time of transition, but things were beginning to surface and I fell into depression.
I’d been in this place before. I thought, I’d climb my way out of it in no time. It’d get better. I’d get better. But things weren’t getting better. They were getting worse.
Eventually, it came down to a prescription. I chose this path and it has helped. Other things have helped too. Things like books + counseling and becoming more self aware. I’ve learned to say yes to the important things and no to everything else. That’s not easy to do as a recovering people pleaser.
Depression doesn’t have a hold on me these days although I still swing between half full and half empty. No, full, no, wait, empty. God help me. Isn’t it easy to go from feeling hopeful to doubtful, forgiving to angry, or kind to not-so-nice? Or from transparency to hiding the truth?
Last summer, I started tapering the medication on my own. Each time I would show up for my appointment to check-in, I’d say, “Yep I’m doing perfectly fine. See you next time!” And in reality, I was doing fine, minus the perfectly part. I realized I couldn’t keep hiding the truth.
I needed to talk about my decision + reasoning.
Having that conversation wasn’t easy, but it went surprisingly well. Most importantly, I am doing well. I believe a large part of that has to do with prayer and God giving me strength, but it’s a daily thing.
It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. 2 Samuel 22:33
Telling the truth wasn’t easy. Turning it into a blog post? Seriously hard.
*Making the choice to take medication (or not take medication) has nothing to do with being right or wrong or whether you are spiritually weak or strong. Like I said, medication has helped me. It has been a valuable tool for healing. And that’s just it, it’s a tool. It wasn’t the answer to all my pain + problems.