I know that I've been missing. Thing is, I feel like I have actually been missing. I know that sounds strange, but it's how I feel.
I've told y'all that I've suffered from depression since I was very young. The last few weeks I've had a relapse into the emotional pits of hell. Sounds like an exaggeration, huh? Wish that were so.
I started anti-depressants when Charlie was four years old. It was amazing what a difference they made. Night and day. For the first time in my life, I was able to go through entire weeks without locking myself in a bathroom, curled into a corner in the dark and wondering how much better off those I loved would be without me in their lives. Many times the only thread that kept me from following through with those sort of thoughts was my sister being on the other end of the telephone.
During the temporary orders of our divorce Mark was ordered to carry us on his insurance. He dropped his insurance and the prescriptions had to be paid out of pocket...his pocket. But I knew that once the divorce was final I'd be responsible for the outrageous amount of money my anti-depressants cost, so I started doing some research on what they do and what could replace them. I know from testing, they'd found that I don't produce the serotonin I should and that was one of my biggest problems. So, I started there. Anyway, after awhile I put together a vitamin pack that I hoped would treat depression...being healthy for me was a side benefit. I started weaning myself off of the anti-depressants as I began my vitamin pack. I don't feel comfortable sharing with y'all what is in my vitamin pack because I'm not a doctor and won't take responsibility for anyone else trying it. I weaned myself off the anti-depressants over about a two month period (very slowly) and I never felt any side effects at all.
Now, I've noticed the difference before, a few years ago, when they tried substituting generic...turns out not everyone benefits from generic, I'm one of those who do not. After a few weeks on the generics, I found myself curled up in the fetal position way to often.
Switching gears, I'd told y'all I'd lost some weight recently. The way I did it was by eating more. I have a habit of not eating. I don't get hungry, I don't eat. My sister, again, walked me through what I should be eating and when I started that last October, the weight just started coming off.
The thing about my 'vitamin pack' is that if I take them without food in my stomach, it'll make me very nauseated. Here is where this all ties in together. I've gotten out of the habit of eating again. I go without breakfast, and five out of seven days lunch too. And because I haven't eaten, I'll not take my vitamins. So, for the last month or so I've, slowly but surely, gotten out of the habit of taking my vitamins. And...a couple of weeks ago I started slipping back into what I can only describe as the darkness.
Darkness. It's an emotional state that no one can tell you're in and so no one understands what your going through. You look healthy enough. After awhile, people start asking you 'what's wrong'...and what are you going to say? In my case, there isn't anything really wrong. C'mon
, I've got problems like everyone...more than some and less than others. I've definitely got blessings galore. Even in the deepest depth of depression, I still know how much I've got to be thankful for. And yet, I can't stop crying. I can't find a reason to get out of bed. I can't get the physical or the emotional strength to even get into the shower. If it weren't for work and for Charlie, I'd not have gotten out of bed in the last two weeks. Nearly every day I get in the car after work, put on my over sized sunglasses, and bawl like a baby all the way home. I try as hard as possible to get it out of my system so that I can put on my 'it's all good' face before I get home to Charlie. Things that I'd normally let roll off my back, break my heart and, if I let them, my spirit. I believe that even though we can not control the behavior of others, we can control our reaction. I can't control when someone is hateful or rude to me, but I can control how I react. When I'm depressed, I may be able to but I don't. When I get my feelings hurt, instead of letting it go, I blame myself. And I cry. A lot. I've been crying a lot lately. The funny thing about depression (funny if you have a sick sense of humor, I suppose) is that even though you're emotionally and physically exhausted, you can't sleep. No sleep. None. Seriously, depression is a vicious cycle. And since you're so tired, you're just not thinking straight.
It took me till about three days ago to realize that the reason life has been so unbelievably cruel lately, is that I've slipped back into depression. Three days ago I started eating again and recommitted myself to taking my vitamin pack. It's the first time in several years that I've found myself in this way, but being healthy and happy is a strong enough memory that I'm fighting my way back to it.
So, I apologize for being absent. It's not for lack of trying to write. More times than I could count, I've sit here at the computer and tried desperately to put something down. Something. Anything. But I couldn't. Perhaps since I've been able to today, it's a signal that I'm on my way back. Today I spent many hours cleaning and working outside. That's a great sign. I'm hopeful.
In the mean time, my baby is about to become a renter. Casey and three guys who belong to Chi Alpha, a Christian Fraternity at UNT
, have found a house to rent directly across the street from the fraternity. Casey asked me to come up this past Saturday to look at it, which blessed me to know that he cared what I thought about it. I was the only parent with the four students and Charlie, looking at the house with the landlord. There are four students living there currently that graduate this May, and the house looked like it had four college students living there. It's a great house; four bedrooms
, two baths, two blocks from campus, great neighborhood, it's pretty cool.
And Charlie, he's gotten into working out the last few months and the kid is ripped. Seriously ripped. He lost over 30 lbs on my diet, and along with working out an hour a day...he's looking really good. He's also gotten into rock climbing. There is a club not too far from here that he goes to on the weekends with a few friends and they spend hours rock climbing. Ever since the 'drug thing'
that I found text referring to on his cell phone, after the grounding and all...he completely changed his circle of friends. Not that his friends were bad to begin with, but they were obviously heading in a direction I didn't want Charlie to follow. But the guys he hangs with now are kids I'd have picked out for him if I'd could. They've all known each other for a long time, but Charlie left one crowd and started spending more time with this one. I've never seen this kid so happy. He tells me nearly every weekend that he's never had so much fun. I love the changes I've seen in him. He's talking more about going to college, he has more direction and he's staying busy. Here's the latest pictures I took of him.
The shirt he's wearing is a Pink Floyd tee, he bought it yesterday when he and a friend were out.
So...when I tell y'all that regardless of how deep a pit I've fallen into, I never lose sight of my blessings and I never fail to be thankful. Still, it's a hard road. By my own hands I've let myself slide back into a terrible place by failing to take what I know I desperately need...and by my own hands I'll pull myself back up. For those of you who pray, please remember the boys and I in your prayers. For those of you who don't...I'd just be ever so grateful if you would.