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I'm a single mom with two great kids living near Dallas, Texas. This is my life; day to day things that are probably only important to me. This is my record of my ups, my downs and the road that I've taken along the way. For whatever reason YOU'RE here, I hope you find something you can enjoy and/or relate to. God bless.

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Location: Dallas, Texas, United States

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Life Changes

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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too, am going through a difficult period. My boyfriend and I just bought an apartment in Brooklyn (a blessing beyond any I could have EVER hoped for in my twenties). However, the move requires more involvement than any I have ever done before. There are architects, there are carpenters, there are filings with the Department of Buildings. And you know what? I can't eat or sleep or use my medicine in the correct ways (I have cancer, and depression and anxiety go with the territory).

I find myself doing what I have to do to get by, to get done, to get through. For instance, next Saturday I'm driving to Pennsylvania to pick up a spiral staircase (NEW YORK LOFT, HERE I COME!).

Know that you have allies, and that your story has touched me even though, as I said before, I don't know that we have all that much in common. This made me re-think that sentiment. I don't believe in god, but on the off-chance I'm wrong on that point, there are going to be some prayers sent up from this Atheist tonight in your honor.

A few years ago, my Incredibly Catholic Family organized a Mass in my honor. I didn't know about it; I had just moved to New York, I was 22 and man, was that exciting, and I didn't find out until much later that all of these prayers were sent up for me. I don't know if I had a better day when that happened, I don't know if anything HAPPENED, but I will tell you that I have rarely felt as loved or honored. I still have cancer, but you know what? I can deal with it, and there's not much I'm going to let slip by me.

Please stay strong, I am rooting for you.
Kelly from New York

P.S. Sorry to hi-jack your post with such a long comment, but I felt compelled to tell you these things. How anonymous the Internet is, yet so very confessional and personal, too. Thank you for sharing what you share. Thank you for showing me the love of your family and your god and your life. It inspires, that's why I came out of the woodwork, to tell you that you inspire me to do better for myself and to do better with myself. If that makes sense. Get ready--prayers from New York are on their way!!!!!

1:14 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

kelly ~ hi-jack anytime you please. Babe, you and I have more in common than you realize. I was an atheist until I was 26. As strong an atheist as ever one was...until the day I wasn't. :)
Congrats on the move, what an undertaking! I'm also sorry to learn you have cancer. I will be praying for you.
I'm really glad you commented today. Thank you.

6:17 AM  
Blogger 3carnations said...

I'm sorry you're going through such a rough time. Isn't it funny (again, not really funny, but you know...) how depression works - Things are finally looking up for you with the job and such, and somehow that's when the going gets rough.

I hope things improve soon, and of course I will keep you in my prayers. :)

7:26 AM  
Blogger DaBich said...

Big hugs for you, lady. My best friend (since we were 3 years old) has dealt with depression all her life. Her problem is a shortage of lithium. She has gone on and off her meds. Changed them. I've seen her thru 2 nervous breakdowns and one near one. It tears me up, because I am not inclined that way. But you know, I UNDERSTAND. I may not be in her shoes, but I UNDERSTAND. Keeping busy with work and your boys is a definite plus. Please eat right and take care of yourself. I love ya, lady, and I'd miss you like hell should anything happen! I'll be sending up prayers for you, every day. Hang in there! Big hugs!

7:34 AM  
Blogger DaBich said...

Oh, one more thing...Charlie is HOT! I love his shirt, it's something my stepson would love and wear!

7:35 AM  
Blogger The Road Travelled(So Far) said...

Dear Kathi
I visit your blog quite often to see how you and the children have been doin.

But today I stop to put up a comment just to let you know that you are in my prayers like you are in the prayers of many others.

You have always been a wonderful lady. And, a fantastic mother to your children. Happiness will be all yours.

Love and hugs,


8:04 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

3 c's ~ yeah, unfortunately clinical depression doesn't have anything to do with what's going on around you. Of course sometimes it can worsen what's going on inside of you when the outside stuff sucks... Thank you so much for praying for me. I know the strength of prayers and I don't take anyone's prayers lightly, thank you.

dabich ~ I'm a hangin' hon! You're so sweet to me, thank you for caring about me! I care about you too, big hugs right back at'cha! I'm so thankful for your friendship.

changma ~ thanks for your kind comment! I'm so glad I decided to share this with y'all because y'all have blessed me greatly!

10:27 AM  
Blogger ~Deb said...

Kath, I really felt this post... more than I would have liked to. I too, find myself in a curled up ball in the corner, crying and thinking how everyone would be happier if I wasn't such a burden in their lives. I always get that sort of distorted thinking. It comes and it goes.

Right now, ever since I've been exercising 2 hours per day 5 days per week, I haven't had many episodes like that. (Minus the other day...) I will say that it really helps relieves anxiety as well as depression. I'm still on a journey, which is why I also had to stop writing in my blog for now. I'm trying to finish another book, and it's just taking a wee bit longer than I really expected because my mind is all over the place.

No sleep. That's the thing that annoys me the most. With no sleep, it gives me the feeling of when I used to get hangovers when I drank heavily. I don't like that at all, but I can't sleep if I have a ton of things running wild in my mind.

You're in my prayers, Kath, and I hope that you do feel better. It's so nice that you acknowledge your gifts in life and don't become cold to it. That's the difference between you and most people.

Love you!

11:38 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

deb ~ I know you know. We're kindred, always have been. :) No sleep is a huge problem and contributor to depression, but it's also one of the side effects. That's what I'm saying, a vicious circle. I know that exercise helps (I just bought an elleptical that's being delivered today) but when you're in the midst, you can't get yourself out of bed...or off the couch. :( Sucks. Love you too, hon...oh so much!

11:49 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Oh Kath, I am so sorry to hear what you have been going through. I have missed you terribly, and couldn't shake the thought that something was wrong. Thank you for sharing this with us, I know that it's not always easy to be this real with a bunch of people that you don't know.

You know that I will be praying for you and the boys, and hope to hear a good report soon. Oh and by the way don't stop taking your vitamins again, or I'll have to come to Texas and rough you up. :)

11:49 AM  
Blogger LoveLladro said...

kathi, I am so glad to hear from you. You have been on my mind lately and I was starting to get worried. I have skimmed the surface with depression and what I experienced, I didn't like. I feel for you and I will most definitely be praying for you. I hope you know how loved you are... not just by the obvious people in your immediate world but those of us in the blogosphere as well ;~)

12:28 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

michelle ~ bring it on, girl...lol. I know you've been concerned and that a few people wondering, I'm so sorry for that. I've tried to visit and leave comments just so that everyone would know I was okay, don't want anyone to worry about me. Pray...you bet'cha, but worry...no. Thank you for being there for me. Love you Sweet Stuff!!

12:33 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

lovelladro ~ gee, I am feelin' the love, thank you! I hesitated writing this because depression was so taboo when I was diagnosed that it's sort of shameful to admit it. I've blogged about when I was first diagnosed, a long time ago, before because I hate that people feel so alone when they suffer from depression. They try to hide it and often times terrible things happen. Still, you hate to be so open about your weakness's. Thanks for sharing this about yourself, and thanks for caring about me. I love you all very, very much.

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know it doesn't cure depression, but I wanted to tell you that I can see how loved you are by the people who are writing in your comments section, and by your truly remarkable sons. That love is important, but it doesn't make the depression go away. Hard work and therapy and meds or whatever it is you choose to pursue to help yourself is how to deal with depression. That, and giving yourself time. AND FORGIVING YOURSELF. I know you know all of this, but it doesn't hurt to hear it.

And I think you're right, we just might have some things in common. For instance, I too went to college in Indiana!

In closing, before I hi-jack your blog again (you gave me permission!) I just want to tell you that you are a remarkable person. Again, just some stranger telling you that, but still. One time, I was feeling particularly down when I was in my junior year of college. I went to a small college, and everyone knew everyone. But there was a guy who I didn't really know, but thought seemed interesting. He was a good friend of my best friend. One day, they were sitting outside of a classroom and I walked by and said hello to my good friend. Later on my good friend told me that the guy she was sitting with said "Who is that? She looks so interesting!" That made my year. And it wasn't cause I had a crush on him or anything. It was because people are so wrapped up in themselves that to take a second to notice someone else is a remarkable task.

All these people are taking more than a second to notice you, and when they notice you, they are compelled to tell you how remarkable you are. Those people include myself.
Good things are coming your way (that's my mantra, I am more than happy to share it with you).
Kelly from NYC

9:19 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Me too, babe. Me, too. I'm going through something right now. I don't know what, but it ain't right. Maybe we can climb back up together. I'll be praying for you and I know you will be for me:) Hang in there!

Great post, I'm glad you're back.

9:43 AM  
Blogger Lynilu said...

More people are doing battle with depression than you realize, because we haven't become comfortable with talking about our "weaknesses". Perhaps it is my training, but I don't see it as a weakness, but just a part of who each person is ... some people have good strong teeth, no cavities ever; that's who they are. Some people have to wear glasses to see well; that's who they are. Some people are physically beautiful; that's who they are. Some are born with spina bifida; that's who they are. And a lot of us have depression in varying degrees; that, too, is part of us, who we are. So? Big deal. Find what works for you and go with it.

I think your struggle is very typical. When things are "good" we tend to forget to care for that part of us. But finding the right balance in your life for meds, supplements, food, exercise, and spirituality will make you as good as ever. Don't fight against it, don't worry, just say "OK, this is mine to carry as I travel through life. So what?"

I think your attitude is very good about it all. You're winning, even if it doesn't feel like it sometimes, because you do fight back.

Besides, life can't be too bad with a cutie like that for a son, especially when he also has a brain and uses it!

Happiness in your soul, Kathi. :)

11:16 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

kelly ~ stop it, you're making me blush. ;) Girl, I'm agreeing with you on the good things coming my way, and I'm believing you're blessed in return.

Shannon ~ I honestly believe that praying for others is the best way to get blessings in return. Thanks hon!

lynilu ~ I'm painfully aware of how widespread depression is. My mom suffered all of her life and I always think of how different her life would had been if she'd had the help available to her that we now have. Unfortunately, it's not as visable as the other traits you mentioned, and it gets acknowledged as someone being moody or something similar. I do, however, consider it a big deal because it not only leads to suicide, but to senseless killings like the Susan Smith case and others who had gone off of their meds and their depression went unnoticed as they lost touch with reality. Before my meds I'd tried suicide a few times growing up, thought of all the different ways I could opt out of life and leave those behind better off up until the time Charlie was four. Fortunately I'd never entertained the thoughts of taking anyone else with me.

4:19 PM  
Anonymous katy said...

Love You!

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kathi (me again!--deal with it, sister, cause you're gonna hear a LOT from me, and I couldn't be happier):

I wanted to tell you that reading your comments section--especially your notes in return to people and what lynilu wrote as well--made me feel better.

Hearing (or seeing it written) that you considered suicide breaks my heart. I can't tell you how glad I am to hear that you are beyond that.

Remember: Good things are coming our way.
Kelly in New York

7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thing I do know from past experience; when you're down, think of the people who love you more than anything and how much you still mean to their lives.

It's a sobering dose of reality that just has to bring some happiness to your heart.

I'll be thinking about ya, and how good of a year that's still ahead of you :)

9:06 PM  
Blogger Rosemarie said...

In life, we have many obstacles that at first glance seem to keep us from attaining the great prize. However, upon closer inspection, I know whose blood was shed for you, and He is rooting for you! Praise the Lord…we all are.

I would say that discipline should be your best friend for life. You know now that any slack in your diet or vitamin regiment will give your chemical imbalance power.

Take it back girl...everyday, and let the saints, family and friends lift you higher with our prayers and love.

You are more than a conqueror through the power working in you!

11:45 PM  
Blogger The Real Kidd said...

I've been reading hun, just not posting any comments. I'm sorry. I just don't feel like anything I say/type is going to sound right. So I'm just going to give you a hug, (((HUG))) and tell you I hope you are feeling well.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

I hate the darkness, too. I have been there and visit from time to time. It's how I am wired, and it's genetic in my case. I find that exercise every day really helps, and I'm happy to hear you are taking your supplements, eating, and using your new exercise equipment, as it can't hurt. Enjoy those endorphins!

Take care of you. Erik & I are sending you big hugs.

4:05 PM  

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