Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Depression Sucks

Depression, in plain, simple term, sucks.

I might not know all there is to know about this topic, but I do know how it feels.  As near as I can figure, I've dealt with it for 25 years.

I've never really talked about it with others (only my fiance, best friend, and maybe a couple of other friends are aware of my depression). I don't even think that anyone in my family knows or knew I suffer with this illness.  I'm one of those people who never liked to talk about it because of the fear of being judged, or told I was crazy, etc.  I remember one particular time when I was feeling this way and being told be a few co-worker/friends to "snap out of it" or "get over it."  That certainly made me realize that this was something I had to learn to suppress around others (or make up some excuse like I wasn't feeling good or I had a headache) or avoid them when I felt this way.

In the late 90s I was on medication for about a year, maybe less, but I stopped taking it because I couldn't afford it at the time (I had no drug plan through my job).  For the most part, I haven't been on any medications for my depression.

There have been long stretches of time where I haven't felt the effects of depression, where it lay dormant, and I've felt fine - happy, even.  But it always let me know it was still around.  Sometimes it would rear its ugly head for a short while, other times it stretched on for long periods of time.

Since February of last year, I have been taking an anti-depressant.  It has helped me greatly.  However, with all that has been going on in my life over the last year, and more specifically in the last few months, I haven't been taking my medication. In fact, I have to get a prescription renewed because I let it run out.  With the financial strain I'm under now (and for the past several months), I figured I wouldn't be able to afford the cost (again, no drug plan due to being unemployed) for the medication each month.  I'm finding out, though, that I need to get this refilled.  We will have to make sure that this is something I get.

I'm so very thankful that my fiance is understanding and knows what I'm going through. He's very supportive and knows how important it is for me to be on this medication.  He says we will make this a priority and that I get my anti-depressant each month.

Like others who deal with depression and anxiety (though to be honest, I don't know if I have anxiety), I am tired of the stigma. I'm tired of the judging. I'm tired of having to pretend that I'm OK when I'm not. I'm tired of all the negativity people with mental illness receive from those who have no flippin' idea what it's like to go through any of this!

Depression sucks, and those who suffer from it need the support of others.  If you don't have this mental illness, learn what you can about it and be there for your friends and family who do have it.  It makes all the difference in the world to have support and encouragement from others.

Depression is not something that we can "shake off" or "get over." It's a mental health issue and it needs to be brought out into the open, safely, and not stigmatized. It's real, and it sucks.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Where To Begin...

In my last post (last fall), I talked about taking care of my mom and how tired I was.  That was all true.  I was able to take Mom to Halifax with me for a few days at a time. Because of the side effects of the cancer drug she was on, she didn't like to go away from the house too long. She did great though.  She didn't like sitting in the car for nearly three hours (each way) because her butt - more specifically the tail bone area, was sore due to her losing so much weight.  She managed, though, and seemed to enjoy the drive despite being a little uncomfortable. We would take a little break along the way and stop so she could get out of the car for a bit, though.

One one such trip, around the middle or towards the end of October, my mom was quite weak on the day were were heading back home.  She had called me into the bathroom to help her get up, and if I hadn't been there she would have fallen.  She said she could barely keep her head up as well.  That was likely because by this time she wasn't eating very much at all.

I talked to my brother, briefly, and we decided it would be a good idea for me to stop at the hospital once we got back to mom's (we stopped before heading to the house, actually) to have them check her out and maybe give her an IV to get some nutrients into her.  So, I took her there and they admitted her.  That was just as stressful and tiring for me as I would go stay with her at the hospital everyday for most of the day (I did take a couple of weekends off, though, and went back to Halifax for some rest).

She stayed there until she passed away eleven days before Christmas.

It's been a struggle some days for me since then.  Of course I miss my mom like crazy, and life just doesn't seem the same.  I miss not being able to call her or visit her.  Several times I have seen or heard something and think, "I should call Mom and tell her that!"

And then I get sad, because I can't do that anymore.

My fiance has been great through all of this.  He has been so supportive and strong.  I am starting a new chapter in my life now, with him, and that's what I need to focus on (we are getting married this summer).  I will always have my memories of my mom, and she will always be in my heart, but now I need to focus on this chapter and my loving fiance, and create new memories with him.

I love and miss you Mama!