Monday, October 5, 2015

Living with Depression (a.k.a. "Princess Problems")

Depression: sadness, dejection. A condition of general emotional dejection and withdrawal; sadness greater and more prolonged than that warranted by any objective reason. 

This is the general definition if you were to look up the word in the dictionary. And the definition is correct - but also wrong at the same time. Depression is also feeling lost, with no way of knowing what to do to make it better. Depression is feeling hopeless, despite others best efforts to lift you up. 

I would know. 

I have depression. 

For a long time, I thought that it was all my fault that I was sad. I thought that since I couldn't make myself be happy that I didn't deserve to be happy. 

It took me three years to learn that it wasn't my fault. Then it took me another four years to accept that I had depression and that it was okay. 

I went through an angry phase in my teenage years. I couldn't really feel any other emotion other than sadness or anger, and the anger was soooo much easier for me to cope with. My parents didn't know what was wrong because I didn't know how to explain to them what I was feeling or what I needed - I didn't even know what that was. 

I ended up making a new friend my senior year of high school. She didn't judge me for not being able to be happy all of the time like I thought she would. She accepted me for who I was. When we were at USU together my second year, her first, she convinced me to go to the Student Health and Wellness Center to talk to someone about how I was feeling. 

I fought against her until I realized that she might be right. That maybe I needed to go and talk to someone. I made an appointment and a few days later, I was sitting in a white, sterile room being told that I had depression and probably some anxiety as well. I left feeling even more lost, nervous to try a medication that was prescribed to me. I was also encouraged to go to counseling to try to figure some things out. I tried, but hated it. 

After being on my medication for about a month, I met the man of my dreams. He made me HAPPY. He made me feel safe, complete, loved. We started dating and I fell madly in love. I went back to the doctor for a follow up and told him that I was feeling much better. He agreed to cut my dosage in half. Even after several challenges, I still felt good with only half of the beginning dosage. 

I ended up moving back in with my parents to start saving up and planning a wedding. I was doing perfectly fine until Brysen left me for a few weeks. I had also decided right around this time that I didn't need to be taking my medication anymore, partly because I was too busy running my day care, partly because I didn't want to anymore. 

I. Lost. It. 

I started picking fights with Brysen while he was away. I became unhappy living at home, despite the free rent, free food and free internet. I became a ticking time bomb that would explode every time Brysen would call me. I would 'blow up' on him because I expected him to make me happy again. It wasn't until he almost broke up with me that I realized that I needed to get back on my medication. 

Brysen came home, I cried and apologized and got back on my meds. After a few weeks, I was in control again. I was able to be happy and didn't feel lethargic or hopeless anymore. I was able to smile without any effort. 

A few months later I married the man of my dreams in the Bountiful Temple. Brysen and I were able to start our life together under normal circumstances. I still take my medication every day to live a normal, happy life. I will probably take it for the rest of my life. Some days I'm still depressed, despite my medication. But, that's what it's like living with depression. Not everyday is happy or sunny. But I know that I am doing what I need to in order for my brain to function correctly. When I do have a rough day or week, Brysen and I call it having 'Princess Problems' - it just sounds happier and not as dreary. 

I have an incredible life, full of blessings from my Heavenly Father. The biggest blessing is my husband. Brysen is incredibly supportive and understanding. He knows exactly what I need, even if I don't know I need it at the moment. He is, still, the love of my life. He makes me the happiest I've ever been, both with and without my medication. So I am going to go cuddle him and have him tell me our love story before going to bed. :)