Wednesday, October 13, 2010

More than you want to know

or need to know and probably more than I should tell you. But I'm writing this more for me to figure out what's going on. And, I just thanked someone the other day for sharing something similar on a newsletter he sent out. So I'll write it down. When you take a chance and share some of the hard, personal stuff, you often find that others struggle with the same stuff. No matter how alone you feel, or I feel, it's a lie, you're not alone.

In my layman's terms, here's where most people live:
'Normal' is pretty even keel with room to move on either side to slight depression (sadness/hopelessness) or slight mania (happiness/optimism), fluctuations often caused by circumstance, hormones and the like.

14 years ago I was officially diagnosed with depression and I have taken anti-depressants since then, with the exception the 1.37ish years I was pregnant and nursed Grace. I am quite certain that I have always had depression, and that my mom also had it (undiagnosed), and our 15 year old was recently diagnosed and has had great results with a low dose prescription - heredity. Along with prescription medication, I have found ways to 'self-medicate' to cope. like avoidance of things I know will trigger unpleasant feelings with sleep, food, reading & TV. I didn't even really know I was self-medicating.

Here is where I usually live:
and it's seemed do-able. It's felt OK because it is my 'normal', and you don't miss something you never had. It hasn't been normal lately. At all.

Hopelessness, irritability, fatigue, sluggishness, appetite change (actually less!), need to sleep more, feeling worthless, thoughts of mortality (different from suicide), withdrawing from friends and family and not comprehending why they care or notice...  sometimes I feel like I can't even function, I don't want to get out of bed to go to work and am distracted when I'm there. I use all my energy up at work to 'keep it together' then I have next to nothing left by the time I walk in the door at home each night.

Here is where I live now:
not even making it to 'normal'. When waiting it out didn't work (it's been over 5 weeks now), I saw my doctor. He said that "There is no blood test we can do to check for 'midi-chlorians' [I have the best doctor EVER!] to see exactly what is going on..." But that this is severe depression, which does ebb and flow, and right now it's flowing. I am not bi-polar because I never get to the manic pole on the above scale, I only have one pole.

All this is to say, I've got some work to do. My regular dose of anti-depressants has been doubled, I need to walk through the stuff that scares me and hurts instead of withdrawing, I'm going to learn to let myself be dependent on Jesus instead of stuff that is never going to change anything. Next week I begin a 13 week intensive course through our fabulous church called Freedom for Life, that is all about getting rid of addictions, with lots of accountability.  And exercise will help, too...

And now I know, and you know, too. And I hear knowing is half the battle.


  1. Kathy thanks for being so real and honest. I am glad that you are blessed with a really good doctor. You did a great job of explaining blood levels and I am sure that there are people who will read this and be helped. I love you!! Casey

  2. How Voulnerable to share these things, although I bet very freeing ! Honesty is a rarity, and like they say God can't fix a fake problem. I can't wait to go to Freedom For Life with you !

  3. You are an amazing woman and God is speaking to many people through you ( including myself). Praying for you!

  4. It is in the quiet crucible of your personal private sufferings that your noblest dreams are born,and God's greatest gifts are given in compensation for what you have been through.
    - Wintley Phipps

    This quote is hanging above my sink where I see it daily, and it has helped me so much. Thank you for your transparency. I will continue to pray for you...