My journey to motherhood didn’t start under the happiest of circumstances. I was already experiencing the most chaotic times of my entire life when I became pregnant. The spiral of sadness that I had been going down before I conceived paled in comparison to the overwhelming sense of gloom I felt as a single mom-to-be. Every day was a challenge to get out of bed, to get to work, to eat. All of the things that are easy for “normal” people, but for me? These were the most difficult things I’d ever had to do.
I Couldn’t Shake The Sadness
I never wanted to take my own life. I never tried, never felt compelled to. That didn’t stop me from praying to God to end it all for me, though. “Please, God, please just let me go to sleep and never wake up.” Living was just too hard. Not being able to shake the sadness in my life was just too hard. I didn’t think I had the strength to get through an entire 9 months of pregnancy, and then be able to be a viable parent to a child. I thought it’d just be easier if I could just disappear. It seemed like that’d be the only way to make the oppressive blues go away. One day, I was planning to pray for death until it came. I texted an unborn Ayva’s godparents a simple, “I’m so tired”. They recognized my call for help, and David came to get me and take me to his house to rest. I needed that support right at that time.
Fortunately, David wasn’t my only support. I had other family and friends surrounding me who wouldn’t let me physically be by myself for too long, even if emotionally I felt alone. They did everything in their power to lift me up and support me, but even that didn’t seem like it was working. Finally, I had a breakthrough. First, I saw a midwife at the OB/GYN practice that was managing my pregnancy, and she figured out that I had some pretty serious medical issues going on which resulted in my extreme fatigue. She was able to get me on a treatment plan that had me feeling like a new person within days. Then, I found out I was having a daughter. I knew what it was like to be a daughter that felt invisible because of a parent’s emotional issues, and I didn’t want that for her. Finally, when I gave birth, my hormone levels changed and things seemed to be going much better for me. There were still blue moments, there are still blue moments, but they’re fewer and farther apart now.
Every Depression Story Is Different
Not every depression story is the same. While I am able to manage depression through environment, rest and diet, that isn’t the case for everyone. Understanding that depression is not just something a person can snap out of, or pray and wish away, is key in helping those who are suffering know that they are not alone and that they CAN get through this with support.
Today, February 4th, 2015 is the 2nd Annual #DayOfLight. People from all over will be sharing their stories of surviving through depression. I was compelled to create this campaign last year in response to a young man from my hometown succumbing to depression just months after my husband’s fraternity brother. Depression is an epidemic. People are hurting and suffering in the dark because they’re ashamed or embarrassed. They feel weak and alone, and when they feel that way for too long, they start to feel as if they have no other choice. They do. You do. We all do.
You are not alone. Please share your depression story on social media today with the hashtag #DayOfLight to help bring depression out of the dark.