Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My Dirty Little Secret

Depression.  With the death of Robin Williams, everyone is talking about it and it's making me sad.  I just can't read it.  I've quit looking at Facebook because of it.  The death of Robin Williams is so sad.  He brought such laughter into all of our hearts and he will be greatly missed.

But I have to tell you, that the depression comments are too much for me to handle.  You see, I've got a dirty little secret.  At least it used to feel that way.  I suffered from depression myself.  If I try to be honest, which I really don't want to do, I probably suffered from it for 7 or 8 years before I ever asked for help.

I mean, how could I be depressed?  What did I have to be depressed about?  I have a family that loves me deeply and a home and everything to go in it to be comfortable.  So, how could I be depressed?

I was good at hiding it too, even from myself!  I've always been a smiler.  I love to smile and so that
is what most people saw, me smiling.  It's what people heard too, partly because that's what they were used to hearing and partly because I'm a fabulous actress.  Few ever looked behind the smile.

Honestly, there were a thousand contributing factors and yet, few noticed and I smiled through it.  I was afraid if I let people see they would think I was weak, a baby, too sensitive and so on.  I was afraid of ruining my husband's military career.  I was afraid people would say the things above to me, that I had everything!  That I didn't have a reason to be depressed and ... I was embarrassed.

The wars started and so did my husband’s deployments.  I was often alone in a strange place with no family nearby and few friends.  I felt all alone.  Because of the deployments, I often had people asking me to help others going through it too but unfortunately, few noticed that I also needed help.  It always felt good to help others but when I was in need, I would wonder where my help was.

I had many people who loved me in my life but I also had those who didn’t and for some reason, those are the loudest even though they were the fewest.  They are the ones I heard. 

Then one day, when I was in the car alone, I heard a J.J. Heller song, "What Love Really Means."

As I sang along with her, tears streamed down my cheeks. Every time I heard it I bawled like a baby.  I still do sometimes.  It spoke to me.  It was me speaking, me screaming out, me begging for someone to love me. 

I can't explain it but I felt completely unloved in the midst of a family that loves me more than anything!  I did.   I have a daughter and son who tell me they love me and hug me several hundred times a day and they truly mean it.  I know they do!  My daughter tells me I'm "awesome" all day long, every day and yet, somehow, I felt unloved.  It's crazy! It's true.

Finally, I had a friend who had suffered from depression and she recognized it in me and she encouraged me to ask my doctor for help.  She encouraged me for close to a year!  Finally, my doctor offered me an antidepressant to help with another issue I was having.  I of course turned her down and tried something else but when I went back for the follow-up appointment, I asked about it again.  Then she asked me if I was sad, and I couldn't even speak.  The rest of the appointment was just me nodding and/or shaking my head in response to her questions because I was fighting tears.  I was so embarrassed.  I am so glad that I finally asked for help.  I am so glad that I had a friend who cared enough about me to encourage me to seek help.

I was on the medication for about 9 months.  I'm doing good now.  I still have days... don't we all but I recognize them now and can take action to ease them.  I go for a walk.  I talk with my family.  I look at my diet to see if I’m eating too much sugar.  (Sounds crazy but when I am, I always seem to have terrible mood swings that lead to depression.) I pray.  It helps.

Back to the beginning of this post, where I said that I can't read all the Facebook posts about depression because they make me sad.  

Well, they make me sad to think that there are people out there who are just as scared as I was to let anyone know how they are feeling.  

That there might be other military wives out there afraid to get help for fear of hurting their husband's career.  That there are spouses out there feeling all alone during a deployment, far from family.  

That there might be another parent out there feeling unloved knowing that they shouldn't but they do and they can't understand it.  

That there might be someone too scared and afraid of what others might say or think to get the help they need.  

It just makes me sad.  I can't let myself get too into it or I know I'll spiral down myself.

Even as I am typing this I can feel myself turning inwards but I write all this so that you will know you are NOT alone.  So many people suffer from depression.  Help IS available and most people DO understand and want to help you feel better, they want to help you be happy again.  Talk to someone.  Talk to your doctor.  Talk to a friend.  Talk to me.


  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject and having the courage to be transparent and vulnerable in writing this.

  2. Whatever is pure and lovely and of good report think on these things. The mind is a battlefield that the enemy attacks. When the enemy takes hold of your mind don't entertain those thoughts of depression and sadness. I have to practice this daily. I have to stay in an attitude of praise. And if it gets to bad seek professional help. God bless.

  3. Joyce Meyer has a great book "Battlefield of The Mind. It has helped me tremendously over the years. Sometimes you need to unplug from social media and the television and all digital devices and just get into an attitude of prayer and fasting to cleanse you. Don't give Satan a foothold.

  4. Thank you for your honesty... I know how hard it can be. My husband has battled depression off and on over the years and I saw how it consumed his joy piece by piece until he had none left to share with those who love him. Thankfully he got help and thankfully he has mostly been able to control it over the years.
    Thank you for helping to battle the stigma... You can't "just get over" a chemical imbalance... You would never tell someone to "get over" heart disease or cancer you'd tell them to go to a doctor and get medicine...Depression can be just as deadly. I think depression is different in our minds because the symptoms are different and we deceive ourselves into believing they are controllable.