Battling and Conquering depression
Well, you all voted and it was a tie! Half of you wanted to know about my battle with depression and the other half wanted to know my tips for dealing with grief. I figured they kind of go hand in hand, so I decided to combine the topics. I am going to jump right in and be uncomfortably honest. My battle has not always been smooth sailing and it certainly hasn't been filled with the best of decisions.
We all know when the depression started and what has caused it, but the hardest part was figuring out a way to deal with it. It was a foreign feeling for me. I am genuinely an upbeat, happy, and constantly positive human being. I am someone that people come to when they need a solid pep talk, or someone to find the silver lining in a shitty situation. For the first time in my entire life I saw ZERO silver lining. I did not feel any type of positive feelings. Quite honestly I loathed everything and everyone. One of the main things I did at first was take my anger out on people. (mostly Dylan) I was so incredibly mean. Extremely unpleasant. Did not have a single nice thing to say at any point to him. Granted I had my reasons at the time and to this day I stand by them, but I think it would have been a lot better for me; probably him as well; If I had just let some of that anger out anywhere else.
When I realized that releasing that anger was not getting me anywhere I turned to drinking. What better way to no longer feel anything than to literally drink until I felt nothing?! It did get pretty bad. Not alcoholism bad. I wasn't going to work drunk/hungover/etc. I wasn't stupid. I did not have a literal death wish. I was, however, drinking most days. There were multiple times where I had gotten drunk enough that I threw up. Enough times in a frequent period where I not only had my parents genuinely concerned, but I had myself concerned. I was staying out really late partying with people I wouldn't normally party with. I wasn't always drinking at these parties, but I was still at them. I was still out until 2, 3, sometimes 4am. That was completely out of character for me. I wasn't devoting my time to this blog. I had lost interest in anything that had once given me joy. I was barely eating. I cried EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I don't mean dainty, a few tears escaped kind of crying. I mean hysterically sobbing until I could not even breath kind of crying. This was everyday after work, after I left hanging out with friends, after being in any kind of large group. It was mentally exhausting to pretend that I didn't feel completely shattered, broken, miserable, and downright hateful on the inside. I once actually said out loud that I wished other pregnant ladies babies would die because I felt such immense jealousy. I KNOW HOW BAD THAT IS GUYS. I DID NOT REALLY MEAN IT. I was depressed. I was confused. I didn't understand why all these other pregnant women were still pregnant, but I was not. It was a really hard thing to simply understand, let alone accept. I did promise to be completely and uncomfortably honest.
The way I talked about my baby and what had happened was also insanely unhealthy. I didn't speak about it in a positive way at all. At first I never talked about it unless I was saying how unfair it is, or how angry I am. All of which are completely true, but not exactly helpful in the grief process. Negativity only breeds more negativity. Boy was I the Queen of being negative. That is the only state in which I lived. I did not want to talk to anyone about it. I didn't want to admit what had happened. I definitely did not want to play the "what if" game about her. I would say crazy things about how God stole my baby. Lily was always coming up in conversations, but never in a healthy way. When I talked about her it was with hatred and venom. Obviously not towards my own child, but towards the complete and utter unfairness of the entire situation.
Then randomly one day someone I don't even know very well asked me a genuine question about her. They were not trying to be mean at all. They simply had a curiosity about the situation. I found myself talking a lot during that conversation. I was laughing and fantasizing about her and what she would have been like. Of course it was sad. It was after all just that; a fantasy. Something I would never actually know, but it was MY fantasy. My fantasy that made it a little easier to talk about. Suddenly I found myself talking about her and what she would have been like with everyone who would listen. I know it seems silly, but it was helping me a lot. Talking about Lily in such a positive way made it easier for me to talk about her in general. It gave me hope for the future that I would have that child I fantasize about one day. I get tears in my eyes when I talk about her still, but that's a normal part of grieving. If there is anything I wish I could stress to all my friends and family is that I LOVE talking about her. I love wondering what she would have been like. I love making fun of the fact that she would have been a product of her insane mother. I love her so much that sometimes when I get chest pains I'm convinced its because my heart is actually broken.
I have noticed that lately I have cried a little less, eaten a little more, and laughed harder than I have in months. Life is moving on and slowly I am moving on with it. I know that I will cry thinking about her until the day I die, but I also never want to forget those brief few months where she was the most important part of my entire life. Why would I ever want to change a love so deep, meaningful, and intense like that?
Here are a few things to remember when dealing with your grief:
1. Accept that you are grieving and let yourself feel it. Too often we try so hard to seem as if everything is okay. If there is anything I have learned it's that it is okay to NOT be okay. If you are ever going to move past the grief you need to learn to accept it.
2. Cry as much, or as little, as you need to. I hate when people say they don't want to cry in front of others. I didn't either. Unfortunately, grief doesn't care if you don't wanna cry in front of people. It creeps up and spills out sometimes at the worst times and thats okay. Cry it out. On the flip side I know some people who don't cry at all. If crying isn't something that happens for you don't let other people dictate how you should deal.
3. Talk about it as much as you want. This is the big one! People always feel awkward when death happens. They don't know what to say and assume its best not to talk about it at all. I spent so much time trying to make other people comfortable with MY grief. Isn't that insane?! Now I talk about Lily constantly and its like a weight is lifted every time. I wish people would ask about her more.
4. Remember that all grief is different and takes time. You can throw yourself into work. Surround yourself with a million friends. Do things that make you feel happy. The grief will still be there. Don't get frustrated with yourself. All grief is different. It will take time.
5. If you start to feel too overwhelmed get help. There was a point where I clearly felt too overwhelmed by my own grief. I should have asked for help then. I really wish I did. Please, if you feel suffocated by your grief ask for help from a professional, or reach out to me. I am always available to help.