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“If I live through this, I want someone to be able to see that they can survive.”

Tags: depression

The country music icon Naomi Judd told ABC News and WebMD contributor, Robin Roberts, that she began to feel what she called “completely debilitating and life-threatening depression” in 2010.

Read the entire article.

She says she “would come home and not leave the house for 3 weeks and not get outta my pajamas, not practice normal hygiene. It was really bad.” She wrote about her depression in her book River of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope.

While I can tell you that I never had any doubt I would survive, that is true only from a historical perspective.

At the time of my hospitalization for Major Depressive Disorder, I was up against the wall. I had absolutely no idea how to move forward. Heck, I did not even know what forward looked like. It was the least terrifying of the three options I saw that led me to seek professional medical help.

I was having suicidal thoughts.

But I have not made my peace yet with this world. Plus, I am very competitive, and I want to see my 100th birthday. So, option one was out the window.  When those thoughts appeared, I would just see them and let them go, like a mindfulness meditation experience. This left options two and three.

READ: Seven ways to embrace depression

Option two was to continue to do the same thing I had been doing for 43+ years and expect a different result.

Now that’s crazy! But it took 43+ years of doing that before I saw that it was not healthy or helpful. I kept returning to this idea repeatedly in the hopes that this time it would be different. I have a newfound respect for anyone who stays in abusive relationships.

I was in a long-term relationship with depression.

I understood how it worked and how to not actually see it or acknowledge it. I could skirt around the edges, but also be its buddy without knowing it. Depression and its repetitive cycles were a known quantity, even if I did not understand what was happening. Crappy, even life-threatening knowing is sometimes much less scary than the unknown. So, there I was getting in the shower, putting on clean clothes and driving to the emergency room.

And now I write to understand. As Naomi said, “I want someone to be able to see that they can survive.”

I won’t compare myself to the writing talent of Naomi Judd. But I have a message of hope for myself that I think would be helpful to others. You see, I thought I was alone. It seemed to me I was the only one going through this. And I was the only one who could figure it out, once I began to see the wall approaching.

That’s the thing, I saw the wall coming.

I could tell I was nearing the abyss and the descent was going to be much deeper and much harsher than any I had had before. Concealing my depression, even from myself, made it hard to prepare for the trip to the abyss.

There was no thinking about what to wear or what I might need in the abyss. Heck, I didn’t even have a toothbrush when I was admitted to the hospital. And they took my shoes because they had laces (and laces can kill). They took my belt and I went in my socks through the lobby into the ambulance to be transported to the psychiatric ward of the hospital.

In the end, it was a wake-up call.

And I am here today because I answered it. I said yes to professional help. I have been getting into groups and have found a therapist. And having a psychiatrist helping me manage medication are all tools I did not have before. Each of these, plus Smart and WRAP training, has given me a marvelous set of resources to help me avoid and/or minimize future bouts of depression.

And these tools did their job over the last 6 to 8 weeks as I suffered from a downward spiral.

READ: Why do the good times always end?

But because of my new skillset, I was able to use the tools I had learned to stay clear of the abyss. Sure, I circled the drain a few times, but it was clear almost from the beginning of the relapse that I was not going to have a complete meltdown this time.

Pulling out my toolbox, I kept plugging away using the tools that I had learned.

And the results are, I am back to living a more balanced life. Depression did not win. It couldn’t get me to keep secrets about how I was feeling. It could not isolate me this time from my family and support group. Depression couldn’t keep me from writing and blogging about what I was feeling. And in the end, depression backed off.

Depression hates the spotlight.

It works better without an audience. Knowing that I have been keeping depression out in clear view, so I can see what it is up to. Even when it slips in an unhelpful thinking style or wants me to “should” all over myself, I have been catching it and exposing it for the underhanded sneaky act that it is.

I have survived 43+years of depression. I have lived through it and “I want someone to be able to see that they can survive” too.

Please share if you know someone this might benefit

The post “If I live through this, I want someone to be able to see that they can survive.” appeared first on My Concealed Depression.

This post first appeared on Depression Is Not My Boss, please read the originial post: here

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“If I live through this, I want someone to be able to see that they can survive.”


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