Thursday, December 15, 2011

What's hidden behind the smile...

* I just want to put it out there now that this post is about an unpleasant topic, in which I share graphic details.  I wrote it mostly to process my own thoughts...a purging of emotions, I guess you could say.  I know most of my readers come here expecting a good laugh but not this time.  If the topic of depression is difficult for you to read about, you might not want to stick around today.

I peer out the window and feel my heart drop as I see nothing but a gloomy, overcast sky for the third day in a row.

My soul cries out for sunshine.  It craves the brightness, the happiness, the natural high that the sun's rays provide.  I desperately need it to lure me out of this disheartened shell, which holds me captive.

The booming sound of children arguing downstairs makes me cringe.  Closing my eyes, I wish it were possible for me to lay in bed all day and do nothing but stare at the ceiling.

I've come so far, only to find myself back at square one again.  What was once postpartum depression has now become clinical depression and it still hurts.

"Moooommmmmyyyy....."

With a heavy sigh, I head down the stairs and enter the war zone.

"Just push through the pain," I tell myself.  "Be strong.  You'll get through this."

But, somehow, I can't be strong today of all days.  There is simply no more fight left within me.

My head feels blurry and begs for relief as the phone's shrill ring adds to the chaos.  A friend is leaving a message, "Hi, it's me.  Haven't heard from you in awhile.  Just wanted to say hello."

Lacking the desire it takes to fake the blissful front I put on for the outside world, I choose not to answer it.  I need to conserve what little energy I have left for my kids today.

As the hours pass and my endurance fades, I want to throw my hands in the air and give up.  There's an itching within me that begs to pack my bags and run away...far, far away where I'm no longer a threat to my children's happiness.

But a good mother wouldn't run away.  No, she'd stay and fight the monster....she would fight it so courageously and she would win.

I'm trapped.  Trapped between desperately wanting to be that good mother who will fight no matter what it takes and that bad mother who would easily give up her family for just one measly hour of solitude and peace.

Only one thought continues to run through my brain and that is "You are such a fuck up.  You have no business being anyone's mother."

I've raised the bar much too high this time, even for myself.  My feet are grounded to the floor...there's no desire to jump as high as I can to reach it.  Instead, I want to sulk and lay in a dark room where I can contemplate ways to escape.

The pain is unbearable and menacing.  It feels hollow and dark...twisted and sick...lonely and ambivalent.  It's not easy to understand how one can feel this way in a home full of people...amidst children's joyful laughter, a husband's loving arms, pets who can offer warmth and unconditional love.  

There comes a point where it becomes a fight or flight situation.  The finality of the darkness can be alluring, especially to someone who feels trapped and weak.  It beckons to the deepest part of your aching soul and promises to relieve the pain.

But even then, there is still some little bit of rationality inside me, in which I can see the long-term effects of a permanent absence.

I turn to the only immediate yet temporary form of relief I know of as I hold the blade of a knife against my skin...just piercing it enough to release the pain.  As the blood dribbles out slowly where my skin gives way, I can breathe again.

There's an instantaneous euphoria that gives me a sudden burst of liveliness and  pulls me forward out of the darkness long enough to evade the thoughts which had haunted me merely a few minutes prior.

However, soon enough, that euphoria gives way to shame, guilt and disappointment...which only feeds into the negative self-talk once again.

I know what I need to do and that is to force myself to reach out for help.  Better sooner than later.

So as uncomfortable as it is, I take that first step...and then another and another until I can see light at the end of the tunnel.

Good always conquers evil, so they say.  You just have to dig deep within yourself to find that good, sometimes.


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42 comments:

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I know the dark spot you write of. Kids have a way of keeping you from dipping in too deeply. Exhausting it may be, but it's a very good thing. I hope you get some sunshine soon. Hugs.

Lisa said...

I don't have much experience with this. But I hope you find happiness and sun soon darlin Hugs.

Missy said...

Helene. Dear, dear Helene. You. Are. Not. A. Fuck. Up.

Please know I'm thinking of you and am "in your corner." Hug.

Kakunaa said...

Incredibly brave post. And I totally understand it...I deal in different ways, but I am here if you need to talk.

Marcia (123 blog) said...

I also hope you find your way - but you know my rule, do whatever it takes to survive :)

Nezzy said...

Oh sweetie, my heart and prayer are with you. I have to say my heart sank deeply for you as I read this.

If you ever need anything, just email. I can listen and support.

Please do reach out for the help you need that will pull you into the sunlight again. None of us know what truly goes on behind our idealistic lives.

Take care of yourself and know I'm prayin' that the heavy fog lifts and the sun shine brightly in you world soon.

(I do actually keep a prayer list so when I promise to pray...I don't forget) It happens often...I'm old! :o)

kristi said...

Helene, my heart just cried when I read this. So sorry hon. I am here for you anytime you need a friend. My e mail is butterflylady97@yahoo.com.

irishtwinsmommababybook said...

Helene, The e-friendship we have created is very close to my heart (even if it does sound weird) and is very meaningful to me.

I will pray for you and pray hard. I'm so sorry that these thoughts flood your mind and the evilness of it creates the urge to do this.

Lots of sunshine is on your way-- Miss beautiful sunshine just peeked her way out over here a little bit. I will peel out of my parking lot at work today in hopes that the heavy air pushes our sunshine your way.

XOXO

Eva Gallant said...

Hugs, Helene. I'm willing you the strength to get through this dark place. You are strong; you will prevail.

Colton's Mommy said...

I hope that you get that sunshine that you so desperately need soon. This too shall pass---

MommaKiss said...

It's sad that so many of us have been here. Just where you are.
I'm proud of you for writing, for taking a step. You are important. You are extremely loved. You do not have to be funny all the time, even though I know exactly how that feels, too. Big love from me to you, girl. Big.

Shelly - Tropical Mum said...

I hope you find the sunshine soon. Thinking of you and sending you a virtual hug. xx

stpierren said...

I just starting following your blog a few weeks ago, because I was feeling so alone and depressed and googled "two sets of twins" to try to find someone else who has two sets of twins (mine are 4.5 yrs old and 8 months old) and I found you. You make me feel like I am not so alone. I just want you to know I am thinking of you and praying for you. I hope you feel better soon.

Adrienne said...

Wow. What a raw and honest post. We all have those dark moments when satan's lies get the best of us. Thank God He is all powerful! His grace is sufficient, and He brings us through it!
Thanks for sharing this with us.

Evonne said...

I think many of us can relate to this. That first step is the hardest. Writing about this is a huge step that will hopefully lead to the next step, and the next, and the next.

You are NOT a fuck up and you WILL find your sunshine. Hugs!

Heather said...

Know you are loved SO much. I am praying that God will vividly show up and touch you deeply. You CAN get through this; you are strong, and you are very strong for reaching out for help. Motherhood, though deeply longed for, is SO HARD. Don't listen to any voice that says you are a screw up...fight it. Fight it like you fought infertility (and majorly conquered, I might say). If you ever need to talk, my # is in my FB profile. Love you very much.

Kristen said...

Sister of my soul... I am so there with you. I mean it. I've been battling this darkness for about a month now. I haven't been posting very much because it is hard to come up with funny material. *sigh* I thought about calling a psychiatrist. My ppd meds have become my full time meds and they didn't seem to be cutting it this past month. I wish we were neighbors. Then we could hold hands while the kids played and if you needed a morning in darkness I could give it to you - and vice versa. xoxo Kristen

Jenny said...

I am so sorry, Helene. I'm glad you've reached out for help. You are not a fuck up!

I'll be praying for you.

ashley @ ashley's adventures in alaska said...

I would send my once weekly sunshine (whose idea was it to live in Alaska, anyways!?) if only it could help you through this. I'm sending calm and happy thoughts your way!

myinnerchick.com said...

Dear, Helene,

I understand the darkness. I can feel your pain. & I love that you are writing it, screaming it, feeling it.

You are not a fuck up. You are unbelievably amazing, beautiful, honest, human, and real.

So glad you reached out for help...so glad you are writing your darkness so other women will KNOW they are NOT ALONE.

YOU. ARE. NOT. ALONE. HELENE.

You. Will. Survive. ( Because I have )

Love Love Love.

Kim

middle child said...

I understand. And the holidays just make it worse. Wishing the best for you. Peace.

championm2000 said...

((hugs))

Jenn Mc said...

I have been there as well (my fantasy was to fall and hurt myself just enough to land in the hospital. Where it is QUIET and I don't have to think). I hope the meds will kick in and Tim can help pull you out.

Kimberly said...

I am so so proud of you for letting this out of your soul. Not only are you trying to heal yourself, you're going to heal so many others in this process.
It breaks my heart that you feel this way. But I know that you will overcome this.
I'm holding your hand tightly through this.
xoxo

Lindsay said...

Beautifully written. We are here to support you. Hugs. You are a great mom.

allie said...

Much love. You are not alone.

Fox in the City said...

Not only are you NOT a fuck up, you are obviously an amazing mom because you see that you need help. Hold tight in the knowledge that the sounds of your kids laughing is just yet another sigh of what a great mom you are.

There are so many people out there that want to help . . . you are not alone.
Jenn

Grace said...

oh hun. You are not alone. There's an army here rooting for you. Don't give up. One step at a time!!!

Kitty Moore said...

You're not alone Helene - depression is surprisingly common. You sound like a very self aware lady and you will bask in the sunlight again - just take a deep breath and ask for help. Hugs from far away x

teryl2 said...

Hi Helene, I'm sure most mothers have been where you are. The early years of little ones running about can be fun, but very demanding and oftentimes lonely. Take each child and picture them playing baseball, or the violin; see them graduating from highschool and running to mom. They do, you know, run to mom, ask for help and want you there in there lives as they unfold before you. I held my first grandchild before his mom could. and the miracle of life continues. Just remember to love yourself, so you can be strong.

Karen Peterson said...

I can't imagine what it took for you to write this post, but I'm glad you did.

Sheila said...

I have no idea of what you must be going through, but I do hope you get what you need to bring you out of this dark place very soon. Sending hugs & prayers your way.

Catherine said...

Children do keep us tethered to this earth ... even in our darkest moments. But, they are not enough ... I truly hope you get the help you need. Do it for you ... you are worth it. You have a wonderful, brave voice in this world. We would all be poorer if anything happened to you. I am sending my thoughts of comfort and hope your way.

Alex Tee said...

I know how you feel... but I use one simple statement to keep my hopes high: The sun is always shining. Even if you can't see it. You'll get through this! I know you will! *Virtual hug*

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

It takes a while to recognize those feelings for what they are, so bravo for getting to that point. There are so many things that can help! You will feel better!

Samantha said...

I've been where you are...and recently too. On and off again most of the time, but over the course of the four years...I have definitely felt it more. I think it's strange how we tell ourselves that we're screw ups. That maybe we're not good enough. I tell myself this over and over again. I wonder if I do enough...if I'm good enough. Some days I just want to lay my bed, and wish that the four year old could tend to herself. I understand the lonliness...you feel isolated in how you feel. I have felt the same...I don't think that my husband could ever understand the way I feel at times.

Sometimes I just want to walk out that door, and never come back. Run from it all.

I don't know how to get out of the hole, except to just keep pressing onward. Get the help you need, and there's plenty out there. I'll be praying for you friend, as I understand this dark spot more than I would like to.

Christine said...

I could have written that post myself! I have seen those dark places and it feels like it's straight up from here.

I have suffered from depression since I was 12 and I am now 37. I also used to cut but now I pick the skin off the sides of my fingers.

Just know that people believe in you even if you don't believe in yourself. Your children are lucky to have you as their Mom.

Sela Toki said...

Dear dear Helene, I know when in despair you feel utterly alone and lonely. Your pain is universal yet singularly individual in their own element as they are your pain and no one else's. When I say "I understand" it means exactly that. So with that, please realize how many of us out here, who have been uplifted, driven, encouraged, touched, by you and the fabulous individual that you are. Thank you and know that "this too shall pass".

Twins Squared said...

Helene I am sorry you are still going through this. I know you mentioned it on the multiples group the other day and I hope that you ARE getting help. This kind of depression is something I have a hard time understanding so I am sorry for that, but I also know that it is real and not you just being weak or a bad mother or whatever. In fact you are just the opposite. I've mentioned to you before my step-sister battles a lot of similar issues but I always see you as being so strong (even though you might not feel like you are). But you are. The rational side of you always comes through unlike someone who gives into it. I wish I could do something or say something to help you (I will pray for you though - the best answer anyway), but know that you are supported by many who love and care. I agree with the comment before mine "this too shall pass."

Kimberly said...

I'm glad you are brave enough to take that first step... now keep reaching for that sunshine!

debi9kids said...

wow. your words are amazingly honest and so what I am feeling right this very, sad miserable moment.

Torn between drinking a beer and hoping I will fall asleep or running a lap around the house trying to "wake my body up"... of course, I know what should win and what will likely win. ugh.

The Semi-Domesticated Mama said...

Oh Helene, tears streamed down my cheeks as I read this because I could have written it myself. It's such a horrible feeling to be stuck in that deep black abyss.

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr



 
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