Thursday, August 5, 2010

Abandoned or Abandoning?

I was thinking today while taking my shower (I always do my best thinking there) about my deepest depressions. Each time I felt alone and like I had no one to talk to. My first major depression was the year I had two miscarriages, my father was hospitalized and nearly died, my grandfather died and I was in a car accident with a drunk driver.

Any one of those things would cause stress, all of them taken together were too much, especially the miscarriages. My husband and I had been married six years and I'd put off having children until I finished my college degree. Once I was ready...I was READY. Then I had the miscarriages. My friends and family were all supportive but expected me to get over it quickly and move on. I didn't. As anyone who has experienced the miscarriage of a much wanted baby can tell you, you don't move on quickly. You need to grieve.

Grieve I did. I got depressed, really depressed. My parents worried that I was suicidal. My husband didn't understand the fuss. My friends wondered when I'd get over it. So I started to fake it. I pretended that everything was fine and tried to move on with my life. I didn't talk to anyone about my feelings because I didn't want to cause anyone any more worry.

The next depression wasn't quite as bad, but still effected me. I had finally had that first baby and I was so happy with him that I decided to have another. Once again...fertility problems. This one took two years before I was able to conceive my second child. Most people felt that I should be happy, after all I had one child, couldn't he be enough? I mostly faked it through this depression in part because I was parenting a toddler and couldn't stay in bed all day. Once again, I had no one to talk to. One of my friends was pregnant. Another was trying to conceive and having miscarriages. I was a lot of support for her, but she was in the "at least you have one child" camp. Once again I felt that I had no one to talk to.

The next depression hit after I had my third child (a surprise, no fertility problems there!) and I realized that my house was too tiny and my husband didn't care that we were stuck in a tiny house. Most of my friends and family were supportive, they all thought I was in a too tiny house too. I didn't really recognize this depression for what it was for a long time. Once I did I went to my GP and got my first prescription for antidepressants. Things improved, but once again I felt that I had no one to talk to. This was probably the first time I didn't talk to any friends deliberately. I wanted everyone to think that everything was perfect. I felt that I didn't really have any reason to complain. After all, I now had my three children, I was working at a part time job that I loved, and I had a roof over my head.

My most recent depression coincided with a major depression my best friend had. I didn't want to talk to her and bring her down farther. Once again I kept it to myself and didn't let anyone know how bad it had gotten. I mentioned it to one friend who is very holistic and didn't think I should go on medication again. Since that was the only real option available to me, I decided not to talk to her about it any more. Once again it seemed that all the people I'd normally talk to were unavailable to me.

So after remembering all of those I started to think about it. What came first, the chicken or the egg? Did I get depressed because my friends were busy and I had no one to talk to? Did my being depressed drive people away so I felt alone? Was I not telling people because it is so difficult to reach out and talk to people while I'm depressed?

Note: during all of these I didn't have therapy available because my insurances (I had different ones each time) either wouldn't cover therapy, or it was subject to a deductible - the lowest was $1,500 and was thus out of reach for me. Therapy might have helped me because then I would have had someone to talk to about everything and might not have felt so abandoned.