Wednesday, April 8, 2009
I've been struggling with a question lately. Well, that's an understatement. It seems that daily I struggle with innumerable questions. The latest one, though, is this: Am I depressed?
Like many of you, I use blogging as a form of therapy. It is definitely not always easy to think about and communicate all of the feelings I have about infertility and loss. It's difficult, but writing about it and getting it all out there does help some. Something interesting about it, though, is the passage of time. It feels like the minutes, hours, and days are so slow that you almost feel like you're moving backwards. But somehow, after you trudge along in slow motion with your head down for what feels like forever, you look up and realize that years have passed. Not a couple of years. Not even just a few years. Seven or eight years -- almost a decade of hoping, wondering, worrying, trying, failing, grieving, and finally letting yourself hope again. The cycle is endless, with reminders every month that nothing has changed.
Something is different for me lately. While it is certainly true that every miscarriage is utterly devastating, there have been a couple that had an even greater impact.
The first one was so unexpected. I thought, "Is this really happening to me?"
The second was so much like the first. I realized there might be something wrong.
The third told me that something definitely wasn't right but I was sure that with some help we could fix it.
The fourth miscarriage sent me into complete despair. I was so sure this was it and we'd made it so far. Our baby was growing and developing and had a great heartbeat. We were so hopeful and then all was lost.
After the fifth I began to go numb, and after the sixth I was heartbroken and still haven't "recovered" more than two years later.
I really can't explain why the last one has left me feeling that I'm down for the count, but I know that something in me is changed. At first I thought that in the months it took me to grieve, maybe I had just developed some bad habits. I couldn't get motivated to do anything. I didn't want to go anywhere or see anyone. I ate a lot of food that wasn't good for me. I didn't want to cook. I didn't even want much to do with my favorite activities, unless it involved getting lost in a book or a movie for a few hours so I might have a distraction. I began to rely more and more on my husband to take care of things and to try to cheer me up.
I wish I could tell you that I was that way for a few months two years ago and now I've put myself back together, but I'm afraid things really haven't changed at all. I can't believe that it has been this long and I can't seem to get a hold on things. Although I am sad, it's not just sadness. At the same time, it's not completely crippling. It's something that I don't know how to name. Is it depression? Not just "It's a dreary day today and I feel depressed," but Depression with a capital D. I'm not too proud to admit that it may be. Although I have no real experience with it, I think I need to own up to what's going on. I know that I'm a joyful person. I love to laugh. I'm not lazy or reclusive. I like being with people. I want to enjoy my life. I don't want to be controlled by my circumstances, and I'm tired of feeling like I have no control over my emotions.
It has been gradual but I've been realizing that I'm not quite myself, and I really want to make that better. I know that unfortunately I can't just snap my fingers and make it happen. I'm not asking for advice so much as encouragement and your prayers. As much as I hate this feeling that I'm just barely holding on, I can't help but try to remain hopeful. After all, I'd rather be here barely holding on to Jesus than anything else.