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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Yucky Kind of Day

I'm feeling super sad today. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because my house is such a mess, maybe it's because my kids won't stop fighting or maybe it's because I was up all night with a crying baby (for the last week and a half!) Whatever it is though - I'm ready to just give up and go sit in a corner and cry!

I've had some problems with depression in the past, especially since having kids, and have felt myself really fighting it since Sunday. What do you do when you feel depressed?

Right now I feel like I'm at the brink of a cliff, teetering on the edge of a dark pit. I can't see the bottom, but I've been down there and I know how hard it is to climb out again.

I feel like there is a bit of a stigma toward depression, clinical or not, particularly among members of my faith. I've felt it even more since moving to Idaho Falls. No one seems to want to admit their short comings. No one wants to admit that they have a problem, and no one wants to be the one who asks for help.

I've seen studies on it in the past, Latter-day Saint women are one of the groups with the highest depression rate. Mainly because we are trying so hard to be perfect in every aspect of our lives. I think it's great to strive for perfection, but all of us need to realize that perfection is not possible!

I do believe that living in accordance to gospel standards and living the way that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints teaches is the way to happiness, particularly for me. But I'm not sure that it is the cure all for all depression.

From the time I was very young the answers for depression were "Pray harder," or "Loose yourself in service to others." "Put off the natural man." "Rely on the Spirit." I do believe that this advise is good, and can be helpful, but I don't think that it is all encompassing or all healing.

I've taken anti-depressant medication in the past, and although it helped me through some very difficult times I didn't like who I became on the medication. True I wasn't sad, but I wasn't happy either. I felt like I was just drifting through life in neutral. I was numb to all emotion.

So what is the answer? I've heard things like "Just decide! Decide that you're going to be happy." Will that really work? Can my own will power be enough to squash the depression monster?

Do I just need to accept that life isn't perfect? I cannot control every thing and some days my house is going to be messy and I am going to be too tired to do anything about it.

What makes me a "Good Mom"? Is being a "Good Mom" yelling at my kids until they clean up their messes (leaving me without a voice and my kids in tears) or would I be a better Mom if I just let the mess slide and spend the day watching cartoons and playing video games?

So what's the answer? Is there an answer? Am I the only one dealing with this!?

Since every post is better with pictures: Here is the baby who has decided that he no longer needs to sleep at night.

7 comments:

Rebecca said...

You are not the only one going through depression. I completely understand everything you are saying. Shortly after a miscarriage 2 1/2 years ago my husband convinced me that I needed to get help with my depression. I started on medication, and then got back on it after Timothy was born and when I started to notice I was having problems. One thing that I try to do is give myself permission to start each new day anew. I try to not think about what I did or didn't do the day before. Another thing I try do to is find one thing to smile about. Sometimes that is extremely hard, but it helps me try and see something positive. I'm also trying to remember that I don't have to compete with anyone in my ward. I'm not perfect, no one is, but the most important thing is that I'm trying, no mater how much I move toward my goal.

I know that all I've said might not make sense, but it's from my heart.

Keep trying! I've always been so impressed by you! message me on facebook if you need anything.

The White House said...

Each persons depression is different. The things you said can help. Other times I find getting away from everything for a little while helps too. I just mentioned this to Brady today. I haven't dealt with this in a while but the stress of things lately and lack of sleep (mine isn't baby induced just can't sleep lately) have me sliding a bit. Today I dropped off my younger kids at a friends so I could go watch AJ read a book to his class. My heart was warmed and for the moment I felt better. Getting back home and realizing the laundry hadn't been started, I needed a nap, dinner hadn't been decided, and the kitchen was a mess all seemed to send me back. But I at least had one moment today! I hope you can have at least one moment a day where your heart is warm and you can have a true smile! Hopefully that baby will sleep for you tonight, sleep goes a long way to healing depression. I love you Caranna and understand where you are. If you ever need to talk to complain just call, I don't mind.

Raree said...

I think probably everyone goes through bouts of depression, but if it lasts for more of a week and longer . . . that's tough. It's only happened to me a couple of times that I can identify (in retrospect) that I was definitely depressed. It's hard being a mom. It's hard to allow yourself to stop and enjoy anything for all kinds of reasons! There are a lot of factors that can contribute to eliminating it: good sleep, good nutrition, exercise, praying and reading scriptures, quality time with your spouse and/or friends, quality time by yourself, temple attendance, serving others, choosing to be happy . . . We know the 'right' answers, but even those rare times when those are all aligned (SO rare!), it's just hard anyway! And once you've been in a depressed mindset for a long time, it's hard to re-train your mind. I recommend getting yourself a clicker (billionclicks.org). It definitely won't hurt, and it may help. Also, regarding the yelling - check out theorangerhino.com.
But advice and tips aside, I know how you feel. I love you, and Heavenly Father loves you. Thankfully He doesn't really expect us to be perfect, only that we give our best. And in case you're confused about what your best is (I used to be), it's NOT the same as what you know you're capable of. :) The mother I thought I'd be, and the mother I am are vastly different. I know what my potential is (we can be like God, after all - it's our destiny), but I'm just not there yet. And that's okay. And you're okay. Don't beat yourself up. Just keep trying to do better (in baby steps), and celebrate your improvement no matter how miniscule it is! Lots of love to you, my friend. No matter how 'together' people seem to have it, it's not as good as it appears. Promise. :)

Amber said...

Oh and take time for you!!!!!!!!!!!! It is SO VERY crucial and NO you are being selfish!!!!

Amber said...

Hm... my other comment must not have posted. So here we go again! LOL! First off, know that you are the only one who has battled depression. It sucks. But the only thing that has helped me is counseling. Talking a neutral 3rd party does wonders! Best thing I have ever done. At first I was worried about the $ it would cost, but I can tell you know that she is worth her weight in gold. It is the only thing that keeps me sane and helps me figure out me! Creekside in Idaho Falls I've heard is great! Check them out! Also, I meant what I said in the other comment - TAKE TIME FOR CARANNA (every day for a while or as long as you need it!). It is so very important. I cannot stress it enough.

egebs said...

Depression is such a struggle. Here are a few things that have helped me. The book Breaking Point by Martha Beck ( She is a former member of the church, but she doesn't really delve into that to much in this book). Also have you looked into the Church's family support group? It is geared toward families of addicts, but the program is helpful for all sorts of things. I could email you a pdf of the book if you are interested. (egebs@hotmail.com)

Caranna said...

I'd love to read it Elizabeth. I'll send you an e-mail.

Thank you ladies, it's good to know that I'm not alone.