Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I'll know my name as it's called again


Before I struggled with depression and anxiety myself, I didn't understand it at all. I cringe now to think I was one of those people who was like, "I just don't get why they're not happier...just choose to be happy! It's that simple!"  For this reason, I always felt squirmy when someone was open about their own experiences.  It just seemed so personal, and I usually try to keep all things TMI off ye olde blog.  For some reason, though, today I feel like talking about it. And what is blogging, anyways, if not one big, fat TMI-fest?  Plus, the more I talk about it, the more common I realize it is.  I hope if you're feeling sad or hopeless or blue, you realize that there's someone else who feels that way, too, and it's okay.

Here's the fact I wish I could have beaten my old judgy self over the head with: when you feel depressed, you want to feel happy. It's not about the desire to feel peaceful or hopeful or calm or happy...it's about the inability to find those feelings when you've got the desire.  Mine started when Joony stopped nursing. I thought it would only last a month or two, until my hormones had balanced back out again, but I'm going on six months and some days are still hard.  Some days are also really good, and I'm grateful for days when smiles aren't forced and I can play with Joony and just enjoy the day.  I try to remember those days when I'm in the middle of a panic attack or when I only want to curl up in bed and be a sad lump forever.

Becoming a stay-at-home mom is a huge transition.  I started working when I was 15 and didn't stop until 3 days before I had Joony in 2012, so the shift was very strange.  Of course I still spend my days working, but the pace, the motivation, the paycheck--it's all different now.  He'll be two next month and I swear each new stage throws me for a loop.  The ability to adapt hasn't come easy for me.  I'm learning, but it didn't just come the minute Joons was born.  I'm learning that it's okay to ask for help, to research medications, to feel things other than #OMGblessed.  I'm learning patience with my brain and my heart.  Anyways, if you're feeling these things, you're not the only one and I hope you'll ask for help when you need it. If you're not, I hope you'll be patient when someone you know is.

Anyways, I'm scared to hit publish here, but I don't have (or, really, want) a huge audience around her any more and sometimes I just feel like writing what's on my mind.  I know this struggle looks different for everyone, but this is what it's been for me, and I'm relieved to feel like maybe I'm coming out okay on the other end of this.

Hyperbole and a Half has some really awesome, funny, hilarious posts about depression right here + right here, and if you're interested in an LDS conference talk that I've turned to over and over again, that's right here. Oh, and if cats make you happy like they make me happy, I've pinned a bunch of them here.

14 comments:

  1. I love this so much, Bran. I love YOU so much. And holy cow that conference talk is tops. It's weird, getting older and having seriously mixed up thoughts/feelings/emotions because life if so different than you ever imagined... in the best AND worst way possible. I love when women can be open and transparent about those mixed up times. We all have them. And it's okay. And it's more than okay to talk about them. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. This is such an important thing to have out in the open. I'm really proud of you for reaching out, even though it can be super scary to discuss an illness that still has such stigma. Also I read your blog every time you post even though I'm not a follower - I'll bet your audience is bigger than you think! :) I hope that you continue looking for things that help you. Mr Sun coming out again soon will make a big difference!

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    1. I'm counting on that sun big time! This winter has felt so long, I can't wait to get outside!! Thank you so much for your kind words, it's such a cool thing to feel connected to others in a positive way. The internet can be insanely cool sometimes!

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  3. I'm not sure if I've ever left a comment before, but I've been reading your blog for a while now and I felt compelled to reach out today. I love how you write about the simple day-to-day stuff. I love how you never profess to being "pinterest-worthy" and I think it's great. It's heartening and comforting to see other people going about their days the way you do (versus the way pinterest makes you think people do). I'm sorry that you're going through this rough time and sincerely hope you find your light sooner rather than later. In the meantime, post away! You'll always have readers listening to whatever it is you want to say.

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    1. Thank you so much, Pamela! The internet can be a misleading place sometimes, and I'm certainly guilty of looking at other people's edited lives and comparing my bad days to those!!

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  4. I have recently realized I have this within myself too. I stopped nursing my second son at twelve months (four-ish months ago) and I think that's when it hit me too. I just didn't realize it until our stake had a special relief society meeting about depression and anxiety from one the members of the presidency who works with people with depression for a living. Eye opening!! Amazing how I knew I was struggling but I thought I was just weird, hating winter, and not trying hard enough. I feel like I am on a good path now getting back to normal but it has really affected my family and me, of course.

    It is hard to explain until you have been through it yourself so thank you very much for speaking out about it. I think it's important to not just say life is always "peachy" cause it sure isn't.

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  5. I loved shopping at panache when I was in Rexburand I love reading your blog still! Depression is such a taboo subject it seems, but I am grateful for your words. I feel like I've been in a funk lately and have been trying my darnedest to get out of it. Thank you for being real and helping me feel like, "oh hey, it's ok that every aspect of my life isn't perfect!" :)

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  6. Look how brave you are! It's true that it is so so so much more common than we think. I really resonated with this because of my own struggles and so I'm commenting to put my virtual arms around you :)

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  7. I have been a fan of your blog for a while but haven't commented...hi :). Anyway, just wanted to say I like your thoughts on this. I may print it out and show it the people you speak of, who don't get it. I have been on anxiety medication for about 6 years and I can't imagine life without it. Always good to know you're not alone!

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  8. Those Hyperbole and a Half posts helped me get through a lot. And this one too. Thanks for opening up.

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  9. I really appreciate how honest you are about your life. I started following you because of your clothes, and I still follow you because I've grown to admire and respect the person wearing them. Hang in there.

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  10. I have never struggled with postpartum depression, but I've had depression since 2007 and continue to battle it. Medication has been and continues to be what gets me through, along with recognizing my limitations and my strengths and accepting that I can't do everything. I hope you know that many other women struggle with this, and it's OK to feel down. Know that you're a great mom and doing the best you can, and that is always enough.

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  11. Thanks for posting this, Brandilyn. I'm feeling the same stuff too. All I can say is "oof." And believe it will get better. :)

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  12. Props to you for sharing. I've been through it, too (http://www.jennahsgarden.com/2013/06/depression-isnt-what-you-think-it-is/) and still haven't gone back to my blog since feeling better. But it still comes in waves. I was amazed how many people reached out to me, both publicly and privately, after I posted that.

    I really love your blog. Your honesty is super refreshing. Thank you!

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I think you're smart, pretty, & entitled to your own opinion.

I'd love it if the feeling was mutual!