Another day of gray

When I woke up yesterday morning, I felt it. My body was a million pounds heavier, my eyes seemed too many days sleep deprived, and yet I knew it was all a lie. When depression hits, I’ve felt it’s burden so many times that I knew what I had to do.

I’ve heard people talk about depression before, whether from passing conversation or from a platform, and I sometimes wonder if half those people have actually experienced it in it’s unadulterated form. They say that being depressed is a choice that is made. It’s assumed that I can just snap my mind out of it by just making the choice to be happy. And I laugh! Oh how I laugh inside when people say that.

I experienced depression for years before I actually even realized what it was. It’s kind of weird that I didn’t realize what it was, but it’s true. I’d be overcome by this intense sadness, but I just didn’t really think about why or where it came from. I just bore it. Often I had a crummy mood, snapped at my husband or children or whoever was nearest, and never even thought about what was happening. But in a passing comment my husband he told me that when he came home from work, he never knew what mood I’d be in or if I’d be crying or not. Like any wife who’s scorned at, I probably came up with some sort of snarky response, but after I’d thought about what he said, I realized he was right. And like any wife, I did not particularly like that he was right. Who likes to be wrong?

But I decided to change. I’d felt our marriage had lost a lot of luster, but it never really occurred to me that I was the one with the problem. In my own mind, my husband was at fault because he didn’t understand all the turmoil that I went through, day after day. But he was right in the fact that I wasn’t controlling my emotions, but rather I was letting the emotions control me, leading me inevitably toward a path of constant depression.

So I tried to change. I attempted to stop being so snippy all the time, but more than anything I tried to be happy. I put on a brave front and created an attitude of happiness for my husband and children, sweeping all the unhappy feelings and sadness under a rug. But the thing is that it was still there. No matter how much you sweep under a rug, it’s never really gone. I did change a lot, and I created a much nicer, happier person, but it’s just impossible for me to be happy all of the time. Who ever is?

What my husband helped realize, more than anything, was what I was dealing with. It became a tangible, recognizable object that I gradually began seeing in myself. And over time, I’ve learned what the symptoms are, how to predict it, and how to pull out of it. I guess in theory that the “getting out of it” is a choice, but it’s much more than just a choice to be happy.

On days like yesterday, when I see that some situation that I’ve been in has brought depression with it, I’m very very proactive. I’ve always felt that I can’t really choose to be happy, but I can surround myself with happy people, places that bring joy, and before long I know I that it will all rub off on me. Filling my day with a flutter of activity helps keep my mind off the weight that threatens to drown me, and before long (usually about 24 hours) I’ve been pulled to the surface.

When I woke up yesterday morning and felt the oncoming depression, I made quick plans for the day. My son’s favorite thing to do at this time of year is to go to a pumpkin patch. And it just so happens that about an hour away, we have a patch that has free hay rides, hay mazes, horses and pigs for petting, things to climb on, and lots of photo opportunities.

cole-2000 addison-2000

When I’m around these two, I can’t help but find joy in the color they bring to my life. I love my family, and I thank God every day for all these that He has brought to my life. You may not ever feel the depression that deafness or a chronic illness might bring, but if you feel a little blue, like life is passing you by, don’t forget all those around you that love you. They can bring life and happiness to a dreary day, and don’t forget give God a wink, because it’s likely that He placed them beside you.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. I’ve been reading along about your cochlear implant adventure and I was so very disappointed with what you went through. I had hoped it would activate without any trouble at all. Life stinks sometimes. I am praying that there will be little or few problems in activating it.

    As for depression, I know all too well what depression is like. I’ve suffered from it for several years before climbing out of the pit with the help of my husband and a book called “Get out of that pit” by Beth Moore. I still get depressed; but, I now recognize it for what it is and I don’t allow myself to get into the deep darkness I once was in.

    I’ve been interested in your journey simply because we have some things in common. I’m deaf too. The only difference between you and I is that I was born severely hard-of-hearing and became profoundly deaf by sixth grade. Because of this, I don’t think I long for hearing like you do. I can and do use the hearing-aid in the left ear; but, more often than not, I go without it t these days. It’s just troublesome and not helpful at all in most situations, especially in noisy environments.

    But, I do get lonely and feel so alone. It’s not easy being deaf in a hearing world. I was raised in a hearing family and raised to be like the hearing — speak and read lips only. It’s not easy to participate in family dynamics and the older I get, the less I try. It just isn’t worth the headaches and the stress. Besides, I feel like why should I try 100% and they don’t even try at all? I think I now understand why there is a great divide between the hearing and the deaf.

    Anyway, I am glad that you recognized it (the depression) for what it is. I am confident that you’ll hear again soon. After all, you mentioned you have family that underwent it and was successful. It’s just going to take you a little longer than planned. Praying that all goes well and that it won’t be too much trouble.

    Reply

    • Thanks so much for stopping in. I agree that it’s difficult for deaf to live in the dominantly hearing world, and for a long time I felt the same about some of my hearing extended family who I felt didn’t particularly make an effort for me. But I can’t forget about this one time when one of my sister-in-laws told me that while she wanted to understand what I went though, she couldn’t because I wouldn’t ever talk about it.

      For me personally, I kept my hearing loss at a great distance from family members with no loss because it’s so hard to put into words what we actually go though (and VERY emotional for me). It’s really one of the reasons that I started the blog, because I can’t fault them for their lack of consideration if I haven’t taken the time to explain it to them. Aaaand, I’ll be honest and say that I only gave out my blog info to friends and family this past week. I know. I’m terrible. Ha! In all seriousness though, while your family can never truly understand what you go through, you might try talking to them a little about how hard it is for you so that they can at least empathize and hopefully understand you as a person better. Or you can just give them my blog info and say, “Read this, you need it.” ; )

      And lastly, thank you so much for the book recommendation. I’m always looking for new books on that subject, anything that will help me deal with all of this. I’ll definitely be making a trip to the bookstore in the next day or so.

      Reply

  2. I am always willing to talk about what it is like but only if they’re really interested. They have asked before and to be honest only one showed true interest and that was my sister-in-law. To have empathy and understanding is a rare thing for family members to have. I think it is because they’ve been around me as kids and they think they know everything. (Boys are like that especially). It is partially my parents’ fault as they’ve treated me always like I’m hearing even though I never was.

    Anyway, I do talk about it to anyone willing to listen and I’ve been trying for over 14 years now. Time to give up, don’t you think? LOL. ๐Ÿ™‚

    My family knew about my own blog from the get go; but, I don’t talk much about my deafness on the blog itself. The internet is a blessing in disguise. People don’t know about my being deaf and they treat me like an equal in all ways. It shocks them to discover I’m deaf because I can communicate. Well, duh. I’m not dumb (stupid), just deaf. LOL. ๐Ÿ™‚ And strangely, since my family often forgets (about my being deaf), the internet has been a blessing there too, mostly on facebook. It changed their perceptions of me and gave them a chance to know me.

    If you are a Christian, that book will be a lot of help. It helped me tremendously. I’m keeping an eye out for another of her books to go on sale called “so long insecurity”. I am and can be extremely insecure. If her “Get out of the pit” helped me, then I’m sure the “so long insecurity” will help me too.

    Reply

  3. PS Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. Creating Vinyl Canvas Art is very easy to do. I was surprised at how well it turned out. There were ladybugs in the package I got too; but, I didn’t use them. Maybe for another Canvas art project. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Reply

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