Oh look! Another of my BlogHer roomies is here for the rally! Yay!
Diana is getting ready to come to Georgia for a visit this weekend. But not to see me. (Okay, her husband is probably more important than me. It’s true.)
Diana’s talking today about being just a little “off,” which is a feeling I’m familiar with. You know, you’re not really depressed, but you’re not yourself either? Just “off”?
Read to find out what Diana has to say.
There is a long history of depression in my family. It ranges from slight to severe, and I’ve learned how to recognize and deal with it in many loved ones over the years. Their depression has often been the cause of major changes in my own life, and walking on eggshells wondering what will tip them over.
So in watching this happen, I’ve also learned to fear it. The fear of ever being so far gone, so sad, so lonely, that you simply can’t bear to be yourself anymore. I’ve done everything I can to make sure that feeling doesn’t take hold of me, yet sometimes it has.
When my husband joined the military this year for the second time, I began to worry about how I would handle being alone for first his training (20 weeks) and then his eventual deployment overseas. I’d already done it once before at the height of the war in Iraq and spent nine months a complete wreck. I knew now having a daughter and being responsible for her, I couldn’t do that again.
As high strung and moody as I am, it doesn’t take a lot to ruin my day or tip me over. I’m not the easiest person to live with either. I wanted to make sure that (while I’d never be close to perfect) I was the best *me* I could be to support my husband and care for our daughter.
My mom suggested St. John’s Wart. And for some of you reading this, I’m sure that’s like reading, “Sometimes I eat candy when I’m sad then POOF – all better!” But it started to help. It’s made my ability to reason things out instead of explode a lot better. I’m able to feel happiness in different ways – and it lasts longer than it did before. I’ve started to be ok with being sad when I need to be, but knowing that tomorrow is another day.
So my story isn’t one that is huge and life shattering. I’m not on heavy pills or had to see a therapist, and I don’t know the struggle that many brave and wonderful women and men are going through out there. But there is another side to depression and mental illness. It’s the softer, more subtle one that isn’t always noticed. It comes out in just feeling “off” all the time, enough that someone thinks you’re a raging bitch, but not enough that they think there might be something wrong.
I might need to do things differently in the future. If my husband leaves for a year or more, it may take a different toll on me. But at least I know, from all the people who have dared to share their stories, that there is hope for this. You don’t have to live with the off feeling. You don’t have to fear it.
Diana writes the blog Hormonal Imbalances. (Go read her About Me. It’s totally ME. Except that Army wife thing. That’s not me.) She’s got a pretty awesome Mommy Blogging 101 series that’s worth a read if you’re just getting started!
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