**OUR ILLNESSES == Battling & Triumphant!**

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by S-Elaine, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. S-Elaine

    S-Elaine Member

    Hi all,

    I want to post about how important it is to continue to fight the “beast” of Major Depressive Disorder.

    It has tried to take me down several times. 3 to be exact. Yes, 3 times within a 10 year time span.

    Perhaps because I have been through this 3 times, maybe it has made me stronger in the sense of knowing ----- “I can get back to MYSELF and I remember I use to be a very happy person. That has to still be inside of me. It just has to be. It is the true me. This Depression has masked all of that, yet it still has to be within me.”

    …….“Fight, continue to fight the battle and you will get there.”

    The above is what I have been continuing to tell myself throughout the last 13 months.

    Yes, I have been in Counseling and extensive Treatment for 13 months from when the “monster” of Depression took me down again.

    I never really understood exactly what the label of ------- “Major Depressive Disorder” meant. (Meanwhile I also have Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as well.)

    What I do know now is MDD is a very serious “State of Being”. It is so dark, scary at times and very lonely. Extremely lonely. It feels like you are stuck in such a deep hole where, sad to say, you even get use to it. It becomes your new “normal” because it has been going on for such a long time and it is hard to know at that point what life was like before. You forget about laughter, you forget what it was that brought you joy. In essence you forget WHO you even use to be. You no longer can even see glimmers of light.

    I would also express it as feeling like “you have been replaced”. You look the same. People still know you. You wake up every day and attempt to go about your normal routine.

    I’d even periodically stop, stand in front of a mirror and stare at myself. The person in the mirror was somebody I no longer knew. Somebody who appeared to resemble the person I was, but was not ME in any way. I would continue to stare at myself wondering where I was. Wondering if it was even possible the me I use to know even existed. Where was she?? What happened? Do I ever get better? How did this occur and is this what I am left with?

    As I would stare in the mirror asking all of those questions, I wondered if this was what I am suppose to “get use to”?

    …… my reply in my head was ------ “YES!”.

    I am pleased to say and share with all of you, how wrong I was.

    If any of what I have written are things you have thought yourself, things you can relate to in some way, feelings you have, then please use me and my story as an example of my trials and tribulations. My UPS and my DOWNS. The twists and turns. The roller coaster ride you are on and you wish more than anything you can get off.

    Keep in mind, when you are in the mist of MDD, regardless of how badly you want it to end, somehow, it does not. It doesn’t end because many things need to change. I have tried to be as forthcoming as I possibly can with being truthful about my experience with Depression and my history with it. More than anything, if you have these thoughts or feelings, please use me as an example of what can happen if you do not get the help you need and the appropriate Treatment for this very serious Illness. I have come to understand it and incorporate into my life the best way I can.

    What I want to place emphasis is on, YOU are not choosing to feel down or depressed. It is an Illness that has, chosen you.

    The continual challenge is how you battle it day after day. How do you learn about it? How do you deal with it? What type of treatment works for you? Does medication help it? Is Counseling something that suits you?

    For me, personally, my long term Counseling is where I have learned the most. Where I have found to be key in my “Recovery” and where I have learned about myself. My cycles. My patterns. The dynamics of contributing factors that makes my situation worse. The back and forth talking with my Counselor 2 times a week for the past 13 months. Also, re-discussing the same topic, yet just looking at it from a different perspective. Rehashing the details, talking about my feelings regarding what was taking place in my life at that particular time and readdressing the same thing again & again.

    In the beginning I did not understand WHY the re-discussing was important. ( …… personally, I thought to myself ------ “Boy, my Counselor seems to have an extremely short term memory and it is not following along with my story very well! ------)

    No, again I was wrong.

    What my Counselor was trying to teach me was to associate my true feelings about different things that happened to me and that process helped me “link the pieces together”. Then from there I was able to discover my patterns. How Depression affects me. What were my early “warning signs”. What prior coping skills I had. What type of better coping skills can I form to keep this Illness “managed”.

    13 months later, I stand here and can smile as I say, it was all worth it. Everything I endured this past year was worth the knowledge I know have about myself. I am at a place where I never even knew was possible!! I have gone further than I ever imagined. The progress I have made feels like my world has transformed into one I never thought existed. It is the most amazing “transformation” I have experienced and it is worth FIGHTING for!

    You are worth it and getting to the “other side” is worth the Journey you go on.

    I do not regret for one moment all of the time, energy, medication changes, and everything I invested in battling what I call the “Demon” of Major Depressive Disorder.

    Joy, bliss, happiness, and beauty is what you will re-discover is out there for you once again. You just have to GRASP on to it. Once you have the strength and ability to grasp on to it, hold on tightly. Do your best to stay positive and know the work you devote to the process will be fantastically rewarding in the end.

    13 months is how long it took me. Your time frame can be shorter or even longer. What I want to place emphasis on is ----- you will get there. If some how I managed to do it, then I am positive you can as well.

    Hoping my message helps others.

    == Elaine[This Message was Edited on 01/27/2011]
  2. inprog

    inprog Member

    Thanks for sharing. I know it was serious because I never come here and there you were saying goodbye to go work on the issues of depression so I said what I thought best and then ... Here you are. Glad you are here. Depression can happen very quick for some and you are right to find out the warning signs for you if you can afford therapy. I keep what helps me in the fridge but most of the time the awareness strikes me in the car when I have managed to be out and about. A kind of feeling in the chest, heart area. It is a kind of feeling. I don't have any particular thoughts to it but do notice certain things don't get done in my environment. Dishes are a first sign especially if they go on a time for me. Also if I don't wash my car or clean it out that is a big sign for me but often I don't introspect with no self awareness. The self awareness is lacking in depression for me before there is some realization that I haven't just slowed, I am like crippled where I have to do something fast. Fortunately I have something that works fast but knowing when is the key for me.