Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fake It Until You Make It

I originally started a blog as a way to stay connected with my family and friends and share my thoughts on mommyhood. 

Over time, it evolved into a craft blog. I realized I love to write, but also to share my creativity. I love to inspire others to realize you don't have to be super 'crafty' to be able to create beautiful things. I love to share tutorials with everyone, but I still want to be able to share snippets of my life with you. And that is part of the reason I separated out The Silva Stories from Laura's Crafty Life.

This has been weighing heavily on my mind. I have been debating whether or not to actually hit publish. I am not sure if I should share something so personal with all of the internet world to see. But, I also realize that by sharing, I might be able to help someone else going through something similar. So despite all my reservations about writing something so personal, I am going to hit publish. Today.
I have to start off by giving a little background information. Two times in my past I have been diagnosed with clinical depression. Once, in high school and another time at the end of my college years in 2001. 

The first time in high school I was still mourning my mother's death. She passed away when I was 8 years old, and I don't think I had ever really processed my grief. After some serious counseling, I felt like myself again - actually even better than my old self.
In my last semester of college, I was under immense stress to complete the two degrees I was working towards. I was completely burnt out from being a nearly straight-A student all my life. I put a ton of pressure on myself to excel and the weight of it just came down on me like a ton of bricks. 

Needless to say, that was the worst semester I have ever had at school. That time around I was able to do cognitive behavioral therapy with a great therapist and it worked wonders! 
I have read studies showing that people who suffer depression once are much more susceptible to becoming depressed again. Since college, I have suffered some times of feeling not quite myself or a little sad, but nothing I couldn't pull myself out of. I used the techniques I learned in therapy to pull my mood around.
Fast forward to the past few months. I am sinking. There is no other way to describe it other than I feel like I am drowning. And I can't seem to pull myself out of it this time. I don't enjoy doing the things I once enjoyed doing. The responsibilities of being a mom and a wife all just seem to be too much to bear. Even the littlest things take the most amount of energy.
Let me preface this by saying there is a lot going on that is contributing to my not feeling so great. One of the biggest issues I have is a two and a half year old that still doesn't sleep through the night. 

That means more than 2 and a half years of not getting a good night's sleep. If you have ever missed a few nights' sleep, you know how this can negatively affect your mood. Times this by almost 1,000 days and you could see how this wouldn't be great. For anyone.
I have also been feeling very isolated lately. I have a lot of friends but don't really have a 'best' friend (other than my husband). There is definitely something to be said for having a great girlfriend to talk to and share with. And right now in my life, there is not anyone that fills that void for me.
I am so grateful to have such a loving, supportive husband. He is my rock in hard times. And I am so grateful that he has supported me in talking about all this with him. I have been shutting him out and that is not fair at all. 

I feel so bad that right now I am not the wife he married. And I think by talking to him about it, sharing it with some of my family, and now sharing it here I am starting to feel like I can move forward.
Depression is a strange thing. As much as you need or want to talk about it, you sometimes just can't. Some of that stems from being worried about people judging you. Some of it comes from the lack of energy to do anything, let alone have an emotional talk about what you are feeling (that more than likely the other person isn't really going to understand). And some of it comes from not wanting to admit to yourself that you are anything other than happy.
But now that I have admitted to myself that I am heading down that road to depression again, which I so desperately want to avoid, I know what I need to do to move forward. Essentially, I have to 'fake it 'til I make it'. I have to just do those things that used to make me happy and I know eventually I will find some peace and happiness in those activities.

And that is exactly what I am going to do. I am going to move forward and try to enjoy all of life's blessings because there truly are so so many.

I know this was an extremely heavy post. And I thank you to those of you who made it all the way to the end with me. I hope my experience can someone help someone else out there, if by nothing else than to help you realize you are not alone! 
Please note, I am not a therapist and if you are feeling overly sad or not quite right you should definitely see your doctor. It is always okay to seek the help you need.