Wednesday, June 09, 2010

How Did I Get Here?

Posted by Anonymous.

Growing up, success came fairly easily. Mostly 'A' report cards, co-Captain of the Pom Squad, Scholarship to college. Even college continued mostly along that line -- even the bumps in the road could be overcome with a little extra work.

Ever since then it's been downhill. First job after college I left after 2 years because I bombed. The next jobs were ok, so I thought things were getting back on track. Got married, had a child. Started on anti-anxiety meds for stress. Started to get more depressed and anxious. It started to effect my job. Marriage hit a major rough patch. Upped the meds. More struggles at work. Baby number 2 arrived and my depression ballooned into a hideous monster. Started therapy and what became the long process of more and more medication. That was 6 years ago. My job is in trouble, my marriage is in trouble, and my life is a mess.

My dad was a high functioning alcoholic. My mom is the classic "enabler" - sweeping everything under the rug. I'm the classic "Adult Child of an Alcoholic," constantly "people pleasing." I almost wish I were an alcoholic because then I would have a problem that can be solved --You can stop drinking (or taking drugs, or stealing). It's within your control --at least to a point.
With depression like this, there is no control. One minute things are going along Ok --then for the next 10 days you have no energy, stare into space and have no concentration.

I used to have a phenomenal memory. I could keep all sorts of appointments and scheduling in my head. Now I can barely remember things long enough to write them down. I have a pile of "reminders" to go through --many of which have passed the deadline by the time I get to them.

I used to be happy and bouncy. I used to have tons of self confidence. I feel like a shell of what I was.

People say, just focus on being happy. Just focus on getting things done. They don't realize I can't focus -- my brain is set on a loop of negative feedback.

So, how did I get here? How did I go from over-achieving to "holding onto my job by my fingertips?" And is there any way back up out of this pit?


Anonymous said...

I've been in a very similar situation, and the thing that helped me tremendously was a prescription for Vyvanse, which helps with ADD. I was *shocked* when my doctor recommended it, but it has been a godsend by allowing me to be able to FOCUS without completely exhausting myself with the effort.

Worth looking into. Good luck to you!

Anonymous said...

i suffer from depression, too, and so what i am about to say comes from that deep, dark place we know so well.

you need counseling. in addition to your meds. in fact, a good doctor would never allow drugs without counseling, at least to some point. i think it can only benefit you and your marriage. maybe even marriage counseling would be beneficial if you have the resources. i know counseling is super expensive but losing your entire life is far more expensive, yes? my own shrink told me that the average person needs to have their meds adjusted five times. after having two babies, your needs might be changed and thus the old script is now rendered useless. you owe it to yourself and your family to check it out.

Meredith said...

This post could be me. I am so sorry for your struggles. You are worth it. Especially for your family. I finally reached out to a therapist. It takes time, but I have been working on me- starting a work out regime and enjoying my family more. On paper, I have the perfect life, but same as you I was just not happy. I hope you are able to figure out what works for you. Keep it up until you are the woman, wife and mother you want to be. Sending all my love.

Anonymous said...

Been there, am there. Wish I had the answer. For both of us. But you do have my empathy and understanding, for what it is worth. Such a hard, hopeless felling place to be...

Yana said...

You might try biofeedback sessions that rearrange neurological pathways, your brain "forgets" about the despair of depression, biochemistry is modified and the brain "learns" how to avoid those old pathways and makes brand new connections.
I know, you probably didn't post here to discuss depression treatment, but you sound like you've tried most classical treatment options, so it might do you good to look into this one as well.
Good luck! Hang in there.

Cheryl said...

I know what you are going through. Here's what you need to do: find an Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) meeting near you. If there isn't one, get thee to an Al-Anon meeting - those are everywhere. Just because you don't drink doesn't mean you haven't been affected. It helps, I promise.

Anonymous said...


I agree...Al Anon. Plus therapist. Plus new meds or add on Abilify to the meds you're taking.

Perhaps a psychiatrist visit will help...we found that, in our family, depression is a weird and slippery beast that defies the ability of family physicians and psychologists. We needed a neuro-psychiatrist who specialized in adolescents to help our family. And to help me. Don't give up. It CAN get better.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry. I have been there (am still there some days). Don't give up on the medication or the therapy as they can really help (if you find the right one). I would recommend a psychiatrist for the medication if you are not already seeing one. If you have been seeing the same therapist for 6 years then it sounds like it might be time for a change. I know it sucks to find a new therapist but you need to see one that helps you make progress (however you want to define progress) in your life. Is there anything you can do at your job? Maybe take some FMLA time or go to part time if you can afford it. I did this when my depression was the worst and it really helped to have some time to myself during the day while the kids were at school. Some days I just slept and others I caught up on things. I really wish you luck. Depression can feel like a never ending battle but with the right help you can get through it.

Anonymous said...

I am the original poster. Since I sent this, I started working with a new Psyciatrist who has lined up a treatment program for me. We upped my meds, which had an immediate effect --at least I don't feel so hopeless anymore.

It's not a "solution," but I feel like I may have a toe hold to help get me out of this pit.

Thanks to all of you for your kind words and ideas --I need it, more than you could ever know.

Anonymous said...

OP good for you! It is so hard to deal with depression. But you are dealing and thats half the battle. All we can do is cheer you on and we are.
I hope the new psychiatrist and treatment is the one that works. Keep writing as long as that helps and we will keep reading.

Liz said...

So, I had to comment, because this sounds your beginning sounds very familiar. And what i got out of what you said in the beginning was that you excelled for so long in school, college that when u bombed at your first job, that was when it went all down hill. Sounds to me like you were/are a perfectionist and were really wounded that you didn't succeed at something.
I had something similar to me happen - where all thru high school and college it was "I am going to be a veterinarian" and I excelled at school/college. And then I applied to vet school - three times. and three times did not get in. didn't even get an interview. Ouch.

So, I'm thinking that even tho that first "bomb" was a while ago - it still rings in your ear, still hurts. Personally, I eventually let it go - I realized that "someone" was telling me something about vet school and about what direction my life needed to actually go. I found a new outlet and am loving it. You need to believe in yourself (that tons of self-confidence will come back!) and love yourself for who you are right now. right now. in this moment. whatever happens - it happens for a reason. accept and let go. I know that this can be hard, and that is where counseling comes in, but I know you can do it - you are strong.

I will be thinking about you and hoping that something clicks for you in near future and you can bring yourself back :)