How Depression Almost Destroyed My Life
The ugly, dark, and destructive beast known as depression entered my life two years after being diagnosed with psoriasis, which was just months prior to receiving my diagnoses of fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis. For years, I refused to acknowledge it because I knew that my doctors, friends, and family would then blame my physical pain on depression and not on my diseases. Did depression increase my pain levels? Yes, but it was not the source of my pain. Sadly, ignoring it only made it worse.
On a killing spree
Depression is deadly. It kills everything in its path, and, if given the opportunity, it takes the life of the one it consumes. It killed my relationships. I refused to discuss my emotional status with my doctor because the first time I did, he acted like that was the source of my physical pain and refused to focus on the true sources. It kept me from discussing my life and feelings with family and friends because I didn’t want to hear that I just needed to get out more or to put on a smile and cheer up. Depression destroyed my social life. Controlling conversations so that I wouldn’t have to share any personal information become tiring. Not being able to keep it up, I stopped taking calls, answering the door, and leaving the house. I avoided social media, with the exception of platforms that my friends and family weren’t on. Then in the summer of 2012, this wretched and disgusting beast almost took my life.
The end of the rope
Because I had become so good at hiding my feelings and emotional pain in public and by hiding out at home, nobody, not even my husband knew just how bad off I was. As I was nearing my breaking point, I shared with my husband that I wanted to die. Okay, it wasn’t actually sharing; I screamed the words at him. Poor guy didn’t know what to say or do. He didn’t see this coming even though it had been boiling inside of me for ten years. I misinterpreted his initial silence as approval when it really was just shock. So I went beyond thinking of ways to end my life and began plotting my death. Before I took the final step, my husband, who I now know was also depressed because of the financial mess we were in, shared some bad news. This is what finally spurred me to reach out to someone. I stormed into my pastor’s office, blubbering and unable to speak coherently. After I calmed down, he listened and sprang into action by immediately addressing our most pressing needs. From there he counseled us and helped us see that our problems, while big, weren’t unsolvable. Knowing how I had treated my chronic illnesses in the past hadn’t worked, he also encouraged me to take a path that I had been debating trying. For years I allowed the stigma of how I now treat my illnesses keep me from going that route. I thank God every day for the push my pastor gave me.
The never-ending battle
My depression began to lift as I began making changes to my treatment plan, went for counseling, and learned to better communicate with my husband. In the course of almost six years, I have gone from being a prisoner of depression to having the beast locked in cage. But he’s a tricky fellow and every once in a while he escapes. Thankfully between therapy and the changes I have made in my life, I now have the strength to tackle him and return him to his cell. He will never leave me, he will always be there whispering in my ear. However, I am no longer his victim; instead, I am a survivor who will never give up fighting for my life.
If you are battling depression, please seek help. You are not alone and no problem is unsolvable. If you are considering suicide please call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
Others usually confuse my psoriatic arthritis with...