My face, it just leaks sometimes; Okay, so I'm depressed

Me, trying to look like I'm perfectly okay. Is it working?

Depression has been kicking my ass. I feel like I've been saying that a lot lately. I try to be nonchalant about it, I don't want to make it a big deal. I don't want people to worry about me, I don't want to bring attention to myself (hello, social anxiety), I just want to be alone with my existential crisis. But, I'm the world's worst liar, so it's clearly written all over my face that something is wrong.

I've suffered from depression most of my life. I talk about my anxiety more because it seems to be at the forefront of my mental health problems. It disrupts my life the most. My depression is usually just hanging out in the back of my mind. It lets me know it's there, but it's quiet.

The last few weeks, Depression is apparently in a mood, because she's been making a ruckus.

I've been crying a lot. Crying tends to happen during a panic attack for me, so at first I thought I was just having really frequent panic attacks. I'd be sitting at my desk at work and start crying for no reason at all. Cut to stage left - me walking quickly to the bathroom with my hair covering my face so no well-meaning coworkers ask what's wrong, so I don't have to explain that I have no idea what the fuck is wrong with me.

My face, it just leaks sometimes. 

Normally I can fib and say it's allergies - I really do have some monster allergies lately, but I'm pretty sure they'd see right through that lie this time. This isn't an eyes damp and glistening, but otherwise I look okay cry - this is a tears gushing from my eye sockets, snot running out of my nose, my face is bright red and blotchy, I may or may not be hyperventilating, sort of cry. Repeatedly. Like, at least 8 times a day, and throughout my car rides to and from work. And when I'm home, I just want to sleep. I've been sleeping a lot. All that housework that needs to be done? If I'm asleep I don't have to think about it.

What the fuck is wrong with me. (Notice the period there instead of a question mark. I'm no longer asking what's wrong with me, I'm demanding.)

It's been a rough year. Next week will mark the one year anniversary of my husband leaving me. Since then I've had to learn to live on my own and support myself. I've tried so hard to be a strong, independent woman, only to learn the hard way that I just can't do it. I need so much help.

It would be different if I didn't have kids. If I didn't have kids, I could afford to live on my own just fine. But kids are fucking expensive, even with me and my soon-to-be ex-husband splitting the cost of childcare and insurance for them. And then there's housework. Kids are fucking messy. I always joke and say my house is only clean every other week - because we do shared parenting, I only have them every other week, so my house is clean on the weeks I don't have them.

Well, it turns out it's really fucking hard to do all the cooking, cleaning, child-wrangling, stop touching your sister, turn off the tablet, turn down the TV, eat your dinner, no you can't have more candy, Oh look, Mommy's crying again... 

It's hard to do all that on your own. And I'm not always on my own. My family and my boyfriend help TREMENDOUSLY. I seriously could NOT do this without them. At all. I feel lost as it is, and that's with their help. Without their help, I would have pulled out all my hair and run for the hills a long time ago. Last week I came home from work one day to my dad trimming my yard because I don't have a weed-eater, and my boyfriend doing meal prep for my lunches for the week.

How fucking lucky am I?!  

And yet, even with all that help, I still feel like I'm barely hanging on. (Fuck, here come the waterworks again...) I still barely have money for food and gas after paying bills. I am constantly apologizing to the kids for not being able to take them out to eat or buy them toys, which is what they're accustomed to. My 6-year-old has started pointing out that Mommy doesn't have money, so I'm pretty sure I'm saying that phrase too much. Last week he asked why we can't go on vacation like so many of his friends are doing. Sorry, Mommy doesn't have any money. Sorry, Mommy can't even afford a new drain plug so your bathwater will actually stay in the tub, or new tennis shoes because yours are looking really rough, or that bottle of wine she so desperately wants. 

I feel like a failure as a mother. 

People keep telling me that's not the case. They keep telling me I'm a good mother, and I'm doing all that I can, and the kids have lots of toys and they're doing well. Logically, I know this. But Anxiety and Depression tell me otherwise. Constantly. And right now, they're working together to really beat it into me. Because next week it will have been one year since I was told I'd be going through my third divorce. (Yes, I'm a failure three times over!) It's been one year, and I really thought I'd have my shit together by now, but I'm sooo far from it. Hell, we haven't even filed for divorce to get the damn thing over with because that would require money.

I have such an amazing support system, but even that isn't enough to quiet the depression right now. Last week, I was walking down the stairs at work and thought Maybe I'll just throw myself down the stairs. Maybe I'll get the eternal sleep and not have to deal with feeling this way anymore. Surely everyone would be better off without me bringing them all down all the time. Or maybe I'll just get a concussion and break my neck - I'd get a few weeks in the hospital where I can just sleep all the time and not deal with life. 

Yes, I know it doesn't work like that. And no, I couldn't do that to my loved ones. But the thought keeps popping up. I have it when taking the stairs at work, I think about stepping out in front of a car when walking across campus, I think about driving my car off the road and into the river... It's recurring, and it's scary. I recognized that since my depression has reached this point, it's time to get help. I can't afford to see my therapist (yay for high deductible insurance plans!) but luckily there is an employee assistance program (EAP) through work that offers therapy free of charge on a short-term basis.

I saw the EAP therapist on Friday. I'll see him again next week. He encouraged me to speak with my physician about adjusting my medications. I'll schedule that appointment today.

So, I recognize that my mental health was getting out of hand, and going to a really bad place, and I took action before it got the best of me. I'm still not doing great, but my bouts of crying have tapered off to only a few a day over the last few days.

I always say I'm not going to let Anxiety win. Well, Depression doesn't get to win either. I just have to keep telling myself that.

If you or someone you love is contemplating suicide:
Text CONNECT to 741741 from anywhere in the USA, anytime, about any type of crisis.


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