Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Depression and Miscarriage

I want to be completely and totally honest with you.

I never suffered from depression. Well, for my first 25 years.

I say this only because recently I've become more aware of just how prevalent depression is. I read a few blog posts about it from my favorite bloggers, many who I would never have thought would be dealing with something like that--but who actually battle depression on a regular basis.

Please forgive me, but I used to think depression was basically a nothing disease. What I mean by that is that I equated "depression" with "sadness". Or rather, with "choosing to be sad". I've been sad before. I don't stay sad long; I'm a really cheerful person and I know how to cheer myself up when I've feeling down. I go out with a friend, read a good book, snuggle with my husband...all three of these things lift my spirits, and dissipate my sadness.

But sadness is not depression. They are not the same, through I know when you are depressed you can be sad. I'm done thinking this way, although I think it is a common misconception.

I learned the difference between sadness and depression when I suffered my first miscarriage with my husband. About two months after that happened, my hormone levels plummeted and I became severely depressed.

I didn't know what was wrong with me. I would wake up and not want to get out of bed. The littlest thing would make me cry. I would cry and cry for hours and not know how to stop. I couldn't cheer myself up. I was just sad--even through I knew in my head that I didn't have any reasons to be so down (I mean, I am financially stable, have food, clothes, am married to an amazing man, have a awesome family and friends...) There was just no reason to cry so much! My feelings didn't make any sense to me. I couldn't cook, and I didn't even want to to get dressed in the morning. I went from silent and moody to bawling and back again 6 times an hour.

During this time I bought lots of things on the internet, because it would make me feel better for a few moments. I also lost myself in books, reading one or two a day, because it would make me forget who I was and be someone else. I wasn't reading for enjoyment or to cheer myself up--I was reading in pure desperation, to get so lost in something so my own sorrow couldn't touch me. When I finished a book I would cry and feel so listless because that world was done, and I couldn't get lost in it anymore, I had to come back and be me.

This lasted two weeks until one day I just woke up and it was like--like I could see again. I explained to my husband in this way: the world suddenly had color. I suddenly noticed it was there. It was still the same world, but before I couldn't see it at all.

I know two weeks isn't very long to suffer from depression, but to me it felt like forever. I was literally a different person.

It was really shocking to wake up like that. When my depression ebbed, I was still sad---but instead of controlling and overwhelming my entire person, my melancholy was now just a tiny part of my heart. Like thinning fog. Like waking up from a bad dream. I was still sad, but I could move. I could feel the tears, but now I could hold them back--when before I couldn't no matter how hard I tried.

I don't quite know how to explain it.

When my second miscarriage happened, I was really worried about becoming depressed again. I didn't want to put myself, or my husband through it.

But miscarriage effects your hormones. I knew it was going to happen. I prepared for it.

But, this time the depression is different. I don't know if any of you have ever been depressed in such a way where you felt detached from reality? Like, your on the phone with a friend, hearing her talk, hearing yourself respond, but feeling nothing? And feeling like you are watching yourself. I catch myself wondering if people can see that I'm faking emotions, faking being there? Because I don't feel like I'm here.

I just feel like a big lump right now. I'm not depressed in the way where I'm crying all the time. But I am depressed. I feel like my friends who hang out with me are just doing me a favor because they feel sorry for me (I know, in my head this isn't true. But my emotions are telling me this). I feel, many times, when others around me are connecting and speaking to each other--extremely detached and bewildered/ unsure how to respond. I don't know how to speak human.

It's was really annoying, but like the last time, my hormones straightened themselves out and, for lack of a better term, I'm back in my own body now.

If you've had a miscarriage--realize you are not alone.  And also know that losing a pregnancy can seriously affect your hormone levels. Depression is not uncommon after a miscarriage. Be aware! And get help. Because you will need it. I did, and I'm not ashamed of that in the least.

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