11 April 2011

H is... Hope, A to Z Challenge

Hope is what keeps me going when I'm at my lowest.  Hope is my life saver.

I suffer from depression.  It's been a part of my life for a very, very long time.  When I was 11 or 12, my parents split up and I had a hard  time with it.  I wanted to hurt myself because I was convinced that it was my fault that they were splitting.  My mom took me to talk to a therapist.  He was a nice enough guy, and it helped for a little while.  But depression - at least clinical depression - has a way of sticking around, hiding in the shadows until your defenses are down.  

I know that I had rough times in High School and some in college.  I know there were thoughts of suicide.  But things didn't get really bad until I was in my incredibly unhealthy relationship.  I was made to feel that I was worthless which, with my already low self-esteem, pushed me further down.  I didn't get help until I was at the lowest I'd ever been - when I called my best friend to say goodbye because I was going to slit my wrists.  She called the cops and I went into a psych hospital for the weekend.  And from there, I got help.

I've been with therapists off and on since them.  Sometimes I didn't have the insurance to cover going, let alone to cover the essentials meds that kept me on a more even keel.  I dropped low during those times.  There were times when I thought I was ok and didn't need talk therapy or meds any longer.  That's when Depression would pull me back into the shadows, sometimes with baby steps so I didn't realize it until someone opened my eyes to it.

I still suffer from depression.  I always will.  But I have one thing going for me now.  Something I had all along but couldn't always see.  I had hope.

When I'm feeling down because I haven't done the things that I need to do, it's hope reminds me that tomorrow will be a better day and I can pick up from where I left off.

When I feel like my kids will never listen to me, it's hope that reminds me they'll grow out of it.  They're 5 and 2, after all.  Not prime listening ages.

When I feel like I can't get out of bed because it would never matter if I did, it's hope that reminds me that there are people who love me and they are wondering where I am. It also reminds me that I have two fantastic little boys who, while they may drive me insane sometimes, they also need me in body, soul and heart.

Sometimes hope is a little voice in my mind, counteracting the voice that tells me I'm worthless.  Sometimes it delivers itself through the hands of another - a phone call, an e-mail, a comment on my blog.  Sometimes it comes in the feeling of little arms around me and little voices saying, "I love you, Mommy."  Sometimes it arrives with my husband's caress, reminding me he still finds me sexy.

It doesn't matter how it makes itself known to me.  What's important is that it does make itself known to me.