I did what many family members of #TAKEN children do at this time of year; take a swan dive off the cliff of clinical depression, low self esteem, PTSD, and thoughts of "why bother".
It started Tuesday, and snaked its way in, thru, and out of my Thanksgiving. Thoughts of Jake are in every part of my day. I see him sitting on the edge of the couch, drinking chocolate milk, watching Elmo DVD's, as I sat there knitting, wondering how many times I had watched that Elmo movie in my then 14 years of having grandkids. Funny thing....or maybe sad....I tried to give that Elmo movie away a while back, and just could not bring myself to do it.
I ended last evening at 3 something this morning after about 4 hours of serious rocking out to my favorite songs.
I woke up and opened every shade and cleaned the living room, wood stove, brought wood in, rearranged furniture to accommodate the tree. Put the tree up and started decorating. All of that activity is a reaction to depression. I knew if I didn't get that tree up today....it would not be going up this year. It would have been the first time in 39 years that I did not put up a tree. So there is a small victory there.
Now that I am sitting in a clean, pine-sol'ed living room.....with a tree up.....I do feel better. I'm not sure how long it will last....but hey...I've got to grab lifelines in whatever form they appear in at this time of year.
My battle with clinical depression is life long. I spent years self-medicating and drinking to hold the depression at bay. Today I am not only sober but also grateful to be sober....a unique combination that eluded me for decades.
Such are the extreme high's and extreme lows of depression for "normal folk". Add the loss of a living child to the equation and the highs and lows become an endless ride on the Silver Bullet stuck on wide open! The pitch from the darkest depression to the manic phase of over-achievement can sling me into bed, praying for the sweet release of sleep.
I would be lying to you if I said, "Pray, God will get you thru it" or"it will be better in the morning" or that worst of comments "your going to have to get over it and move on". I hate it when people say it to me....and I won't disrespect you by saying it to you. But there it is....we are expected to closet the loss of a beloved #TAKEN child and pretend it never happened
Move on. Perk up. Function.
What society, the courts, and lawmaker's fail to realize is that there are now hundreds of thousands of families of origin that are struggling with the very same things, in the very same way that I am today....as I sit in my perfectly clean living room.....amazed that I managed to get all those things done....when what I really felt like doing was taking 2 Qualudes and going back to bed.
Depression is real. It is a killer. It will take you from 90 to nothing in 1.5 seconds. It is silent. Ugly. Deadly. It will make you lose a job, family and friends. It creeps in unawares, and sets up shop inside your brain when you least expect it.
The only thing I can say is: You are not alone. You are not diminished, less than whole, or flawed. You need to grab on to the raft and hang on for dear life until it passes. If you do not begin to feel better please reach out. Find someone to talk to. Don't expect too much of yourself. Rest. Recognizing depression for what it is and making small steps to deal with it is the very best thing to do.
Find a support group or someone you trust to talk with. If you have suicidal thoughts please reach out for help. There are suicide hot lines and services available.
There are plenty of advocates who are willing to talk one on one with you, or find a counselor or clergy that are willing to help you.
There are no easy answers to depression or the loss of a living child.
But there are people who care and I am one of them.
I saw Kristy reach out on posts saying if anyone needs to talk, she is available. I am also. Sometimes you have to narrow it down to this hour or this day to make it on thru....but please know....you have to hang on. Your #TAKEN child will search for you in the future and you have to be ready and waiting.