I dislike negativity, I don’t want to give it life. And that is the last thing I wanted to consume this space with. Y’all already went through six months of me whining about me missing my husband, now I am depressed with him home? But the reality is, it’s true. Our transition hasn’t been easy and my anxiety and depression hasn’t helped. I reallllly hate to quote Dr. Phil but “You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.” And it’s time I acknowledge and face up to the fact that I do struggle with depression and anxiety. It is more than just a bad day or even season of life.
I think I am more settled and have a little more clarity on how I feel. It wont be perfect by any means, it was written through tear swelled eyes and but it is from my heart.
I apologize ahead of time for the length.
In hindsight I know this is something I have struggled with for probably ten years now. It has’t always been this deep or all consuming but I got pretty good at distracting myself also.
Looking back now, how did it all start? Was it the unresolved feelings? Mistakes? The miscarriages? The move, loss of friends? Rollercoaster of hormones after having three babies in three years? The weight loss, then gain? Lack of sleep? The constant grey skies? Or a compilation of it all and more…
For me Depression and Anxiety..
It is the grey skies that are over my head. It’s the cloud that can dampen even the happiest moments of my life with my children, because in my mind its always around the corner. Ok, today or even the last few days have been good. Little anxiety and I am happy- so when will the next cloud come? When will the happiness fade? What will send me into the hole again.
For those that know me in real life often are a little surprised that I have been experiencing these feelings, for so long. Simply because I am typically known to be a smiley, open and usually bubbly personality.
“That’s the thing about depression:
A human being can survive almost anything,
as long as she sees the end in sight.
- But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily,
that it’s impossible to ever see the end.
The fog is like a cage without a key”
But if I were honest with myself and you; during the times that I am doing “ok” I make a point to get out. To stick to our plans or family events. And it takes every ounce of my energy to try and act like I am my smiley fun self. I don’t simply slap on a smile to fake everyone out. To come across as perfect, I do it more so because I would hate for my unhappiness to affect anyone else around me. More than it has already. To waste their energy on worrying about me.
I also do not want to wallow in my sorrow. I WANT to be HAPPY. And sometimes I fake it until I can make it through the rough patches. It’s exhausting – I will probably say that often, because it best describes me lately. I was exhausted in all areas.
For me depression and anxiety is a thief. At times something I feel I cant escape it’s grasp.
Depression and anxiety leaves me hopeless, even on days that anyone else call ‘typical’ or ‘normal’. As a Mother I know it’s something I am not alone in but it certainly feels lonely. The monotony.. The constant grind of giving. Mom brain. Lack of sleep. Opening my eyes in the morning and feeling defeated before my feet hit the ground. Feeling guilty as I know I only have so much patience to give my boys and saddened that I even feel this way. Because I know how blessed I have to have them. I love being their mama. I want to have the patience to not give in to their tantrums or take the time to allow them to help with housework. I want to be stronger for them. To love them fiercely and guide them well.
Feeling inadequate as a housewife.
During my cycle of dark days folding the mound of laundry or scrubbing high chairs seem like such daunting tasks. My to do list stacks up and it just continues to overwhelm me. I hate it. I am the creative- distracted mind type so tidiness isn’t my natural way but I certainly don’t want to be a slob or a pack rat..
“I just want to feel like myself”, I will say as I lean my head on my husband’s shoulder.
A man who has been my rock. He has been so incredibly supportive and loving during these time. But I feel for him. In the thick of it, he will come home and see me zoning out over a sink of dirty dishes in the same clothes he saw me in when he lightly kissed my forehead before he snuck out of bed for work. I can tell he’s not always sure how to approach me, other than another endearing kiss and a good hug. I find myself apologizing over and over again. Apologizing for a messy kitchen, for being short, for forgetting to cook dinner, for it all- because I know I am not on top of my game. I know I am not at my best. I also have guilt because I know how I feel affects him, it has to be so frustrating. And he has enough on his plate already.
But I am so tired.
So tired of being cooped up in the house but being too tired to actually get dressed in something other than yesterdays tee shirt, chasing three toddlers around and actually holding a conversation. At times it is really overwhelming to even be around people. Even those I love very dearly. “It’s probably best to just avoid people today” I will tell myself. Plus the guilt of knowing how much work I am leaving at home. It can become this nasty cycle. A hamster wheel of anxiety then depression that I can seem to get off of at times.
There are days I am so frustrated with myself. Screaming at inside to snap out of it. Because the sad part is that nothing is terribly wrong, even on the worst day of my life there is someone who has had it far worse than me. But still there seem to be moments, hours or even days that I can’t seem to shake feeling so low. But man when life throws us a curve ball sometimes it hit or miss if I am able to handle it with an ounce of grace.
Depression and Anxiety opens the door to compare myself to everyone’s highlight reel.
Comparing my beginning to their middle. Their work against mine. Their opportunities. Their sunny days to our rain. To the point where I no longer felt comfortable to share myself here, with all of you.
Literally so insecure. And for someone who works mainly is in creating image content for brands to use on their social media outlets and websites, it was heavily affecting my work. And on top of it trying to gain the guts to start my own photography business. My creativity felt dead. Even picking up my camera to document my boys (which is usually a fun and light hearted) became a disappointing attempt each time. Which is SO silly I know.. Just shows you how incorrect I was thinking.
Deep down I know the posts I scroll through are special beautiful moments but in reality its just snippet of everyone’s life. We all have our “stuff”.
I have had a hard time the last six to eight months being open, vulnerable and real in this space. Which makes me sad because this is exactly why I started Kristle’s Clarity. To have a creative outlet, document our life and to also share my story in hopes others will feel that they can too. It has been exhausting pretending everything is peachy all the time. Trying to keep up with those around me.
So I took a step back and decided I am going to still share images that I love in my own style because expressing myself through photography still brings me joy and I am excited to pursue my new business; but I also want/need to share my (our) story. I will try to not be too negative and just journal from my heart and feelings. Write my way through the search for clarity. It might not be for everyone but if it helps just one person its worth all the nerves.
I do think it is important that every good thing and moment is to be celebrated, to be held onto. And that is what I have been able to share with you. Because of my dark days with anxiety and depression I do think it makes my blue skies even bluer and the warm of the sun even more comforting. I celebrate and take joy in such little things. But I owe it to myself to stay true and not get too caught up. If you’ve made it this far I want to thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings. I just needed to put it out there to move forward. Feels a little scary but really freeing.
Have Faith + Coffee Tee from @mrs.paulina.wise .