I wish depression was something we talked about more often. Maybe then it wouldn’t be so grossly misunderstood.

In the hours and days following the tragic death of Robin Williams, I have seen and heard far too many times how “selfish” suicide is. The tone is that those who choose to take their own life are weak, are cowards.

I take that way of thinking very personally.

I hate to reciprocate judgement with judgement, but it’s difficult for me to believe that the people who say these things have ever experienced depression. It’s hard for me to believe they have any clue what the fuck they are talking about.

Depression is a beast. A lying, deceptive, convincing beast.

Depression has led me to believe, on more than one occasion, that I am not only a burden to my family and friends, but that I actually make life for them worse. By simply being, I lessen the quality of life for my husband, children, and everyone else around me.

I was diagnosed with a “mood problem” in February. A month later, doctors added an “anxiety problem” on top of that. I’ve battled this for years, pre-diagnosis. And, yes, I’ve survived this for years. But the thing about “mood problems” and “anxiety problems” is that they don’t just get better and they don’t just go away. My mood and anxiety issues have progressively worsened over the years – what started as grieving the deaths of my grandma and father turned into a full-blown battle with depression. A constant struggle to overcome something most people never saw.

Depression lied to me and made me believe that Big E would have a better life without a mother. It made me believe that he would be better off with no mother, than with me as his mother. It made me believe my husband would be happier as a widower than as a man married to me. And if it hadn’t been the gentle but forceful hand of my husband, that just might be the case today. Because to me, killing myself was not a selfish act. Yes, it would end my suffering… but even moreso, it would end my family’s suffering because they wouldn’t have to deal with me anymore.

Let me be very clear: I have wanted to die. On more than one occasion, I have wanted to kill myself. On more than one occasion, my husband has taken fistfuls of pills out of my hands. Because it felt like the only way to make anything better.

Depression is not rational. Depression does not make sense. Depression does not allow for rational thinking.

Medication helps; Zoloft helps… sometimes. And sometimes it’s enough. But sometimes it’s not. I feel good today. I felt good yesterday. But tomorrow? Tomorrow is always uncertain.

 

Writing my heart out

52 Lists

I’m a couple weeks behind on this, but I saw this project on Amy’s blog and new that if I’m able to complete any project on a regular basis for an entire year, it’s one based on making lists.

52Lists

Yes, I know the logo says “for 2013,” but Moorea is bringing the project back for 2014. I like that there’s no set number of words you’re “supposed” to list, no real “rules.” She offers a weekly printout so you can collect your year’s worth of lists all in one place, physically, if you wish, but I’ll just be doing them here.

Week 1: List the words that touch your soul

Serenity.

Breathe.

Love.

Roots.

Hold.

Heart.

Quiet.

Sincere.

Sing.

Beauty.

Welcome.

Empathy.

 

52 Lists

Once upon a time, I swore up and down that I would never be a stay-at-home mom. Not because I saw shame in it, but because I didn’t think I’d be able to handle it. But now, staying at home with my son is all I want to do.

The difference between Then Kaci and Now Kaci is that Now Kaci has a better understanding about what being a SAHM is really about. It’s not about the continuous laundry or cleaning up the never-ending messes or constantly fighting your toddler’s urges to act like, well, a toddler. Those are things a SAHM does on a daily basis, but that’s not what it’s about.

It’s about providing for and taking care of your family in a completely different way, especially if you are used to bringing home a paycheck and providing medical insurance through your employer. It’s about being the support system, the backbone. This isn’t to say working moms don’t do these things. I’m a working mom – I do these things. But to stay at home with E would allow me to nurture his heart and soul like I believe only a mother can do.

Truth be told, I’m tired of wanting this so badly. So, recently, my husband and I decided to make some serious changes in our lives that will allow me to stay home and raise our children. We will be selling our house. I’ve notified my employer that I will not be returning to work after our baby is born in May. Our plan is to move back to my hometown (because, let’s be honest, I may not be a country girl but I am most definitely not a sagebrush girl) and buy a considerably cheaper house.

I couldn’t be more excited, especially because P is being so supportive of (and excited about!) these changes as well. He’s wanted to move to my hometown since I graduated from college (in 2008!) and I can’t even count the number of times he’s suggested it between then and now.

Onward and southward!

Etc.