The first time I ever experienced depression was in my early twenties. I had felt sadness before this, heart break even. I had actually gone through a lot in my childhood that could and should have brought on depression before but didn’t, until then.
I actually didn’t even know I was depressed. Depression is such a tricky thing as it manifests in so many different ways. Like once I experienced headaches everyday for about 6 months. Most days it was very subtle but there were some days that my headache was sure to make it’s presence known. It was one such day after suffering for months that I stopped and acknowledge that I had a headache. I know this may sound a little weird that I was able to ignore it for so long but pain is something I had learnt to ignore a long time ago unless it is severe. At this was point in my life it was a few months after the birth of my third child, I had so much on my plate and in my busy-ness it was easy to overlook me. Apparently I was experiencing postpartum depression – weird because I was glad to have that kid out of me, I love babies but pregnancy, no way. The diagnosis must have been true though because the advice to take it easy as much as possible and stop to smell the roses worked.
But back to the first time I ever felt depressed. I think the way I felt actually matched the visual the word depressed brings to my mind, deflated. Most people who know me know I am pretty much a cheerful person. Yes there are some people who may disagree to this, lol and yes their perception may be true because unfortunately they managed to get under my skin. But generally I am a happy person but at that time in my life I felt deflated. The deflation didn’t happen with a quick pop either, it was a slow leak and then one day I checked my inner self and all the joy and cheeriness was gone.
I remember it like it was yesterday. My then husband was driving me to work and I was sitting quietly which this alone is an indication something was wrong, I usually don’t shut up. I turned and looked at him and quietly said “I’m not happy” and then the waterworks followed. See I hadn’t even realized I wasn’t happy because I am good at going through the motions and making the best of life but that day my reality hit me in the face and I needed my joy back.
So we agreed to go to counselling. We both knew the source of my sadness, his infidelity. Unfortunately, I couldn’t handle counselling it pained me too much to talk about the hurt, shame and betrayal I felt especially in front of the person who caused it. So we didn’t go back. Instead I decided to just bury the whole incident including the horrible hour spent at counselling talking about it. Seriously, I literally forgot that day completely until 10 years later I was reminded of it by my ex when again we found ourselves at marriage counselling. The mind is a very interesting thing. Makes me wonder what other memories I have suppressed in there?
So I hadn’t dealt with the hurt I had just pushed them aside and basically that did not work either. I should have known myself well enough then to know that if I didn’t deal with it I was going to strike back. I didn’t consciously take revenge but when it did happen I couldn’t deny the fact that is exactly what I did. Really the mind is an interesting thing!