Depression; it is a killer. It takes away people’s lives, passions, desire, dreams, hope, happiness, love and all the other great things. It slows us down and stops us from doing a lot. Some people can have their happy moments and some who are in a constant state of depression and each of us deals with it in our own way; there is no right or wrong way.
Some of us don’t even really know we are depressed, we simply feel like we are just living our lives just constantly asking ourselves why we are here, what we are meant to do and what’s next. I am one of those.
I will fast forward to just about a week ago. I decided to make a decision that I knew I would have to make if I really wanted to get anywhere in my life. Not just by moving up in the corporate world because believe me, I want out. It took weeks of meditation and self-reflection, a whole lot of drinking and hang overs, photos of my “fat body” as I call it and an old woman giving up her seat for me in an uncrowded streetcar because she thought I was pregnant. That was my lowest point and that’s what really flicked the switch to the on position.
When I was young, I was sexually abused by two people, a family member and one not but connected to me in another way. I kept this all hush-hush but one day when I couldn’t hold it in any longer, I had to tell someone. That spiraled into me losing access to my siblings and leaving me feeling alone and like a bad person. This is where the depression deepened because not long before this, my father had passed away so I was dealing with the emotions of that.
Once it came time for me to start being sexually active, I would find myself in situations with my partner(s) which would remind me of the previous abusive experiences and I would shut down. This is when my depression really kicked in. I had no one to talk to about it and I knew if I spoke up about the family incident, I’d lose another part of my family; so I kept quiet and continued through life feeling the pain.
Before I turned of legal drinking age, I would of course find my way to alcohol – whether it be someone buying it for me or taking it from others, it was the only way that I could get myself to sleep or to numb any sort of pain I was feeling while actually having sex.
This eventually became a daily ritual, first going through a 6 pack of beer each night then bottles of wine, bottles of vodka, the list goes on – and then I was introduced to sleeping pills. Bad, bad, bad mix, people. Please don’t do that and I’ll explain why shortly. But drugs, though I tired pot and hash, I never wanted to get into the drugs – alcohol and mixing pills were my choice of drug.
Fast forward all the crazy things I did from teenage to early thirties. I got pregnant (purposely with what would be my husband, also purposely) and all that came to a halt. I wasn’t interested in harming my child in any sort of way so I became, a normal person. But the depression crept up on me. I was despising the word sex let alone having to do it and to make it worse, I had a husband who was being affected by it. Life went on, things happened had baby number two and then I found myself a sinlge mother with a 3 year old and a 6 month old – all because of my past. I didn’t know how to deal with it except with booze and food.
Side note: since having my first through to now, the sleeping pills are no longer a thing for me.
For anyone that knows me or follows me on Instagram, they know that my body issues are a big pain for me. I know the change that needs to be made. Though I was told by my doctors to stop working out to avoid my back and hip pain, I know that by eating healthy and properly, I can lose a bunch of weight; working out just helps get there a bit quicker. I’ve done it before, I can do it again. But, I still was struggling mentally to see where I fit in. To understand why I was worthy enough to even feel good in my body again. I am broken so what man is going to want me. If I don’t get the help I need, all of my relationships will fail so why even try bothering – therefore, when my kids went to their dads, I would drown myself in alcohol and poutine or whatever unhealthy thing I could find.
My kids have only ever seen me drink if I’m at a friend’s house having a glass of wine but my daughter knows all about the mommy store (aka Liquor Store) because every time we are out for a walk, that’s one of our stops. The alcohol stays in the cupboard until they are sleeping and then to release the pain of whatever is going on in my life, or lack-there-of, I have a drink or three.
I’ve never been drunk or even buzzed with them around in my home; I’m too paranoid that something will happen and if I am ever in a state where I can’t react immediately or get them help, I would never let myself live that down. But believe me, any time they are not around (with their father for a couple of days), the first thing I do is reach for that bottle or head to the liquor store to get more.
Every day I would wake up with a headache or my sinuses would be congested, even if it was just a glass of wine. My energy was so low, constant headaches, laziness, irritable, bitchy and the crappy list goes on. I think because I’ve been that person that’s always wanted to help people but never could figure out where I fit to do such a thing, I felt lost. Not only was I feeling horrible about everything else I was dealing with but I couldn’t figure out where my life was going. Everything was just going in circles. I got a new job I thought I would love and would make me happy, but it hasn’t.
I kept feeling this push; a push to stop this craziness – so I hopped back onto the meditation wagon and this is where things started to change. I started to notice things popping up in my life where it looked like the Universe was telling me which direction I needed to go but wasn’t going to get there just sitting at home wondering and asking how I was going to make an impact in the world. The more mediations I had (still while drinking late that evening), the more clarity came to me – hazy clarity, (total oxymoron) but I really did start to see things differently. I knew it all along but maybe it was just timing. Maybe I had to go through all of this stuff and damage my poor body the way I had in order to learn a lesson. I still don’t know the lesson but a great thing happened.
I got sick of it all – nothing of what I was doing was working except being a Mom. I Mom well, I push my kids to learn yet show them and promote kindness to them in many ways. I take them places to experience things and learn things, I teach them they need to be themselves and not worry about what others think and most importantly they can talk to me about anything.
The last thing in the world that I want is for my kids to feel as though if they tell me something, I won’t believe them or it will get them in trouble. Having to go through that myself, I would never put that on my kids. And I’m super protective – I would never let my children around a man by themselves (except their father) until I knew full well that they felt comfortable coming to me in any situation. It sucks that I have to live like that but it is what it is.
I haven’t drank in a week and I’m actually despising the thought of drinks simply because I hate the hangovers. Wow, a week, you say. But to me, that’s huge. Many of you might be surprised by the fact that my drinking had been like that but now it’s not. I’ve already felt so many benefits from this – my sleep has gotten so much better, mediations are clearer, less headaches, less stomach issues, I can POOP without pills, more energy, my happiness is coming back, my joy for life and my purpose is starting to reveal itself and that is exactly what I’ve been waiting for. Everything great that I used to feel so many years back is finally coming back.
I feel like now is the time to share this. I’m being pulled to share it so it’s that simple – here I am. I have a lot to share and I know I can help others by telling these stories so why not? I no longer have any shame in my story – I understand that what I’ve gone through is a combination of things I just needed to experience and learn from. It was tough and I’m sure there will be tough things that lie ahead but I am happy to experience them and come out stronger in the end.
This isn’t to say I will never have a drink again but this is to say I will never have a drink or down a bottle, alone in my home, from depression. I am 100% committed to making my dreams into a reality and the only way I can do that is by ending these shenanigans. My children have always been my priority and though they will remain so, it’s time I make myself a priority just like them – they deserve a happy Mom.
There’s so much more I have to tell you…but in time.