Clinical Depression. It has a lot of fancy definitions but in my case it is simply a genetic flaw that has been passed down through generations of women on my mom’s side. It simply means I am missing a chemical that helps me to be happy. Even though EVERY THING in my life is wonderful, my husband, my home, my fur-babies, my business, some days I can’t find ONE thing to be happy about. Even though I KNOW I should be happy, I just can’t.
My depression started rearing its ugly head in 2002, when I entered high school. Doctors told me I was just going through a rough patch, most teenagers do, and I would be fine. They didn’t give me anything. I wasn’t fine.
The suicidal thoughts started not long after this. I used to walk home from school or the bus stop and the thought would come that if I stepped off the curb just a second too early, it could all be over. There were other plans but that was the most recurring. I had that thought every time I walked somewhere. I finally told someone and got a therapist.
I was doing well while I saw my therapist. I loved her. She made everything make sense. She gave me coping techniques. She didn’t want to see me on medication because she believed I could control this on my own and I was.
But then in 2006 my family made a major move, across the country and I had to leave my therapist. I was ripped from everything and everyone I knew. Now most people could cope with this, they could make new friends and be fine (my brothers were). I was not. My depression became worse than ever. Oh, I would go to work and college but my heart wasn’t in it. I would pray everyday that God would take me and I wouldn’t wake up the next day. I didn’t like the therapist I was seeing. He didn’t care as much as the other one. He didn’t give me coping techniques. Nope, medication. Sometimes they would work for a while but more often than not they didn’t work at all.
Years passed. I was living physically but mentally and emotionally I didn’t care about life at all. I knew, however, that suicide was not an option for me. I had seen first hand what suicide had done within my extended family and I vowed to never put any of my family through that again. So I was just going through the motions of life.
2009. 7 years of living with this depression beating me EVERY SINGLE DAY. I was living on my own at this point and remember standing in my bathroom. It was morning and I was about to take my anti-depressants. The fourth prescription in 3 years. I looked at myself in the mirror and KNEW I couldn’t keep going on like this. So I threw the pills in the trash. I KNEW I had to beat this on my own.
Every day was (and is) hard. Some days I can’t find one thing to be happy about. Even though I have a wonderful husband, our own business, adorable fur-babies, beautiful house, some days I can’t find a single reason to be happy. That’s my clinical depression rearing it’s ugly head. It’s hard but I know those days will pass. Those days come fewer and fewer now. Yes, they still come but when they do I let them happen and just remind myself over and over again that today will pass and tomorrow I will be able to be happy again.
I don’t know why my depression is clinical. I don’t know why God made me this way although sometimes I often believe it is because I am strong enough. Strong enough to make it without medication or a therapist. Strong enough to realize that my depression will come and then it will pass until the next time. Strong enough to realize that this will always be a part of me. And strong enough to realize that it DOES NOT DEFINE ME.
I am not Nikki, diagnosed with clinical depression. I am Nikki, wife, mom to three fur-babies, sister, daughter, grand-daughter, niece, business owner and MOST IMPORTANTLY, I am strong.