I’ve had bouts of depression and anxiety since high school (maybe longer, but it was at that time that I realized that something wasn’t right). There, I said it. Now I don’t want to act like it’s been absolutely horrible because that’s certainly not the case, but it’s affected me and probably some relationships in my life at some point (and perhaps, still is). Before I go any further, I want to say that I’m obviously no psychologist or therapist, but I’ve seen a handful over the past fifteen years or so. I’ve truly analyzed their perspectives and have taken what they’ve said into consideration. This post is obviously about our path of loss and infertility and how it can be linked with depression and anxiety. However, it can be related to other difficult situations we may encounter throughout our lives.
****If your depression ever gets too deep and you have thoughts of suicide, PLEASE get help. One such number is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
We found out about the miscarriage on September 10, 2015. I mentioned many times before that I numbed myself from the pain for many months and used school, working out, and taking on DIY projects and crafts to keep myself busy. Sure, I had days where I didn’t want to get out of bed or times when I cried in the shower, but I made myself switch gears to the “not feeling” mode. It was when we learned that Tyler was going to be deployed within a matter of two weeks in July 2014 that I broke down inside.
I blogged here and there throughout his deployment about military life and gave updates on how my testing and cycles were going. I did open up in some of the posts, but I didn’t discuss how I was really feeling. You see, I’m an open book when it comes to many things in life, but I have trouble talking about my own feelings and feel as though it’s too personal for me. I also don’t like attention, so I tried telling myself that everything was okay. It wasn’t.
While I never had thoughts of hurting myself or suicide (and thankfully, I never have), I was in a really dark place. I finally allowed myself to feel everything I was holding within. And it wasn’t good.
- The anger about the miscarriage. I was flat out pissed off that our joy was stolen from us out of nowhere. We heard the baby’s heartbeat twice, and I grew connected to him/her which later on I felt so absolutely foolish about.
- The frustration of time. We had been trying again for 8 months before Tyler deployed. So many people told me that women are more fertile after a miscarriage and/or D&C. Well, what the fuck was wrong with me? Then, my husband leaves for 9 months to a war-zone. Nine months is the length of a school year. The duration of a pregnancy. I was frustrated because we were at a standstill, and my anxiety was sky high as I was worried every day for Tyler’s safety. I thought it was cruel of the universe to have us endure the miscarriage, trouble trying to conceive again, then allow a deployment.
- I didn’t feel strong AT ALL. I’d hear it all the time. “You’re so strong” or “How do you do it?” or “I’d never be able to do it”. Ironically, that year was probably the weakest I had ever been in my entire life. More tears were shed, more alcoholic beverages were consumed (this does NOT help depression and anxiety at all, I know that), and more emotions took over me than ever before. However, I hid it. I was fine at work (in fact, probably more than fine)- I put a smile on my face, did what I had to do, and learned a lot, but behind closed doors in my own home was another story.
- Resentfulness. Once my emotions were unleashed and my misery surfaced, I felt resentful towards family and friends that seemed like they didn’t care. Some may say this is selfish, but when you quickly do a downward spiral, you aren’t thinking very clearly or logically. I mean, I knew the whole world wasn’t going to come to a complete halt because Kim felt sad- I’m not an idiot. And if anyone asked how I was doing, you better believe 9 times out of 10 I said okay or good, so how the hell would anyone even know? My mom, aunt, and best friend knew, but they know me. Often times when you over analyze things too much, you create problems that weren’t even there to begin with. Perhaps this is what I did, but I remember thinking, “What is the point of having relationships if people aren’t there in time of need? Losing the baby, month after month of trying and tests, and now husband is across the world and I’m alone in Texas”. Dramatic, I know 😉 But it’s how I felt, and I’m not going to be ashamed about it anymore.
- Jealousy. It is one of the ugliest feelings, yet I felt it often. When I first started working at my job, I’d feel it all the time as children are around a lot. I’d look at their parents and think, “Are you fucking kidding me? How did these dopes get blessed with a kid and we can’t?”. I’m not sure how it happened, but a few months before Tyler got home, I suddenly stopped being jealous and simply thought about how damn cute (or annoying) they were. Social media is another monster in itself. Some people don’t see the big hairy deal about social media and why people get all bent about it. If you’re one of those people, good for you. But back then, I’d think, “This isn’t Facebook- this is freaking Babybook”.
Pregnancy and birth announcements flooded my feed. Before I go any further, let me get one thing clear: Although these announcements put me in tears (or a sob fest depending on how stable I was that day), I was always, and always will be, genuinely happy for the couple. I may have not been doing well myself, but I’d never wish ill upon others. I truly believe that many people are naive to how seeing the announcements (or statuses bitching about pregnancy all the time. It’s one thing to vent once in a while, and believe me- I want to hear about experiences in late pregnancy. Or holding their belly in every.single flipping.photo- it’s like women thing it’s going to fall off or something for Pete’s sake) can be a trigger. If one has only experienced falling pregnant easily and have a happy, healthy pregnancy, they don’t know any better!
The point is, I felt all of these things while wishing away my days so I could just feel my husband in my arms again. Women’s belly’s and families were growing while my goal was to just try to function like a normal human being in public. I told my doctor about how I was feeling in the midst of it all, and she prescribed me the lowest dose of Zoloft. I took it for a couple of months, but I didn’t really feel any differently and didn’t want to increase my dosage (don’t ask me why).
After my husband returned and we took a trip home, I called Military One Source to get in touch with a therapist in the area. Military One Source offers support to the military community, and one of the benefits they offer is counseling for pretty much anything! I knew that I still wasn’t myself and I realized that while being back in the Midwest. I was connected with a lady here in Texas and did six sessions (you get 12 for free for each circumstance. I also did 12 sessions when we first moved here). Honestly, it was hard with my work schedule and her schedule to fit in sessions, but as I mentioned earlier in this post, this lady opened my eyes to why I feel or act certain ways.
I’ve also learned that instead of trying to fight the situations in life that you can’t control- you MUST come to peace with them. You cannot control other people’s action’s, but you can certainly control how you react to them. This concept is obviously way easier said that done, haha. I’ve had my fair share of outbursts, but I’m getting better at accepting the person or the situation at it is. It’s a work in progress 😉
One more thing I should mention- I was never very religious which you can read about HERE. I started really thinking about religion in June, and it wasn’t until I went to Colorado with my best friend in August that I started opening my heart up to it more. I don’t have to be super religious and go to church every Sunday to have faith. I know some people that are like that but are actually complete turds in real life. We see that type of shit on the news as well. I’m not going to discuss now as there will be another post about this topic, but it’s something I wanted to touch on briefly as it’s also slowly helped bring me a sense of peace. And I don’t get annoyed anymore when people say that they’re praying for us. Instead, I truly believe it and appreciate the fact that they care so much about us to do so (my hubby’s view on religion is the same though! haha).
This post was hard for me to write as it took me back to some dark days and disagreements I had with others. Depression and anxiety can be so incredibly consuming, no matter how good you think you’re hiding it. A smile only goes so far, and those that know you best or are closest to you will recognize that behind it are tears…Know that it’s okay to feel the way you do, but remember- you have to help yourself instead of solely relying on others to help you 🙂