Stage 4 – DepressionMichelle Jeffreys
For sure! Depression is real! My first encounter with depression was when my son was born. Postpartum depression overcame me as a twenty year old who just had her first child, a big child at that and it was traumatizing in the sense that my body had completely changed and my life had completely changed. This type of depression was equally horrible, but so different. When I eased out of this depression I could not see it coming back, I understood why I felt the way I did and found ways to cope and manage the situation to improve the way I felt. I was lucky and this did not last more than a month for me and once it subsided, it never came back.
Another type of depression that I encountered was in my past marriage, which again I was able to understand why I felt this way and found ways to manage this as well. I wouldn’t say that any depression is managed perfectly but I seemed to have a grasp on it that was not as severe as the depression that I felt after Zoe died.
Depression after the loss of a loved one, is severe. It is a constant ebb and flow of emotional ups and downs. I remember my lack of caring over my messy home, dishes in the sink, laundry piled high. I remember not wanting to let my dog out and allowing her to mess on the carpet. Severe lack of caring about anything, including myself. The feeling of complete disorganization and not knowing how to dig yourself out of it. I began to hate the job I once loved so much. I began to hate working out, which was my job?! There is a distinct link to this and my depression; I spent many moments wondering how I could despise the one thing that I loved so much and I realized that my job, my workouts and my want to help others be their best was the reason that I was not at the school to save my child! This is how I rationalized this situation. I looked at my job and making time to workout as the reason my child died. This falls a bit under “Bargaining” but also was what sent me down the depression spiral. I resented the gym, my job and my personal time for wellness as “selfish” and if I had not been “selfish” I could have prevented this. But, this was not true.
Your brain becomes very irrational at times and this is all due to your depression as well. I went to counseling immediately following Zoe’s death, but I was not nearly ready to partake in the work that was involved. I recently went back last year and that is when the growth began. That is when I finally was able to release and let go of the guilt and darkness that filled me. I was able to speak and heal and acknowledge what I have been through. There is more work that will always need to be done, but I am thankful for where I am today.