Monday, November 21, 2011

THE WAY THE WORLD TURNS - My Battle With Depression

Inspired by the song “The Way the World Turns” – Sanctus Real 
I remember sitting on my living room floor, unable to get out of my pajamas, unable to open the curtains, barely able to make food for my children. I remember sitting there in that moment thinking that I couldn’t just ‘happy thought’ my way out of this one. I had already tried. I had never been here before and I knew I needed help. I felt like I was in a very deep, narrow, hole and I didn’t know how to get out. I had no good friends to call, none that I would bother with this. What had kept me above the surface so far was a small group I was attending…And now we were on a break for Christmas and I was sinking deeper and deeper.

“Doubt and sadness have kept me in fragments
longing for a better life”
I had been taking care of my Mother-in-law for almost 6 months at this point. She had dementia. Neither Dan nor I had ever heard of it, and we didn’t realize that her memory was a problem…until we realized it was a BIG problem. My Father-in-law (bless his heart) had passed away 16 months prior. Being the loving, upstanding, ‘stand by your woman’ kind of guy he was, had covered up and hid my Mother-in-law's ever increasing memory problems leaving them to us to figure out the hard way. I had quit my job 4 months after he passed to stay home with my newborn and our older son. Dan had just left his job of 12 years to start a new career at another company. We were in the middle of re-modeling my Mother-in-Laws house, so that it could be considered decent, for someone in her condition, to live out the rest of her days. It had been 3 months since the cancer, that was supposed to take her life in 2005, had returned. She was given 3-6 months to live if they didn’t take her arm. She had chosen to keep her arm and meet the Lord. It’s hard to remind someone of that over and over. We had moved her to a care facility that could manage the cancer and dementia and I had been to visit her every other day since.
“And I feel the current pulling me down, I can’t keep the world from turning around”
I had been reading book after book on how to handle someone with dementia and each one was telling me that I had to lie to her. Lying was the one, very specific thing I gave up the moment I was baptized. I remember letting it go. Why do you have to lie to her you ask? For her own good, to keep her calm, so that the person in the conversation without dementia doesn’t spend time spinning wheels that will be soon forgotten.  Let me give you an example: “Adrian, is my car fixed yet? I’d like Daniel to bring me my car now, I need to get out of this place.” “ Yes Mom, you’re car is fixed. I’ll call Dan and have him bring it to you tonight.” Complete lie! There is no point in upsetting her, by telling her she is in no condition to drive when she can’t even remember what condition she is in. Plus, she will forget this conversation ever happened in less than 30 minutes. Every book explained to me that telling her lies like this would save my frustration level because we wouldn’t have to go over it and over it again. With every lie I would silently ask the Lord for forgiveness and I would feel myself slipping further into this hole I now found myself in.
Empty moments when I feel hopeless have left me restless inside”
Any attempt at digging my self out of this hole, only got me deeper. I was tired and anxiety ridden…
At this point in the realization of my depression, it was December. I hadn’t been to see her in 2 weeks. I couldn’t…I couldn’t  hardly move. The thought of going Christmas shopping brought me so much anxiety that I had a hard time breathing. I knew I needed help. I remember telling Dan that I thought I needed to see a Doctor and he just stared at me. Dan was dealing with his own depression; he had hardly spoken since his Dad died. I asked him if he would go too, and he told me 'no', and the look on his face told me that was the end of the conversation.
I didn’t see the Doctor much. In fact, I didn’t have a regular Doctor I went to. It was always drop-in clinics for minor things. The thought of calling a Doctor and telling a complete stranger what was going on made me cry. Actually getting in the car and going to the Doctors office made me cry, and while sitting there in the waiting room, uncontrollably, I cried. I had no energy to care who was in there or what they thought of me.
I had no power to do anything. So I accepted the help of an anti-depressant. 
Yes, I am admitting that I had to take pills to get better. I wish I could tell you that I just picked up my bible and began reading and something supernatural happened and we were all healed…that could have happened, but it didn’t. It was a much longer process than that.
I took those pills until Mildred passed away two months later. I probably should have taken them longer, but two months was enough to get me to the top of the hole. To a place where I could see hope again. I could, at least, get in my car and drive it somewhere. This is where the real battle began, not only to finish hoisting myself up and out, but for Dan. There is no way I could leave him behind.
Taking those pills enabled me to be well enough to be able to read up on depression, and start reading my bible to gain some armor and go to battle. Only after taking those pills did things start to get hard. Battles were fought daily and silent to the human ear. No one knew what was going on inside of me. I battled insecurity, loneliness, exhaustion, fear, doubt, and anger. Anxiety became a close friend of mine. The only difference between pre-pills and post pills, was now I could process everything, and with that came feeling it. 

I would wake up with it every morning and go to bed with it every night. There would be no relief in sight until Dan was safely on the other side.
It took two years until God started slowly answering the prayers of my heart along with bringing some healing of the losses we had taken, and another year on top of that to rid our lives of everything that had caused us anxiety and stress in the first place….One thing at a time, God lifted from me. 
“Cuz You’re the hope of a new sunrise, breaking over our desperate lives”
Everything, except anxiety…we became too close to be separated. I still have hope that one morning I will wake up without having to talk myself into believing that there is nothing TODAY to be anxious about. That TODAY I am virtually stress free. That TODAY looks pretty darn good. Maybe it’s because I know I’m not promised that tomorrow will be the same.
What I am promised is this: My prayers are heard, and if I allow it, my heart healed. The timing is not mine, but I trust that it is perfect. Sometimes, help comes from unexpected places, ones that others may judge or label me for. Freedom comes from not caring what others think and remaining in the security of my Savior. 
God can use all circumstances for his Glory. 
“So I’ll keep on turning to You”.
Listen to “The Way the World Turns” at:

As Adrian has chosen to be transparent, I know there are many who can relate and feel isolated. Break the silence today by just responding to his blog - How are you dealing with your black hole? Do  you have a network of support or one person you can talk to in your life right now? Those of you who have come out of your hole, how did God lead you on your journey? Let's be honest and real with one another ladies -- it's healing.

Adrian Kashporenko

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