**Trigger warning** This post contains parts that may trigger people who have depressive episodes.
Depression in the truest sense of the word is when you can not get out of your head to think forwards. You’re stuck and it feels like your spiralling down with no way out. You can’t see a time ahead that you’ll ever be happy again and you’re so beyond caring that you will.
I’d visited a depressive state of mind a few times over my lifetime, but not to this extent. I recognised it but this depth was something else. It’s unnerving to even think about how low I got into the black hole. It terrifies me writing this post because where I was was so revolting and soul destroying that it scares me to even think what may have happened had I let it consume me for longer than it did.
It took me a bit but I knew something had to be done. So I made a Dr’s appointment and worked on getting to a point where I wouldn’t spend my day wishing I was with him.
I’m not going to lie, all I wanted to do was die. I couldn’t think of a time where I would be ok now that my husband was not here and I couldn’t see beyond this patch of relentless depression. I was broken, more broken than any human should ever be. I couldn’t fathom a time when the fog would lift and I wouldn’t be trying to think of a way to no longer exist. Sorry. Blunt, but true.
How do you go on living when one of the people you were living for is dead? That was a complete mystery to me. I was without my soul mate. I was now just half a person. At least that’s how it felt.
I’d built my future around this guy. We had plans, we had dreams, we had each other. Now… Nothing.
What was the point of living?
There was only two ways I found that stopped my brain from plotting my own demise.
The first was my kids, or rather thinking about how my kids would feel what I’m feeling right now if I were to give up. The thought of them being so broken and hurting would drag me from my funk momentarily because I couldn’t deal with the thought that anything I did would hurt them. Nor the thought of them having to build a life after losing both my husband and myself. Heartbreaking.
The second was Gilmore Girls on DVD. I watched seasons 1-7 entirely x 4. That’s right, when I got to the last episode, I just went back to number 1.
It required no thought, the characters were mostly cheery, their problems were nothing and their talking filled 95% of the airtime making it easier to tune out from my own brain.
I don’t think I left the couch for 3-4 weeks. People came and went and I barely spoke. I just lay there, staring at the television or sleeping. I did a whole lot of sleeping.
People were worrying about me, panicking because I was quite open about my frame of mind. I figured if I just said it out loud, then I would hold myself accountable. If I just told them I just wanted to be dead but that I was aware of the repercussions of that, they’d leave me be to figure it out. I was relying on them trusting that my former rational thinking would prevail and I’d come good. I wasn’t even sure of this myself so it was a big ask to make them trust I’d come out of this. I wasn’t even sure I would to be honest but I knew somewhere in there, in my sea of pain and hurt, the old me – the survivor was sure to come forward and pull her shit together. Maybe?
Clearly I know myself pretty well. Instinctually anyhow. Deep down, I knew I’d get through this but there were parts of me that didn’t think I would because the pain was so great that I couldn’t see how I’d ever feel any different. I honestly knew during that time how people died from heartbreak. My heart was shattered and I kind of wished through all of that that it would just stop beating of it’s own accord. It sure felt like it would.
How horrendous is that? I thought my body would just give up, so revolting was the physical pain caused by my loss.
I would cry to him, asking him to just come and get me because I couldn’t do this without him. I was so weak from the unending grief.
Then one day, I just didn’t want to feel that anymore and so I made my Dr’s appointment. I had had enough. I knew I couldn’t do it and so I had to find a solution.
I sat in the Dr’s office and literally said to him, “My husband died and I just want to be dead, please prescribe me something so I don’t feel this way anymore.”
He asked me if I needed to put me on suicide watch and I told him I didn’t care what he did, just help.
He concluded that as I’d come voluntarily and asked for help that it was unnecessary to alert mental health professionals about my state as I was likely to continue to ask for help if I needed it as I’d already made that step.
Blah blah blah. Whatever. I didn’t care what his action plan was. I know what the mental health system is like, not like they’d be beating down my door begging to help me.
The anti-depressants helped. A tiny bit at first but enough. They helped to lift the veil at least. I became less suicidal and moved into just the regular kind of heartbreak. Is there a regular kind? Who knows. Alls I cared about was that I didn’t want to do myself in with each breath I drew.
I still spent a lot of my days spontaneously sobbing and feeling like I might drown from the waves of grief but I could see the tiniest glimmer of hope on the horizon, I’d get through this. It would be difficult and I didn’t know when I’d turn the corner but I knew at some point, it wouldn’t be this bad.
Time passed and I actively worked on not feeling shit. I worked on my spiritual side, meditating, faking positive, trying to trick myself into believing that I was ok. I read books and articles online about the after life, life purposes and stories written by other young widows so I could instil a more positive view for my future. I was pro-active in my recovery from this. I’d say things out loud like, “I will not be a victim to circumstance” and “He’d be furious watching me fall apart like this so I’ve got to keep it together.” I don’t know when it changed for me but the penny must have dropped somewhere along the line and suddenly I wasn’t so bad.
The outbursts slowed, the sobbing got less, the functioning was easier than before. The blunt trauma of my grief was healing and I was starting to think straight. I was making plans, leaving the house, wanting to live a little more. I still had my moments of getting out of bed in the morning and realising that today wouldn’t be a good day so I’d climb straight back into bed and cry but for the most part, I was getting there.
I’d gone from surviving second by second, to minute by minute, to hour by hour and was heading into day by day. It might not seem like much but that progress was huge. Before I knew it, a week was going by and I was still here and not doing too badly.
I found myself feeling bad because I thought I was doing so well. The guilt was quite overwhelming actually. I’d find myself saying things like, “How is it that I’m doing this well, how could I possibly when he no longer exists? Is this a reflection of how I felt about him?” But it wasn’t, he and everyone who knew us as a couple knew how much I loved that guy. My progress had nothing to do with my level of love for him. He was the only man I’d ever truly loved and boy did I adore him. My progress was based solely on my ability to survive hard times. I’d seen my fair share of bullshit in the past but this was a cracker. I am a survivor by nature, a warrior if you will. I knew that and it was that warrior that saw me through this shitstorm.