Jul 092013
 

You keeping asking me how I am over on Facebook and I keep not telling you because the truth is that I’m in the hole. Down deep and dark.

I did that thing I do every so often where I tell myself that I’m doing FINE and I am a WARRIOR and I shouldn’t HAVE to be on anti-depressants and I should just be MYSELF WITHOUT PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING DRUGS and I CAN DO HARD THINGS and the world is OVERMEDICATED and etc etc etc. So I quit taking my pills. And a few days go by and then a week and I start feeling edgy. And then edgier and edgier and then I get angry. The whole world starts to feel like Vegas and every light and sound hurts. And then, one day – everything sucks. Everything just sucks. I can’t remember ever feeling good or hopeful. Then – finally-  I wake up one day and I am who I am today- this person who cannot even smile at her own family and feels like she’s slogging through Jello all day and who has not one single idea of how to fix any of it. Plus, she wouldn’t have the energy to fix it even if someone told her how. Like – the energy it takes to type is just insane. It’s like some force is hell bent on me NOT typing. And everything is horrible. Or I’m sure it would be if I could feel anything.

But I was afraid to tell you this because this Momastery place is getting so BIG and now people read it who love me but people also read it who don’t like me. And being this vulnerable when you know some will use it against you is just hard. Just really hard. Especially when I’m feeling so weak. But I’m going to do it anyway. Because that’s just fear talking and fear is bullshit. It’s okay to be afraid, but it’s not okay to do what it tells you to do. The other reason I’m writing this to you is that I know that I am enough. Even when I’m this jacked up – I am enough. And also because this place is not about how I SHOULD be or how I’m SUPPOSED to be. It’s about how I ACTUALLY am. And I’m not sure what SHOULD or SUPPOSED TO have to do with life anyway. Who decides what people SHOULD be? Silly. I am who I am. And I am writing the truth about my depression because I will not be shamed back into the dark for being a  complicated, contradictory, brutiful mess. Because I actually LOVE my life as a brutiful mess. And because I want you to love and accept and even embrace and sing about your brutiful mess self, too. Even when I’m down like this- I know that this is part of what makes me beautiful. The valleys are deep but the mountains are high and I’ll take both.

Anyway. You asked how I was and I know you meant REALLY, HOW ARE YOU? And I wanted to tell you REALLY, because Truth Telling is good for nothing if we only tell the beautiful and leave out the brutal. I promised myself I’d always tell you the truth about me. So, the truth about my lower case l life is that  I’m hiding at home and how I am is not so good at the moment. I’m trudging through the heaviness and claustrophobic-ness and DARK DARK GREY-NESS and murkiness of depression. But the truth about upper case L Life is that all is well and has always been well and will always be well.  This too shall pass and a gift will come from it.  I will find my way home, I’ll be happy-ish again. Probably soon.

Also- I found my meds. I took one. I don’t GET why I need them but I think I do.

I love you. We Can Do Hard Things and We Belong To Each Other and Love Wins. Life is never all brutal or all beautiful. It’s both, all the time. Life is brutiful. For everybody. And all of these things are still true when we can’t feel them, Thank God. And if you suffer from depression- call yourself a Tortured Artist and then call the doc. It’s all about how we present ourselves. You and me,we can bring sexy back to Melton-choly.

Love, G

Here is an essay about depression and how it manifests for me. I wrote it a while back.  I can’t reread it now because I’m too trudgy and murky and unfocused to read anything, but I wanted to post it here in case anybody else is dark grey today and needs it.  Love you.

Home to Myself

Since I find it impossible to understand what’s going on in my own head, I would never try to describe what goes on in yours. But lately I’ve been considering the differences between navigating the normal highs and lows of motherhood and real depression. Since, over time, I have suffered through the effects of both an extremely dramatic personality and true depression, I thought I should try to describe the difference between the two. For me.

I come from a long line of dramatic Irish personalities. We are an emotional bunch – my family. Our highs are high and our lows are low. We love easily, but we cry and yell easily, too. We are quick to hug and quick to anger. Now I know that you won’t believe me, because I am so sweet and calm on this here blog. But that is because no one in my house is awake yet. After people wake up, I tend to get dramatic. I often struggle through the day. Trudge through the day. I have to take a lot of deep breaths. I experience joy, too, everyday. But I am not the type to roll with things. I get very down – for reasons that I can never identify. I decide, thirty times a day, that no one in the history of the world has ever had a harder life than I do. When I say this to God and He brings homeless people to mind, I actually think, well – at least they don’t have to SWEEP.

I also worry. Worry, worry, worry. Obsess might actually be a better word. Not about the plight of the Sudanese…I TRY to worry about things like that, but I ACTUALLY worry about whether I chose the wrong throw pillow for my new couch. I snap at my kids for acting like kids. I resent them for getting hungry three times a day. And even though I don’t believe in mommy guilt, I feel guilty all the time. If I could choose a phrase to describe the polar opposite of my personality, it would be “easy-breezy.” As a matter of fact, I call Sister daily crying and whining and I CANT DO IT ANYMOR-ING and I always end the conversation with “Whatever. I’m easy-breezy, Sister.” And she says, “I know you are, Sister. I know you are. Me too.”

Sometimes I get so upset that I become debilitated…I’m talking crumble to the ground, tears, head in hands… the whole she-bang. My break downs appear to be brought on by one little thing… like a grocery bag breaking in the driveway - and so Craig will say, “It’s okay honey, it’s just a grocery bag,” and I’ll say: “IT”S NOT A GROCERY BAG! IT’S EVERYTHING! WHY CAN’T YOU SEE IT’S EVERYTHING???” And I don’t want anyone to try to fix it or fix me - I just want to be upset. I just need to be upset for awhile. Because life is upsetting, obviously.

I do not cruise through life. I sort of crash through life. But I also “WOW” through life, too. And so it’s okay. I’ll take the lows with the highs. Basically, I really like myself. And I think I’m an awesome mom. God chose ME for these kiddos and He knows me better than anyone, so I’m gonna be myself. My kids don’t need some fake idea of a perfect mom, they need me -Glennon, the real person. I get that.

But every once in awhile – something scary happens to me. A black, heavy, murky fog sets in over my heart and my head. When this happens, I do not alternate between super high and super low. During these awful times I alternate between super low and super numb. The fog is so thick that even when I get still and try to find my way home to myself – I can’t. During these times, none of my usual tricks….quiet time, sunshine, exercise, friends, prayer . . .none of them help me find my way through the fog. I can go through the motions of the day . . . I remember what to do – pack the lunches, smile at the kids, sweep the floor, hug my husband….repeat. I just can’t remember why any of these things matter. The love, the life that usually infuses each of these tasks with meaning is gone. I become like a robot. I have completely lost myself. All I want is to disappear into a dark room. Gone is the joy, the drama, even the suffering that makes me, me. This state of mind has nothing to do with my dramatic personality. It is more like a complete loss of my personality. I’ve suffered this loss three times in my life. Once when I was much younger and suffering from bulimia and alcoholism. Once after my second child was born, and again about a month ago. I have come to believe that this loss of myself is what is commonly accepted as depression.

This past month, when I realized that I had lost myself again, I called my doctor who told me it was time for some help. She prescribed a pill for me and I brought the bottle home and told Craig that I was going to start taking the pills immediately. His face lit up like a Christmas tree. I said, “Be patient though, husband. They take two weeks to kick in.” Craig’s face fell and he said frantically, “What? Well then maybe you could just take a whole bunch at once. Or snort it. Maybe that would work faster.” Clearly, the preceding months had been as hard on him as they were on me. He loves me. He loves his high and low wife. He wanted her back. He didn’t want to medicate me away. He wanted to medicate me back.

Last year I was having a hard time dealing with my usual anxiety about life and love. I emailed my friend Josie and said, “I can’t take the intensity in my head anymore. I need to relax. I’m gonna medicate myself. What do you think?” I hadn’t talked to Josie for years, so I don’t know why I emailed her. I guess if you listen hard enough, God will always point you towards the right person. Josie wrote back and said, “A friend once told me that if medicine allows you to be more yourself, take it. If it doesn’t, don’t.” I really liked that. And that advice helped me decide NOT to take medicine back then. Because the truth is that myself is dramatic and anxious and obsessive and ridiculously intense and you know, a little WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

But myself is not numb. When I get numb, I take my own hand and help myself find my way of the fog, back home. And medicine helped me this time around. I’m grateful.

I’m also hesitant about taking medicine. Not for the reasons that many others are. I’m not embarrassed. Ever, really. It’s a gift, my shamelessness. I know that I’m only gonna get one go ‘round on this beautiful Earth and I want it to be a good ride. I figured out a while back that there is no award for she who suffers most. No way, Jose. Not my bag. I think it’s a strong and brave and inspiring thing to find out who you are and then find a way to be it.

No, I’m hesitant to medicate away my depression because I worry that my depression fuels my writing. What medicine does for me is help me to relax into life a bit. Craig’s perspective is that when I’m on it, I am the same Glennon, I just “struggle a little less.” I agree. I struggle a little less. And I also lose the feeling that if I don’t write I will die. This is how I feel when I’m depressed. Since I lose my joy and meaning, I come to the blank page to create meaning and joy, to get it back. Because I become desperate to make sense of things. And that desperation, I’m afraid, is what makes my writing good. So it scares me, I guess, not to be depressed. A lot of really good writers are depressed. But, as Craig says – “Honey, don’t a lot of good writers also kill themselves?”

True, dat.

Anyway, even if my medicine dulls my creativity a little, I think that at this point in my life, I’m willing to risk it. I think I’d rather be a good friend to myself and Craig than a good writer. Yep, I would. How nice of me. I really do like myself.

Love You,
GDo

P.S. Here’s my spoken truth on showing up, even when we’re all sludgy and actually not okay at all, thank you very much.



Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  482 Responses to “G, How Are You?”

  1. [...] and tangibly dangles before us the real possibility of AUTHENTIC AUTHENTICITY… See “G How are You” or “On Forgetting and Remembering” to touch base with some excellent [...]

  2. Have you read “Against Depression”? It really changed my life with the medicate/not medicate debate that was a constant sub plot in my deep depressions. It talks a lot about the idea/myth that depression begets art…check it out! And I’ll pray for God’s mercy. Depression is so so hard.

  3. Thank you so much for being so honest. I was just talking to my husband and trying to explain what it’s like to feel like you need antidepressants even if you don’t want to need them. You perfectly summed up the feeling of what it’s like. How you feel like you’re doing well and can stop taking them and that you’re fine for a few days and then suddenly it’s like the depression envelops you like fog and you can’t see anything else. I know you’ll get out of this soon and remember that needing medicine does not make you “less than” or “not enough” (which I have to remind myself often) it just helps you be the best version of yourself.

  4. I think the only thing more poignant than your book itself, was having the good fortune to listen to it from Audible… Your words… AND YOUR VOICE. It enveloped my heart. Thank you.

  5. lol! When I read the very last part of your post, about why you are afraid to take medication, I could SO relate! I do not think I struggle with strong depression, but I am currently very unhappy in my job. Sometimes I fear that my frustration and unhappiness is what fuels my best blog posts. If I am happy, and there doesn’t seem to be much conflict going on (inwardly or outwardly) my posts seem to be ho-hum. So, as desperately as I would love to work a job that energizes me – if I am completely honest, I am afraid. I am afraid I will lose my edge when I write. I feel ya, sista. Thank you for sharing the real you.

  6. [...] from Momastery.com shared some “Brutiful” truths about how she is really feeling right now on her blog, with some wonderful honesty about depression and how some things are good [...]

  7. [...] Glennon: G, How Are You? [...]

  8. [...] and tangibly dangles before us the real possibility of AUTHENTIC AUTHENTICITY… See “G How are You” or “On Forgetting and Remembering” to touch base with some excellent [...]

  9. “…because Truth Telling is good for nothing if we only tell the beautiful and leave out the brutal.”

    Yes. This. So much.

  10. Once again your strength and courage blow me away. Depression has played far too large a role in my life, too, during the past few years.

    I hope you gain as much comfort from your Monkees as we do from you.

    Thought I’d share something I’ve written om the topic, too.

    So much love
    Rachel x

    http://mummykindness.com/2013/03/16/truth/

  11. G-
    I have been on my antidepressants & xanax for 14 years. The analogy I use to others who may not understand the significance of the meds is that it’s like a diabetic neding insulin or a cancer patient needing chemo ( which I did)
    I am lucky to have meds that work & will continue them till I die ;)
    be gentle to YOU, YOU deserve it

    xoxo
    cathy

  12. If only we could dye our hair like Pinkie and roll it up in aluminum curlers and dance to beauty school drop out and have it be normal! :) #grease

  13. G, I’m starting to look closely into this “highly sensitive person” thing and they may be onto something. I see it in my daughter already, my little mirror, and I say she will not suffer like me. Thank you for making all of us depressed, lonely, off kilter, sensitive people see we are not Ali e. and neither are you!

  14. I wish I would have known you for the last 30 years of my life. I am so tired of apologizing for how I feel and why I can’t always be the “up” person that everyone likes. I am up and down. I like me the way I am but I don’t like the way people worry about me or the way my family gets embarrassed of me because I am just “ME”. I am complicated. I can relate to your writing and thank God that my 32 year old daughter has introduced me to your column. The fact that she is sending me your blog means that she “Gets It” and/or she is starting to have the same feelings. I just pray that because she has columns like yours to read she will A) learn to understand and accept herself B) She will not spend 50% of her life apologizing for her feelings and actions…… and last but not least C) when she turns 53 years old I pray that she doesn’t lay in bed at night and repeat her wrongs in her mind over and over and over……..the self beatings are the worst at this age. There is no turning back the clock!

  15. Glennon,
    Please don’t go off your meds….
    My husband is bi polar. For years he was undiagnosed.
    It was difficult.
    Since he has been on meds our lives have been so much better..i cannot tell you what a lifesaver they have been.
    I am a recovering alcoholic, so I relate to so much you say.

    And from what I understand about bulimia, you will always be a recovering bulimic.
    Please continue to get counseling and guidance on coping with bulimia…..the shame would be in NOT REACHING OUT for help when the need to control your life through bulimia rears its ugly head.
    Much Love to you!!!

  16. G, you already have 434 responses and you can’t possibly need one more (& I can’t possibly have anything original to say), but this: I’m really, really sorry you’re lost in the fog. I think I get it. And maybe you being real will help to reel some others up out of the fog, back to themselves. (Myself?)

    p.s. I think you would have made a great apostle.

  17. G, Thank you for your courage and honesty and capacity for love of self.

  18. GET OUT OF MY HEAD! Okay, just had to get that out because I just started reading your blog about a year ago and whatever I seem to be going through at the time is what I see every time I open a new post of yours. I have never commented and kinda, sorta told myself I never would but now I HAVE to. I’m sad to think that this may get lost in the overabundance of love each post of yours brings but I must reach out. I have been asking for signs, and gosh darn it if I don’t keep getting them. I am a Pisces, I am a bicentennial baby, I worry about myself worrying so much and then I worry some more, I romanticize EVERYTHING (living on a farm, being an antique dealer who rehabs furniture, living on a commune {what the hell is wrong with me}) Here are the things I know; I am creative, I am honest as hell, I am sober (coming up on a year, wahoo!), I am sensitive, I am perceptive as all get out. Here are the things I don’t know; What is my purpose? WHO am I? What is meant for me? While these kinds of things were going though my head in a very intense way a few weeks ago (oh, and I am super neurotic too, obsess I think is the word you chose to use in your essay? Haha, funny) I was welcomed by the “What’s your thing” post. There it was speaking to me at the exact moment I was wondering, “What’s my thing?” At that time I was floating, I felt like my program had stalled and I was just FLOATING. It’s funny because at that time is when I asked my Dr. about maybe lowering my dosage because I felt like I wasn’t feeling. I felt like I wasn’t feeling? (Now there’s a sentence that could only be understood by this crowd.) So we agreed on lowering it but I thought I would wait until after my vacation that was coming up. Lord knows I don’t want some ‘adverse affect’ to happen while I’m a thousand miles away from home with the fam. Well, as you can guess, I skipped a few days of my meds, not on purpose mind you, but routines are VERY difficult for me, so when I am out of my day to day wacky routine I cannot be depended upon for much. So, to make a long story short, when I got home I decided to keep my dose just where it was for the time being and get back to making sure it was still part of my daily, wacky routine. So in the midst of all this I was sharing with my peeps, because I can share, I am a truth teller as well, Came your Kairos post. Your Kairos posts always speak to me. I went on a Kairos retreat and am very well aware of the ‘time with God’. I realized I was feeling very ‘spiritually unfit’. You know, restless, irritable and discontent. I knew I needed to rev up my gratitude. I kept saying thank you to Him, and going to church and doing my best, but I also asked every time for a sign. EVERY TIME. And then about two weeks ago the fog rolled in. And it rolled in heavy. Oh great, now I’m FLOATING… in FOG! HARD time getting out of bed, aching, feeling miserable… I could go on, but you have already said it so I know you understand, along with this whole monkee tribe. I HATE feeling like that. This was the third time it has happened to me in my life. It doesn’t last long THANK GOD but, geez, go away already! So here I was, in the fog, praying, turning it over, letting go and letting God, looking up. Well, I’ll wrap this up. Pretty much the signs started coming. It was funny, because one of them was literally a sign. Like a big LED lit up sign: “God is ____” I saw it and thought , okay, okay I can work with this. Yeah, God is Me, God is Love, God is All Around. You get the point. Anyways, the signs have been there and I am listening. Sorry if I am getting too God-ish on you, but I know you can deal, I also know that you can probably deal if I got all mystical on you as well, that’s why I told you I’m a Pisces too. So basically I am writing this to you, in my awful, awful grammar and punctuation (my mother would die after spending so much on private school to see I haven’t a clue about punctuation) because I feel like our journey’s are similar and we are kindred spirits. I am so glad that you have found your path. It gives me strength to know that some day I will find my footing. I will keep coming back because sharing is the only way to work through it. Why is everyone so scared to share? It really helps. I probably won’t share here again, (it’s just not muh thang) but I had to reach out to you. Knowing that there are others out there feeling the same way is liberating. It’s a comfy spot to come to. So now that I have gone back and re-read this I totally feel like I sound crazy, batshit crazy. But you know what, I’ll own it. I know I’m not the first one and I won’t be the last one. Keep on keepin’ on. I’m so glad you showed up today.

  19. The Valley of Vision

    Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
    Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
    where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
    hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.

    Let me learn by paradox
    that the way down is the way up,
    that to be low is to be high,
    that the broken heart is the healed heart,
    that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
    that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
    that to have nothing is to possess all,
    that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
    that to give is to receive,
    that the valley is the place of vision.

    Lord, in the daytime stars can bee seen from deepest wells,
    and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;

    Let me find thy light in my darkness,
    thy life in my death,
    thy joy in my sorrow,
    thy grace in my sin,
    thy riches in my poverty,
    thy glory in my valley.

    Amen.

    Love and prayers from a sister in Toronto.
    Meg

  20. “embracing your light doesn’t mean ignoring your dark”

    (i don’t remember where i read that, but take these words and wrap them around your soul, sister.)

    much love, g

  21. G,
    I know things are HARD now, and you feel like you’re swimming in syrup and the surface is SO FAR AWAY and you don’t know if you will ever get there… But you will. Depression is something I know a little bit about, in my own life, but I know that doesn’t mean I know about yours. Just remember, you are STRONG, you are BEAUTIFUL, you are ENOUGH. High, low, in between, you are enough. And if you need help doing hard things, consider this a hand up.
    I think, as women, we need to be more willing to help each other with the hard things. Even when the hard things are scary things too. Stay strong, and if you need to go back on the antidepressants, do it. And remember, you are a woman of valour, and the pills can’t change that.
    Lots of love,
    Megan

  22. You are teaching me how important it is to be a radical truth-teller, and to listen to truth-telling. Thank you.

  23. [...] through the exact same thing–something she hadn’t spoken of for years. Broken open is this blog post. Broken open is this blog post. It is recognizing one’s brokenness and not shying away from [...]

  24. From my studies today, passed on for you:
    “Christ is held by the hand of hope. We hold him and are held. But it is a greater good that we are held by Christ than that we hold him. For we can hold him only so long as we are held by him.” ~Paschasius Radbertus (a 9th century monk). I found this in a beautiful treatise ‘On Hope’ from 1934 by Joseph Pieper in case you want to read more. Thank you for your encouraging words to me; perhaps the fruits of my reading may contribute in turn to your sense of being held.

  25. I don’t even know if you’re still reading comments and this has probably been said 1,000 times already, but for heaven’s sake (literally) if you need your meds, take them! I have some friends who wean off and some who will NEVER be able to go without and that is OK! The wisdom is in knowing into which category you fall. When you can’t mother and wife and friend in the ways that you should without them, then taking them is an act of love.There is NO SHAME. And I want to add that having seen you speak in Nashville, I have some idea of the immense emotional and physical energy that goes into every single one of your appearances. G, it would drain ANYBODY. You put so much of yourself out there, and we love you dearly for it.

  26. Dearest G Please please please go back on your meds. I have suffered depression all of my life but was not diagnosed or treated for it until 1989 pre sucide. Suicide was planned out with what I thought was a reasonable way to fix the problems that surrounded me. I received a call the night before from a member of my church who kept thinking of me all day so she decided a call was in order. As she tried to talk with me ( I wasn’t very responsive) she became aware of what was going on. She flat out asked me if I were suicidal. I answered her only to find out She was the Dean of Family Couciling at the local university. She got me and my family help and I swore I would never get in that dark place again. How ever I still tried to convince myself that I don’t need my meds to be good and nice. Then my unbelievable calm and loving husband will come to me pill in hand and say “honey I think you’ve been forgetting these”. The response from me I am embarassed to say is rather ugly. I don’t need these to make me nice , I don’t want to take them I should be able to live with out them, why can’t I just be normal?…..And he patiently holds me and tells me it will be okay but like a Diabetic this is what makes my mind and body run smoothly together, in sink, I know he is right I know the difference but I fight it. Still, in 2001 my insurance decided they would no longer pay for name brand of the RX I needed. I had to go to a generic. By FDA guidelines the active ingredient in generics o to be 80% of the name brand and the binders they use are nonspecific. My body could not break down the binders and the active ingredient was not enough. My insurance said that the Dr. could not increase my dosage to make up for the active ingredient. We tried liquid, Then we tried other meds. The 3-6 months on and then the going off and starting another has gone one for 13 years now. It is so defeating and the weight gain with some has been rediculous. I am back to the generic of my original med and most days are good. Not as good as I’d like but the consequences of 13 years of trial and err after err after err taught me that one pill a day of meds brings peace to me and my family. I now take the meds without fail because I just can not continue to fool myself and hurt those I love most. You are so right that dark hole is so deep and even blinking takes a herclean effort. Breathing hurts and your mind runs amock with senseless thoughtts about everything but mostly about yourself. Everyone says Just Breath. If it were only that easy. But a very wise man said “No one will enter the Kingdom of God without making mistakes along the way, that is why the Attonement is so imporant. You must always remember this…You Are A Daughter of God. He loves you and will always be with you if you but pray to him. I have come to realize it is wisdom in God to bring the knowledge to man to find and make these drugs to help us. So if it is Gods will that they are here for me I will take them and be very greatful for them, but to be honest the thoughts still run through my mind every once in a while that I should not have to take these. And I have to tell the Adversary to go away because he wants me miserable where I know God wants me happy. Love and hugs to you. Be a warrior. You help me be one. Sandy

  27. We love you FOR your weaknesses, not despite them. Baby steps, G.

  28. I have also *tried* to go off the antidepressants. I didn’t like the label, the idea, of taking them. But my doctor put it this way: “If I told you that you needed to take a pill every day because your thyroid wasn’t working, you’d do it. So now, believe me that I’m telling you that you need to take this pill to make your head work.” Somehow that made sense to me.

  29. Oh Glennon…I so believe pain is a part of life, however I just hate when someone I love is in pain. You give so much to all of us. I can’t imagine how much goodness, joy and energy you just put out into the world on your book tour part 2. It must be so depleting. And then to get negative feedback. Ick.

    You are wonderful, brutiful and honest. That can scare people or make them feel insecure. And then they try to put those insecurities on you. One of my favorite books is the 4 Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. The Agreements are these:

    1. Be Impeccable With Your Word (you go girl, you got this one!)
    2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
    3. Don’t Make Assumptions
    4. Always Do Your Best

    I find number 2 REALLY hard, but when I get there it is so freeing. Those people’s criticisms and negativity ARE NOT ABOUT YOU!!!!!

    Much love,
    Callie (the girl at the Wilton book signing with the big coral necklace on who could not stop hysterically laughing…thanks for all of the joyfulness you give)

  30. My dear sister shared your letter with me and I thank you and her so much!!! I am on some meds for depression and I give you a lot of credit for sharing your journey with depression. I am a recovering bulimic, anorexic and survivor of childhood abuse. Most times my meds really help me but sometimes I still find myself in dark places, triggered by memories of my past. I thank you for sharing your story, you truly help me-to see someone like you struggling with life at times but being brave too to take meds to help yourself too.

    Thanks Glennon for showing us all that life is brutiful and that we’ll all get through it, with a little help and together.

  31. My compassion was aroused as I read what you had written…yes, it was truthful, but I felt a groping and struggle that you are bearing. I also felt the hopelessness in that, if you take your meds, you are “drugged” for the day and if you do not take them, you feel you are on the “edge.” Easy for me to say, but keep searching the the right doctor? I do know your writing takes people to another place; you are a gifted writer.
    You may find this a boring solution, but it worked for me years ago when I felt all alone in a big, seemingly endless world. I found a friend that had unconditional love for me that was just waiting to take my hand and walk with me; that friend was Jesus. Yes, there are people who truly love you and those who do not. Be strong and belive.

  32. Thanks for chosing to share your not-fineness with us. For the record, I think you are a rock star.

  33. Thank you for sharing and being so open! I am glad to be reminded that we are not alone in our struggles.
    Sending you my love.

  34. Thank you for this! I recently weaned off an SSRI (again) though I seem to have depression that is linked to hormones/pregnancy/nursing. I tried to go off about a year ago, did it oh so slowly, and wound up a mass of raw emotion on the kitchen floor. So I went back on. My doctor said, you can try going off one more time, and if it doesn’t work, then you’re just on this for life. So I went back on and stayed on for nearly another year, waiting until I felt like it might be good timing would have meant never, and I weaned off again. And this time, it went okay. But every sad day, or silly tearfulness makes me question it. That line between depression and tough-mommy-day is a big one until you have dealt with depression and are afraid of it! I’m learning to explore the space of sadness on a bad day and so far it has gotten better. Not everyone is like me; I know that no one wants to be on meds, but sometimes it does make you be MORE YOURSELF. Getting this dialogue out is so important though. Because I am also one with a gift of shamelessness and there are so many out there who are afraid and shamed. Thank you to you for sharing.

  35. Thank you for being so honest always. Just watched this and it might have some helpful parts in it for you.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html

  36. Since these days it has been difficult to formulate a complete thought inside my mind, let alone write it down, I am terrified that I am actually responding here. However, here I am.

    Over the past month I have been struggling with withdrawal from 3 different psych meds, even though I meticulously weaned myself off them over the course of several months. All of my doctors thought I was crazy. Still do, but they don’t say it out loud. I am in a deep, dark fog of numbness. Everything is hard. ‘Normal’ stuff, like getting dressed, moving a glass from the counter to the dishwasher, getting the mail, drinking water, eating food, all seem nearly impossible to do. I am talking IMPOSSIBLE. I know this routine all too well, being on and off meds for over 15 years. I am now 34.

    I want to tell you that you are so BRAVE to articulate how you feel, because so many of us depressed peoples are so terrified of judgement, even to our closest friends who seem to care, but can’t exactly grasp our condition because it is so foreign to them. I was just walking around the mall with a friend on a busy day and I heard myself asking her, “why are these people here? Why do they want to be here?” My friend politely pointed out that people come to the mall to shop, because it is fun. I was instantly jealous of all the fun, feeling people at the mall. It is much deeper than that example, but so hard for me to put into words. What I do know is this: serious depression is no joke. Medication can help take the edge off, even help me live like what my mind keeps telling me is a ‘normal human’. I desperately want to know what the real reason is that I feel this way – is it hormones, lack of serotonin, diet, WHAT?! Why can’t I figure it out? Why can’t all the doctors I’ve seen tell me?

    Anyhow, I apologize for the disjointed-ness of this note. I am just now emerging from the fog, learning how to breathe, shower, and load the dishwasher again. I don’t have any answers. But I am so so so glad I read this post tonight. You put words to how I have felt since I was a teenager and that is something I have never been able to do, much less find in someone else. Thank you, for making me feel less lonely tonight.

    Love

    • Dear sad, sweet Kate, there is nothing disjointed about what you wrote. There is desperation, sadness, and strength, there is bravery and honesty, and need. Oh how I wish you could feel better. You’re heard. You’re seen. I have nothing to offer but hope.

    • I’m sorry that you have been having such a hard time with withdrawal. Some people just get it really bad — it’s not because you are broken. You are really brave! And almost no doctors are willing to help people taper off meds, or acknowledge how severe the withdrawal can be. Check out http://www.beyondmeds.com for a ton of information and resources. You are surely not alone. Take good care.

    • Love & virtual hugs Kate:) You are not alone in your suffering. Love & virtual hugs, that’s all I can give to you. Your words are brave & strong & moving. Your words, your truth have touched my heart deeply. I will pray for The Lord to bring you peace & hope. I will pray for you Dear Sweet Kate.

      Love & virtual hugs!

    • Dear Kate,
      You sound brave and determined even when you are feeling like you do. I can still feel your strength. Never give up looking for answers. Never give up on feeling better. (This last thing is a random suggestion but if you have never tried it, it might be worth a try. Have you ever tried a gluten free diet? Gluten intolerance can contribute to depression for reasons that aren’t yet understood.).
      Hang in there.

    • Kate, did any of the meds help? At all? I know the darkness, and sometimes you have to be able to live with some light being better than none. I have also had the questions, which eventually come back to “what is wrong with me?” That can be a (relatively) simple question to the doctor, or it can be the frustration of feeling defective (that’s where I go periodically). Not that I am sick, but that there is something *wrong* with me. It’s tough.

  37. I don’t think I’ve ever fallen in love with a person I have never met before … that was until I stumbled across Momastey. Thank you, thank you, thank you for ur honesty.

  38. There is such beauty in truth – always.

  39. G, you are a force of GOOD in this world. I am grateful for you.

  40. I want to tell you thank you for sharing and being honest, and for showing up. I am a new follower/reader and I appreciate your blog so much. So much so, I decided to finally “show up” with my own blog. Thank you.

  41. Thank you for keeping it real, Glennon. It’s truly one of the reasons I always read your words; I know you will be honest. Even when it’s messy, and ugly, and not fun to share. And from that comes so much gratitude from me, and your readers, and all the multitudes of other good things that are sure to arise. Thank you. Love you. ❤

  42. You are so brave sweet Glennon – for truth-telling right in the midst of the hard stuff. May you climb up & feel more like a less struggling you very soon.

  43. From my own deep, dark place tonight…

    thank you.

    • I was wondering how I wanted to respond and reading through the comments when I saw your comment. It’s simple but because it sums up how I’m feeling nicely and being that we have the same name, I thought I’d tag along with your reply ;-)

  44. G, thanks for posting. I have also battled depression for most of my life, and it took a LOT of courage to admit that it’s a disease, and not just a matter of “suck it up and look on the bright side!” I’ve been on medication for the better part of 15 years now. Sometimes the pills stop working for some stupid reason, and we’re left floundering again. However, since this runs in families, and I learned my cousin committed suicide last summer, I prayerfully decided that God intends for me to remain on meds for the rest of my life. And that is OK. Brain chemistry is delicate, and can become unbalanced or out-of-whack, but since we have the scientific knowledge to re-balance it, or bring back into whack, we ought to avail ourselves of that. Power on, and pray through, sister!

  45. Thank you for your bravery. I came across this post tonight and I think I was led here for some reason. THIS is ME you are describing. I have never been on medication, I have never been diagnosed with any condition, I have never even seen a doctor for all of these downward emotions I have felt for years. This is an eye opener…… I have so much emptiness inside and hardly any joy with my children or my life. It is a chore just to manage the everyday comings and goings. I long for the days when I used to laugh and enjoy my children. I think making an appointment to discuss the darkness is in order. Thank you Glennon for being so strong and so brave.

    • Yes, please do make that appt. Try once. Try again. Try a second doc or a second med or a second therapist, maybe more. It took me many tries to get to something helped. Didn’t cure, but helped. You deserve more than what you have now.

  46. Glennon, I think you are a wonderful brave woman. And I am glad that there are so many women here to tell you that they are in the same boat, and it’s not you fault.

    I just wanted to chime in, though, to offer a slightly different perspective than most here… which is to say, just because you feel terrible when you stop your meds cold turkey, doesn’t necessarily mean that you need them. It means you are accustomed to them, sure. But many, many, many people have TERRIBLE withdrawal getting off psych drugs, and stopping them cold turkey is never recommended. If you judge whether or not you need them by whether or not you feel okay when you just stop taking them… well, you may have to take them forever. Whereas it may be true that if you tapered them slowly enough (like reeaaallly slowly) you might be able to get off just fine, and discover that you don’t need them after all.

    I’m not telling you to stop taking them… I’m not your doctor or your therapist. There is certainly no shame in needing help, ever. But I also respect the part of you that doesn’t want to need drugs, and that part may have something important to say too. A great resource if you are interested is http://beyondmeds.com/. Check the psychdrug withdrawal links.

    Love.

    • Mostly, remember that everyone’s chemical makeup is different as well as their journey. What works for one won’t for another. The same way as other medications for other diseases. Mental illness is real, but how individuals respond to different courses of treatment is unique. The strength is in finding what allows you to be what God intended. Be stron enough and wise enough to read and learn but never judge yourself one someone else’s experience.
      Thank You Glennon foe getting us all to be a community! You are Awesome

  47. Please, please keep posting these “real” posts and never be afraid–it helps all of us so much with our own pain, and we only wish we could help you more with yours. Having struggled with depression myself, I know how crazy it can make you feel, and please keep taking the medicine or whatever works for you…we are all keeping you in our thoughts and prayers and THANK YOU again for your courage and honesty, it’s all too rare.

    God bless.

  48. Wow, this touched me deeply. Especially at this point in my life. I have struggled off and on with depression my whole life. I was on meds for a while when i was 20, but stopped taking them after about six months. I was fine after coming off of it and life was good…or so I thought.

    Then in January 2013, I found out I was pregnant with my second child. At first I was ecstatic and then the euphoric feeling crashed and burned and I was left feeling insecure, scared, angry, and alone. I didn’t feel like I could talk to anyone. I didn’t think anyone would believe me, and most of all I felt ashamed that I wasn’t happy like I should be.

    It took an intervention from my best friends to pull me out enough to get some help. I got a letter from one of them telling me that she and two of my other friends had been talking and they were all worried about me. They could all see the dramatic change in my personality. So, after many many tears and fighting through embarrassment i talked to my OB, who promptly put me on a medication that was safe for me and my daughter. And I haven’t looked back. I honestly don’t think I knew what being balanced within myself was, and while I occasionally get those feelings of “I shouldn’t have to take this pill” it is a small voice compared to the relief I feel. Besides, people have to take medications to keep all kinds of parts working properly. No shame in that. Nothing we can help.

    But I mostly just wanted to say how much I love this and how true it rings for a lot of us. Thank you for sharing.

    Much love.

  49. The deeper sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. – Kahlil Gibran

    I honor your honesty, Glennon – it makes the rest of us more brave! Thank you!

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