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Princess Steph

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mental Health - A history, December 2009 - Break Down

Fast forward to last December, 2009. My family and I are away on an idyllic vacation in the Caribbean. I am miserable. #torontosis has brought her daughter, who is just one on the vacation and should be bringing me such joy, but I am struggling to find joy in her giggles and excitement of the beach and ocean. Both of my sisters are desperate to figure out why I am so sad, why I am crying all the time, why I have not called them in 3 months, and why I am so angry. They are cornering me on the beach begging me to speak to them. I am in tears all the time while still being so thrilled to be down south in the heat after a very stressful work year; filled with a move to a remote city in the middle of the prairies where I was isolated and working very hard; the new evolution of panic attacks in my life; complete lack of wanting to communicate with any of my friends for the last 4 months; and a number of episodes of being so anxiety ridden for days on end that i would not sleep and feel like i was going crazy.

It all pinnacled for me at a lunch with my parents when my sisters had gone to the beach and my parents wanted to "talk". In my family, for me, this is never a good thing. At least it has never been a good thing for me. It always, as it did this time, involve a lot of "shoulds" about my life and criticisms about how I am; an accusations of my weight being to high, my life not moving forward, my life being completely off track, at least in their eyes. I don't think that they, or I were ready for the conversation that was going to occur. For the first time in my ten years plus years of dealing with depression I told them both what I had been going through. My father laced into me. So angry that I would take drugs for something that I should have been able to handle "by making a plan for getting my life on track and working that plan". I was a 33 year old woman at that point. Who the hell is he to tell me, what I can and cannot put into my body. I can and will take what I decide to take. It was not good at all.

My parents view of mental health, and something that still forms many of their views at this time.  Comments such as:
  • "You should just try and be more happy"
  • "Do you have a plan to get your life in order?  To be happier?"
  • "Why don't you the steps laid out to make your life work?"
  • "you would be happier if you were skinnier"
  • "why haven't you gotten in shape?"
  • "You should wake up wveryday and just tell yourself you are going to be happier"
  • "why haven't you fixed this?"
  • "why did you let this get to this point?"
I was yelling at them and they were yelling at me, while I was in hysterics. I couldn't breath, I couldn't form thoughts, I was a mess in the middle of a frigging 5 star luxury hotel restaurant on the beach. It was a nightmare. This is when I had a breakdown.

Life after this point was not the same for me ever again. I changed at this lunch. I was not going to be the same ever again.  My mental health fragility was open to my parents.  The view of just how bad things were was out in the open.  I was mentally, physically, emotionally exhausted and a mess.

The hardest time of my life started on this day, little did I know i would fight each day from this day forward for a long time.

1 comment:

Parin Stormlaughter said...

Love you, honey. If depression could be fixed by the things your parents suggested, then everyone would be doing it. Depression is not that simple.

We're on your side. *hugs*

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