Last week I cried for two days straight! I blogged , cried, prayed, cried, wrote in my journal, cried, read, cried...it was horrible, not just for me but for everyone around me!
Now that I am out of that midst of darkness I can talk about it. I am sharing it because I need to realize that it is real, not going away and menopause is going to be scary! I am also sharing because I know others out there can relate. I was depressed. I thought I was the worst person in the world, feeling guilty for everything, and not being able to see the positive in anything. I could not even think about doing the smallest, simplest task; everything was overwhelming. This was the pity party of all pity parties!
I do have a history of episodes like this. It doesn't matter who I am with (I remember my sweet two year old daughter wiping my tears) or where I am (Hawaii) when it strikes, watch out! Last week was a lot worse than anything I can recently remember.
On day one my phone rang. You have to understand that our phone here in Beijing rarely rings, unless it is the middle of the night and it is a solicitor from the States. We have a vonage American phone number. Anyway, my dad's number came up on caller id. He never calls. Of course, thought number one was what it wrong? Thought number two was hubby must have called him in as reinforcement. It actually turned out he was just sitting in the backyard and decided to call. I call that inspiration. Of course, anytime I am around my parents I turn into a ten year old and I just continued on bawling into the phone. I am sure he thought that I was being held hostage or something. I remember when I was little, whenever I was crying, my dad would tell me go put cold water on your face. I still sometimes do that. This time he just listened to me sob things like I have no purpose, if I left nobody would even notice or the sky is never even blue here, it is so gross. Of course I felt guilty for letting anyone in on my misery. I am grateful for my dad. I have always been his "baby" and his voice calmed me when I needed it.
If you know me in person this all might come as a surprise to you, or maybe not. As I've said before, I am pretty much known to be chipper, perky and joyful. But I am also one to wear my emotions on my sleeve. How can this be?
So after I seriously talked to my husband about going somewhere so that my misery would not affect the children (like I ever would), something miraculous happened. . . I started my period. And like the flip of a switch a silver lining began to shine through. (Did I really just use two clichés in one sentence?) It was as if all the raging hormones stopped boiling and were just at a steady simmer.
Now I had to clean up and make repairs after the hurricane that had passed. When I googled "sever depression right before period" it was amazing how common this really is. I felt validated that millions of other women suffer just like me. But nobody wants to acknowledge or talk about it. Are there really people out there that still believe depression is a choice or that PMS is just being manipulative? It frustrated me when I would read articles on happiness and it would say things like look at a sunset and notice God's beauty around you. Obviously things like that were written by people who have just been sad, not in the depths of despair. I already write in a gratitude journal!
I did learn a few things through these grueling two days. First, my husband is a patient, loving guy. ( I didn't really learn that for the first time last week) Second, I believe these two days were as difficult as they were because I hadn't exercised in over three weeks. We all hear that exercise is as good for your mind as it is for your body, but I'd like to add that it is good for your hormones too. I really believe that constant exercise helps to keep them in check.
Just another reason that I MUST exercise for the rest of my life!