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My Struggle With Depression


This is a rather personal post and it took everything within me to write this. Remember earlier this year I promised that my blog will be taking a new direction. Posts will get more personal and they did. You may remember the one where I wrote about how my marriage was on the rocks. Most people see (think) of me as the rather strong person, after all I was running a blog, I was an American Soldier, and who's tougher than our American Soldiers?! It might surprise you to know that the US Military has a very high suicide rate among active duty and veterans alike. The stress, it can really get to you. You sacrifice a lot for your country including your family but let me start from the beginning.


My depression actually started after I had my daughter in January 2012. I was diagnosed with post-partum depression and having to go back to work just 6 weeks after she was born didn't really help me much. Sure my husband was at home taking care of her during the day but I felt like I wasn't doing my part. Like as her mother I should be the one taking care of her. I felt like I was a bad mother for going to work while she stayed at home, but I was a soldier and soldiers have to be strong. Just a few months after Madison was born (May 2012) my dad was diagnosed with cancer and told he only had about 5 months to live. What a blow that was. How can the person who meant more to me than anyone decide to die at the time I needed him most? Was I being selfish for wanting him to be with me forever? You bet I was!


I was able to go to the Caribbean by taking leave and going to see him for 2 weeks with Madison and my oldest daughter so I can see him one final time. Those 2 weeks were some of the most bittersweet moments for me. While I was happy to be there with him, I was also sad knowing that this might be the last time I ever get to see him again, and I was right. In November just 2 days before my son's birthday I called to speak to my dad, while speaking to him and before I got to tell him I loved him, he died right there on the phone with me. My life fell apart and my depression increased. I left a few days later and spent another week being strong once again for my mother but deep inside I wasn't strong. I was dying myself.

After burying my dad I came back and instead of taking some time off from work to heal, I went right back to work. After all that's what the American Soldier does. It's our creed that we live by. If you don't know we do have one and I'll share it right here with you. We're supposed to be physically and mentally tough. We're supposed to be able to survive whatever adversity comes our way.
"I am an American Soldier.
I am a warrior and a member of a team.
I serve the people of the United States, and live the Army Values.
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills.
I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy, the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.
I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier"
By now my marriage was suffering. It may have been suffering before that but I was in my own world called depression and I didn't care. I stopped doing the things I used to do. I stopped taking care of myself, I stopped taking care of my kids the way they needed to be taken care of. I stopped paying attention to my husband and I even stopped taking care of the house. I stayed in bed for as long as I could and if I didn't have to get up I didn't. In the meantime everyone took care of themselves. After a few months of this I decided that things weren't working and I needed help. I reached out to a therapist and after a stint in a psychiatric hospital I started feeling better. What I've come to realize is that feeling better doesn't mean that you're actually better.


In the meantime my husband found a mistress and then I found out my mother was dying. Guess what that meant again for me? Yup! Another dose of whatever it was that was keeping me in that spiral started all over agin. For me it was the two persons I loved dearly with my everything who was supposed to be there for me was leaving me and I couldn't handle it. I have to admit that I still can't handle it.

For the past two weeks my depression has gotten worse. I'm constantly a wreck. I may look like I'm happy on the outside but inside I'm falling to pieces. When Robin Williams took his life I truly understood what he was feeling because I've personally been there and I'm still there. I've decided that I'm going to take some time off from blogging because while this has been a great outlet for me, I'm not in that good place where I can do this. I do have commitments that I do intend to fulfill so you'll see posts popping up here and there but I need to take care of myself and my family.

So what can you do to help someone suffering from depression?


  • Be there for them and don't judge! 
  • Realize that depression can last a very long time and they need all the support that they can get. Don't pack up and run because it's not going the way you want to. Trust me the person dealing with the depression knows that it's not going the way he/she wants it to either.
  • Encourage them daily with words of love and affection. Be a true friend and listen to them, they are actually crying out for help. 
  • If you are active in their care, help them with their medication. Remind them to take it daily.
  • Take them out, do fun things with them. Help them to realize that life can be fun again. 

Now if I had someone there for me to do these things with I might have been better but it's going to take a while. I know that and I accept that. Now I just need to accept that life has meaning and I'm here for a reason. I look forward to seeing you all when I get back. 


Annmarie John
23 Comments
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23 comments:

  1. Beautiful post!! I know things are going to work out for you... because... you are very strong.

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    1. Growing Up MadisonApril 18, 2015 at 6:18 AM

      Thank you Terry but that is the thing, I'm really not that strong, but I do know things will work out eventually.

      Delete
  2. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. This is a very beautiful post and and from the heart. Take care of yourself right now. It is the best thing you can do for you and your children.

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    1. Growing Up MadisonApril 18, 2015 at 6:18 AM

      Thank you Pam, I do need those prayers. There are days when I feel like it's the end of the world but I have to do this for me and the kids. I have to keep the faith.

      Delete
  3. You are stronger than you give yourself credit for. You are an amazing woman and I highly respect you in more ways than one. I'm also proud to call you my friend. 💛Ya momma!!

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    1. Growing Up MadisonApril 18, 2015 at 6:19 AM

      Thank you Sherrie and I truly appreciate your friendship but I'm not as strong as you think. I'm just trying to be.

      Delete
  4. You. Are. Strong. and you are exactly where you need to be right now. Enjoy your babies, your life, and your retirement for a bit. Recover and rejoice about the life you have built yourself.

    The blog will be here; we will be here. You have support in us. Let me know if there is anything you need.

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    1. Growing Up MadisonApril 18, 2015 at 6:21 AM

      Thank you so much for your support Sarah but I think one of the things we shouldn't say to someone suffering from depression is, "You're strong and you will be ok". At the time that person may seem strong because they're reaching out for help but they're really not that strong and that's exactly why they're reaching out for help. Hope you understand what I mean. :)

      Delete
  5. It takes courage to put this out there. You are a strong beautiful woman! I too have suffered from depression and still am a little. It is a long road to recover and fully be yourself. I am here for you and if you need anything you let me know.

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    1. Growing Up MadisonApril 18, 2015 at 6:22 AM

      It did take courage Angela and it took everything for me to hit that publish button. It is a long road to recovery and with help from family, friends and my therapist I'm sure I'll be able to make it. Thanks for supporting me.

      Delete
  6. Aw, I just want you to know that I am thinking of you and your are most definitely brave and strong for sharing all this here.

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    1. Growing Up MadisonApril 18, 2015 at 6:22 AM

      Thank you Janine but at the time I wrote this I was not feeling brave or strong. :)

      Delete
  7. You are a very strong and beautiful person. This post is very beautifully written and I teared up for you thinking of what you must be going through. I am always a phone call away if you need me.

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    1. Growing Up MadisonApril 18, 2015 at 6:25 AM

      Thank you Michelle and you've been on my biggest supporters. I truly appreciate our almost daily texts. It's a long road ahead and I with support I'll be able to do it.

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  8. How amazing that you took the time out to write this, Amanda. I hope it helped to get it out, and I hope it helps too, to know you have a ton of supporters thinking of you and cheering for you, and wishing you so much love, joy, and happiness. Count me in as one of your biggest fans/supporters/friends!

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    1. Growing Up MadisonApril 18, 2015 at 6:26 AM

      Thank you Rosie, I truly appreciate your kind words. I hope it helps others as well to know that they're not the only one going through a tough time. My mother would always say "if you think you have it bad, there's someone out there who has it worse than you do", and she's correct.

      Delete
  9. As Sherrie said above you are stronger than you give yourself credit for. I don't know you at all but it takes a very strong person to openly admit all of the things you just wrote about. I know because I've been where you are, but I didn't tell many people. And the people that I did tell, even the ones that I felt like should be doing everything they could to help me, did nothing. I had no other option but to talk to God because literally no one else would listen. That worked for me. I pray that you find whatever you need to get better. I will be praying for you and that you overcome what you're going through.

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    1. Growing Up MadisonApril 18, 2015 at 6:28 AM

      That's how I've felt for quite some time. The people who you thought would be there for you to help you through the tough times were the ones who weren't really there. Thank you for your prayers and support. It really means a lot to me.

      Delete
  10. Very sad story - so much has happened at once. My mom went through something similar. It's so hard. Anxiety is my beast so I don't know a lot about depression and it helps me to read about it.
    Thinking of you a lot!

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    1. Growing Up MadisonApril 18, 2015 at 6:30 AM

      Yes Tamara, it does feel like everything is happening at once and nothing can ever go right. It's been really tough and I've been trying to hang in there but it's just not working right now. Blogging has been an outlet for me to not think about the things that are going on in my life but eventually it all catches up to you. I suffer with anxiety as well but it's not as bad and they're both bad. Here's hoping we both find peace.

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  11. Oh my sweet friend. My heart broke while reading this. I've been there my friend... oh how I've been there.

    First off, you don't have to be strong. We're made to feel and it sounds like all the repressed feelings have exploded because you just can't contain them anymore.

    Secondly, you are loved. Your children love you, I love you, and your heavenly Father loves you. Hold onto those truths - they can help you through the darkest of days.

    Thirdly, I'm not there to give you a shoulder to cry on but in sharing this here, I know to pray for you... and that I will do with all my heart.

    You've been through a lot and you have much to process. Please know you aren't alone. Seek any and all help you need.

    Thanks for sharing and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop.

    Sending you blessings, peace, and love.
    xoxo

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    1. Growing Up MadisonApril 23, 2015 at 6:22 AM

      Thank you so very much Jennifer. This means so much to me. It's been tough and I've been hanging in there and while I'm trying to be strong it's hard to be. Your prayers and your words of encouragement means much more than you know.

      Delete
  12. Sometimes we don't need strength. What we need is a shoulder to cry on, ears to listen, hearts to understand, support from all around. Our own strength fails us sometimes when the burdens seem too much to bear. You are a wonderful human being. You have folks around that know and cherish how valuable you are. You are not alone. You shall rise and overcome this chapter of your life with support all around. You are so courageous for sharing this with us. This act in itself is where your healing begins.

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[name=AnnMarie John] [img=https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X9gUeVik-ZY/WJjwNTOobII/AAAAAAABTJ4/qEhU0n62_AIo-j6-6LA2OFOr44lKCHASwCLcB/s100/AnnMarie%2BJohn%2BHeadshot.JPG] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook=http://www.facebook.com/theannmariejohn) (instagram=http://www.instagram.com/theannmariejohn) (twitter=http://www.twitter.com/theannmariejohn) (pinterest=http://www.pinterest.com/theannmariejohn) (email=mailto:annmarie@annmariejohn.com)

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