Friday, December 10, 2010

The Storm Before the Calm

This post may seem very random for everyone, but it's been something on my mind lately. Usually when I have something on my mind, I have to get it down in writing or it'll never leave until it's replaced with something else that I have to get down in writing. This particular thing is unpleasant and is getting me down so I am going to get it off my mind now so I don't have to wait for something else to come (which could take a while).

I've been thinking about depression lately. I'm not sure why. The only way I can think to get this one off my mind is by sharing the time of my life when I was depressed. I've never told anyone the full story and I think I'll feel better once it's all down. Maybe my story will help others who are depressed feel better, or at least understood. For those who like happy stories, read something else.WARNING: This could get lengthy.

My story starts with a boy. We had been dating about 9 months. In the LDS community, this seemed like a good time to really decide about marriage. I was... relatively happy with him, but is this what love felt like? I was so confused. But, on good days, I was happy so I figured I had  to have been in love, right? One day, he told me that he wanted to marry me. He said that I was the one for him. He wasn't proposing, but he was seeing if I felt the same way. I told him I didn't know if I was there yet, but I definitely loved him and said I'd think about it.

He then said that maybe we'd be able to decide better in an open relationship. ?!?. He said that maybe by dating others, we'll realize that this is what we want, and get married. I'm not sure why I deluded myself into agreeing and thinking it would work, but he made a very compelling arguement. In the meantime, we would pray about what was right for us. So, we did. I went on several dates, each with a different guy. Nothing felt right, and if anything, they were annoying. I just thought about this other guy the whole time, and then I felt bad about treating my date so badly, even if he didn't know it because it was all in my thoughts.

Then he found her. He took her out on several dates and oh boy, they hit it off!... He still hadn't decided what he wanted, so he stayed with me, while continually dating her, openly telling me of how amazing his dates with her were, and what they did, which usually consisted of taking her on dates that he took me on in the beginning that I thought were exclusively special to our relationship.

Then one morning, after revealing that he had entered into a physical relationship with her (snuggling, holding hands, and the "first kiss"), and that last night they had gone on the date that him and I had planned, he said that Heavenly Father had given him his answer, and that we weren't supposed to get married... And it had "nothing to do with this other girl". My foot. This other girl was his answer.

This threw me into a deep depression. I couldn't eat. I lost around 11 pounds in three days, and around 14 that week. (FYI, health experts say that if you are trying to lose weight, anymore than 1-2 lbs a week is unhealthy.) There were other things that contributed to this depression but this story is going to be long enough as it is so I'll filter them out. When that week was over, a week and a day after he told me, I became afraid. First, because that week, even looking back on it now, seems like it was months. Secondly, I couldn't get out of bed. Some saving grace sat their in the back of my mind, keeping me sane. It said;

 "Samm, what are you doing? I know it hurts, but what are you thinking? 'I don't care if I'm hospitalized, it'd be better than here'?  That's crazy talk! If nothing else, think of the money it would cost? You're a frugal person, Samm, what a waste! You can't even get out of bed this morning! You called in sick to work yesterday and you plan to do it again, all because you are too weak to do anything! This is serious. 'So what'? So what, he's just a stupid boy. You knew this was coming! 'He wanted to marry me'? You were on the fence about that anyway. Don't be ridiculous. 'I couldn't eat even if I wanted to'? Well, then it's out of your hands. You have a Heavenly Father who loves you. You have a father who loves you. I will give you the strength to get out of bed, now you do the rest."

So I went to my dad. I told him the story, and he told me that a similar thing happened to him, only they were actually engaged, ring and all. We sat on the couch and we cried together and talked it through. He then gave me a blessing, told me he had to pick my brother up from school, and when he got back we would all eat lunch together. It wasn't easy to eat, but that small bit of happiness with my dad helped me to. (Yes, crying with my dad made me happier than I had been all week just because I was able to talk about it.) Then watching cartoons and eating bagle bites with my brother made me realized how much I had set my family to the side to make room for my relationship. I spent more time with my family after that.

My depression only lightened. It didn't go away. I had a friend who I hung out with, and my girls, (In fact, these events are what started the famous Girls Nights every Wednesday, because I had set my best friends aside as well.) But I was still depressed. I saw both him and her at church every week. Together. Happy. Three months later, they got engaged. All the things that were symbols of our relationship, he now shared with her for their relationship: love songs, inside jokes, movies, etc. He did that with me; he took things from his previous girlfriend and made them our things. We called it Reassociation. This is childish to say, but I took them both off my facebook. I couldn't bear it. In fact, everyone else even said that the way they were on facebook disgusted them and people not even involved didn't like looking at their facebook. I knew he was laying it on heavy to make me jealous because he was that type of person. She hated me (I'm not sure why, she got the guy, why make things miserable for me even further?), but she also made things horrible. Other people made things difficult, but those are also filtered out for length purposes.

All of that was difficult to ignore, but I managed somehow. What was unbearable, though, was nighttime. Not only would he creep into my thoughts in the daytime, but they would both creep into my dreams every night. He was always there haunting me. I spent every waking second urgently and adhamently determined not to think about him, and as soon as I let my guard down in sleep, he was there. I'm a avid dreamer, and my dreams are psychotic, so there were no 'dreamless nights'. He was always there every night. The absolute happiest moment for the entire day for me was the time when my alarm would go off, I would wake up, and there was nothing. No thoughts, no dreams, no feelings nor emotions. Just Samm and nothing. It would surprise me! There's nothing! This is great, I love this! Then confusion. Why am I feeling this happy feeling of nothing? And then it would all come crashing down again. The dream of last night, all the things I try to never think about. That nothingness would last only a second or two, if I were lucky enough to hold on that long.

There is a happy ending. I had great friends and a wonderful family to help me through. Then in January, I met the love of my life. He had always interested me, but I never got a chance to get to know him. I had been hanging out with several guys, but was never able to commit. I just didn't feel that way about them. The one guy I was remotely interested in didn't return the feelings. Then I saw my Spencer. It was a breath of fresh air. I didn't think about the other 'him' once. Conversation was easy and entertaining. This particular night, I couldn't get away from him. He was like a sun, and I was his planet, having an unseen force pulling me to him. I tried to fight it, I didn't even know this guy! I should leave him alone. But I couldn't, I was just too happy around him and I hadn't felt connected with a guy in that way for a long time.
My life hasn't been the same since. I was no longer depressed, I was the happiest I had ever been, and I found someone that I will spend the rest of eternity with.

For those interested in happy stories and would like to see the full story, see my other blog Nearly Weds.

This is the end of my sad story. We all become depressed one one time or another, to some degree or another. I wouldn't wish this experience on my worst enemy. No body deserves to feel that way. Just remember that your Heavenly Father loves you very much, and that good things will soon come your way. They always talk about the calm before the storm, but you don't hear much about the "storm before the calm". So when life is feeling particularly stormy, get out your rainboots and umbrellas and know that the calm will be there before you know it.

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