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What is real and what is not

My husband believes that depression is all in one's head, like perhaps mind over matter. I do not fault him for his beliefs, as I have many original ones of my own. However, I do believe that depression is real. I believe it as I live with it everyday, and have seen what it has done to others in my family. I know what it is capable of doing to others, and how it diminishes the soul, I know this first-hand. He sees me day in and day out, yet how can he not see what it has done to me and not understand that this merely is not a case of mind over matter? I often sit alone day after day in my bed not wanting to go downstairs to watch TV, scrapbook in my scrap room (which needs to be packed so it can be remodeled), make dinner, or even be with others. And while I feel this way day after day, thinking horrible, unbearable thoughts at times, I still feel this way despite the anti-depressants I have taken since August.
The first one they had me one made me feel somewhat better, but we learned in December that it was (possibly) the cause of the nightly seizures I experienced. So in late December, they switched me to a different kind of medication called Cymbalta. And while it has been nearly 6 weeks now, I still feel no different. In fact I think I may feel worse, because now I am back to weeping and crying nearly constantly. I find myself feeling more stressed, and having more anxiety than ever. And I find myself asking why, why do I feel like this? Is it because I am pre-disposed to depression due to family history? Was it my brush with Breast Cancer? Or was it because something I never thought possible happened to me….a woman, a close dear friend of mine broke my heart and I haven’t been able to get over it?
In the back of my head, I cannot forget it. But then again, it’s really no different than any other person or event in my life. I have always felt vengeful. I can never forgive and forget. Yet I can’t help thinking about it over and over again. How I have sent cards, promised burnt programs (one that I can no longer find the original for myself) and other acts of kindness, yet to get no reply, no thank you, no nothing. I ask nothing of my friends, nothing more than to be a friend. I don’t care if I often spend more on you than you spend on me. I don’t care about keeping track of who did what, about tracking “points” as you may say. And while I may have brought up a few occurrences to make a point, it wasn’t to throw them in her face or make her think that she was a bad friend – which she accused me of. It was merely to show here how much I cared for her, her family and our nearly 7 year friendship. I had only brought up the subject because while going through chemo I had not seen her or heard from her and had been slightly depressed at the time and needed a friend to talk to, to lean on. Which in turn ended up questioning the whole existence of our so called friendship, and ending it – which hurt me more than you could imagine. I think it hurt even more than the cancer did – when someone you love and consider a friend has no time for you and wants nothing to do with you after 7 years, it does break your heart. It hurt that she spent more time talking to virtual strangers than she EVER did to me – EVEN WHEN I LIVED IN THE SAME DAMN TOWN. She had no time to email or call me, yet had time to post and swap and scrap, when she had a friend out there that needed her in the worst way. And to think I was the fool that introduced her to scrapbooking. My husband keeps trying to remind me it is her loss, and not mine, and to just move on with the REAL friends that I do have – the ones that really make time for me, that call me, email me, invite me to lunch or to the park. He says it’s because of friends like her, that he no longer has any “old” friends.
It’s just hard for me, because as much as I love scrapbooking, I would NEVER value paper, ribbon, stamps, paint or embellishments MORE than the life of a person who you know in real life, and is a friend – one that was at your wedding, your baby showers, all the birthday parties, a person who had always been there for them. I have/had cancer and she couldn’t even call to say hi. I could have died, and all she had to say was maybe I forgot what it was like to work and take care of your family.
So I go from mildly depressed to extremely depressed, and I find myself wondering the cause – cancer or a broken heart? It’s like the question, what comes first, the chicken or the egg?


Shannon said...

Ang, I know first hand that depression is NOT all in your head. Dealt with a mild case of it myself about 3 years ago. The medication helped significantly. I still deal with some down times, but not nearly like I did before. So no, its not all in your head. Ive also had that same "friend" experience, and just realized that I dont have the energy to deal with people like that. Even friendships cannot be one sided...they just dont work.

Hang in there and you know how to find me if you need anything!

LoraLoo said...

I think you've been through SO MUCH and depression may be a result of everything you spoke about - cancer, genetics, a broken heart.

Don't let someone like that rent anymore space in your head. Seriously - do yourself a favor and cut your losses, this person doesn't deserve any more time in your life.

Perhaps that will help in your eventual freedom from depression. I truly feel that with help, support and the proper diagnosis/medication, you can overcome it.

'Nuf said.