Housewife MacGyver: The Loneliness of Depression by Andi of Jane of All Crafts

Today our guest is one of the spunkiest bloggers I know: Andi from Jane of All Crafts. Andi often cracks herself up in her blogs posts (by her own admission), and, without fail, she cracks me up too! 

I asked Andi here today to share with us a different topic though, not about humor or crafts...about depression. Because emotional health isn't all rainbows and lollipops, and because depression is so very real and affects more people than we know. I'm so grateful that Andi is willing to share part of herself with us today! 

Since Andi sent me this post, she's decided to take a little time off blogging to make her health a priority, so read what she has to say here and then, would you be so kind as to pop over and offer her some love and encouragement? Thanks!

Hi Just Lu followers!  I'm Andi from Jane of all Crafts.  I blog about all kinds of crafts, DIY, sewing etc.  You name it, I probably blog about it.  Like my blog title suggests I am a jane of all crafts, master of none :)  Aside from my crafting adventures I sometimes get a little personal on my blog and share some things about my family and I.  Anyone who knows me knows that I am an open book.  What you see is what you get.  I wear my heart on my sleeve and have nothing to hide.  So once I started to get some loyal followers I thought it was time to share something that is a part of my everyday life and Lu asked me to be here today to share it with you as well.  Here is an excerpt from that post.

This particular subject definitely isn't something that defines me but is a part of who I am.  I have depression.  I take medication (sorry Tom Cruise).  It never was an issue, except the occasional blah day, until after Natalie was born.  I didn't realize until after the fact that I had had post partum depression.  Natalie was 3 when I decided that I needed to try medication.  Most days are great, some days not so much.  Today has been one of those days.  For some reason I just feel sad.  It's like this deep gut feeling.  I really can't describe it.  It sucks away my motivation.  I am overwhelmed with thoughts of failure.  As I type this I worry what you will think of me and if you are asking yourselves, why is she telling us this?  I am having a very difficult time writing this post because until you have had depression it is hard to explain what it feels like to have it.  I always tell people that you don't know you are in it until you are out of it, if that makes sense?  It's this vicious cycle that just compounds on itself.  You feel depressed so you don't want to do anything, then the guilt and self loathing sets in which only makes the depression worse which starts the cycle all over again only worse.  It is a very lonely place.  I know what it feels like to be numb to everything and feel hopeless.  Thinking that you will never get better, you will never figure it out. 

Yep, I have depression.  And yes, it has been extremely challenging to deal with at times.  Although I am learning to better cope with the love and support of my family, friends, doctors, and therapists.   The hardest thing for me has been self acceptance.  I know having depression doesn't make me any less of a person then someone who doesn't, but I still have days where I ask why me?  Why on top of everything else that life throws at me do I have this too?  And there is a part of me that is ashamed.  Ashamed that I can't do this without taking medicine.  Ashamed that I'm not "normal".  Sometimes I feel like I just need to suck it up and move on like everyone else does.  Then a tiny voice inside my head yells "Snap out of it!" "Depression isn't who you are, you are so much more."  I don't always listen to that voice and this road to acceptance is rough but I figure at least I'm making the journey.   

Whether or not you have depression all of us can relate to learning to accept things about ourselves we cannot change.  For most of us it's an ongoing process.  It's important to know that even though there are things we don't like about ourselves we are not defined by them. Learning to except the the hand we've been dealt and choosing not to be so self critical I think is an important step to self reliance.  

Like the serenity prayer says, 

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

And to anyone who is reading this that suffers from mental illness I want you to know that you are not alone and there are people out there who understand and who will support you. Depression is a very lonely illness. If you haven't talked to someone about how you are feeling find someone you trust and talk to them. Don't stay trapped in your own thoughts.  
You will get through this.
You deserve to be happy and healthy.

I am here if you need to talk,

This post is part of the Housewife MacGyver series on just Lu. Read more about Housewife MacGyver and see all the posts in the series here.


Ali Richardson said...

Wow! This was a powerful post. Andi is one of my dearest friends and I know she will get through this rough patch! I'm happy she got a chance to share all of this on your blog :)

Lisa @ Turning Tables said...

Andi really is so strong and is such an inspiration to all of us. Life is hard, and being your own advocate is so important. Thank you for sharing, Andi! :)

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

Thank you for sharing a very personal part of yourself, Andi. Hopefully you have helped someone today.

Lucy @ Charm About You said...

You're so brave to be so honest and I'm sure this will help people. I applaud you for reaching out and getting help. I hope you can take on board your last two sentences. I admire your strength x

Nick and Keira said...

It's pretty brave just to admit that. Depression totally IS a lonely illness. You are literally silenced by your own self-loathing. Thanks for giving encouragement!

Erin said...

You are so brave! Thank you for your post! I suffer from anxiety and have been taking medication for years. To me, it's just like taking blood pressure's what I need to do to stay healthy. My panic attacks used to cause me to stay inside for days at a time and I understand the isolation and fear that you will never feel "normal" again. Be strong, take care of yourself and know that you are in NO WAY alone in this! HUGS!

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