When we last spoke, I left a cryptic post on Still Sunflowers' Facebook page, saying that I was taking a brief break to manage some personal things. You're probably wondering what those "personal things" were.
At the time I posted that, my mom was rushed to the hospital. She's been fighting stage-four cancer for the past six years, and I truly thought, right then, that we were losing her.
My mom is my best friend. I talk to her on the phone literally every single day. She's a part of my life that I couldn't exist without. So I spent all day working up the courage to pack my bag and drive home, collapsing to the floor and sobbing periodically. I was in no frame of mind to manage this. But who ever really is?
To make a long story short, my mom - who always defies the odds - survived. She rebounded, left the hospital a few days after I drove home and is doing well right now. In fact, here we are at church on Mother's Day:
I really don't have the words to explain my gratitude that she is okay right now, nor do I have the words to convey that I'm in complete awe of her and her doctors. So I won't try to. Just... wow. That's really all I can say. I'm rarely speechless, but here I am, so now I'll stop typing.
Prior to this episode, I returned to therapy. I'd lost all motivation to do anything around my home - cook, clean, feed myself, work, exercise... everything.
Depression isn't a new phenomenon for me. I was initially diagnosed with depression and anxiety in college after a series of tough events - my mom's cancer diagnosis being one of them. I've been on antidepressants on and off for years, and because of these experiences, I consider myself pretty in touch with my emotional needs.
But my past journeys with depression were different than this one. Usually, they were set off by a concrete event and expressed by me lying on the floor/bed/couch/whatever and sobbing. I existed in a mental fog, alienated myself from everyone I loved and just kind of existed. It was always something I could look at and say, "Hm. Maybe I need therapy."
Because of that past, it wasn't weird for my friends and family to ask me "Why are you depressed?" this time around. Even I had no idea why.
Honestly, my life is great. I love my husband, we have a sweet dog-child, we live in a great area, and we have jobs we love. So I felt kind of like an asshole for being depressed, especially when my mom was rushed to the hospital and I shrieked to my husband, "I can't do this!"
So at first, I thought I was just lazy. It took me a long time to overcome post-surgery fatigue, so maybe I just got super comfortable not cleaning my house thoroughly.
But when I literally couldn't bring myself to boil water when I was so hungry that my ribs hurt, I realized something was wrong. I started losing a lot of weight, and people noticed. When I said, "I think I need to go back to therapy," Andrew immediately answered, "I think that's a good idea."
Therapy, so far, has been a lot of untangling. A lot of trying to understand what I'm feeling and why everything is so overwhelming.
For my own personal analysis, I can see a lot of ways endometriosis has contributed to my depression. I'm in my third year of getting treatment for a labeled disease - although I've had it since I was 11 years old - and it's been hard to deal with the countless obstacles. I've tried so many treatments with varying levels of effectiveness, and it's exhausting to "try again."
For example, my November surgery was incredibly helpful and much more helpful than my first surgery in 2014. But of course, there are problems I thought it would fix that it uhh didn't. Like... *ahem* icanthavesexwithoutpain *cough* likeeverseriouslyever *cough*.
I spoke about that with my ob-gyn, and she referred me to a sexuality counselor (apparently the only one in the state, how bout that.) So once again, I gathered up my willpower, generated as much optimism as possible and set up an appointment to see her. And waited. For this to maybe, hopefully work.
|Me, the past few months|
My therapist must have noticed my anxiety and obvious frustration with my life and uterus. Because after chatting for a bit, she looked me in the eyes and said, "Look. I really think I can help you. And if you're willing to stick with me, I will stick with you. I will not give up."
I wanted to cry. After having been "fired" by physical therapists in the past and cycling through medications that don't work and cost a shit-ton, I was just so, so tired. I was beginning to wonder if doctors were handing me treatments just to make me feel like I was "doing something." Like it wasn't totally helpless, and I could have a loving relationship and life without pain. But could I?
I've accepted I will have a certain level of pain my entire life. But this type of pain was damaging both Andrew and me. It's been breaking my heart, honestly.
I don't want to get too far into it because it'll be a whole 'nother blog post. But I will say I had the very exciting experience of visiting a compound pharmacy for the first time! I felt like I was doing something illegal, even though I had two prescriptions from real doctors... And one of them was vaginal Valium soooo we'll see how that goes.
Anyway, these are two therapies that I'm in the process of working through. So there will be more to come. But I wanted to provide everyone this update since you've all been so supportive and loving through the years I've been writing.
I'm hoping I won't go a long time without posting again. But if I disappear, just know that I'm doing well and getting the care and support I need.
Also, here's a picture of me and my dog: