We returned from Cancun with high hopes that I would get to feeling better after enjoying surf and sun.
But within just a week of returning, my anxiety levels were at an all time high. I'd been back to see my psychiatrist with the hopes of more medication helping to control the non-stop tremors I was experiencing. Every noise around me was like sitting next to stereo speakers. The non-stop busyness of the school main office was more than I could handle. I couldn't go to church because of the crowd and the high volume music that felt like it beat within my body. It was physically painful. I couldn't concentrate on anything. The only place I went was to work, and then home to sleep.
One sunny afternoon in late April my husband and I were sitting on the front steps of our home and I completely became unglued. My depression and anxiety were at a level I had never experienced before. I truly felt that I was drowning and had no way to get air. I was in hysterics trying to explain it to my husband. I remember screaming in frustration at him that I couldn't do it! Despite all his belief in me and encouragement, I couldn't do it anymore. I just wanted out. I felt so trapped. I remember feeling completely irrational and thinking that I would just get in the car and drive until I reached a destination where no one knew me and I could just crawl into oblivion where no one would notice and everyone would leave me alone. I was desperate...so desperate.
I had cried and cried out to God for help. I was at a place where I didn't know what to ask anymore. I always had faith through many different struggles with depression that God would show himself. He had always had something to teach me, something to reveal to me through my season of suffering. I kept waiting and watching....but this time....there was nothing. No answers, no revelations, no hint of an answer. I was drowning.
And so on that April afternoon we finally made the decision that I would take a medical leave of absence for the remainder of the school year. We also decided that I would take a leave of absence for the following school year and take that time to try to really heal and get answers. The relief should have been instantaneous, but the physical side of this illness had taken such a toll on my body that it took several weeks for that relief to sink in. I nearly slept away the entire month of May. My body, mind and spirit were completely depleted. I was empty.
I had no energy left to fight any longer.
Join me next Wednesday for Part 4 of the series, Drowning: My Journey Through Depression.
Note: Praise God for my family who endured far more than they should have during this extremely difficult time for all of us. An understanding, patient and loving family is crucial to anyone fighting through mental illness. They didn't understand, but they loved me anyway. I love you all.
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