Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A story


Top: Kohl's
Skirt: Target
Belt: Ann Taylor
Booties: Aldo
Scarf: gift from my mom
Earrings: Kohl's
Adorable kitteh: Elefante

So, yeah, this outfit is basically the flip of this one here. I'm fine with that because I can't even tell you how happy the combination of green and leopard makes me. If it works, it works, and I'm cool with that.


Y'all, since we moved to Costa Rica, things were hard. Like, really hard. The work hours are long, there's little distinction between my personal life and my work life, and we're poor. The rains get to me, especially because the rainy season lasts about eight months here. I wasn't sleeping well - I'd wake up from a nightmare and I wouldn't be able to go back to sleep. The nightmares were nearly every night for about nine months. Nine. Months.


And then there were the headaches. They'd start in my shoulders, move up into my neck, attack my jaw, and settle behind my eyes. Sometimes they were so strong that I'd feel nauseated. To make things worse, they'd last for two weeks at a time. And this, too, went on for nine months.


I didn't want to eat, I cried all the time, I imagined that Kiku or the cats had been hit by a car, I had no energy to do anything besides my actual teaching. And it sucked. It really, really sucked. I felt like I didn't even know myself, and I hated what I was putting B through, because, seriously? This was not what he signed up for, this weepy, sickly, emotional mess of a woman. Even if he was beyond supportive and stuck with me and told me it was okay and I could cry to him whenever I needed, and he LISTENED! Even then, I felt awful.


So we went to the doctor and told him everything that was going on. It didn't surprise me, not at all, but it did make me feel validated somehow. I'd thought I was going crazy, becoming someone else, and his diagnosis made me feel like it'd be okay. It's depression. Big surprise, right? So now I'm on Paxil and I've been on it for about a month and I feel like myself again. And I haven't wanted to talk too much about it because of the stigma, but really? I'm talking about it because of the stigma. Because I've been around a lot of Christian circles where if you just trust Jesus it's alright, and I was trusting and things weren't okay. Because mental illness sometimes - often - has additional physical consequences. Because I know I'm not the only one who's gone through this and has been too afraid to see a doctor about it.


So this is my story, and even though I don't like sharing a lot of these personal things with the internet, I think it's important. And y'all, I feel so much better now.

17 comments:

  1. Te ves bella, no veo a Kiku <3

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  2. I am glad you are feeling better. There's nothing wrong with taking steps to make your life more functional and happier. I hope you start also seeing someone to talk about what is causing the depression, too.

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  3. Being depressed is scary, but sometimes seeking help seems scarier. Having a supportive husband and family is great, but it doesn't make it go away. Thank you for sharing! This will help people.

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  4. I love green and leopard too Frances, thanks for sharing, I went through depression for many years, I was on Paxil too but it didn't work for me much, it made me gain lots of weight so I stopped taking it. I totally get the stigma that some Christians have about depression and medication, I've heard it before, but I want to encourage you and I hope that you feel better and I am glad that you are, you are a courageous girl to have moved back there and to be touching the children's life despite the sacrifice it has mean in your life. I hope everything continues to improve and I'm so glad you are feeling better! =)

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  5. Thanks for sharing this. I have depression as well, was diagnosed six years ago and have been on medication ever since. It's hard to talk about it sometimes, but I try not to be afraid to bring it up because it's an illness just like anything else, we take antidepressants like a diabetic takes their insulin, why should there be a stigma? Glad to hear you're feeling better :)

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  6. I'm sorry to hear that you had to go through all that Frances but so glad you found some relief. :-)

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  7. I'm glad you were able to get some help. I've been there, it's awful, and I waited way too long before asking for help because I felt like it was all my fault and I should be strong enough to fight it by myself. It was pretty scary. I'm so glad you're feeling better now. And thank you for sharing. As much as I wouldn't wish depressing on my worst enemy it can be really validating to hear that others have had a similar experience.

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  8. You are right about the sigma that comes along with depression, especially since their are so many people out there who think that changing your attitude and outlook on life is just as simple as changing your shoes, and that people who feel depressed simply choose it.

    Glad you are feeling like yourself again!

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  9. Praying for you, Frances Joy!

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  10. I am amazed and inspired by your courage, Frances. Thank you so much for writing all this.

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  11. great green top...
    did this look help a little bit on depression

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  12. As a Christian, I totally understand the stigma associated with depression and anti-depressants. My mom is Bi-polar and it has been a long, hard process in getting her to overcome the stigma attached to this horrible illness and understanding that it is ok to take medicine for it. Bless you Frances and so glad you are feeling better. And you look fabulous!!

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  13. Frances you were so smart to get it checked it out by doctor! Glad you are feeling better and it's so silly how in certain circles taking care of yourself is looked down upon. I'm proud of you, seriously, from thousands of miles away! Hoping you continue to feel better and stay strong okay!?

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  14. Oh I like the combo of green and leopard! hehe plus you look so happy :)

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  15. Awesome! About 2 1/2 years ago things were really hectic school, family, job, and church. At the time I felt if I made myself busier I wouldn't feel the sadness I was feeling. Long story short made a trip to the doctor, he diagnosed it as depression gave me a prescription. But I ran from it because of the stigma. I figured that maybe I was too busy and the lifestyle I was living as trying to fulfill this Superwoman role. Things have SLOWED down in my life and I still feel the same. So maybe I just need to make a trip and tell myself it's ok. ;) Thanks for the post.

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  16. I'm so happy that you're feeling better now. I've had hard times in my life, when I was let go from my old job and couldn't find a new one. I was depressed, and scared, and felt useless and worthless for five month.
    So I just want to tell you that you're an amazing woman, strong, brave and beautiful, and I wish you all the best :*)

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