A Bad Time (Day 20)

SKIP THIS ONE. SERIOUSLY. I’m only posting so as not to leave the challenge incomplete. Go look at something entertaining. Now.

I really wasn’t looking forward to writing this, but stupid Past Me didn’t write this one in advance, so Present Me has to take care of it now. Up yours, Past Me!

I’m supposed to tell you about a difficult time in my life. I can think of a few. Four BIG rounds with depression (and many other times when it just sneaked up behind me and punched me in the back of the head for fun. Asshole).

The single “difficult time” that comes to mind is when I was pregnant for the second time. Now, you all know I love my children. I think they’re amazing, and they were worth every bit of pain I went through to get them this far. But they were both surprises, and our situation was less than ideal for having children both times (yes, we were using birth control. Apparently only performing demolition on my insides could stop this from happening again). At the time, all I knew was that I didn’t think I could go on. Looking back, I can see this highly-imperfect storm of factors:

  • Simon (#1) still wasn’t sleeping through the night, and I was exhausted
  • AJ was working full-time and I was working part-time when he could be home. We hardly ever saw each other, and it was putting a lot of strain on our marriage
  • I was on antidepressants that turned me into an emotional zombie before I got pregnant, and that did other horrible things to our marriage. I actually don’t know how Ike happened…
  • We were both working, but in retail. We lived in a crappy basement apartment. We had less than no money. We were in debt recovery over credit cards we’d used to buy groceries, trying to pay off that and student loans and still buy those groceries.
  • AJ was miserable, but he’s never agreed to be checked out for depression. He was definitely depressed at that time, but not getting any kind of help for it. He worked, he hated his job, he came home to a messy apartment because I had no energy or motivation or will to live. Not good, and I felt guilty about that. I still do.
  • Pregnancy hormones do horrible things to me. 40 weeks of morning sickness was actually the highlight. I was in so much emotional pain (the hormones got past the antidepressants and pushed me into the sub-basement of depression) that I couldn’t function. I was having panic attacks. I was exhausted. I wanted to sleep all the time, but I had a kid who needed me.
  • I wanted to not be alive anymore. I couldn’t kill myself (not with a kid who needed me and another one that literally couldn’t survive without me). I just wanted to be dead.

When you have depression (major depression, clinical depression, not emo-ism), pain and darkness consume you. You want to look on the bright side, see that life is worth living, but there’s just nothing there.  Most of the time when I was dealing with it, I felt so much like this comic that it’s frightening for me to read this:

Depression part Two (really worth a read if you haven’t yet, whether you have Depression or just want to understand why we can’t just pull ourselves out of it and BE HAPPY, DAMMIT)

When I was pregnant, I had that emotional nothingness AND tears,  anxiety, soul-crushing sadness and hopelessness. Don’t ask me how you can have both, but you can.

How did that turn out? Well, the sun kept on rising, so I had no choice but to keep plodding through my life. I went back to the psychiatrist who had treated me during my first pregnancy, and she put me on a second antidepressant, because obviously Effexor (the drug from hell) wasn’t doing what it should. I got through it. AJ got through it. Simon got through it without being neglected or damaged. The cats got through it, but probably could have used more-frequent litter box scoopings. We survived. There were some better days, especially with Simon (have I told you how he used to do all of the dances from Hairspray?), but mostly it was survival. Existence. Trying not to let the bad parts consume me.

GOOD EFFING TIMES.

And then AJ got into the RCMP. When Ike was two months old, he had to leave for six months. Things got better once he was back with us, but I think I’ve put you through enough for today.

Well, I feel better. Or not. Thanks a lot, blog challenge.

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About Kate Sparkes

Kate Sparkes was born in Hamilton, Ontario, but now resides in Newfoundland, where she tries not to talk too much about the dragons she sees in the fog. She lives with a Mountie, two kids who take turns playing Jeckyll and Hyde, two cats, an intentional boxer and an accidental chihuahua. She's the author of the bestselling Bound Trilogy (mature YA Fantasy). www.katesparkes.com View all posts by Kate Sparkes

2 responses to “A Bad Time (Day 20)

  • Phillip McCollum

    Didn’t skip it and am glad I didn’t. We all have rough times in our lives and it takes guts to share them, so thank you for doing so. I can’t imagine how hard things must have been during that time, but I do empathize. I’m glad you feel better now. 🙂

  • L. Marie

    I certainly wouldn’t skip this. Kate, I’ve had to take antidepressants too. And with the stress you were under, my hat is off to you for doing what you had to do. Wanting to die? I’ve been there. Oh, how I’ve been there. Here’s a hug. [[You]] Now back I go to continue reading a certain person’s novel, which I’m enjoying. 🙂

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