What I Was Made For

I was made for cooking all kinds of delicious things for my family. Food is my love language.

I was made for snuggling babies. My babies, your babies, all the babies.

For answering questions from my daughter. Any and every. Always.

For morning and evening walks with the love of my life while I ramble on about our children, the weather, the beauty around us, politics, religion, family, friends, Buzz Lightyear, and love.

I was made for love, to show love. To show kindness when and where others cannot. With a broad range of compassion, both from my personal life lessons and from the understanding that we all carry our own baggage.

I was made for mothering. I was made to kiss boo-boos, to calm fears. For laughing at fart jokes. For Nerf wars. For planning ridiculous birthday parties. For sleepovers. For kisses and hugs. For the hard stuff we don’t imagine when we consider mothering. For all of it.

I was made for raising a generation who loves better than those before them. Literally. I was literally made for this.

I was made for moving my body. For running short distances and long. For enduring marathons. For yoga. For walking dogs. For chasing boys. For dancing. For stretching.

I was made for poetry. For prose. For reading all the things and writing even more. For using words, spoken and written, to reach others, to touch others, to help others understand.

I was made for friendship. Oh, I’m not always good at friendship, but I was made for it. For laughing. For wine nights. For holding your hand when you don’t know the answer. For helping you move really heavy furniture on Sunday nights. For falling out of hot tubs. For listening when your spouse is a jagoff. For lamenting when your kids are tweens. For sending your kids off on their own. For celebrating your success. For crying with you in your grief. For you.

I was made for sharing this story.

This story that is ever-evolving. For presenting a birth mother as so many shades of gray instead of all happy rainbows or all pitch black night. For showing motherhood through a lens of both gratefulness and exhaustion; of reality. For standing up and saying, I’m here. I nearly wasn’t, for so many reasons. My kidney. Complicated pregnancies. Two separate suicide attempts, the most recent of which isn’t yet a full three years ago.

But I’m here for a reason. Yes, all of the reasons above, and so many more, and to say this: Even when it feels impossible, when it feels pointless, I’m still here for something.

I am here for you.

September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. This year on of my beloved non-profits chose the theme: Stay: Find Out What You Were Made For. If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-273-TALK to connect with the National Suicide Prevention LifeLine. You are not alone. You matter.

Diagnosed with Treatment Resistant Depression

“That’s one thing we can do with Treatment Resistant Depression.”

Blink. Blink.

Oh hey, new diagnosis. Wasn’t expecting to see you there.

I sat in the office of my Meds Doc with the windows open on February 6th because the temperature got random and hit 60 degrees. I felt the cool air on the back of my neck as the heat started to creep up my face. She continued to ask me questions.

“You said you’re sleeping again, but is it safe to assume you’re probably sleeping too much.”

Yes. And shut up.

I’ve known things were off for awhile now. I attempted to move this appointment up after my crash-and-burn in late December, but our mental health care system sucks, so this was the earliest I could get in to see my doc. My husband thought I just needed a med change, something I felt strongly opposed to at the time.

Changing meds is literally the worst. Tapering down on the old, up on the new. The side effects that slam into you, full force, that you’re just supposed to live through because “they go away after a few weeks.” It’s always great to feel nauseated and dizzy for three weeks on top of being depressed. It’s the best.

So, I started out the appointment telling her that my husband thought I needed a med change.

Then she made me get very specific about what had been happening since December. Then her tone changed, and she apologized that she couldn’t get me in earlier. She started listing off things we could do.

And then she said Treatment Resistant Depression.

I didn’t quite hear anything for a bit.

I’ve lived with a diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) since I sought care at the age of 25. Honestly, I have lived with anxiety my entire life, but that was the first time someone put a name to it. I also suffer from bouts of Major Depression, but normally I adjust what I’m doing, up my therapy, and I’m good to go.

Not this time.

I’ve lightly Dr. Googled the new diagnosis. I don’t really feel like delving into it just yet. I’m just sitting with it.

I know that a new diagnosis doesn’t define me. But it feels new and different and I don’t quite know what to do with it. I don’t know what box to put it in. I don’t know how it feels. It doesn’t actually change anything about me.

I start a new medication in the morning. They didn’t take me off any of my other medications, so this one is just added to my existing cocktail. I hope the side effects are minimal. I hope I feel like getting out of bed on a regular basis and not just when I absolutely have to in order to function as a parent or a dog owner. I hope I’ll resume the energy to work out again. I hope I’ll just enjoy anything again.

I do know that I have a wonderful tribe of people supporting me through this next step of my journey. I feel very thankful for their continued presence.

Treatment Resistant Depression