Thursday, September 16, 2010

"It's almost like I feel you carry me"

In the months after my daughter's birth, things started...changing.

And I'm not talking about the hanging skin, gory stretch marks or milk, uhh, seepage. I'm talking about the internal. Some called it post-partum. Others said lack of sleep. A few thought I was sad, and time would lick the wounds and scab everything over. I was more than sad. I was completely empty. The chemicals in my brain I needed to feel [alive], died off and dragged the person I was, with it.

The following months, while holding the precious cargo I'd worked so hard to protect in utero, pieces of the life I thought I wanted, disappeared. My mind drifted to the darkest of places and burned a fire plaguing the growing hole in my heart. But we're not suppose to talk about that. Because people will judge you and stick you in a box and label you. So you just shut your mouth and fade into the air. Like you never existed. And you start to believe, everyone would be better off, without you.

For nearly two years, I crawled along the cold bathroom tiles with my husband banging from the other side to get through. But I couldn't hear him. I only heard the silence, and I only felt the pain. I wanted so bad to feel normal again. To feel anything but dead. To want to live. Luckily, rescue came in many forms for me. Friends, family, my husband and child. Writing, therapy, singing, and talking, thanks to TWLOHA.

There was a time, despite the bundle of pink cooing in the other room, I could have died. But I didn't. And I'm here, now, to tell you rescue is possible. Today isn't about the glass half empty, but about finding a way to discover the glass half full, whatever the means. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in teens ages10 to15. Did you hear that? TEN and FIFTEEN. The prominent memories they leave behind, like a trail of puzzle pieces, are loved ones saying "I never even knew s/he was depressed..."

We're master manipulators. We'll tell you we're great when we're ripped down the middle. We'll laugh at your jokes and cry on the inside. We'll say we're busy so we can be all alone, and wish we weren't. We'll focus on the things that maybe don't matter to anyone else, but take the blame and punish ourselves and ruin the good things and make everything harder...BECAUSE WE AREN'T WHOLE. AND WE DON'T KNOW HOW TO BE, ON OUR OWN.

So today, my friends, I urge you to reach out to someone (anyone). If they've had a bad day, talk to them. If you know someone who's been feeling low, be there for them. Without someone to carry them, to catch them if/when they fall, they may never break the silence.

Blog peeps Justine Dell, Emily Reynolds, Candice Hughs and myself are all participating in the Out of  the Darkness walk on October 10th to raise awareness. We're asking you click on the link, type in one of our names, and donate just $1 to the cause. I've been so close to this, it still stings to remember. Help me, help those who've lost the battle or are still fighting alone, in the dark.
Okay, so it IS still me: headless, Brady-loving extraordinaire...
Candyland. OUT.
*Thanks to Lenny (GET WELL SOON!!!) and family for creating the banner*

34 comments:

Theresa Milstein said...

It frightens me that someone as young as ten could lose the will to live. Thirteen and up, I can see how dark thoughts can fester. It's heartbreaking.

Thank you for sharing your story to raise money for a worthy cause and to help others.

Theresa Milstein said...

Do you have a team name?

Jessica Carmen Bell said...

Ok. You got me crying now. You just summed up how I spent the majority of my teenage years. I still feel like that from time to time, but the difference is, now I know it's just depression and it will go away, but I didn't then. Wonderful post, Candy. Pinched one of my nerves ...

Creepy Query Girl said...

Depression tears apart so many lives- not just the person dealing with it. It's a terrible, manipulative, life sucking desease, state of mind, curse, whatever you want to call it- and I wish no one had to live with it. Someone i'm very close to is depressive and it is so hard and painful trying to figure out the best way to help her. I'm sorry for what your family (and especially you) must have gone through and am so admirative of your strength candy! Great post.

Renae said...

What a wonderful post candy! I am in awe of your strength. Any form of depression is hard and even harder to make others who haven't experienced it understand.

Kelly Breakey said...

So glad you made it through the dark to the lightness on the other side. Especially since you make all my days brighter and I really don't know what I would do if you were no longer around to make me smile.

Good luck with the walk and I hope you reach your goals.

Anne said...

You are such a good person. Really. I will do what I can to donate.

Clarissa Draper said...

Touching words. I dealt with a lot of the same feelings. I'm glad there are people out there that care.
CD

Summer Ross said...

I can relate to this post. When I had my daughter I went through postpartum so bad I didn't even know she existed the first three months of her life- and yeah telling people that is hard when judgements are placed.

This was a really good post and I admire your ability to do this. I agree reaching out even a little bit when someone feels down can help them tremendously.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Really really god post, Candace. Unless you've known real depression you don't understand it. It's not, I feel bad. Life stinks. No one loves me. It's I wish I wasn't here. The world would be a better place without me. Would anyone notice if I was gone? Depression closes you off from everyone and traps you. I'm so glad that you found a way to move forward. Depression can be a constant battle for many people....

Jaydee Morgan said...

Very touching post. Thanks for shedding some light on this for those of us who have never experienced it.

Katherine C said...

Very moving story ... I've experienced this myself (suicidal depression, not pp) and you expressed it beautifully. Thank you.

C.E. said...

alright, you got me tearin' up at work, girl. Wonderfully written, great message, and sadly true. "we're not supposed to talk about that..." ugh! So wrong that it is that way.

Matthew Rush said...

The courage that you have to always tell the brutal truth, even to all us strangers ... is ... I don't even know exactly what to say. It's beautiful. It's inspiring. It's uplifting, but really there are no words that say enough.

That's why I Got U today. That's whay even though I'm broke and have already donated to way too much stuff since I started blogging, I'm gonna go give a little more. Because this is important.

Kelly Dexter said...

Thanks for this, and for your honesty. You are really too awesome. Yes, I gush. It is what is.

Anonymous said...

Dear Candace,

I'm Lenny's oldest brother. I work in mental health, primarily with youngsters with co-occurring disorders(depression and substance abuse). I've lost one client to suicide and have two who have made attempts. Yes, there is a great deal of stima regarding those with mental illness and it causes people to be afraid to admit to feeling depressed. Sharing your story is a wonderful way to help others realize they are not alone. I admire your courage and appreciate what you are doing to shed light on a very big problem. Thank you so much for participating in the walk to help prevent suicide. I hope many of your fellow bloggers will donate at least one dollar to help someone who is struggling and walking in darkness at this very moment. Alex

LTM said...

that is one awesome post, girl! And I hope you're putting those emotions to work for you in your writing. My fat dollah's coming, and you're right. Speak to people, smile. Just not on the subway. :D

No, you're right. It's a serious subject and excellent work shining the light on it. <3 :o)

Carolyn V. said...

This is such a touching post. Thank you for writing it. I had no idea it effect children as young as ten. It makes me think of my kids and their friends. wow.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Candace, you have such a big and beautiful heart. I adore you.

Shannon said...

Thanks for making this post, Candy. It's so easy to get wrapped up in our own minutia we overlook those around us.

You're fabulous. <3

Sondrae Bennett said...

What a poignant post and such an important message. and I agree with Shannon, you're fabulous!

Jared Larson said...

Thanks for the amazing post, Candace. A woman close to me had a rough childhood, abandoned and left to survive on her own, so I'm pretty supportive of this stuff. Will do. And thank you.

Patti said...

It's an important topic that still needs lots of discussion and to have any kind of stigma removed. Great post.

Lisa Gail Green said...

I've actually been there too. So I hear you, and I think what you are doing is phenomenal. That's all I have to say.

Erin MacPherson said...

This is sooo great and a REALLY important subject... PPD is so prevalent.

Dawn said...

What a great post. And so important. Very recently I met an angelic little boy - beautiful, sweet, polite. I was shocked to learn from his mother that he'd been in counselling because he is suicidal. So sad. Thank you for this.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Ten to fifteen? That shocks and frightens me. I have two in that age range already, a third on the way. Thanks for supporting this important cause!!

DL Hammons said...

I usually don't participate in on-line charities because I donate heavily here locally and I have to draw the line somewhere. But you got me. I'll do it for you and Justine. :)

Justine Dell said...

This post is wonderful, Candace. And so heartbreaking. The truth of reality hurts.

Thanks to all fo those who donate to this worthy cause!

~JD

Riv Re said...

*hug* You're brave Candace, for going out and posting this online for the world. Thank you for putting out the truth like that. I read through these comments and all the mothers are posting about their 10 year old kids. That gives me a bit of hope, they're there when their kids need them.
People seem content to think that if they don't know what happens in the world, it won't affect them and it won't be true. It just means those people are idiots. As Justine Dell just said, the truth hurts.
Love you, Candace, always.
*more hugs*

N. R. Williams said...

I applaud your courage to speak out about depression and your willingness to actively do something about it. I have suffered from depression on and off all my life. While I have no money at this time, I will share your story with my friends on facebook and twitter.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

aspiring_x said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
aspiring_x said...

"But we're not supposed to talk about that"
and therein lies the problem.
thank you for not only all the fundraising, but for having the guts to speak out.
we're listening.

Ben Spendlove said...

Thumbs up. Depression is much more common than most people think—including those of us who've had it.