Depression lives in our household, and some days the smothering effects of the dense cloud of mental illness becomes hard to escape. Today is one of those days.
Frank has the most problems right now, and I try to push my own aside in order for him to be able to focus on himself and get better. He has tried to kill himself three times — that I know about — in the past month and a half. With the first attempt, he crashed my truck into a post without his seat belt on in the hopes that the airbags would deploy and kill him. Luckily, that didn’t happen.
Since then, he has tried twice to overdose on his medication. He seems better on this medication after his most recent stay in the behavioral center here in Edinburg. I’m hoping he stays more or less stable, but some days he has his downs and that triggers my own mental illness.
I have OCD and depression. I was diagnosed back in 2010 with depression and 2011 with OCD. My OCD manifests itself in the form of “Pure-O”, which basically means I do not have as many compulsions as “typical” cases of people with OCD. My mind races with thoughts and obsessions that I can’t control, leaving my mind to be a prison for my consciousness all its own.
I am one of the cases where medication greatly improved my symptoms. However, I am not comfortable with taking medication while pregnant, which is purely a personal preference as many medications are mostly safe to take while pregnant. So, in 2013 when I became pregnant with Note, I quit my medication. I actually quit my medication shortly before becoming pregnant for the first time, which ended in miscarriage. As I have talked about before, I had very bad depression during that time that was a struggle to control. I have been off medication since that time, and my depression and OCD have become harder and harder to combat on my own, but I have found a few coping skills that help me manage. However, the stress of recent events has made it absolutely necessary for me to be back on medication
It was a difficult decision for me to make as I am not a fan of the effects it has on babies in the womb. I will be quitting the medication in my third trimester due to the breathing distress it can cause in a newborn, but, for now, it has greatly helped my mental state.
Still, even while I have struggled with mental illness for a good portion of my life, I struggle with understanding and accepting someone else’s mental illness, specifically Frank’s. I have attempted suicide before, but never in the intensity that Frank has attempted (ie 3 attempts in 1.5 months). The fact that everything seemed fine that day, and leading up to that day, and then our entire life was turned upside down by this, is a concept I am finding hard to understand. But it makes sense. Of course it does. One of the most common things said after a suicide attempt — successful or otherwise — is “they seemed so happy”.
Why is it so easy for me to forget that?
I have been as supportive, understanding, and caring as I possibly can. I have struggled through and suffered in silence, besides what little I share on this blog (and the only reason I don’t share more is because I don’t have time to write more).
But some days I am certain I will be crushed underneath this weight. Some days I feel like this mental illness is going to get the both of us. Even with the medication, of which I only have a few weeks left to take before the third trimester comes, the days can be hard, harder than I think I can manage.
And yet here I still am.
And here I’ll be.