Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Light at the End

So I'll admit, I abandoned my blog. The last 3 months have been the hardest for me. You would think the hardest part of all this would have been the treatment. As soon as I thought I had finished the most difficult time in my life, little did I know, the most difficult time was just beginning. This is hard for me to talk about and that's why I've been steering clear of my blog page. I've tried a couple of times to write a post but I would find myself not being completely honest and I figured until I could be honest, there was no point in writing. The worst and most horrible time in my life started a couple weeks after I had my last chemo treatment. I was feeling horrible from chemo but that wasn't just it. Something in me was starting to change. The normally positive Sienna was starting to fade away. Laughter was starting to become a foreign action to me and I was becoming withdrawn from the things that used to make me the most happy. This is what I really don't want to say but have to...I started to feel myself drifting away from Presley. Not in the sense that I wasn't taking care of her but the overwhelming joy I used to feel from the little things like waking up to her sweet noises she made in the morning, was fading. Then I started to notice a complete lack of motivation. I could not do ANYTHING that wasn't completely necessary. Nothing seemed exciting and I could find the light at the end of the tunnel anymore. The most horrible part is that it just continued to get worse. Everyday was like a bad dream. I waited for each day to end. My husband would talk to me and even though I could hear him, I couldn't understand anything that he was saying. I felt a complete void and that void grew everyday. Until it consumed me. I began thinking horrible and terrible thoughts about myself. I convinced myself that I was a terrible mother and that my family would be better off without me. I don't even remember half of the things that I was thinking at that time in my life because none of my thoughts were even rational. All I know was life did not seem worth living. Then the guilt set in. I felt guilty for not wanting to live because I knew how blessed I was to still be here. How blessed I was to have this beautiful daughter. I was so angry too because I couldn't figure out how I made it through 4 rounds of chemo with such an awesome outlook, only to hit rock bottom when I was done. I could go on forever about how horrible I felt because there are no words to express how utterly horrible this experience was. Chemo was a walk in the park compared to depression. If I could make up my own definition of depression it would read something like this ;
de·pres·sion [dih-presh-uhn] The act of losing sight of every bit of joy you ever had for every single beautiful thing in your life and at the same time remembering how good it felt to feel those beautiful feelings, knowing you can't make those feelings come back. HOPELESSNESS
Even that can't explain how bad it is. I never really believed in real depression until I experienced it. The part that really confuses me is the fact that I could be so far gone and not even know it. It wasn't until my sister came down from New York to help me during radiation that I realized I was depressed. The only reason I realized it is because she flat out told me "You're depressed!!" That same day I talked to one of the counselors at my Radiology office. Just opening up to my sister and the counselor made me feel so much better. It was like the burden of having to try to fix myself had been lifted. Just hearing that what I was experiencing wasn't my fault and that there was something we could do to make it go away, made me see the light at the end of the tunnel again. So we called my Oncologist and they immediately put me on an anti-depressant and came to the conclusion that the hormone therapy they had just recently taken me off, is what brought on the depression. Of course it took about a month the for the medication to kick in but it did eventually. I made it through that entire month of radiation, I don't know how but I did. Well yes, I do know how and I will tell you. Had it not been for my faith in God, I promise you, I would not be here today. I don't like saying this either but there was a point during all that where I had actually convinced myself that I was not a good person and the world would be better off without me in it. So I was actually researching on the internet to try and find somewhere that said if you killed yourself you would still make it into heaven!! Sounds so silly but I was!! I was in such horrific turmoil in my mind that I was looking for a way out, any way out. Had it not been for my faith in God and the Bible, I wouldn't be here. Just knowing in my heart of hearts that there is a God and that he is with me at all times, even when I feel alone, didn't allow me to take that step in the complete wrong direction. Also, just the fear of knowing that if there were a hell and it felt like anything I had been experiencing the last month....then I don't want to go jump from this hell right into another!! So I prayed and read my Bible almost constantly. And even though it didn't give me complete relief or ultimately a miraculous healing, it kept me hanging on until I got some help. That's what faith can do! If you can just take a step back and realized that sometimes what you think the answer to your problem is, may very well be the answer, but the answer will come in God's timing and in God's very own way. So the medication kicked in and I am 150% better! I can laugh again, I can enjoy my daughter again, I'm participating in a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, I'm reaching out to people, finding joy in the smalls things, becoming a new and better version of myself. I am so thankful for every little thing because I know how it feels to not be thankful for those things. I pray that someday if someone is ever experiencing what I went through that they might read this and know they are not alone. That maybe they can realize, even if it's for only a few short seconds, that feelings are only feelings and we do not have to feel guilty for them. We do not have to feel responsible for things that are completely out of our hands. That it is okay to be weak and fragile or cry out for help. That the complete worst times in our lives, bring forth the very best times. All things in time will pass and if you can just hold on for one more minute, the next will come and take you one step closer to the light at the end of that dark tunnel.