Well, that was definitely interesting! I did it. I pressed the “publish post” button and set the elephant in my room free. Oh, don’t worry…Jumbo is still hanging around. He’s just not sitting on my shoulders anymore and I’m going to try my hardest to keep him from jumping back on.
I’ll admit that I’m still slightly freaked out that I put my personal struggle on public display. I think that Dave is probably the only person on earth who knew the extent of my dark secrets. Thankfully, I have discovered that removing myself from situations and people that trigger bad feelings keeps the darkness away. I avoid bad energy.What I’m trying to say is that I haven’t begged God to put me out of my misery in at least 12 years. Exception: the first time that I got pregnant and thought that I’d finally gone completely bat shit crazy. Seriously, hormones are a BAD thing. Newly-pregnant-but-still-doesn’t-know-yet Kelli could potentially have made Sylvia Plath look like sunshine and lollipops. Dave, my smart and insightful husband, was the one to figure it out. He drove to CVS in Brighton during an epic snowstorm to pick up a pregnancy test then ordered me to pee. VIOLA! Not crazy…just knocked up.
A few years ago, in an e-mail to a high school classmate, I referred to my high school age self as shy. He thought this was hilarious. I was somewhat disappointed to discover that what I thought was “shy” was really interpreted as bitchy and standoffish. I guess the reality of the situation was that I held (and continue to hold) potential friends at arm’s length. I’m social, but private. I can “turn it on” in public and be physically drained when I reach the safety of my home. I close the door behind myself and recuperate.
My biggest fear in sharing my battle is the assumption that I’m not firing on all cylinders..you know, people might think I have a few too many bats in the belfry. Will people smile and wave, but subtly hurry their children along after a polite exchange? I guess this remains to be seen. Over the past two days I have wondered if the people who I see often, knowing what they now know, will be cautiously watching me, wondering if I’m contemplating my own tragic demise. Will they look at me with pity? Disdain?
Let me set the record straight. As I wrote “Crazy”, I was paying a long overdue visit to the past. I’ve held so much pain inside of myself for so long, simply because I didn’t want to hurt the feelings of the people who caused that pain. Well, I certainly let it rip the other day didn’t I? I want to say I’m sorry for so publicly sharing family secrets and rehashing past bad behavior, but I’m not. I’m not sorry at all. I’m sorry if you didn’t like my words, but I’m not sorry for trying to heal. What I described in my post was how I once felt and my past struggles with depression. I’m still trying to forgive, but its hard to move forward when I still have a problem with people who don’t hold themselves accountable or can’t apologize.
I’m in a really good place these days. Despite a few bumps caused by pregnancy and post-partum hormones, my depression is under control. I haven’t curled into the fetal position and wished for death in years. That’s a good thing. I’ve never felt the urge to drown my children in the bathtub or had similar horrible thoughts. Why do I feel the need to tell you these things? Because too many people don’t understand depression or don’t consider it a real illness. I’m not going to get into a discussion aimed at educating people about serotonin levels and neuronal reuptake. Go Google it if you’re really interested. I just want you to know that I sometimes have a bad day. My coping skills can be pretty shitty. I might be quiet, pensive or even have a short temper on a bad day. I might not feel like talking and might not call you back for a day or two. I will beat myself up over not calling you back. I’ll run through an endless cycle of guilt and self-admonishment for not trying harder…for not pursuing friendships. I’m too used to hiding myself, afraid that some of my cracks might show. I’m shy.
So thank you, friends for being persistent. Thank you for being supportive and not making assumptions. Thank you for understanding that if I don’t call you back right away, I’m not blowing you off. I’m not snobby or standoffish. I don’t think that I’m better than you. I’m shy. Thanks for hanging in there.