Living in the Limestone

I've struggled with depression for a long time. When I had "good" insurance, I took crazy meds and went to therapy to help me stay focused and calm. I've never been suicidal or unable to get out of bed for weeks at a time. My crazy looks different and far less...well crazy. I get pissed very easily, I scream cuss words, I shower less than normal. It's official, my depressive episodes turn me into a pirate. Without all the rum drinking scallywags because when I get this way I don't have real fun with my friends - their quirky personalities, that I usually find endearing, just annoy the hell out of me. I get the mad kind of crazy, not the crazy kind of crazy.

Annoyed seems like a more accurate description than depressed. My kids annoy me...literally the sound of their fun-loving screamy, laughs makes my head spin around. My husband's innocent questions or playful jokes drive me batshit. At times, my neighbors lack of boundaries make me so mad I have a hard time being rational. Even my siblings, who I normally tolerate more than just about anyone in the world, seem flakier than ever. Don't even get me started on people like...my parents, pretty much anyone who has anything to do with the school or school board, irritating coaches, incompetent HR personnel, and creatives who are not creative! Not to mention people who are needy, pushy, loud, quiet, narcissist, sensitive, old, young, conservatives, liberals - I think you get the picture, right? Everyone annoys me. Including and probably worse than anyone else - I annoy myself. All day and all night I beat the crap out of myself for all the annoying things I do or have done or will probably do or will never in a million years do. I think I could forgive anybody for just about anything...as long as it's not me.

About 4 weeks ago I hit rock bottom. The writing was on the wall for the last few years so I wasn't surprised when it finally happened. My tolerance of people and situations had gotten consistently less functional. I haven't taken crazy meds for a long time, seen my therapist in a long time, or contributed financially to my household in a long time. I had little or no motivation to do much of anything productive. I was not taking care of myself, and I wasn't really talking about it either. I was unconsciously hoping that some tectonic plates somewhere would shift and the bottom would drop out. I wouldn't be better, but I wouldn't have to face the madness yet either. No such luck. People die, teeth need braces, pants don't fit, taxes are due, positions get filled, people disappoint, puppies chew, kids scream, husbands joke....and then there it is...life in the limestone.

So I've been doing some rock climbing. Some days are good and some days suck. I'm still not taking crazy meds, seeing my therapist, or chucking money into an IRA, but I'm saying out loud that I struggle with madness. I'm being open with my kids, husband and friends. I am purging. I am writing. I am living in the limestone trying to find my way to higher ground.


  1. Julie, you have a million things going for you. To be honest though, I wondered where your blog went. I missed it...a lot! I used to tell my students to write for the soul purpose of healing their hearts and sharing their love. Your writing makes you vulnerable and powerful...its an oxymoron for sure! I'm happy to see two blog posts in a week, and I sense you are on the mend. In a modified quote from a dear friend: "Blogging is cheaper than therapy!" Thanks for sharing so much of yourself with those of us who care...depressed or not...I think you would still swear!

  2. You are not alone. We need to swap lists of annoyances, perhaps over a Spotted Cow or ten. Then I can tell you about all of the mindfulness and breathing exercises I should be doing but don't to help with my chronic anxiety, as well as my insane addiction to baked goods. Then you can smack me for annoying you. Keep writing, sister. You're pretty good at it.

  3. Healing!! Glad to know I'm not the oddball. No one is harder on me than me! If only we could turn that damn inner voice off...

  4. If lack of showering is a sign, I've got it bad...dude, I'm always just a phone call away - seriously. It's almost like you read my mind in this post, just solidifying that we think alike. I've taken to beating the crap out of myself with working out like a boss. Sweating pisses me off too..

  5. Go talk to your therapist. Take your meds. You know it helps so why the wait? Climb out far enough to get that accomplished and you will be amazed how much better you feel for having it done. Really. Go now. Do it.

  6. Oh Julie, thank you for sharing true feelings of what it actually means to have depression. Many times it is described and even diagnosed as just having a bad stretch in life; however, what you just described is the true definition of what depression is and how it affects every aspect of your life. Even the parts as your children or your husband, which should bring you complete happiness all the time. It is a very hard sickness that affects each part of your life, and it is not something that you can just turn on and off. It is a battle that you will have to deal wiith on and off for your entie life. I am so proud of you for writing this blog, as it is a vert hard topic to really understand and for those who suffer from it, it is very hard to admit that you have this illness. As I have aged I have become more open to admitting that I need to be on meds and I need therapy to keep depression and bi polar in check. I have been in very dark places because i didnt want to accept the fact that I needed help, which I so dearly needed. You know that it is proven that these illnesses do run in the family, -it's in your genes-as I have heard from more than one psychologist. You know that there is family history of "Craziness" in the family. All in all it doesn't matter where it came from, or why you have it, all that matters is that you can admit that you aren't the person you want to be and that it is out of your control to fix it because no matter how hard one tries to fix themself they need to just accept that they may need help to get to be where they want and who they want to be. What I have to say to you is "Me too"! I now do not look at the meds as crazy meds or see counseling as nonsense, I see it as what I need to keep from feeling crazy, and to believe that this is what I need to do to have healthy relationships with the people who mean the world to me! I am here if you need to talk or just get away fir a bit, as I hope you know I will understand completely and will never judge you! I love you and you are a great person, Elly


I can't wait to hear from you!