Everyone has a vice for dealing with feelings.

Booze, shopping, eating, drugs, sex, sleeping — or more beneficial ones like gardening, reading or working out.

Mine has been sleeping for a long time — that is until last week when I began the switch to a new medication and sleep has become almost impossible.

I’ve never wanted to be one of those people who takes a handful of pills each day. I want to take the absolute minimum and go on with my life.

Lately it’s been half of my old medication plus half of my new medication plus birth control (because if my birth weren’t controlled right now I would become a derailed train headed straight into the depths of a rocky canyon from which there is no recovery) plus a sleeping pill chaser, because if I don’t I lie awake all night thinking about how much I hate myself. It’s really not the best way to spend the night. Sunday I was convinced that what I was experiencing is what the beginning stages of death must feel like. I hated every moment of Sunday.

With sleep gone and no other vices to fall back on I have drifted back into thoughts of self-harm. (But Casey! Just fall back on working out! NATURAL ENDORPHINS! To which I say I can barely get out of bed and you want me to go to the gym? You’re adorable. Believe me, I’m working towards that goal, but I’m not there yet. One day at a time and many of my most recent days have hurt.)

I can’t even describe to you how depression hurts, you either know the pain or you don’t. It’s like being choked and sat on by an elephant while a finger incessantly pokes at the tired and sore parts of your brain. This is why self-harm enters the mind of so many that suffer with depression, you just want to FEEL something that isn’t depression. I once used sandpaper on my wrist joint until I saw bone . I’ve never done much more than that, it’s not really my thing (I certainly don’t condone it either, I’m just saying I understand it.)

Both of my tattoos come from particularly rough patches in life, it’s such a unique physical pain that dulls out and symbolizes the emotional pain. On my back are lotus flowers, which grow from the muck and mud at the bottom of a pond to bloom unblemished on the surface. I’ve been thinking a lot about another tattoo, especially right now. It’s one of the few distractions I have right now that I enjoy.

If this is your first time here, or perhaps you haven’t been around all that much — this is not me. I mean, the honesty part is me, but the sad wallowing is not me.

I can’t just go outside, do yoga at sunrise and feel better.

There’s no quick fix and if I don’t fix it right this time I’ll be even worse off down the road.

Depression is a disease, and there’s no other disease that is fixed overnight and forever with something as simple as a good night’s sleep and lots of prayer — so why should depression be any different?

So. There’s an update.

I’m trying. I’m fighting, but damn if I’m not real tired.

My best leaves the best ****ing cards.

Thank you for sticking with me through all of this.

Comments

  1. Jackie Wall says:

    I’m not sure how I came upon your blog but I found you a few years ago. I feel like God let me to you…my mom suffers from serious depression and I just cannot understand it. I’ve tried. I’ve endured with her. But I just don’t understand it. She sleeps. She cries. She gets manic. I pull my hair out. I call my brothers and rant. She recovers. Changes medications. Repeat cycle. Reading your blog has opened my eyes to what my mom goes through. I’m so thankful she’s never taken her life and I’m so thankful you’ve never taken yours. I admire and love all your photography and your words are amazing to read. I’m thankful for you and I don’t even know you. I’m praying your recovery comes quicker this time and the light gets brighter every. single. day.

  2. Keep fighting! You’ll get there! And I know it sounds stupid and trite, but it really is so brave of you to admit to feelings of self harm. In a world where it’s getting a tiny bit easier for people to talk about their depression, self harm is still rarely mentioned. And I have a feeling it happens a lot, for reasons just like you mentioned.

    I wish there was a way I (or actually anyone!) could help, but just know the internet is behind you. You just keep on fighting!

  3. LOVE You!

  4. One of the most annoying parts of depression is the lack of motivation and the knowing that if you could just get the **** out of your own way you would. I’ve “relapsed” in my depression/anxiety and the rage I feel about it when it happens, the resentment, the stomp stomp why me, why again, is so raw. I hear you mama, I SO hear you.

    I’m glad you’re getting help. I’m glad you have support. I’m glad you have your voice here. Even if it’s just one millimeter at a time, you’ll make it out. Be gentle with yourself, you’re not alone. xo

  5. I can’t begin to explain how much I enjoy reading your blog, and looking at your view of the world through your pictures. I too am a photographer, and I too suffer from depression. It’s a scary thing and sometimes all that helps is me wandering with a camera in hand. I went through a really rough patch recently and I honestly can’t tell you how I got through it. But i did, and i know you can too.

    Tons of love, hope, and prayers.

  6. Diana Kelter says:

    I’ve been following along with your journey and I applaud your honesty and truth on such a difficult subject. You’re one person making a massive difference for everyone who suffers from this disease. Praying and wishing for better days ahead for you!

  7. sigh. I know I haven’t commented in awhile, but I always read your posts in my email and I’ve been thinking of you. All I really have to say to you is hugs and kisses and I am so sorry that you’re going through all this.

  8. Charlane says:

    We are thinking of you every day and praying for you every night.

  9. That’s the thing about depression, when we are in the midst of it, we fight so hard and outwardly gain so little. Those looking at us from the outside don’t understand the battle we fight just to throw the covers off and get out of bed. Some days all we can do is breathe, and that is OK. Because the alternative sucks.
    My heart is with you. I wish I could take up my sword and fight this battle along side you, unfortunately it is your battle to wage and your victory to claim. In the meantime I will sit quietly beside you and offer you the quiet strength of my love and support. {{HUGS}}

  10. Sending you love and hugs.

  11. You are such an amazing person to be able to share your journey, especially when you are in such a dark place. I know there is nothing I (as a stranger) can do to make things better, but I just want you to know that I think of you often. I think of you when my toddler squats while looking at bugs, when I triple sheet my kids’ beds in the winter time, when I see Minnie Mouse, when I see a remarkable instagram photo, when I try to braid my 3 year old’s hair and it never looks as beautiful as Vivi’s : ) and when I see a school bus and think of your girls reuniting at the end of the school day. These joyful, bright, happy thoughts make me smile and think of you. The joy and the sunshine and the happiness is waiting for you. You will find your way out of this, just like you always have. You can do this, Casey.

  12. Everyone here is rooting for you. Keep trying, please.

    I’m working through stuff of my own and not in a healthy way. We’ll both be okay.

  13. Melissa v says:

    I just forwarded this to my husband. I have been in a really bad depression for the last month. He doesn’t ready understand it and thinks that I can just make myself snap out of it. His way of dealing with my depression is to ignore me or be upset with me. This just make it work. Hopefully have someone explain it the way you did will make him see I am not making it up. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

  14. I’m right there with you. It’s worse than it’s ever been. I can’t even get the courage to blog anymore. I’m glad you still have that courage. Seeing it on paper makes it feel more legitimate. Nights are hard huh. For what it’s worth your breathing gives me inspiration to keep breathing.

  15. Thinking of you often. Xoxo.

  16. I love you.
    Open ended ticket
    I don’t know, but I love

  17. Hang in there! We love you dearly!

  18. Your post rang true to so much in my life. Keep up the hard work Casey.

  19. Amy Halleran says:

    I get it. When you find the strength, do the next right thing. I found comfort in taking a hundred baby steps in this fashion. My shrink always says ‘you act your way into right feeling, you don’t feel your way into right acting.’ When I’m fighting my demons I try to focus on ‘doing the next right thing’ and that may be showering (bc I haven’t in a week) or brush my teeth or brush my girl’s hair or ask my son about his day.

  20. I only have the tiniest insights into what you’re facing dear, lovely and brave Casey. All I can do is send love and prayers. But they are yours. xo

  21. Long time reader, first time poster. I hear you, and I see you Casey. I am sending you many hugs right now. I have dealt with mild forms of depression since I was 15, but nothing compared to what you experience. My husband unfortunately lives shares in your nightmare. I have a great understanding and sympathy for just wanting that pain to stop and wanting to do anything that can distract you from it, however short-lived. Just like I tell him, you do what you can today. If you can do a tiny bit more tomorrow, then great, and if not, then we will be patient until that time comes. Hang in there Casey, that time will come and the medication will work. You are blessed and loved by so many and one day that “feeling” is what you will feel when you wake up in the morning.

  22. I don’t have much practice being on this side of things. So, I’m kind of **** at it.

    Wanna go get tattoos?

  23. Regarding medications and depression – I have accepted the fact that I will take medication for the rest of my life because I’ve been there (including the self-harm) and it is so devastatingly painful. However, I refuse to take birth control anymore; I take enough drugs to maintain my mental health (and, in turn, our family) so it is my husband’s job to take care of things in there. We are absolutely done with having kids (high risk preg and serious PPD) so he got a vasectomy. Just a thought if you’re done with pregnancies, although that suggestion doesn’t really help you now…I empathize with and am rooting for you!

  24. A tattoo sounds fabulous!

    I have a long rant in my head but I’ll save it for myself. I just want you to know, I get it. I hear you.

  25. Hang in there… it truly does get better. I’ve fought depression for many years and finally I think I’m off meds for good. I spent many years self-harming and tremendously depressed… heck, there are still episodes where I relapse and will most likely always deal with relapses, but for now I think I’ve reached a nice plateau, and you will too. I’m not against medication – I’m all for it, but I do think that the fewer things we put into our bodies, the better off we are. If you can find any alternatives for things like birth control or otherwise, I recommend it. I realized that my birth control was only making things worse when it came to my hormones and moods, so it’s worth considering.

  26. Hockeymandad says:

    I don’t comment much any more, but I read your posts and I feel compelled to do so now. I know exactly how you feel. EXACTLY. I am currently suffering through the same disease, with the same treatments, and the same processes. I am on 4 meds myself and it is a challenge sometimes to remember when I’m supposed to take what. Except the sleeping pill, I never forget that one. I know hearing the words “you aren’t alone in this” tends to mean nothing when it comes to depression, so I’ll just say should you ever need to chat about what’s going on, my line is open. Even if you just need someone to sympathize with, that’s probably the only way I could help. Might be good for me too. My only suggestion is to get a notebook that is just for yourself and no one else. Feel free to write everything and anything you are feeling at any given time. It’s a good way to vent and take some of that weight off. When you’re done with the book, chuck it into the fireplace, no need to rehash old stuff at a later date. Keep fighting as best you can, take time off when you need it, and whenever the harm comes to mind, and believe me I know it does, my vice to overcome it is to look into my children’s faces and imagine what my own relief would do to them. It generally leads to more tears and feelings of selfishness for think so, but that’s better than the actual harming.

  27. gentle ((hugs))) for you.

  28. I just love how well you can open up and explain your feelings. I am quite the opposite. I become a two year old, shut down, get angry, and hide in my closet (literally, many times). Much love to you!

  29. Praying for you…not to “get better” but just for you in this time of need.

  30. Amy in StL says:

    Although I suffer from depression and it comes and goes for me I feel your pain. I’ve never felt the need to self harm, but I have had serious suicidal thoughts including planning what to do with my dog so he doesn’t suffer (since I live alone). Unless you count eating my weight in Reese’s pb cups as self harm. Just the joy associated with crap food is feeling something, and sometimes I need to feel something other than sadness, even if its a sugar high.

  31. Shelley says:

    Praying and holding your hand when you need it. Even when it’s darkest and you don’t think anyone is here. Many hugs sweet lady.

  32. HeidiLee says:

    Don’t comment often but know that many of us are sending virtual hugs and prayers your way.

  33. Sarah Bear says:

    Depression feels like the worst version of myself is sitting on top of my sternum. It feels like that gray sweater in all of those antidepressant ads. It feels like hell.

    It’s your body, you have autonomy over it, but I really hope that you can continue to make the choice to be gentle to it. Your feelings and urges are understandable and valid, and needing to feel something that isn’t soul-crushing defeat sitting on top of your lungs is a powerful urge. I think a tattoo is a better plan for dealing with this. You can be like a yakuza boss of depression

    This is disjointed. I know, and I’m sorry. I’ll just keep hoping that you get OK soon. And you can always email if you feel like you want to. Thanks for your honesty with us all the time.

  34. Sending you love and peace. Wish it was more helpful or practical, but it’s the best I have.

  35. HUGS! It will work out, takes time but you will get there!

  36. Keep writinng, we’ll keep reading and sending prayers and well wishes your way! My dad suffers from a form of depression and though I never have experienced it myself, I’ve seen what is has done to my dad before going on meds, etc. My heart aches for you but I know the darkness will be overcome by light, it’s just taking it’s sweet ass time to get there…I’m sorry!

  37. i’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. i’ve been there – i know the thoughts of wanting to self harm/take handfuls of pills, spending days thinking about how much i hate myself, wondering if it will ever get better, the wait-and-see of a new med ****tail. thank you for sharing this part of your life so openly. it’s because of bloggers like you who talk about depression that helped me realize it’s nothing to be ashamed about. like you said, it’s a disease. i hope your new meds help you climb out of the pit.

  38. I hate people who say exercise helps/cures depression. It absolutely does not. I go to the gym hating myself, I leave the gym hating myself, and sweaty.

    Depression does hurt. Unfortunately for me, no anti-depressant has ever worked. I’ve tried six of them. So… I guess this is just how life is now.

    I pray you find happiness again. I love seeing other people overcome and conquer their depression… it gives me hope. xo

  39. I love you. I am sending you all the understanding I can.
    I am struggling right now also.
    I have never felt depression this badly, this severely, this….painfully.
    Finding meds in doses that work for you is HARD.
    “Hey, doc, I felt like killing myself all weekend on that new dosage you gave me Wednesday, what should we do?” is not a call I feel like making every month.
    I understand and I love you.
    That’s all I can do.

  40. I’ve read your blog for a long time. I love you very much. I am so sorry you are going through this. I know that you can and will come out the other side of this. I will continue to send you love and light and pray that you get through this and find whatever it is that you need to do so!