This is the Face of Depression.

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I got this in a fortune cookie my husband and kids brought home for me last week. D took them out for Chinese when I wasn’t feeling so well, which I greatly appreciated. Hiding my feelings is ironically something I can be good at when I’m up to it, but that’s not always the case.

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This is the face of depression. This is the face of a grown woman on her way to a fancy party. But inside she feels like crying. Yet she knows it’s inappropriate. She feels wrong  and ugly against the bright lights, fancy costumes. She drinks too much to numb the storm festering inside of her. She feels lonely, like no one gets it. She doesn’t bother with the dance floor. She stuffs her face and tries to focus on things people are saying to her, but it’s hard. It’s hard pretending to be okay when she really isn’t.

 

 

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This is the face of depression. When things feel so wrong on the inside and she wants to do something drastic on the outside (there are plenty of ways, this is one of hers). Her stylist chopped off about six inches of her hair the other day. Some of the heaviness lifted. She added hot pink to it. Pink makes her happy. She just wants to be happy. She wonders if it’s okay to do things to make herself feel better.

 

 

 

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This is the face of depression. This is morning carpool with all the kiddos. See? Sometimes, when she’s depressed, she has to pretend. Like when she’s with the little ones, especially. Only lately? she hasn’t had an easy time pretending, even for them. She does the best that she can. And that is all she can do. It’s time to explain more to them, but tread lightly and make sure not to scare them. She dreads that, too.

Today, right now. Riding the roller coaster, taking things a day at a time, an hour at a time, sometimes a single minute at a time. The withdrawal process isn’t easy for her family or friends either. But she’s lucky to have them and a great support system including a wonderful doctor and therapist working closely with and monitoring her. They think she is strong. She thinks they are wrong.

So if you see her around and she looks like this? It’s how she feels–down and dumpy, exhausted. She may not be up to talking much. Some days are better than others. Some times of day are better than others. She can be perky and productive and energetic in the mornings, but by afternoons or evenings, she’s ready to curl up in the fetal position.

Please be patient and know that she’s not herself right now. Or that her self at its very core is changing due to the chemicals in her brain adjusting, leveling off, and becoming used to lots less of one drug…one drug at a time. She’ll be going through more withdrawal in the coming weeks. And if you don’t understand or you want to understand or ask questions, I’m pretty sure she’d be happy to answer if she’s up to it.

Also? I’m fairly certain she could use a hug for no reason. She could use your hand to hold, she could use your friendship, or sometimes just a text to say hi. She doesn’t like to ask for help, or things. She doesn’t like to appear needy. Don’t be afraid if she doesn’t respond right away. And it doesn’t mean she doesn’t appreciate it. It just means she is overwhelmed.

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  • http://www.jenniferpwilliams.com/ Jennifer P. Williams

    The doctors and therapists are right. You ARE strong. We are all stronger than we realize. And I would SO give you a hug right now if I could.

  • heidi cave

    Erin, thank you for sharing your heart, your thoughts, your story with us. Hugging you hard right now.
    I’m posting as guest because I can never remember my password. Ack! xo

  • http://www.misselaineouslife.com Elaine A.

    Damn, this makes me want to make a way to see you. How long will you be here? Please let me know. I love you. You are brave and honest and worth everything. xoxoxoxoxo

  • http://www.adayinmollywood.com molly

    I love you, Erin. I love you even in the messy, awful moments. Because I’ve been there myself. And I know underneath the mask of depression is a gorgeous woman inside and out. You WILL get through this and come out the other side better and stronger.

  • http://suburbanscrawl.com Melisa Wells

    I am sending you virtual hugs and reaching my hand out towards yours. Keeping you in my thoughts, lady. xoxoxoxoxo

  • http://www.honestmom.com/ JD @ Honest Mom

    I’m so sorry this is so hard. You are strong. You will get through this. Thinking of you. Big hugs. xoxo

  • http://www.lateenough.com/ Alex@LateEnough

    {hugs}

  • efloraross

    I am sending you a big virtual hug, my friend. I know depression. And withdrawal. I have been there. And I came through on the other side. You will, too. Love you and respect you tremendously for being honest. Your openness will help someone else today. Know that.

  • Ann Imig

    Wishing you strength and peace, Erin.

  • Denise

    Hugs to you. I am fighting right now too so I really feel for you.

  • Wendy Bradford

    I am sorry Erin. Because I know exactly how you feel. There’s nothing I can say to help except you’re not alone, and it will improve. And your haircut is beautiful on you!

  • http://www.geektilyoudrop.com/ Stacy Jill Calvert

    Sending a big hug over the web, and I get to give you lots when I see you in a couple weeks.

  • http://terrisonoda.net/ Terri Sonoda

    Bless your heart Erin. You’re in my thoughts and prayers because I know how you’re feeling. I’ve been on that rollercoaster for awhile now, I would most certainly give you a big hug if I could. Know that I am here and I care. XOXOs

  • http://www.christineorgan.com/ Christine Organ

    Oh, honey. I’m so sorry. Sending hugs and prayers for peace and health.

  • Natalie the Singingfool

    I have depression too. The smiling face on my avatar doesn’t tell the whole story. I like how you wrote this – relatable, simple and straightforward. A relieving style for those with depression.

  • http://www.deepestworth.com/ Shannon

    i wish there was something I could say – some magic words. I’m sending you love and hope, because it is all I have. You are in my thoughts.

  • Deborah

    This is beautiful and I know the face as well. Excellent writing.

  • Rach B.

    Thank you for sharing this. You wrote exactly what’s in my brain.

  • Mindy

    Such an important, heartfelt post, Erin. Sending you a hug virtually.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Mindy,

      Thanks so much for the hug. Much needed. ;-)

      erin

  • Considerer

    Really awesomely described, Erin – thanks for getting this Out There, to help demystify this. Hope you find plenty of people to look after you gently, kindly, and in a way which doesn’t overwhelm you. Take care.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Considerer,

      I’m sorry for this awfully late reply, but I’ve been on the roller coaster. Still riding it out. I appreciate your taking the time to read and leave me your kind thoughts. It means a lot to me.

      ;-)

      • Considerer

        Glad you’re still riding. Hope the bumpy parts flatten out for you soon.

  • Julia Munroe Martin

    Sending hugs, Erin. And I wish I were there to hold your hand and help lighten your load.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Julia,

      Just by virtually being “here” and commenting, you are lightening said load. Thank you. Thank you so much.
      hugs,
      erin

  • Rebecca Smith

    Thank you so much! This is 100% how I’m feeling right now. You don’t know how much I needed to hear that it’s not only me.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Rebecca,

      Thank you for saying that. It’s a relief to hear it’s not just me, either. I wish more people would speak up/out about this sort of thing to help lessen the stigma, you know? I appreciate your reading & commenting!

      ;-)

  • http://www.paigeworthy.com paigeworthy

    You’re amazing.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Paige,

      I know you are, but what am I? and please please tell me you’re coming FOR sure to KC over winter? and maybe we can do a lunch or dinner or drinks, something if you have a little more time? (but I know how it is to stretch time + holidays + travel + family)

      xoxox

  • carol

    Erin, you should NEVER be afraid to ask me to help you with anything……….there is no reason not to do so!

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Carol,

      I don’t often ask you for help because I know you are very busy and you’re tired and in pain a lot. And I know the three kids are a lot to handle. But if you could help at all with carpool on either or both Thursday/Friday afternoon while I am away, it would help? Let me know. Thank you.

      xo

  • Ally

    I know you can’t feel my arms, but consider this a big HUG.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Ally,

      Is it strange that I sorta CAN feel them? Since we’ve been friends online for so long? Thank you for the hug. Send another anytime?

      mwah!

  • Adrienne Bolton

    Oh, Erin! I wish I could hug you right now! This is such an honest and beautiful post. Even I know you feel awful, it’s so amazing that you have shared your heart with us and I know that I’m not the only who appreciates it. I’m sorry you’re struggling. Hang in there! We are all here for you!!

  • Julie Dunlap

    Steel Magnolia!
    xo

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Julie,

      Thank you, mama. I’m trying! I’m so sad I missed your show. I heard phenomenal things about it and you, and is there any audio recording or video from it?? :-(

      xoxo

  • Kim@Co-Pilot Mom

    I am so sorry that you are going through this, Erin – I am sending wishes for brighter days ahead. And I know that your honesty and these words will mean the world to others who are experiencing depression.

  • Jennifer Cullen

    I’m glad you shared this. and I’m sorry for what you’re going through. If I were there, I’d give you a big hug. Keep taking care of yourself. And let others do that too.

  • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Maria Guido

    Oh, honey. Sending positive energy your way.

  • http://unavitabella.com Amy Kiel

    You are not alone. Here’s a virtual (((hug))) for no reason.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Amy,

      Thank you for the virtual hug. It’s greatly appreciated. I’m sorry for the late reply, as I’m still riding the wave out. So it’s nice to come back here and get a hug after “being away” for a bit. Hugs back at you. ;-)

  • http://randomblogette.com/ Jayme

    I wish that I lived closer to you. I would give you the biggest hug that I could manage and then just hold your hand. I am working on stepping out of the fog myself right now. We are all here for you.

  • http://www.about100percent.com/ Andrea

    Thank you for putting a real face to depression. Love you, friend. xo

  • Laura Willard

    Beautiful and honest, Erin. I wish I could give you a hug.

  • lizmheron

    *hugs* You are definitely not alone. Thank you for being strong enough to write this. I can relate to so much of what you wrote here, but have never been able to say it aloud. Thank you!

  • Katie

    I see beauty and strength. hugs to you, friend.

  • http://amandamagee.com amandamagee

    Sending love.

  • Julia

    Thank you so much for writing this. I found myself sobbing in the car tonight and feeling so very alone, despite the fact that at the end of my driving I was coming home to a family that loves me.
    I don’t know. It’s hard to see through the depression cloud sometimes, isn’t it?
    Big, HUGE hugs to you, friend. xo

  • http://www.flirtygrrl.com Lori Paquette

    Beautiful brave soul. You are not needy. You are not alone. Holding your hand, sending hugs and holding a gloriously safe space for you to just be as those chemicals sort themselves out. We are here to help. The ask is very hard. I know that from over 30 years of “diagnosed” clinical depression and anxiety disorder. Love is all you need. Inside and out. We’ll give you love from the outside so you can see that light inside you amid the darkness.

  • mom

    i think those of us who have been there are the only ones who really know….those who have, as well as those who haven’t, can be such a great source of strength and support in the tough times; so grateful for all of those who are sending their hugs and support to you….and i am sending mine! i hope they all know the “drugs” are of the prescription variety? i also believe it’s not just the medication…you have been through a lot these past few days…i hope coming “home” can help refresh you, and renew your wonderful spirit….XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  • Domestic Catlady

    Thank you. You’re not alone and so many of us can relate. Great post!

  • Tara_pohlkottepress

    pst. I think that girl looks beautiful. I ain’t afraid of true beauty. the kind that can twist in pain, feel lost, or feel joy. the human experience? it’s got all that swirling inside us. i’m standing here loving you hard, no matter what the season. xo

  • Bobbi Parish-Logie

    How ironic. I just finished a post about what depression feels like in real life; how it sucks the energy out of me and I don’t even have any left to take care of me, let alone invest anything in my friendships. So the longer I’m depressed the more alone I get as my friends drift off wondering why I don’t return phone calls or come to visit. Friendships are just what I need to battle the depression, but they are also more than I can bear right now. I get it, Erin. I really, truly do. Sending you so much love and light, in my heart and in my thoughts.

  • http://successforthedepressed.com/ Geoff Brady

    I recognize that face. I’ve seen it reflected in my bathroom mirror many times.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Guest,

      I’m grateful to know I’m not alone. Thank you for stopping by to let me know. ;-)

  • http://writingwishing.com/ Alison

    I see YOU. A mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend. An amazing one at that. You are not alone. Here for you, always. xoxo

  • Talks During Movies

    These are my faces too. You’re not alone, never alone.

  • TLanceB

    you just wrote/spoke for a lot of us
    thank you, my friend
    hang in there…hug

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Lance,

      Thank you. I wish more would speak out, and continue to do so. It’s so important. I’m sick of the stigma.

      hugs,
      erin

  • Joni

    Now if people will really read this and try to understand….. Thank you, this short piece says so much!!!

  • http://www.fromtracie.com/ From Tracie

    Oh Erin. I am sending you a hug and so much love right now. I know you don’t feel strong, but you are. You show it in so many ways, writing and publishing this post being one of them.

    I love the pink. I think there is something powerful about owning how we look in unconventional ways. You are worthy of happiness, and there is nothing wrong with doing things to bring that happiness to you.

    I’m praying for you. You will come out on the other side of this.

  • http://goodgirlgoneredneck.blogspot.com Andrea B.

    Tears slowly streaming down my face. Deep breaths, my sweet friend.

    I’m so sorry you’re struggling. I love you, my friend, and I am here. Always. Send me your cell # so I can be one of those who texts you to remind you that you are loved. xo

  • BipolarMom (Jenn)

    I’ve been thinking about you ever since you wrote the withdrawal post, Erin. Just want you to know I wish I could give you a real hug in person. If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know. I hope at the very least it’s comforting to know so many people care about you and are thinking of you. xo

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Jenn,

      Thank you so very much. I have another appt on Monday, and I’m anticipating beginning another round of withdrawal from another one of my meds…not 100 % sure yet, but we’ll see. I’m hopeful it might not be as bad…or maybe it will just be different…?

      I appreciate your care, concern, & support.
      xo

  • http://www.thekircorner.com Kir

    I wish I could tell you how I am feeling exactly the same way for most of the same reasons. But this is your story and your need…and I am here to let you know that I am here (I’m always here) and I’m listening, I’m supporting, I’m so blessed to have you in my life.

    that place you are in, it’s not forever. But while you are there, please know how many people love, ADMIRE, RESPECT and LOOK to you as an example of a wonderful, special human being. You are all those things.

    thank you for always being so honest and so raw with us, for sharing the parts of yourself that others would just put away or hide. It is going to help someone else to read this today, it’s going to give someone a reason to share their own feelings, it’s going to offer someone else HOPE.

    you are incredible Erin…please never ever forget that. xoxo

  • http://www.thingsicantsay.com/ shellthings

    Sending you lots of love.
    I’m a drastic-hair-change-when-I’m-not-feeling-well type of girl, too.

  • http://blog.jmarkafghans.com/ J G Hughes

    {{{HUGS}}} because words just don’t feel as good.

  • http://justjessatx.com/ Jess

    That is me. And I’ve thought about that so many times when I take a picture and fake the smile. No one knows, but I feel like it’s amazing that they can’t see the hollow in my eyes.

  • Kimberly M

    I love you. People need to see that our faces do not always reflect how we feel on the inside. xoxo

  • A Lady in France

    Sending love Erin. I know all of these faces. I wear all of them.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Jennie,

      Je t’adore. Merci. Et merci pour votre carte. C’etait …plein d’amour (is this all right? i can’t remember my french). Thank you so much for going to that trouble. love you so very much.

  • http://www.imnotinfectious.com/ Michael Lombardi

    Your strength to post this was something of note. I’m not going to blow smoke up your ass and you clearly have tons of people that already expressed their care for you. You know I struggle with depression as well and I’ve wanted to give you a big tight hug for a while now. But not just because I know you could use it. Also because I need one. The difference is I’m sure you will get your hug and you’ll get them in heaps. I can’t promise you they’ll work, but I’m also sure I won’t get mine.

    I don’t want you to take that as “woe is me” and trying to one up you. Trying to express my confidence that you’ll make it through, where I’m not sure anyone or everyone else would. You’re a special human being. <3

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Michael,

      You are special, too. And I wish I could give you a big hug. I wish you felt better about yourself and I hope by now you HAVE gotten that hug you need (where’s the wifey, after all?!).

      Some days I feel confident about getting through this, and others I feel like I’m on shaky ground. I suppose that’s probably normal at this stage/phase of what I’m doing…

      HUGS TO YOU

      • http://www.imnotinfectious.com/ Michael Lombardi

        Yeah, I have a wife and I enjoy her hugs. With her not knowing what this is like, though, it’s not the same. No more than I could hug a woman experiencing bad menstrual cramps and have them feel like I really know deep down what they’re going through, I could hug someone that doesn’t deal with this stuff and it wouldn’t produce the same effect. But yeah, hugs are good. Oxytocin, serotonin, and all that yummy stuff.

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  • Bridgette White

    Thank you for your honesty and truth. You are not alone.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Bridgette,

      Thank YOU for reading and affirming that I’m not alone in my journey.

      hugs,
      erin

  • Arnebya

    Oh, Erin. If I could hug you in person, I absolutely would. I would not let go, even as you would probably begin to think it inappropriate to continue to be smashed against one another. Instead, all I have are words, words that I hope soothe you, hug you in their insistence that you will get through this, you have so many supporters. And truth be told, these faces look awfully similar to the ones I wear multiple times each day.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Arneybya,

      You are the sweetest. I adore you. Thank you for these words. And? #DBA. #thatisall.
      xoxoxoxoxo

  • http://about.me/lizthompson Liz@thisfullhouse

    You are brave, you are beautiful and you are so NOT alone <3

  • Katy Davidson Monnot

    Here’s a cyber hug, which is the best I can do at this moment.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Katy,

      Cyber hugs are still very much appreciated and felt. Love you. xo

  • http://unintentionallybrilliant.blogspot.com Roxanne Piskel

    I wish I could be there to give you a hug. You are loved, Erin. And you are stronger than you think. I love you.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Roxanne,

      I love you, too, and I’m incredibly blessed to have met you IRL, and know that you are my friend and you are REAL. Sorry this is so late. Still drowning.

  • http://chibijeebs.com/ Chibi Jeebs

    Baby girl, I’d hug you so hard you’d TRY to get away. I’m sorry I’m not closer. Know I’m sending you more virtual hugs than you could stand. <3

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Chibi Jeebs,

      I would NEVER try to get away. EVER. Especially from you. Even though we’ve never met. I can never get enough hugs. I’d probably creep YOU out!

  • DanialKeshani

    How much I feel and understand these sentences. How much and how long I lived these sentences and I experienced it…

  • My Inner Chick

    —–Erin, Your raw words touch many women.
    Thank you for not sugar coating depression: it is real, profound, hideous, insidious, and black as hell.
    You. Are. Not. Alone.
    Ever.
    LOVE. Warm Hugs from Minnesota. Understanding. 000 Xxxx

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      My Inner Chick,

      Thank you for affirming that I’m not alone. Perhaps the most comforting thing anyone can say to me at this point in time. I’m so grateful for your presence here, at this moment, and I’m sorry for the late reply. I’m still trying to keep my head above water. xo

  • Ashley

    Oh Erin, I wish I could hug you. Know you are not alone, and your words help so very many people. So much more than you could know. xo.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Ashley,

      I feel your hugs through this screen, you know. And they are welcomed and appreciated more than you know. People think internet friends aren’t real and it’s bullshit—I’ve met YOU and YOU are REAL. xoxoxo

  • gigi

    You are in my thoughts always, but especially today. (hugs)

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thank you, sweet Gigi, and I’m sorry for the belated reply. I’ve been horrible about replying to comments and staying on top of things (or ANYthing, really). Hugs back at you. xo

  • GM52246

    I almost didn’t comment bc I have no energy today, but this is a very good post. Probably at least 50 other depressed folk whom this resonated with but couldn’t bring themselves to comment.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      GM52246,

      Exactly. Which is another reason why it’s taken me so long to get to replying to your comment. No energy. So tired all the time. And I do hope this post resonated with many. It resonated with my family, but in an entirely different and upsetting/angry way. Le sigh.

  • katbiggie

    I have battled depression on and off since I was in my late teens. There was a time that I did not even want to leave the house. Thankfully, I am beyond that phase, but I understand the “hiding” and the actions to “numb” and the drastic actions to make a change. I understand and am thankful that you are writing about it. I hope today is a happier day.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      katbiggie,

      me too. off and on since my teens. and right now i don’t want to leave the house much….but i have little ones, and i have no choice. i hide as much as i can, but sometimes….it gets old. and i wish i could write more about it, but there are too many who are sensitive and feel that what I write and share here negatively affects them. I have a hard time with that, seeing as I’m writing about ME, not them. Oh well.

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  • BrandiJeter

    “Sometimes, when she’s depressed, she has to pretend”. Unfortunately, i know this all too well. Thank you for being transparent, Erin. It helps to know that I’m not the only one who pushed through the dark.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Brandi,

      No, you are certainly not the only one. NEVER. THat is the hard thing — the feeling of isolation in all of this. It’s awful. So I try to be as open about it as I can… which means… sometimes at the risk of alienating people…

      Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment. ;-)

  • Sandy @endthecrazytalk

    This is a woman who knows exactly how you feel and understands all to well what you’re going through. I am also the face of depression and I’d admire you for speaking up and sharing no matter how difficult it was. It is people like youself that are helping to erase the stigma attached to mental illness and in turn helping those who suffer. Thank you for this!

    Hugs to you! xoxo

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