I can clearly remember the first time that I felt alone. It was the day after Troy and I got married. The very next day. Now, my heart was never really into that marriage. We didn’t set the date, his family did. I had not planned a thing when one day they were like, we’re going to help you plan this and do it on this dayâ€¦ and it seemed like the next time I turned around I was standing on the alter. I was much more in love with the thought of getting to wear a big pretty white dress and be the princess for the day than I was about marrying Troy. I can say with certain clarity that it was the worst decision I have ever made.
But we had a child and I had a family to take care of so I sucked it up and on I went. To the outside world Troy and I had this perfect marriage. It was easy to fool everybody. We were still VERY good friends. But we were not in love the way we should have been.
In the midst of this Troy’s Aunt Ada, one of the best friends I’ve ever had, the person who I can say without a doubt has had the biggest positive effect on my life was dying a very slow, very painful death. Everyday I spent 10 hours with her. I gave up going to college to learn to run her business for her. I don’t blame her one bit for that though. It’s something that, had I the choice to do it over, I’d do again. She reminded me so much of my grandma that died of cancer at way to young an age. Maybe that’s why I became so attached to her.
She died about a year after Troy and I got married. About a month later Troy’s step-mom Amber had a nervous breakdown. She had been the primary person to take care of Ada. She called Ada mom and meant that in it’s literal sense. Ada might as well have been her mother. Amber named her only miracle child that they told her she’d never have after Ada (who’s first name was Carrielee).
So I never really had time to mourn her death. At the funeral I was numb. The only thing that I remember about it was seeing Carrielee crying and walking over to pick her up and hold her. I help on to her the entire funeral.
Two days later I was running the business, Amber was sick in the hospital trying to make up for the fact that she had not slept in weeks while trying to take care of Ada, I was comforting her son and husband, and all the while taking care of Troy and Cassidy.
Through all of this, I had no idea that I was depressed. I never slowed down enough to think about myself. I am a text book co-dependent so I did what any normal co-dependent does, I surrounded myself with people that needed my help and I spent so much time helping everybody else, I didn’t have a single moment to reflect on the fact that I was walking a very shaky tight rope.
Then it happened. I drove out to the shop one day to pick up Troy. He was leaning over a table talking to Mary and as soon as he got in the car I asked him what the hell was going on. Two miles later we were over. I had had enough, he had had enough. The friendship that we once had had slowly progressed into hate. I hated him because I felt like I was his fucking mother. I cooked all his meals, cleaned up after him and all his friends, I washed all his clothes, I nagged him about the fact that out of 4 vehicles HE owned not a single one of them ran meanwhile I was his personal driver and took him everywhere.
I was just DONE.
One week later I felt fan-fucking-tastic. I drove out to the shop to drop Cassidy off and whished him the best in life and all the luck in the world. I told him I was filing divorce papers and that I hoped we could remain friends for the sake of our daughter. When I drove away that day, minus him in the car and in my life I felt like I had just cast a 4 ton weight off myself. I felt like I could fly. I could breathe for the first time in 6 years without feeling this terrible restriction around my chest. I was almost euphoric.
Then a month later he was begging me to come back. COME BACK!? HELL NO! But I gave in, I thought to myself that in 10 years I didn’t want to regret not giving it that â€˜one last try’. I was miserable and a month into it we were separated again. This time I was MUCH more bitter. He didn’t want â€˜one last try’ he wanted sex and his virgin g/f wasn’t giving it up. (ÃŸ Sound familiar Lisa?)
That was the last straw.
Three months later I had just started dating Ben, I had my own place to live, a great job with Kynan. For the first time in almost a decade I was back on the road to where I wanted my life to go. I had the whole Troy free future in front of me.
And that’s when the major depression started.
I wrote it off to all the stress I was under. I wasn’t getting money from Troy, I was living totally on my own for the first time ever. Trying to juggle bill and work and motherhood. It was very tough on me. The biggest thing though was that suddenly I didn’t have anybody to take care of. I time. And time was bad. Time meant sitting on the couch wondering where the hell my life had gone. It was like I had blinked and 6 years were gone and I had jack shit to show for it. I was very bitter and very hard on myself for letting that happen.
The next six months to a year was pretty much a long, dark, never ending tunnel. I decided to move up to San Jose to be with Ben because he was the one light in my life. When I was with him the depression seemed to vanish but as soon as he’d leave, and I was alone and I had time to myself, it would all come crashing back down.
The problem is that I had lost all motivation. ALL. I would have been perfectly content to sleep all day. All day, every day. I didn’t have to think when I was asleep. I could escape into a world of bliss and false hope. I could have moved up to San Jose months before I did but I barely had the motivation to dress myself in the morning, let alone try and find a way to come up with the money to move.
It was in the dark time that I made the second biggest mistake of my entire life. The mistake that almost cost me the one thing other than Cassidy that I’ve loved in a really long time. The one thing that gave me what little hope that I had.
I know that Ben saved my life when he came down and told me â€˜get a U-Haul you’re moving TOMORROW.’ I really think that had he not done that I would have ended up hurting myself. Badly. The thought was already there. If I had sunk any lower then it would have happened. Not two nights before that I laid on the couch in my moms living room at 3am, I hadn’t slept in DAYS and sleep was the only thing I wanted in life and thinking to myself how easy it would be to end the pain, end the feeling that no matter what I did, I would never be able to move past the spot I was in that VERY second. Even now it’s hard for me to think about how close I was. The ONLY thing that kept me from acting on those feelings at that time was the sounds of breathing coming from Cassidy asleep on the other couch.
Yet through all of this, with my mom and Ben telling me that I was depressed and needed help I was in total denial. I just thought I was tired from not getting enough sleep. TOTAL D.E.N.I.A.L.
Finally, after I had been up here for about four months I had sunk so low that I was hardly able to function. I wasn’t eating. I had dropped tons of weight, I wasn’t sleeping and I Was driving Ben and Cassidy absolutely crazy.
One day as I sat alone in the house staring at the wall wishing to God that I could fall asleep and I walked over to the computer to look up insomnia and I took a little test on WebMD and it basically said that I needed to get to a doctor ASAP so I made an appointment. I begged Ben to go with me. The thought of walking in there and telling a doctor, I’m depressed, give me something was TERRIFYING. It made me physically ill to think about it. But Ben knew this was something that I had to face on my own or I continue to depend on him forever. I had to take that first step.
So I went, and I asked and he prescribed Zoloft. I started taking it and it took about a month to kick in but it made an absolute WORLD of difference. I was able to function again, I WANTED to get out of bed in the morning, I got my appetite back, I was finallyâ€¦ for the fist time since my wedding day five years earlier… myself again.
So Lisa, trust me. We ALL have times when we feel that way… useless, helpless, worthless, hopeless… But I PROMISE you, there is another man out there for you. A man that will treat you the way you always dreamed of being treated. And you WILL get better. My BEST advise to you would be to go to a doctor, tell him/her how you feel and see what they say. Don’t wait and don’t feel ashamed. They are there to help you, they go to school to help you, they WANT to help you.
Also know that if you need anything at all, my phone is always on and our door is always open. IF you need to get out of town then you have a place here to crash and we’d both me more than happy to have you. Ben even told me last night when I told him that I was concerned about you to tell you to come visit.
If you have any questions at all, let me know. Ask them and one of us I’m sure will have an answer. Love ya!!!