Caution: Instability Ahead

I’m afraid to write this. But I think that’s why I need to.

At this time last year when the azaleas were blooming and the days were getting a bit longer I didn’t notice. I could not stop crying. I could not eat. I could not sleep at night but I also couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. I fantasized about going to sleep and not waking up. When I was really desperate I thought about driving my car at top speed off the freeway and into the river. I seriously could not get the song Crazy Train out of my head,

“Mental wounds not healing, life’s a bitter shame, I’m going off the rails on a crazy train…”

My work suffered, my family suffered helplessly watching me slip away. “Mommy don’t be sad. Mommy cry?” my sweet daughter in her limited vocabulary was trying to find the words to understand:

Oliva 2

On her 2nd birthday I finally fell apart. My dear husband could not watch any longer and gave me the encouragement I needed to make a phone call and ask for help.

Why am I writing about this? I guess it’s been on my mind because my daughter’s birthday is coming up. Last year instead of planning a birthday party I was making arrangements to attend an intensive outpatient program, doctor’s orders.

The azaleas are in bloom again. The days are getting a bit longer. And this time I’m happy to be around to notice.

I wrote a little bit more about this experience here if you’re interested: Rogue Waves.

For more about how you can help yourself or a loved one here’s an online resource: Support Alliance.


30 replies to “Caution: Instability Ahead

  1. Your story touched me … I am glad that you can perceive the scent of azaleas today. Congratulations on your birthday for your daughter. I wish you all the best.
    Greetings from Vera


      1. Yes, I believe you immediately that it was not easy to tell. But now maybe you is a little easier heart. That would be nice.
        Good night and sleep well, Sandra.
        Best wishes from Vera


  2. Sandra, about 30 years ago, I went through the same thing. My baby was 3 years old. Back in those days doctors prescribed pills that made you sleep, how could I sleep with a little one to watch. To make a long story short, I overcame all the darkness in me, but it was a terrible time. I still have times when I feel sad, but I make myself to get busy with something. Stay strong and know that your family loves you!


  3. Thanks for sharing this extremely personal struggle with us. It was so courageous of you! I’m so glad you’re in a better, healthier place now and are able to enjoy life again. Happy Birthday to your little one too : ) Hugs!


    1. Thank you so much for reading! This one was hard on the eyes I’m sure. Glad to have it out in the open though. Maybe I can put it away for now and stop thinking about where I was this time last year. I really appreciate your encouragement.


    1. Thanks so much Mark, this one was hard to write so I’m sure it was hard to read as well. But I appreciate that you stuck it out and even commented. I think if I can just get through April I will feel that much better about the distance between now and where I was a year ago. I’m going to try to keep my eyes straight ahead and stop dwelling on the rearview mirror. Thanks for the encouragement!


  4. It’s never easy to admit times like this, but you are brave in doing it. I love that you ended on such a positive and that this year is better for you. I hope it only continues its way up.


  5. Anniversaries can dredge up hard memories, but they also allow us to reflect on how far we’ve come. I’m glad you’re here to admire the azaleas. And your sharing might make someone else feel less alone and desperateโ€”that’s a true gift.


    1. Thanks Catherine. I’m trying to reframe my thinking but it is harder than I imagined to put into practice. You’re so right about this being a lonely place. I was worried about over sharing and quibbled a lot. But ultimately I’m glad I hit publish. Thanks so much for the encouragement.


      1. I worry about oversharing, too, and hesitated to write my posts about having so much trouble breastfeeding. But the responses, encouragement and notes from so many people validated my decision to write. I think that when we’re honest and allow ourselves to be vulnerable, people notice and appreciate that. There’s so much fakery on the internet, it’s refreshing to come across something real.


  6. Depression chronic severe most of my life. The meds help but also having insight that it is a chemical imbalance and not “real” helps get through it. Key is to force yourself not to be immobilized which validates self confidence. Thanks visit my blog.


    1. Hi Carl, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. I know you are right but in the thick of an episode I find it so hard to do the right things like connecting with others, talking to my dr, at worst getting out of bed can require more energy than I can muster. I’m learning but it’s taken baby steps. Connecting here with others helps me remember I’m not alone. Take good care! I’m glad I found your blog.


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