Meghan Tells It

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When Death Shakes Your Own Soul November 9, 2016

Filed under: Thoughts — Meghan Hamilton @ 4:00 pm
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Yesterday Craig and I attended the funeral of a 48 year old man. We weren’t super close to him, but he made a significant impact on Craig and we are both better people for having known his kindness.

Despite not knowing him well, his death has hit me hard. You see, he struggled with his mental health. On several occasions, his wife and I would have impromptu group therapy sessions in the grocery store or wherever we happened to run into each other, because being married to someone with a mental illness is hard. Though they had different diagnoses, it was similar enough to feel safe talking about it with each other.

So as I thought about this particular death, I knew it could just as easily have been Craig’s funeral. The thing that people don’t like to acknowledge out loud in front of other people is that mental illness can be a terminal illness. Whether a person takes their own life because the pain inside has become overwhelming, or they do something utterly stupid in the throes of a delusion, death is not uncommon. It can feel like it is waiting at the periphery of our lives on a daily basis, looking for an opportunity to snatch away our loved ones.

Those of us married to people like Craig find ourselves wondering if treatment will be accepted. Then we wonder if it will be effective. It’s not always effective. The man who was buried yesterday fought valiantly for his sanity. He loved his family deeply. I doubt he wanted to hurt them with his exit from this life. When my friend was presented with the flags involved in the military ceremony, I heard her weep. My heart wept with her. I can only imagine her pain right now. I hope to never feel it for myself. But I’m not counting on it.

Craig fights every day. Still, there are days that I wonder if he’ll arrive home safely after he goes out. There are days I wonder if I’ll arrive home to him still in one piece and the house safe from a kitchen fire. There have even been days that I wished it would be over so that I could stop wondering. Those are the most terrifying days and the ones no one wants to acknowledge.

Today I still have my husband. Today I will tell him I love him because I don’t know if I’ll get the chance to tell him tomorrow.

*Note: I don’t wish to ignore or minimize the impact of mental illness on the lives of other family members. But my experience is that of a spouse, so that is my focus today.*

 

Ready to Live Again October 23, 2014

Filed under: Personal Growth,Uncategorized — Meghan Hamilton @ 2:30 am
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depression_by_thirsty5

Depression Sucks.  Not just metaphorically.  I mean it sucks the life right out of you.  It slows every process in your body down.  Was mine major?  Nope.  But it has certainly interfered with my life and continues to try.  I’m beating it back though.  Most days are good.  But it’s always there, lurking and waiting to rear its ugly head.

But, Meghan, you don’t seem sad.  You have a lot going for you.  How can you be depressed?

It’s a sickness of the brain.  Like any mental illness, my neurons don’t always fire the way God designed them to.  So, in my case, my thoughts are slowed somewhat, but mostly still there and just fine.  My body lags.  Sometimes it’s all I can do to get a shower and make sure that Alex is where he needs to be and has some sort of food in his growing body.

Write?  Nope.  Too hard.

Clean?  Too hard.

Answer the phone?  You’ve got to be kidding me.  Maybe a text, but no promises.

My “to do list” is rarely very long.  But Depression will put up a brick wall between my organized self and my ability to get off my butt and get it done.  How do I get this wall out of the way?  For me, St. John’s Wort is very effective.  But like anything, you have to actually take it for it to help.  A number of years ago, I saw a therapist when I realized Depression wouldn’t go away on its own.  My health insurance was crappy and a number of respectable studies had come out saying that St. John’s Wort was actually effective for mild to moderate depression.  She told me to try it, as it would be cheaper than a formal prescription.  If it didn’t work, she’d prescribe something stronger.  It worked.  I was on Prozac for a while after Alex was born.  That worked too, but it made me feel flat, rather than reconnecting my head to my body the way St. John’s Wort does.

Anyway, it works for me as long as I take it religiously.  For several years I didn’t.  And I slid down that hill of disconnection and crankiness.  Life circumstances didn’t help either.  Craig has been hospitalized twice in that time period.  The first one was a nightmare of a time in our lives.  He’d done everything right by taking meds and going to his appointments, but the NP didn’t seem to get that things were going very very badly.  The last time was much better.  The new NP understood immediately that Craig needed a change and called for an ambulance before it was a big problem.

Raising a child isn’t easy.  Raising a child with a man who can’t work and Depression trying to tell me I can’t work either, is even harder.

Now?  Now, I’m moving again.  My home is less trashed.  My family is often fed healthier meals. Business is moving again.

Hmm.  Funny how treating an illness actually can make it better rather than ignoring it.  I’m done letting it suck the life out of me.  I’m ready to live again.

sunshine1

 

Coming Back September 24, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meghan Hamilton @ 10:52 pm
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So many thoughts. Some are deep. Some aren’t. So I’ll start with the overarching struggle of the past couple of years – Depression with a Capital “D.” I didn’t even realize how bad I had it until I started to come out of it late last spring. Perhaps if I had realized, I’d have sought professional help. Perhaps not. I’m sure there are a number of contributing factors. And it’s not totally over, but things are much better inside of my head now.

Now that my brain is functioning with more clarity, I have some projects that are finally getting off the ground. My soap looks like it may start selling. Hooray! I’m so glad I said “Hi!” to Teri in the grocery store. She ordered some for her farm stand. (Why wouldn’t I say hi? Because of the Big Depression and Hormones making me miserable that day. But she’s wicked nice, so even if she didn’t want soap, it would have been good talking to her.)

I crochet. I would like to sell that stuff too. I am struggling with pricing. It’s nearly impossible to make minimum wage on crocheted items. Most people don’t want to pay you for your time. Perceptions are difficult to overcome in this arena. So, do I sell it just because maybe I can get back my yarn costs plus a little? Do I insist on getting an hourly wage? ($120 baby blanket anyone?) So, I guess the bottom line is that I will be at a few Christmas craft fairs and see how it goes.

Alex is 6 and in 1st Grade this year. I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not to home-school him since before enrolling him in Kindergarten. It’s a big undertaking and I just don’t know what will be best for him. Hmm.

On the to-do list is an overhaul of my Etsy site, but if you’re interested, go check it out at http://www.etsy.com/shop/MegInStitches

Also on the to-do list is to write more.  So, perhaps it won’t be two more years until there is new content here.