Thursday, August 23, 2012

My Long Hot Summer

I know that it has been a while since I last posted.
It seems like this summer has gone fast but also drug on like no other I have ever had.
We had HOT temps in the high 90's and 100's which is rare for Michigan and we had no rain for months, a drought that shriveled up fields of nutrients, grass, trees and one of the most important things to me,
my head and my soul.

I have told you about my panic attacks and even took a break from blogging.  What I didn't know that all these were leading up to something that I never imagined myself in the midst of....
depression, obsessive thoughts and severe anxiety.

I withdrew from everything that I loved to do, blogging, painting, decorating, family and friends.  I didn't really know it at the time but as I look back I could see it all spiraling down.  I only wanted to be in my house, safe.  However, I thought that moving would be an answer so we put our house up for sale and I threw myself in to cleaning and packing things away, which I think only made things worse.  I didn't need the added worry.

I went to see my doctor about medications because nothing else was working, we tried some meds and they only made things worse.  I cried everyday and something as simple as putting socks on my sons feet made me fall to my knees and cry, an overwhelming feeling of the day, things I needed to do but could not gather myself to do them.  

June was horrible,  I couldn't even look at myself in the mirror.  I didn't get dressed for days and I lost my appetite.  Days went by and my family would come help me, encourage me that things were going to be ok.  But what they, nor I knew, was that something worse was bubbling up inside, a feeling of deep despair, a feeling of no longer wanting to be on this earth, not suicide or hurting myself or others, but if I didn't wake up in the morning that would have been fine with me. 

I held that inside of me until I could no longer stand it.  I called my dad and told him one morning and my parents were over right away to comfort me, help me, try to guide me the best that they knew how.

Days went on like this until my dad did some research on a drug that didn't give horrible side effects.  I called my doctor and got a prescription.  Unfortunately it was too late, because the bottom suddenly dropped out from under me.  I had a severe panic attack and sobbed and cried uncontrollably.  My husband called my dad and he came over and decided to take me to the ER.

Once there they evaluated me and offered me one of two choices; I either go home and continue on the medication and get a therapy appt or I check into the Behavioral Health Center on the sixth floor.
I decided to stay knowing that I needed help now.

It was scary being in a place that you see horrible things on TV, but I can tell you it was no way like that.  Everyone was amazing, caring and truly concerned and wanted to see us get healthy.  I was admitted July 3rd and stayed until July 6th.

It became a place of safety for me, knowing that there were others who knew what I was feeling, a place to talk freely and listen to others who had advice.
It was a positive experience for me.

When I came home, that was hard, leaving my security and the friends I had made in a short time, wondering and probably never knowing how they are doing.  I had distractions and coping skills to get me through that next week, my daughter played basketball all week and that was wonderful to watch.

Mornings were the hardest for me, anxiety would stay with me for most of it until the meds kicked in.
We then went on vacation to my most favorite place in the world, Glen Lake with my family.  I healed, I cried, I struggled and I laughed.

As of today, I feel good, I feel not normal but the closest I have been to it in a while.  The meds are working and luckily with few side effects, I am really tired all the time and find myself napping, which I never do.  I have more good days than bad and I even started painting again.
We decided not to sell the house, I don't think I could go through that right now so I am slowing putting back  all the things I have packed away.

I haven't been on the computer much, just not ready for it.  I have been taking things day by day, trying not to worry about what is next.  I am trying not to be so hard on myself and always feel like I should be doing something.  If my body says rest, I rest.  The weather has lifted its hot spell and I am trying to enjoy what is left of summer but I am so excited for fall, crisp clean air, cool nights and just a new season not only for Mother Nature but for me.  

The reason for what happened to me was the depletion of serotonin in my brain.  Events since my heart attacks never allowed them to build back up and slowly, unknowingly I was heading towards the events of this summer.  I know it will take time and help, which I am getting on a regular basis not only from a therapist but also my pastor, I have lots of guilt from my heart attacks and many many questions.

I know that I could not have made it without my family and friends.  My dad was over almost every day, helping me with the kids and just encouraging me.  My mom was supportive and listened to me everyday cry on the phone.  For those of you who wrote to see how I was doing, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I know that God is carrying me through this and I know that He will let me walk soon never leaving my side.
I am not sure if I will be the same person I was, my biggest fear is not being able to recognize that girl.  Maybe I will be stronger, maybe not.  But I do know that I won't give up and I will try to be the best person that I am, not the person that I think I should be.

Depression can take you quickly and sometimes you don't even know that it is happening.  Depression is a disease that needs to be treated like any other medical condition.  Sometimes meds are needed to balance out the chemicals in your brain, just like diabetes needs meds to balance out what your body can't produce. You are not crazy, you just need help, and there are people that can help.  I truly believe that if I did't have the help that I did or did not choose to check myself in, things would have been worse and that scares me more than anything.

I won't be blogging much, maybe here and there, I am still healing and taking it day by day.
Please forgive me if I don't answer you or it takes me a while.  I love you all and miss you very much.
Thank you for letting me share my story and I know that I may always struggle with it but now I know that I can control it and perhaps conquer it.

Many hugs to you!!!!



Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife said...

I've missed you and thought of you often this summer! Hugs as you heal!

Amy Kinser said...

I am so sorry for all you have gone through. So thankful you shared your heart so we can be praying for you.

Blessings, sweet lady.

Tricia said...

Oh Michelle, my heart goes out to you. I've been thinking of you, wondering how you've been...I'm so sorry to hear of your struggles over the summer and how everything just kind of spiraled out of control. Depression is something that a lot of people live with, so just know you're not alone. I'm glad to hear that you're on the mend though and that things have taken a turn for the better. Big hugs ♥

Karena said...

Dear Michelle, I am so sorry you have and are still going through this heart-wrenching experience. I pray for you and applaud you for getting help and sharing your life with us.

Please know that you are not alone, my multiple surgeries also gradually drew me into a depressive state; I experienced all the feelings you described. At times in life we must ask for help. It does take time. I am just now starting to paint again. Several sales boosted my spirits tremendously. Still off work rehabbing from the last surgery;so my full time job right now is to get strong physically, mentally,emotionally,and build the endurance I need. Start socializing again!

You are very special; remember that and how much your family needs you and looks up to you; how many care.

Art by Karena
2012 Artists Series

tinajo said...

I´m so sorry to hear that you´ve struggles, I´ll keep you in my thoughts and wish you easier days step by step. Take care!

Low Tide High Style said...

Michelle, you are one of the strongest, bravest, most talented, caring, and wonderful people I have been lucky enough to know in my life. You will get back to the girl you want to be, but know that the girl you are right now is perfect in a very special way. We all have struggles in our lives, it is how we face them that is the true measure of who we are as people! If you need anything, please let me know!

xoxo Kat

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

wow, michelle. i have been thinking of you, too... and this post brought me to tears.... just so thankful you have a wonderful and supportive family, but the honest reason i am crying is that i can see this being me, someone i know.... being any one of us who just sometimes feels overwhelmed by the pressures of daily life and losing sight of ourselves in it. anyhow, thinking of you and wishing you strength and healing and love for yourself above all.

elizabeth said...

Thank you for this honest, heart wrenching post. I am sure God never wastes our suffering. Even in this post, I believe you've given someone else hope.

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

Oh Michelle, sweet girl, I am so sorry you had to go through all of this. I have thought of you many times this summer. I should have emailed. We moved to Houston TX this summer and things have been hectic, but you have definitely been in my thoughts. I will be praying for a complete healing for you. It will happen Michelle. I know it will. In fact things will be BETTER! How can I know this? Because it is what God promises us. He doesn't have us go through pain with out birthing something new. Something that will be better. I'm not trying to preach to you in any way, just sending encouragement. I really wish I could give you a hug right now my friend!! :) :)
You are so brave to do this post and I'm sure it will be a help for others. As I'm sure you know many people are going through similar things.
Take care my friend. I will be praying for you and your family.

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

Michelle, my heart aches for you and you are very brave to bare your soul and share this with everyone. Take one day at a time, reach out to those who can help you and I'll be praying for you. Hugs!

beachcomber said...

thinking of you michelle.. i was wondering how you were going. you are probably helping a lot of others by talking openly about it. take care!
cheryl xo

NanaDiana said...

God bless you- You KNOW that I am praying for your AND your family-because it is their illness, too. Get rest, get well, find some peace and let it go to God when and as you can- I am always ever just an email away- Love to you, my sweet MI friend- xo Diana

NanaDiana said...

ps. I think posting this is one of the bravest things anyone could ever do AND it is therapeutic!

Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures said...

I have wondered about you from time to time so I am glad to know you are ok. I am so sorry you had such a tough summer, but thankful for you and your family that you got help. My mom died from suicide so I know the effects of depression.

Lynda @ Happenstance Home said...

Hi Michelle. I have been wondering how you are doing, and was going to send you an email. I'm sad to hear that you have had such a rough summer. God Bless you, and it sounds like with each day you will feel better and better. I know it is so hard to feel like your body is out of control - I have been having trouble with my hearing and some vertigo. Not fun. It sounds like you have a wonderful support system, and that helps so much too! Best Wishes!

Desire Empire said...

Oh sweet girl so sorry to hear of all your trials. I only popped in here the other day to see what was happening in your life and noticed you hadn't been here since May 1.

I've been where you are and as hard as it is to believe now. That girl will be back. One just seems to eventually pop out the other side.

My mum was the one who got me through.

I am so thankful that you want to keep going. I don't know you well but from what I know of your sweetness, the world is a better place with you in it.

Here's to a full recovery when you can manage it.

wishing you the best of everything.


Tery H said...


You are not alone. My mother went through a similar experience... a traumatic situation that sent her into a depression. I know first hand that some mess can make it worse, leave you feeling like a zombie, zap everything that made you who you are. It can be hell on earth.

I am so happy that you have a supportive family. That is a blessing and half the battle.

You will make it as did my mother. God has a plan for you. You are too special.
I am glad to hear that you are back to painting and wish you the best.

At The Picket Fence said...

Dear Michelle, oh sweet friend, I'm just so sorry that you have been going through all of this. My heart was aching as I read this but towards the end of the post it was so obvious that you are coming out on the other side and seeing so clearly how God has carried you and your family through it all. I've always said that the bad news about a painful situation is that you will never be the same again BUT the good news about it is that you will never be the same again...because you will find that , if you let it, the pain will take you to deeper places in your faith and in all other areas of your life and that God will use this to bless and encourage others. I will pray that this will be true for you and that you will continue to feel God's strength and peace carrying you through each new day!
Blessings to you my friend,

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becky said...

And hugs back to you, Michelle. I can something of what you're feeling as I've spent the summer recovering from a severely crushed left wrist, imprisoned somewhat in a therapy state, exercising muscles that need resuscitating...a long, hard journey.
Bless you, my blogging friend, once so cheerful and motivating, may you recover your original self!

Polly said...

Dear Michelle, You are so brave! It sounds like you've been through a lot in the past few years. My heart aches for you but I also know you are strong and can push through all this stuff! Thinking of you!



Calypso In The Country said...

Hi Michelle,
I am so sorry to hear what you have been going through. You did the right thing by getting help right away and it sounds like you really want to get better - so you will. Stay focused on everything you are supposed to be doing and don't feel guilty about your blog or getting back to people. I will be thinking of you and sending you positive thoughts! Take care my friend!

Sandi~A Cottage Muse said...

Oh Michelle...I'm so sorry you had to go through this but am so, so happy that you are doing better. I think of you often and you hold a special place in my heart. Sending you a hug and wishing you nothing but the best!

Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia said...

I am so sorry Michelle. You came up in my mind this morning for some reason I now know. You are in my thouhgts and prayers as you continue to heal.
Love and hugs.

Muskokangirl said...

Hi good to hear from you...even though you have had a difficult past few months, it is great news to hear that you are on the mend. Sharing your story is also a great way of healing, you never know who else might be dealing with the same thing and it help them as well.
I look forward to your posts here and there and to hear what you are up to...keep pushing and healing...listening to your body to rest is so important, as you know.
It is great to hear that you have such a loving family who is looking out for you when you need it most. Spend some time by the water, let it help heal you as well.
As a side note, our 2nd daughter arrived on the 4th of July (she was due on July 1, Canada Day, but held out for her Daddy's country and came on the 4th) we are still adjusting, but loving our newest family member!!

Natalie @ NorthShore Days said...

My dear Michelle - I'm so sorry I've only just seen this post. Girl I'm so proud of you being able to share your story. I know a bit of how you feel - I had undiagnosed Post natal with my second child and it was only picked up with my third. Now I'm on meds - I can def say I look back on those days as being very dark - everything seemed dark. I hope you grow a little stronger every day and soon you will be feeling a lot better. Much love and still missing you heaps xxx Nat

Heaven's Walk said...

Hey lil know, I totally agree with Vanessa's words. God is bringing you through this for a reason and you will arrive at the other end of it stronger in your love, faith, and determination. He IS carrying you all the way, sweetie! And I continue to lift you up in prayer.

It was SOOOOO good to see you again in Allegan last weekend, too! I can hardly wait to meet up with you in GR in September!!! ♥

Love you dearly, sweetie!!

xoxo laurie

Privet and Holly said...

DEAR Michelle,
I've walked this road
with a very close friend ~
it all sounds so familiar.
Once diagnosed, she
found the right meds
and for the last 12
years she has had her
happy ending, living
and enjoying these
precious moments that
are her life. Stay strong
and continue to listen
to your inner self, who
knows when you need
to rest and what is best
for you....and know that
a friend from MN sends
her prayers.

xo Suzanne

erin said...

dearest michele, i am so glad that you posted this honest and revealing post...i have been wondering about you. you are a brave woman who is loved by many. there truely is a light at the end of the tunnel...know that you are not alone...i too have suffered with bouts of depression and today i am doing well...
sending prayers and healing vibes your way for a continued recovery,

j0najum said...

Hello Michelle, I've read your whole post and it touches my heart, really really inspiring. you know Michelle in spite of all trials and hindrances we encounter but we still thank god for having a opportunity to have a life and strength with our families and friends.

Long live,
Gold Filled Cable Thimble

Jen said...

I'm not sure why I read your post with tears streaming down my face. Maybe because you so succinctly described what I too have so often felt in my life journey. Many suffer with these ways of being, and thank God you have been able to reach out and to be so honest and open.
A consult with a Naturopath may also be a good way to go; it has been very helpful for me.
Blessings, Jen

Green Willow Pond said...

It makes my heart so sad to hear you have been through such a struggle Michelle. I've checked in on your blog a few times to see if you had posted. I had no idea.

I am so glad you have such a wonderful family who have come around to support and lift you up. It sounds like the medicine is helping. I'll be praying for you my friend.

Desire Empire said...

Hi Michelle
Just dropping by to say hi and hope you are getting better each day. no need to answer back. Just know I'm thinking of you.

Linda@Coastal Charm said...

I am so sorry that this has been going on with you, but very happy to hear that you are doing much better now. You are very lucky to have such a loving family, and it sounds like faith will get you thru this. Take care my friend:)


reFresh reStyle said...

I have been thinking about you and wanted to send a hug and prayer your way. Have a great weekend, Debbie

Anonymous said...

This is the second time I'm trying, so hopefully it gets through this time, lol!

I can SO relate to what you have gone through. I now believe I went through a depression when my daughter was born. I had wanted to become a mother and hold my own baby in my arms for so long, but after I went through the initial emotional high when they first placed her in my arms, it quickly went downhill from there.

I still remember each and every time one of the nurses brought her in to me to try to nurse her (my milk was late coming in, had to have a C-section)(she spent a lot of time in a "dome under light", she was jaundace)I thought to myself, what was I thinking for so long? I don't want to be a mother! I was sleep exhausted beyond what I thought a human could be (I got stuck in the hospital 4 days before she was born, with blood pressure problems, placed in a room with babies in other rooms on either side crying all night long, with colic). Then, we left our support system we had just got established, two months after she was born, then several bad moves, our dog had to be put to sleep. Everything was crashing in around me.

I was going hour by hour, with a baby crying non stop (acid reflux), and no resources to help me. When my husband got home from work, he did all he could, but it was such a very dark time in my, and his life.

I feel so much tenderness for you, and for what you have been through! I am sending a really, really big online hug to you!!!

Anne said...

Dear Michelle, keep hanging in there, day at a time, it WILL get better. Heart attacks do cause depression but you have nothing to feel 'guilty' for!! You have such a good soul; I'll say a prayer for you and look forward to hearing of your progress.... hugs!

Caron's Beach House said...

Just know that I am thinking about you, and sending buckets of hugs. You are so brave, and I am so glad that you are taking care of you.


Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

I'm not online very often, so I just read this post. Thank you for sharing. It takes courage to reveal something so personal, and you may never know who you helped by doing so. May you continue to heal. I love your heart :)

Lucy said...

I am quite new on the scene,but your story touched me. Praying things are continuing on the up and up.Thank-you for sharing it.
Do you know the chorus..."You are my strength when I am weak. You are my treasure that I seek. You are my All in ALL, Jesus Lamb of God, Worthy is Your name..."

CatCricket Savage said...

Mich~ I haven't been on in 3 months.. I am digging now to find your snail mail...
Love you sweet mermaid sister....
Stay strong...

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

Hi Michelle, I have been away from the blogs myself all summer long. I am just now catching up on everyone and I'm so sorry to hear that you went through so much pain these past months. I hope you are continuing to heal and get stronger. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs to you my friend!

Cathy M~(checkitoff) said...

Michelle, thinking of you my sweet friend Feel very blessed to know you through blogging and our brief Glen Lake time. You are so very strong and will continue on this path of healing. Praying for you my sweet friend. hugs, cathy

Finding Home said...

Michelle, you have so been in my thoughts lately and so I popped over to see if you had been back. I am so very sorry for the incredibly hard journey you have been enduring. You are so amazing to share your story so openly. Anything you need friend, just let me know. I think of you and your kids often. Never forget - Mother Warriors can take care of themselves too. With love, Laura

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

Oh sweetie, I thought it was all quiet from you and now I know why. You poor, poor lovey. I'm so sorry that you've been suffering in this way. Thank God you've got such an amazing support network around you. Please don't feel you have to take the time to reply but also please know that I'll be praying for you, my lovely.

Big, warm hug from across the ocean,


Desire Empire said...

Hey kiddo just stopping by to send you good thoughts. I hope you are recovering as well as can for now. Thinking of you.

Denise at PinkPostcard. said...

hugs to you Michelle! said...

Hi sweet Michelle, thanks for sharing your journey with us. You are brave to do it and are probably a help to someone by doing so. I will keep you in my prayers as you heal. Great big hug to you.

sandra said...

I miss your blogging! Come back!

Denise Sabia said...

Hi Michelle, I hope you are taking care of yourself and feeling better. you are missed.
have a wonderful Holiday Season!


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