Depression Lies, Especially in September

This month they call September is fucking brutal. It’s Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and that is so ironic to me that I can’t even stand it. September sneaks up on me. The memories sneak up on me. The pain comes at me and I feel trapped. Stuck in this mind that won’t forget, that won’t cooperate, that won’t just let me be.

So, I enjoyed the fleeting success that came with a recent post, and it really was lovely. But my anxiety was telling me that I did not deserve the compliments, the comments, the shares, the likes. My depression was telling me that I tricked everyone because I am a terrible mom. My anxiety was telling me that I needed to respond to every single sweet and wonderful person who reached out to me, but my depression was keeping me from all but the most necessary tasks.

I had an emergency session with my psychiatrist on Monday and I am feeling a little better. Talking to her made me remember that there is hope. I will not always feel like this. Yes, I will feel like this again, but when I do, I will wait this bitch out and I will laugh again and love again and still be here when the motherfucker comes back again.

I don’t know if you have heard of Project Semicolon, but I got myself a new tattoo to celebrate making it through the weekend.

My story isn't over.

My story isn’t over.

The following is part of a post I wrote shortly after Robin Williams passed, right before another September.

….I am not alone.

Out there, somewhere, is someone struggling as hard as I am struggling. Out there, somewhere, someone is giving up and someone is still fighting. Someone is feeling just as hopeless and empty as I feel. Someone is putting one foot in front of the other even though it hurts. Someone is hiding under the covers. Someone is crying. Someone is dying.

I understand.

I know the feeling and it is not just one of giving up, giving in, letting go of the pain. Depression is insidious and it lies. It will tell you that your family, your friends, everyone would be better off without you. That you are a useless weight around their necks and that ending your life would be a gift to them.

When you write it out like that it seems so stark, so cold, so untrue. But these are the thoughts that swirl when my head is buried under the pillow. These are the thoughts that I share with others who fight this monster every single day.

If you are reading this, I promise that I will keep putting one foot in front of the other. I promise that I will not listen to the lies, I will wait them out, I will drown them out, and I will keep going.

Come with me?

Here is a link to NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness, with numbers you can call if you are in crisis, and a lot of information regarding mental illness.

About Steph

I like words. I suspect I would like sanity, but I really have no way of knowing. I can be reasonable, but not often. View all posts by Steph

75 responses to “Depression Lies, Especially in September

  • msmonsterful

    It gets tough, I know.

    I know.

    I’m still here, and so are you. Let’s get going, shall we?

  • Michelle

    I would love to give you a hug so long that it’s awkward…RIGHT THIS SECOND.

    I’ve been weepy all night after hearing about Robin Williams. It’s because of his makes me sad. It makes me sad for anyone who has to deal with mental illness.

    I wish I could say something to make you feel better right this second. I can’t though. But it ‘s going to pass, sister…and you’re going to feel light again. I know you will.

    In the meantime, I’m sending you big fat sloppy inappropriate kisses.

    • Steph

      You made me laugh. Thanks Michelle. It’s a heartbreaker, for sure. And my husband mailed your shirt today, so that’s something! Thanks for the inappropriate hugs and kisses, lol.

  • @shthisisme

    I promise. Thanks for posting this.
    Stay strong, stay brave. Because you are strong, even if you don’t feel strong.

  • AndiMirandi

    I’m walking, as well. ❤

  • Me

    I”m still here walking with you. I have suffered from depression where it told me the biggest lies as well. There were days when I came so close to totally believing it – I’m so glad I didn’t !!!!
    Hang in there – it will get better !!!! Lotsa HUGE hugs for you, Steph !
    Me xox

  • tantie77

    When I was 17 years old, my mother took her own life and completely annihilated my world. I have struggled with depression for many years, but there is one thing I never let myself forget–suicide doesn’t make the pain go away, it just passes it on to others. No matter how badly depression tries to destroy me, I will keep walking, keep fighting. On the days that it is not enough to do this for myself, I do it for everyone who cares about me. I cannot make myself believe depressions lies about how much my death would improve life for others. And it is a lie. My mother was not a good mother (took me years to be able to say that without being overwhelmed by guilt), but, 20 years later, I would give anything for just one more minute with her, one hug, one laugh, anything. I wish I didn’t have depression, that I didn’t feel like the world would be better off without me in it, but I do. All I can do, all anyone can do, is to keep walking…and kick that bastard depression right in its junk by refusing to believe the lies. Never, ever, forget–you’re strong enough to have made it for however long you have, and you are strong enough to keep going. You’re worth the fight, and so are your loved ones.

    • Steph

      I’m so sorry! You know firsthand then, exactly how much it lies. Sorry seems so inadequate, but I am sorry. You’re right. I tell myself just put one foot in front of the other. We’re winning as long as we keep going.

  • tattoogirl

    I too, have struggled with depression for most of my life. It’s horrible. It’s embarrassing. It’s crippling.

    This week I felt and behaved almost exactly how you described yourself.

    And I’m with you. One foot in front of the other.

    lots of love & hugs.

    • Steph

      It is embarrassing! I’ve been on the fence about this post since I wrote it..leave it, delete it, delete it, DELETE IT, leave it…

      *deep breath* One foot in front of the other. *hugs*

  • Tempest Rose

    This is by far the best post I’ve read regarding Robin Williams today. At first I was REALLY mad that everyone was blogging, tweeting, facebooking, etc. about him. Then I read this and now it makes more sense.

    • Steph

      Oh, wow, thank you. It helps to write, sometimes. I almost didn’t share it though, and then almost deleted it.

      • Tempest Rose

        I think it’s already helped more people than you know. I go through it, too, but luckily never reach the point of suicidal. I used to think suicide was for the weak, but then I realized how easily these feelings and thoughts I have could take that route. Sad that sometimes it takes going through it to understand.

        Wishing you the best=]

  • Bradley

    My emotions were all over the place after I heard the news. I too felt camaraderie with Robin, but I’m walking right along with you. Keep ignoring the lies.

  • Belladonna Took

    Don’t take it down. That promise you made needs to stay up there, because IT’S IMPORTANT. And besides, think of all the hugs and inappropriately sloppy kisses you’d lose if you took it down? Here’s a hug from me (a kind of big squashy one) and a sloppy kiss from my dog Argos.

  • Beth

    Reblogged this on The happy pages and commented:
    What an amazing and inspiring post by Stephanie Marsh.
    Keep moving forward Stephanie, you can beat this!

  • sucieq

    Such an honest post. Let’s all keep walking especially today.

  • El Guapo

    Some days, one foot in front of the other is the best you can do.
    And it’s enough, too.

    rock on, Steph.

  • Mental Mama

    We fight because we don’t know any other way.

  • Karen Marie Peterson

    Fighting is all we can do. It’s hard, but we have to keep going.

    Keep fighting.

  • Let Robin Williams Help You Find Your Voice | Nonsense & Shenanigans

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  • The Hopeful Herbalist

    Hang in there kiddo. Cyber hug ( )

  • Meg

    “I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.” It does lie. But we all speak the truth. Thank you for being here.

  • Aussa Lorens

    This has been such a dark week… but I am glad for the conversations and the support that have come out of it. Don’t go anywhere, I need to keep linking to you and spilling all your secrets before you have a chance to tell them to your loved ones. etc. etc.

  • stef

    I don’t know what to say, except yes, keep on keepin’ on, as my mom says, and I’m sending another inappropriately long hug your way.

    Somehow that just made me think of Dumb and Dumber…some scene where they’re hugging… Great. Now I wish I had that movie.

  • AmberLynn Pappas

    It is the invisible enemies which are the hardest to fight. Keep sharing and stay the course. We’re all here with you!

  • Featured Friday — We Don’t Chew Glass | Nonsense & Shenanigans

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  • JY

    IDK if you know of the former country star from the 1990’s Mindy McCready, (we are about the same age) but she had been shuttling back and forth with her son and around Heber Springs, in a custody battle with her ex…she was one whose suicide I saw coming but was still so hurt when she finally acted on her depression. Again, the ONE thing that keeps me going is my son.
    Are you familiar with the Semi-Colon Project? It’s been circling Facebook for a few months now. If you’re not aware of it; look it up. I haven’t gone that far because I feel like “what if I fail?” – You’ll understand what I mean once you read it.
    It’s kinda like when I was 17 at church camp and they asked us to sign “abstinence cards” to promise to Jesus or something that we would wait til marriage to have sex. I turned my card in blank. I was like, “I’m not gonna outright lie to Jesus and pretend I’m not gonna have sex when I KNOW I am!” LOL, I still laugh about that today. Even more so because I’m not a christian anymore; but I feel like I stood up for MYSELF. Ha!

    • Steph

      I have heard of the semi-colon project! I think it’s awesome. I haven’t done it either. But I might. Annnnd, an abstinence card would’ve really gotten me in trouble, lol!

  • Scott

    Depression is an asshole.

  • Bon Steele

    Depression lies. Anxiety is a back-stabbing cunt. You *are* that good a Mom, and you deserve all the goodness you have and will have.


  • Lara

    Yes. It’s a liar and a coward. Thanks for the encouragement to keep keeping on.

  • Catherine

    I’m not what it is about September, but it is the worst month for me as well. Depression always seems to get me during September. I need to have my daughter read your post because she is really struggling right now feeling like she isn’t liked.

  • lindawalms

    I just stumbled across your blog. No, u are not alone, I could be writing your words! Life is so dang hard sometimes and I live much of it from my bed 😦 Hearing your story makes me know I am not alone. Thank u.

  • Jess

    I do not know you, but I love you.

    And I am weeping.

    Not in my usual, hysterically sobbing/apologizing to my young daughter during a panic attack way, but quietly and thankfully because I needed to hear your messages (all of them, give me all of them because I can and will hold you up to the voice in my head in opposition, as an example of someone who can fuck up and be goddamn honest about feeling like a fuck up, but still gets up and *tries*). (Apologies for super run-on but that’s how the conversation flows in my head, so who cares about punctuation?)

    That being said, thank you for deciding to stick around. Thank you for being stronger than the depression. The paragraph in bold hurt the most to read, because empathy gained through experience is a bitch like that. I get it. Knowing the words the dark whispers at you are lies doesn’t stop them from feeling like the truth though, and as children we were taught “the truth shall set [us] free” so why argue?

    The answer’s pretty simple: because if those things were true, not one of the people in your life would still be there, loving you through the madness and waiting for you to wake up again. It took me years to understand this, but I never would have done so if my story had ended when I wanted it to, 29 days shy of a decade ago. (Yes it’s a struggle sometimes but at least I’m still around to struggle, and snuggle my aforementioned child. She doesn’t mind. Mostly.)

    I am also very glad we have a mutual friend who linked me to your blog (I owe her BIG TIME) after I shared the article you mentioned here, and told her about it once again making the rounds of my local mommy-friends’ Facebook pages. You do deserve the attention and praise, not just for the one story, but for every little one that isn’t told. You might not feel like the best, *but the best never feel like they’ve done well enough*. It’s what keeps them going, striving to be better than they think they have been. (Also, no one gets handed a manual on Life or Parenting or even Adulting, which really should be a thing. Nobody gets it all right, nor should anyone think they have done so. See the asterisks above for the why.)

    tl;dr ….I’ve spent an hour and a half writing and rewriting this…and just had to plug in my phone. I wish my computer worked ;_; I’ll end with this–some of the people who are close enough to know my stories call me “brave” and “strong”, or my least favorite-“wise”. They try to argue me down when I disagree, because they don’t see that everything I do or have done is for survival and maintaining what sanity I’ve managed to hold on to (yes, even with fingernails-only most days, but that’s why I drink coffee in my bathroom at 4:37 a.m., commenting on strangers’ blogs. It’s my second favorite coping mechanism.)(Sorry for possible/probable lack of cohesion. My sleep average has gone from 4 hours a day with a possible nap down to 2-1/2 and good flippin’ luck. Oh, it’s good to be Mommy.)

    Thank you. Goodnight ^_^

    • Steph

      Oh, thank you SO MUCH. I’m the same with people telling me I’m “strong.” I certainly don’t FEEL strong! But I guess anyone who battles themselves has scars, whether you can see them or not, and since we’re still here, I guess we’re winning. Even on days when winning feels like losing. This sleep you mention…what is that again? Lol. I’ve taken to sitting in the bathroom when I get up at 4 a.m. so I don’t wake anyone else up. Also drinking coffee. Now I’ll know I’m not the only one doing that! 🙂

      • Jess

        Lmao! Definitely not alone with the coffee at 4 a.m. I had meant to mention that I am envious of your porch-sitting because I miss being able to watch the moon fall asleep before I do lol. Then again, I’m the only smoker/coffee drinker in my house so my coffee maker is in my bathroom with me. 🙂

        • Steph

          That is so funny! I creep into the kitchen and get my coffee, ease open the door to go smoke, and then retreat to the bathroom floor. Perhaps I need another coffee pot just for my bathroom!

  • Amanda Marsh-Countryman

    I’ve been struggling with intense depression for the last month. Today is a really bad day. It’s also my birthday, which makes it even worse. Somehow, I stumbled upon your blog for the first time today (I think its because our last names are the same) and I just had to say, “thank you!” Thank you for being real and writing about how things really are! I’ve been so deep inside my head that I forgot that I’m not the only one out there that struggles with depression! I love and completely identify with everything you wrote in I Am Not That Mom. You have another fan now and I look forward to reading everything on your blog! And I think I can now get showered and out of the pajamas I’ve been wearing for 3 days and let my husband and kids take me out for my birthday dinner!
    Thank you for being you!

    • Steph

      Oh, I hope you were able to enjoy your birthday dinner! I’m so glad you found me…so many kindred spirits around here! I love it. I’ve been really, really down lately too, but I think (hope) I’m starting to pull out of it. Today was kind of a setback day, but…there’s always tomorrow, right?

      • Amanda Marsh-Countryman

        Well I didn’t make it out to dinner… But today is a new day! I finally took a shower, that has to count for something, right? (Besides the fact that I smell better)
        I spent all night reading your blog and I’m so in love! Thank you again. I will be thinking about you and hopefully, tmrw will be way better for the both of us!!

        • Steph

          I’ve been so bad about everything lately…email, comments, phone calls, bills, showering…it’s like ALL I can accomplish is survival right now. So here I am, a week after your comment, in tears because of your kindness. I will be thinking about you too. THANK YOU.

          • Amanda Marsh-Countryman

            Man, I get so excited when I see that you replie to my comments! It’s like a huge celebrity took time out of their busy, hectic, kid filled, depressed days to say something to me! Since I can relate to you so well, I feel like I need to tell you that on top of how shitty I’ve been feeling, I just found out that my husband, of 7 months, has been having an emotional relationship with a woman he works with! How cliché right? And to top that off, he says it’s my fault! My depression forced him to find comfort in another woman. I know that’s bullshit, so don’t worry about me! It just sucks balls. Real bad. How am I not supposed to feel responsible for this? The last week I feel that I’ve been shaking my depression and pulling out of it, but hearing something like this, it’s kinda hard to not let those dark thoughts take over. What really sucks is that this isn’t my husband. My husband, who took me to prom in high school, is my person. He saved my life! Really. When we first got together I was in a battle with a 10 year opiate addiction and had started shooting heroin. He didn’t know this and his experience with drugs was limited to the occasional doobie in high school. But he found out, busted me, and took a week off work to stay right next to me as I withdrew off heroin. He got me into sobriety, meetings and counceling. I celebrated 30 months sober on the 5th of this month! He didn’t know a thing about addiction, but he learned. That’s why I can’t understand why, when I told him I was depressed, he didnt learn about it? That’s what he does. He helps me. Though I guess not anymore… any advice? How do we move on from this? How do I? Have you ever had trust issues? I know your not a offering your services like this, but I don’t know who to turn to. I feel so alone. Thank you for making me feel stronger. I hope you are feeling better also!

            • Steph

              Firstly, I am so far from a famous celebrity, omg! But thank you. I try to keep up with comments but sometimes it takes me a while. Now. *puts on therapists cap* I’m not sure if you’re saying that this behavior is not LIKE your husband, who was so supportive in the past, or if these are two totally different guys. Without knowing that, and also not knowing jackshit, lol, I would say that depression is very hard for people who don’t have it to understand. I had to literally spell it out to my husband, like, I am not mad at you, I love you, I don’t hate our life, you’ve done nothing wrong, I JUST CAN’T right now. They always seem to think we’re blaming them, even when it’s totally an internal struggle against ourselves. As for the emotional relationship…ugh. I think that would piss me off worse than being physically cheated on. I don’t know what to tell you there, toots. I’m glad someone helped you save yourself 30 months ago though! This is a tough situation, and I think what you need to focus on is staying healthy in your body and your mind. Says the person who’s a total fucking mess! Ah. I’m sorry. I’m so unhelpful. But you can comment any time. *hugs*

              • Amanda Marsh-Countryman

                Your great! And it’s the same guy… the same guy that saved my life and was so understanding is also the same guy that cannot comprehend depression and is having an emotional affair. The day I saw my email that you had commented on my last post, was the day I had confirmed it. So, unfortunately, I emotionally vomited all over your comment! Sorry about that btw. I think subconsciously I just reacted to everything by writing it out. So thank you for responding to this mess. For now, I have no idea where my marriage stands, but I do know that I have to put my well being first and will continue to read your blog so I can know that I’m not the only woman that feels this way. And that there are guys out there mentally capable of graphing the meaning of depression. Thank you for being you. And, in my eyes, a celebrity during my darkest time.

  • Jess Warfield

    Take my hand, and hang in there. We’ll get through this together. I don’t know you, and you don’t know me, but we share this common feeling and for a moment we’ll hold each other up.

  • Sarah

    September is very, very hard for me. And I seem to forget, every year, that it is coming. And that it is a very lonely and angry time for me. It was such a singular occurrence that it is hard to find people to talk to about it. My oldest child, Ryan, was born on September 12, 1989. When I left the hospital five days later, he stayed there, and the foster family that would keep him until the adoption paperwork was done came to get him. I have no idea where he is or how he is. My parents made the decision to go with an adoption agency that did not do open adoptions. And when I was about six months along, if I remember correctly, my parents placed *me* in foster care. They didn’t want me in the house with my little brother, who was five at the time. They didn’t want to have to explain it to him. So when I needed the support the most, I had to move to the other side of the county we live in, where I had no friends. And no car. And no driver’s license. I had friends who came to see me. But it really wasn’t the same. And it took me until I was in my late 30s to be actually angry about being sent to live somewhere else and call it what it was. So, as you can imagine, there are not a lot of birth mothers out there who talk about things. How we feel. Because it is a loss of such proportion that you cannot even begin to know what to say.

    It took until my late 20s for a doctor to diagnose me with chronic, cyclical depression. I don’t know if they even call it that, any more. I should ask my doc what my DX actually is, other than Tore Up From The Floor Up. It’s taken years to find the right medications and get the right diagnosis for each of my issues.

    So September sucks for me. Really bad. Which is why it makes me amused that it is Suicide Awareness Month. I don’t have a semi colon tattoo. I have a blue spoon, with my children’s initials in the bowl of it and a 25 on the top of the handle. It is a reminder to me at all times what I am striving for, no matter how much depression lies to me. They *won’t* be better off without me. They *won’t* be happier in the long run. I’ve seen what suicide does to a family, up close and personal. So one one forearm is my spoon, and on the other, in my mother’s handwriting, is “Nevertheless, she persisted.” (I was about to say every time I look down I see them but I realized I have my jacket on because it’s cool today. But usually, they are always where I can see them.)

    Keep going. Keep pushing through. Even if it feels like depression is trying to smother you with a pillow and you’d rather not fold laundry because it fucking hurts to do it and the cat peed somewhere and you can smell it but not find it and you need a shower and you are trying to make a paycheck stretch to cover ALL the things you need… Keep pushing. I will keep pushing if you will.

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