Many of the Soulutions posts may be triggering to some readers. These topics are much more heavy than we normally talk about on HTP, so I just wanted to give everyone a heads up to proceed with caution. I don’t think we should ever shy away from these topics as a society, but I also know that the issues can be difficult on an individual level.
To learn more about the Soulutions project, read this post. If you missed the first Soulution post, we discussed Sexual Assault and Self-Worth. Today, we’re going to talk about depression and miscarriage. If you’ve read HTP for a while, you know that I am a huge champion of removing the stigma of mental illness – it’s something that so many of use go through, and there’s no reason to feel ashamed. In fact, 19 million Americans experience depression each year, and 1 out of 14 people will have major depression at some point in their life, according to MoodHacker. Melissa L. has bravely offered to share her story of depression, which was triggered by her three miscarriages.
Melissa L. says: “I have always dealt with some sort of anxiety and depression from when my parents divorced when I was ten, to taking tests, or worrying about upcoming events. I normally would power through them with art, going to the gym, or keeping them internally locked down. The past two years have changed all that. About 3 years ago, I was diagnosed with anxiety. It was my senior year in college, I was engaged, planning a wedding, and my brother-in-law was in a horrific car accident. I was very unsure about being put on a medication, but was unable to control my anxiety and depression with exercise and diet alone. I was blessed that the medication helped me through this patch.
Fast forward to after my wedding – my husband and I started trying to have children. We found out in the middle of January 2011 that we were pregnant, and we were ecstatic – it was amazing seeing those two pink lines! We were so excited to share the news with our family, and only told a few people.
A few weeks later, I started spotting, so I went in for a routine ultrasound and everything looked perfect. I got to see my little angel’s heartbeat and we were reassured that I was just in that tiny percent of women who spot during pregnancy. Unfortunately that was not the case – 2 weeks later I miscarried my first child. I don’t even have the words to describe the emotional and physical pain. After being checked out by the doctor a few weeks later, we were given the okay to try again. On Father’s Day in June 2011, we found out we were expecting again. Same routine – spotted, ultrasound, everything checked out – except this time when I miscarried, I had to have a D&C. I truly don’t know which one was worse; surgery or going through the emotional pain of losing another baby.
Loss #3 happened a year later, in May of 2012. This time, I was referred to a specialist who performed surgery to remove a polyp. Now, we finally have the blessing to try again. While my husband and I are very hesitant, we are excited to know that the surgery might be the answer to this issue. I share my story for many reasons; first of all because of my loss. I see my nieces or my friend’s children and it just reminds me of the emptiness inside me. One in three women will have a miscarriage in their life – there are many causes and types; many go unnoticed and the reasons they happen are often never known.
The second reason I am sharing my story is because of my depression and anxiety. I have struggled so much with this; it was very hard to come to terms with the fact that I actually have depression. I am the type of person that has a list for everything including goals that I accomplish, and depression is a huge struggle that I am committed to overcoming, whatever it takes! I am amazed that while 25% of women suffer from depression, it still has this huge stigma attached to it – I know this is why many people never get help, and this has to change, so everyone has a chance to live a happier life.
I have an amazing husband by my side, and I am an active 25-year-old with the means and support to have a child. It will happen, one way or another! My depression is something that I will work at for the rest of my life, but I have learned that a good support network, exercise, diet and even medication can help – that is my Soulution for others as well. The second thing I want to share is my hope is that more people will hear my story and know that is absolutely okay to have bad days once in a while. The trick is to keep making goals, and “keep on keeping on!”
Finally, I want everyone to know that sharing my story helps me feel a sense of purpose. I am not sure about the saying "things happen for a reason," because I have no idea what reasons could be so powerful – that being said, if sharing my experience helps others find comfort, that is purpose.”
If you have lived through depression or a miscarriage, Angela, Elizabeth, and I would love to hear your Soulution for overcoming and dealing with your experience – What helped you? What didn’t? What have you learned? How do you deal with it on a day-to-day basis? What would you tell another woman going through it? No one going through this should ever feel alone, and I hope via Soulutions, we can prevent that from happening.
You can either comment on this post with your thoughts or use this submittal form on the Soulutions website. If you plan to comment on this post, you can put your initial in the “Name” field to stay anonymous, but please put your real e-mail so we can contact you if your story is used in the upcoming Soulutions e-book. Your identity will never be revealed publicly if you don’t want.
Thanks for this post! I’ve never had a miscarriage, but I have suffered from depression. Showing myself compassion was the key to treating my depression. I realized that I wouldn’t be angry with myself if I couldn’t “mind over matter” a broken leg to heal, so why should depression be any different? It’s a real illness, but treatable. It was amazing to give myself the gift of happiness!