Falling In Love With Edward Cullen

by Chloe Jeffreys · 19 comments

in Mental Health and Aging Well, Women in Midlife

I can pinpoint the exact moment I turned the corner.  I wrote about it on April 25, 2009, right here.

Funny thing is that April 25th is my anniversary and I didn’t mention that in the post at all.  I feel terrible about that now. Really terrible. (I’m so sorry, honey.)  Truth is, I’m not easy to be married to even in the best of times.

I have had serious depression three times in my life.  Once before I was married, once when I found out I couldn’t have any more children, and then once starting in 2007.

The last episode was by far the worst and has had the most long-reaching consequences.  Before we moved up here I can honestly say that I didn’t know what anxiety was. I wish I could still say that now.

A whole bunch of really bad things happened right away when we first moved up here to the Mountain and it resulted in me picking up a nasty anxiety disorder, to, of all things, mail.

As I said before, the avoidance-anxiety god is a merciless god. The more you avoid, the more avoidance he demands, until suddenly you find you cannot even live your life anymore.  I got on the avoidance-anxiety treadmill and just couldn’t get off.

Then all the other stuff happened and slowly but surely I found myself paralyzed with depression.

My poor husband was so worried about me. My daughter was worried about me. My friends were worried about me. I was worried about me.

I started to have very bad thoughts. I really didn’t want to live anymore, which is hard to say out loud, and maybe I shouldn’t, but maybe somebody out there is reading this and thinking these sorts of thoughts and I want them to know that there is a way out. I don’t know what your way out is, but there is one.

No matter how dark or hopeless it seems, you can feel joy again. It was a hard road, but I did it, and I did it without antidepressants(although I think antidepressants do have a place and a time).

And I think you can too.

I came to feel that almost everything I had based my life on was crap. What is the point of living for God when He ignores your prayers and doesn’t seem to care about your pain?  What is the point of living a righteous life when the other Christians reject you just the same? What is the point of pouring your life into your children when all they are going to do is go off and live their own lives the way they want?  What is the point of working so hard to overcome your family dysfunction when you can never really escape it?

What is the point of it all?

I know how lucky I am. I had several things going for me.  I have a good husband. I have some really great friends. And I had enough money to seek medical and therapeutic care.  Truth be told though, my medical doctor was a jerk about it all. While he certainly didn’t rush me while I was in his office, I’m afraid that I’ve come to realize that he thinks that all women are hysterical and out of that he pretty much blew me off.  But I did receive much help from Capstone when our son was there and I think our counselors there, Steve and Jeremiah, probably saved my life.

The Spring of 2009 was hard. Aside from my mother’s illness, there was my son. He was behaving like an ass which finally culminated with him deciding that the thing to do with his life was to run away to San Francisco.

And then Edward came.

…to be continued.

*(originally published on July 14, 2011 @1838)

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Judy November 19, 2011 at 10:46 pm

It was refreshing to read what you said about depression/ anxiety. I have had both and I have had the avoidance-anxiety god breathing down my back for at least 6 years. I actually laughed out loud looking at your pics. It is nice on the rare occassions when I can laugh at my problems. Thanks for sharing what you go through with us. It helps me!

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Chloe November 20, 2011 at 5:37 am

Depression and anxiety are two sides of the suckiest card you’ll ever get dealt. I’ve learned that if I don’t laugh then all I’ll do is cry and hide in my bedroom. That’s no life.

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Les Kertay November 17, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Chloe, the post I’m writing that I mentioned to you this morning is about the idea of resilience – why do some people come back from dark places, or overcome painful circumstances, or … you get the idea. It was composing in my head when I read your post – I love serendipity. I so appreciate you posting openly about how you feel, how you experience, how you overcome or get through. I’ll link back to you when I finish the post (for tomorrow morning is the plan, or maybe tonight).

And by the way, your post about the jeans was fun, too … almost made me want to buy a pair, but I don’t think I’d look nearly as good in them 🙂

Les

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Chloe November 19, 2011 at 10:57 am

Your article was very good. I highly recommend my readers to check that out. So much so that I shared it on Facebook. I think you have a lot of great things to say about surviving darkness.

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Heidi Jo November 17, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Its was just heart breaking to read you during that time – I was in a place where I truly could NOT see the benefit of the stories…until your husband wrote about how all he wanted was for you to be happy. I got it, and then it made me bawl my face off. Beautiful!

I’m planning my jail-bait therapy for this Friday! I have to go the movie route though because I have to play catch up before seeing the new one on Saturday!

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Chloe November 19, 2011 at 10:56 am

“jail-bate therapy”

bwahahahaha

Yeppers. Just what the doctor ordered.

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Magnolia November 17, 2011 at 6:05 am

I think I’ve been waging a valiant battle against depression for years. I’m not so sure I’ve actually been winning. But, I’ve managed to convince myself that I am. That may be denial. I don’t know.

My father is dying a brutal death from advanced stage lung cancer as I type. My daughter, who is 18, and determined to puncture her body with numerous and sundry items…..and mostly on her gorgeous face…….and carve, literally CARVE images into her skin has run off the rails yet again.

I know exactly what you mean. The only thing I would differ with you over is that I do believe God hears me and I do get answers to prayers. I think He does care about our pain. But, just as we are powerless to stop our children from exercising their free-will (to their absolute detriment), God’s hands are tied as we exercise ours.

I’m trying to find hope in my life. It’s very difficult when you are surrounded by darkness, death and an abiding sense of complete failure as a mother and human being.

I also know what you mean when you talk about trying to escape your dysfunction. It does have a way of following you every fucking direction you try to run.

I keep getting up everyday and looking for things to be thankful for. I have the cutest little kitten you’ve ever seen who follows me around. Her soft, kitten coat soothes my soul. I kiss her a lot.
Magnolia recently posted..Perimenopause Blog Giveaway!My Profile

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Kristy Plata July 16, 2011 at 11:26 pm

I tried to comment yesterday, but my phone wouldn't let me copy and paste. I got teary reading this post. This here, this is where I"m at. "I came to feel that almost everything I had based my life on was crap. What is the point of living for God when He ignores your prayers and doesn't seem to care about your pain?" I am stuck right there, right now, wondering what role God really plays in my life. Looking forward to hearing the rest of your story!

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Chloe July 15, 2011 at 9:11 pm

And, Beckcy, I'm sorry to hear that you've also suffered debilitating depression. It is awful.

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Chloe July 15, 2011 at 9:11 pm

I can't wait to post the picture I drew along with the post that changed everything for me on Sonlight. Tomorrow.

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Becky July 15, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Having dealt with that type of depression in my life- much of it relating to one of my children, and having read Twilight myself for the pure fluff of it, I am looking forward to the next post!

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Cheri in CA July 15, 2011 at 2:49 am

I remember that post like it was yesterday….I can't believe it was 2 years ago! I'm glad you are out of the desert Chloe.

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Chloe July 14, 2011 at 11:13 pm

:hug: It is like candy for the brain.

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Chloe July 14, 2011 at 11:13 pm

17 is a ridiculous age and demands a ridiculous book. The last book is Crazy Train.

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Chloe July 14, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Edward is so powerful, he apparently gets people through cancer. These books were such a divergence for me, but a good one. No, they aren't great literature, but Stephanie Meyers really knows how to make a girl feel 17 again, doesn't she?

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Tawnia July 14, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Yep. Edward got me through chemotherapy appointments with my dad, when he would get so sleepy he couldn't talk anymore. We both laughed about how different "those books" were from my regular fare.

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Anne July 14, 2011 at 7:15 pm

It's a ridiculous book, and I read the whole series. It did make me feel 17 again.

Until the birth scene, which was just gross. Can't wat to see how they film that horror show!

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Andrea July 14, 2011 at 7:02 pm

You know, Edward got me through my cancer diagnosis and treatment decisions. And I reread him again this summer. 🙂

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