Depressed and anxious, I looked out the window of my home in New Jersey at all of the people moving happily through their lives. I wondered how I'd become a prisoner in my own house. How had I reached this dark place? How had my life gone so far off the rails? And how could I make it all end?
It's true. I had reached a point where I felt so desperate I was even contemplating suicide—more often than I'd like to admit. The thoughts crept up on me. What started as some dark thoughts slowly morphed into an overwhelming darkness that took over my entire mind. All I could think was how much I hated myself and my life. And how much I wanted it all to just end. I didn't see any other escape from the sadness and pain.
My depression started with marital problems. When my ex-husband and I first met, things were picture-perfect romance. Our wedding day was one of the happiest days of my life and I thought it was just the beginning of a long, beautiful life together. I didn't think we were perfect, of course, but I figured we'd make it through together. The cracks began to show almost immediately. It wasn't so much that we had problems—all couples have struggles, right?—it was how we dealt with them. Or, rather, how we didn't deal with them. Instead of talking things out and moving on, we just swept everything under the rug and pretended nothing was wrong. (Here are three conversations you must have before saying "I do.")
Eventually, the pile of issues under the rug got so huge, it became a mountain.
As the months went on and the tension rose, I started to feel off. White noise filled my mind, I couldn't focus, and I didn't want to leave my house or do things I used to enjoy. I didn't realize I was depressed. At the time, all I could think was that I was drowning and no one could see it. If my ex-husband noticed my slide into sadness, he didn't mention it (par for the course in our relationship) and he didn't help me. I felt utterly lost and alone. This was when the suicidal thoughts started.