The Ghost In The House: One Mom Conquering Depression And Embracing A Healthier Life

by golda on December 3, 2012

 

The Ghost In The House: One Mom Conquering Depression And Embracing A Healthier Lifestyle
 

By Golda Smith


I usually don’t watch the news nor do I care to hear about it. However, something caught my attention today that stopped me in my tracks and sent a shiver down my spine. A young mother drove her minivan into the Hudson River here in New York. Inside with her were her 7 and 5 year old sons and her 11 month old daughter. Amazingly her 10 year old son was able to roll down the window and swim to safety. Although he found help, it was too late for the minivan passengers.

Have we seen this story? Absolutely, Susan Smith, except in her case she watched her children drown! Unfortunately there are too many stories like this. What would make a mother not only take her life but that of her children? Now I don’t know the details or what this woman was going through but what I do know is that she didn’t have ANY faith. No faith that her situation would get better. That she was loved. That she was a unique and special creation by GOD. I know this because I dealt with depression from my early teens to well into my 30’s. It’s only within the last four years that I can honestly say I am healed.

What triggered my depression?
I’m not entirely sure. I could blame it on a non-existent relationship with my father or an over bearing mother but that’s neither here nor there. What I do know is that  I never felt worthy of love, that I didn’t feel special, and that I always felt destined for failure. To say that this caused me to make poor choices is an understatement. I self medicated in an attempt to numb myself…didn’t last!


Childbirth, as beautiful as it was brought on a serious round of post-partum depression. I’ve heard about it but never met anyone who went through it and to be honest I didn’t think it was safe to talk about it much less fell it. I remember on afternoon standing in my kitchen, my baby girl was sleeping in her crib and I slid to the floor and was in a river of tears. I had no idea WHY I was crying except that I remember thinking to myself…

“I’m withering”

So now among other things, I’m a selfish bitch and horrible mother for feeling this way!

I felt like there was a dark cloud that no one saw but me and it weighted a ton. Although I never talked about it or seriously attempted to, I had suicidal tendencies. Funny thing is I was always surrounded by people but always felt alone. Can anyone relate?  I never wanted to die, I just wanted to stop hurting and this is what I believe these mothers wanted…to stop hurting.

How did I finally break free from the dark clutches? LOTS of prayer, tears, and a couple bottles of St John’s Wart (I honestly don’t know if that helped) BUT I’d like to think that it was the juice that brought me back to life. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent learning how to change my internal dialogue. I also finally started talking about my feelings. Not all at once and over the years I shared pieces of pain with a few trusted souls.
Over time I’ve learned that I can be vulnerable and although there may be some pain, I have and will survive. Slowly but surely the weight of that dark cloud lightened and one day it was gone. I had to learn forgiveness and compassion; both for me and for anyone I felt hurt or disappointed me. It’s been a long journey and one that I am so grateful to have ended. I’ve met some fabulous people along the way and to them I say thank you, I love and I appreciate your presence in my life.

So to anyone feeling lost, “blue”, sad for no apparent reason for prolonged periods of time you are NOT alone! I would encourage you to talk to someone. Get help because keeping it bottled up is a recipe for self inflicted pain. If I could have a chat with you I’d let you know that you are beautiful, loved, fabulous and designed for greatness. 

Golda Smith is a mom and distance runner who is building her “Business From The Kitchen Table” working with Fitness, Health and Wellness Experts to put more muscle in their social media marketing. Do you hire freelancers? If so, then you need to get this report NOW because you may be making this mistake. Don’t let it be you!

 

 

Comments

comments

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tracy Armstrong April 14, 2011 at 9:24 am

Hi Golda! Wonderful article! I know all too well the effects that come with struggling with this disease. I'm not where I want to  be but I'm not where I once was (HALLELEUJAH!). It is a daily struggle and a work in progress. Thanks for sharing!
BTW, I love your blog! I want to setup one for myself. How did you get started?

Reply

2 Golda
Twitter: only1golda
April 14, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Hi Tracy, great to see you! I’m doing a happy dance with you too and I’m happy to know that you are feeling better. Take it one day at a time. Regarding the blog, that’s awesome that your ready to set on up. It’s easy and I’ll point you to my coach http://arealchange.com, go through her 7 day Wordpress course and then her 30 course. Sandi is awesome and so are you 🙂

Golda

Reply

3 Phil Holleman April 14, 2011 at 10:44 am

I really can relate to this post. Your strength is very inspiring. Thanks for the courage to share your story. If you like, you can follow my story at http://aboldnewlife.com.

Reply

4 Golda
Twitter: only1golda
April 14, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Hi Phil,

You totally inspired me to write this so thank you. I didn’t realize the responses that I would receive would be so touching. It goes to prove that we ALL have a story to tell and you never know who it will bless, so SPEAK YOUR TRUTH!!! Thanks Phil 🙂

Golda

Reply

5 Lori April 14, 2011 at 10:58 am

Golda,
Thank you so much for sharing this.  I think it can help so many women who are struggling with depression.

Reply

6 Golda
Twitter: only1golda
April 14, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Lori thank you for your comment. I’ve already received messages from women saying thank you. It’s an awesome feeling knowing that your words have helped someone find theirs! Have an awesome day.

Golda

Reply

7 Wendy
Twitter: mawsnews
April 14, 2011 at 11:08 am

Wow! Thank you sooo much for sharing and being vulnerable with us! I really appreciate it! And I know others do too! Thank you! Where do you reside? I would love to meet you!

Reply

8 Golda
Twitter: only1golda
April 14, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Hi Wendy!

I didn’t want to do it, but I felt that it was time and I’m glad that I did 🙂

Golda

Reply

9 Viviann April 14, 2011 at 11:23 am

I think most of us are subconsciously "buying into" the mythologies of how we are supposed to be living, what we are supposed to be accepting as the norm, and whenever we get insights into this being not quite what we are feeling then we think there's something wrong with us.
Actually what is going on is that we are facing reality.  As you said Golda, you did not know what it was that triggered off your depression but the fact remains it was real.  And so what if the real is ugly, like wanting to murder your kids while you commit suicide.  The KEY is don't let it go there.  Stop and get help asap. Because of course she cared for her kids, but probably didn't want to leave them behind with strangers or whatever her rationale was, she figured it best to take them with her.
A very very sad story.  Our western society needs to recognize these issues. this fast paced society is not very forgiving of people who want to get off the crazy carousel, slow down, and address their feelings.
Glad to read that you worked it out.  What IS it in St. John's Wort I wonder…..?

Reply

10 Golda
Twitter: only1golda
April 14, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Viviann you are so correct, sometimes for some people “real” is ugly. It takes someone with compassion to understand this and try to offer assistance. Now of course there are degrees of depression and fortunate for me, mine wasn’t severe. It makes me sad to think that she had no one she felt safe enough to talk with and that she choose death as her only option. With regards to St. John’s Wort, I don’t know what it is. For a while I thought it had a placebo effect!

Golda

Reply

11 Nancy Burke Barr, JD @Legal @Financial April 14, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Hi Golda,
I can relate VERY well.  I have struggled with depression for a significant part of my life.  I am actually an upbeat person by nature, so it was very confusing when the depression would set in (It is cyclical).  Now that I understand more about it, I know that it is not my fault and that I can manage it with professional help.  
God Bless you for having the courage to share your experiences.
Mentor Mama

Reply

12 Golda
Twitter: only1golda
April 14, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Thank you so much Nancy. I appreciate you sharing a bit of your past as well. To continued health 🙂

Golda

Reply

13 Karen April 14, 2011 at 6:12 pm

I've been there too, and it's hard to get out of that kind of depression.  Hope is the key, I think.  If you can find anything that gives you some hope and hang onto that.  I tried St. John's Wort at one point, and I do think it helps too… but more with the moods than the situations that are usually involved with being depressed. Great post, thanks for sharing.

Reply

14 Golda
Twitter: only1golda
April 14, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Thank you Karen. Yes, hope and faith in something bigger than yourself I believe are key. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

Golda

Reply

15 Eno Nsima-Obot, MD April 14, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Hi Golda, Thank you for sharing what I sense was a deeply personal time in your life that was filled with an experience of a 'black hole'. Especially in the African American Community where depression has been assigned a stigma and that seeking help or even validating your feelings is a sign of weakness. You are a voice for what's possible by speaking up and owning what's there!! I acknowledge you for the fearlessness and the grace with which you have shared your story and know without a doubt that it will help many women out there facing that same battle. Women who feel powerless and see no other option but to take their lives and at times the lives of those they love dearly just to stop what has become 'the pain'. Much Love to you and I look forward to reading more of your posts in the very near future. Dr eno

Reply

16 Golda
Twitter: only1golda
April 14, 2011 at 11:24 pm

Dr. Eno, I’m so happy to have you here on my blog! The African American Community is full of stories like this. I used to facilitate a discussion group for AA women who attempted suicide. It was a drop in group, different women almost every week, blew my mind. Thank you for commenting.

Golda

Reply

17 Janet @ The Natural Networker
Twitter: janetcallaway
April 14, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Golda, aloha.  Though I am so sorry for your immense pain, how beautifully you expressed your journey and finally your arrival at the end of the tunnel.
Others who read this post and are likewise going through a similar struggle, will no doubt take comfort in knowing that you survived and are thriving.  Golda, your story gives others much needed hope.
Thank you for sharing a very personal and painful part of your life with us, Golda.  Wishing you all the best.  Take good care.  Until next time, aloha.  Janet

Reply

18 Golda
Twitter: only1golda
April 14, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Aloha Janet. I can’t wait to visit Hawaii. Thank you for your kind words. I am in awe of how many people are commenting on this post. It’s a topic no one really talks about yet effects many people. I know that it helped me to share and I hope that it helps those who receive it. Aloha…

Golda

Reply

19 Stacy @ Grow With Stacy
Twitter: growwithstacy
April 14, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Hi Golda,
Depression is very real and it's something that so many people struggle with at one time or another. I struggled with a lot in my teens and twenties. I still have to fight it off once in a while but I thank God that it doesn't have a hold on me like it used to.
I can't imagine what goes on in the minds of the women who kill their own children. I truly can't even imagine. As a mom I think that they must have some serious mental issues because my natural instinct is to protect my children from any type of harm. If I even have a dream about something happening to my kids it haunts me all day!
Take care,
Stacy

Reply

20 Golda
Twitter: only1golda
April 14, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Hi Stacy! I agree with you in that my natural instinct is to protect my babies. It’s hard to comprehend when a parent harms their child. Thank you for sharing your story Stacy 🙂

Golda

Reply

21 Tisha April 14, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Hi Golda,
At my job this morning we were discussing that same story. How sad! She allowed her depression to consume her to the point of destruction. Like you, I also suffered with depression all my life. The cause of my depression is a chemical imbalance.
My technigues with dealing with it is, I surround myself with people who truly love me unconditionally to give me that support when I need it. I also keep a graditude list and trained myself to go through a rampage of appreciation thought process. It really works!
No one, I mean no one should go through life's struggles without confiding their emotional distress to someone they trust for a long period of time. Our energy craves that positive nurturing, not only from our self, also from people around us.
Whenever your energy drops too low, depression sets in. As soon as you feel your energy dropping, immediately start doing things to bring your energy back up to a positive level.
What a powerful post! I am happy that you are able to control your depression. I know it is not easy.
Have a good evening.
~Tisha

Reply

22 Golda
Twitter: only1golda
April 14, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Hi Tisha, thank you for sharing your story! I am continually amazed by the number of people who are living with this to varying degrees. You’re correct in suggesting to start doing things that bring your energy up. For me, it’s running or dancing. Thank you for commenting and I’m glad to know that you are doing well 🙂

Golda

Reply

23 Steve Nicholas
Twitter: stevetheowl12
April 14, 2011 at 11:57 pm

Great post, Golda! I really appreciate you sharing your story. I've dealt with depression at one level or another since I was eight or nine, but I wasn't diagnosed until the age of 26. (I knew there was something, but I wanted to be in the military so I was very careful to avoid getting checked for it.) I think that one of the things that helped me the most was being able to admit it and not have to hide anymore. I'm so glad to hear that you were able to overcome your demons as well.

Reply

24 Golda
Twitter: only1golda
April 15, 2011 at 12:08 am

Thank you for sharing your story Steve and for serving our country. What branch of the military were you in?

Golda

Reply

25 Allie
Twitter: allierambles
April 15, 2011 at 9:10 am

It saddens my heart when I hear of stories when a mother kills her own children, it is the worst crime because children love and trust their mother unconditionally.  If only they would stop for 3 seconds to think of the results of such a horrible crime, maybe she will stop out of love.  I know a depressed person at times cannot think rationally, but I always hope.  I assume there are mothers who stop themselves are are thankful.
~Allie
 
 

Reply

26 Golda
Twitter: only1golda
April 15, 2011 at 10:11 am

Hi Allie,

I agree with you and at the same time perhaps in her mind, no one will love her children like she has or can and they are best off being with her even in death. Anyone dealing with this needs to feel that they can speak about it in a safe place and be heard and helped. Thank you for sharing your feelings Allie.

Golda

Reply

27 Gregory McGuire
Twitter: gregorymcguire
April 15, 2011 at 11:02 am

Hi Golda,
I used to believe that depression was a choice.  Then a friend of mine, who is a fellow therapist, shared his story with me.
He experienced severe depression for about 4 years.  For three of those years he couldn't leave his house.  He struggled with suicidal thoughts.
This is a very intelligent man.  Today, he shares his story with his clients.  It helps to know that the person you're talking to has been where you are.
Excellent, thought-provoking post.  Thanks for sharing!
Gregory

Reply

28 Golda
Twitter: only1golda
April 15, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Hi Gregory and thank you for your honesty. I can tell you that for me it wasn’t a choice! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it 🙂

Golda

Reply

29 Ryan Biddulph
Twitter: cashgiftingcrew
April 15, 2011 at 12:52 pm

I had a serious bout of depression a while back Golda. I came to realize the triggers, and became more adept at seeing these triggers over time, and with practice. Depression can be overwhelming and all encompassing. I'm sure those who've suffered through depression appreciate you sharing your story because it helps to relate with other people who've had these experiences. Thanks for sharing!  
RB

Reply

30 Golda
Twitter: only1golda
April 15, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Hi Ryan,

I am glad that you were able to identify your triggers! That’s half the battle right there. Thank you so much for sharing, I appreciate it.

Golda

Reply

31 Monica D. Williams April 16, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Golda!!
Thank you so much for sharing your story with such courage and grace. I feel like a whole lot of people are going through a healing, a restoration time right now. I know I have just come through a tremendous time of purging and healing. It is the darkness that helps us appreciate the light. Having absolute faith comes from practicing belief. We must change our beliefs, then practice the new ones everyday which will soon crystallize into absolute faith. I got nuthin' but love for you my sister.
Monica

Reply

32 Golda
Twitter: only1golda
April 17, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Monica, hey lady! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

Reply

33 Charlene Smith April 19, 2011 at 2:20 am

Hi Golda! You’ve shared a very wonderful article and I can relate to it.  I’ve been depressed once during my college days when I failed one subject that hindered me from graduating.  I thought I would not recover but my mind continued to fight.  I believed I was born with abilities and I was born to succeed. 

Reply

34 Golda
Twitter: only1golda
April 19, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Charlene you absolutely were born to succeed! Thank you for commenting.

Golda

Reply

35 Paul Crowson April 25, 2011 at 7:46 am

Hey Golda, that rings true for me, my mom has suffered from Schizophrenia since I was nine years old. You lifted my spirits… thank you!

Reply

36 Golda
Twitter: only1golda
April 25, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Bless you Paul and thank you so much for commenting. Until next time…

Golda

Reply

37 Suzy@rementor.com June 9, 2011 at 2:14 am

It is such a relief to know that I am not the only one who went through a nasty bout of depression. I was in pretty deep over six years ago when I suddenly lost my husband due to an accident at work. I didn't realize I was depressed until I felt I no longer enjoyed the things that usually made me happy. Overcoming that slump in my life is truly one of my greatest achievements. Thanks for sharing this. 🙂

Reply

38 Golda
Twitter: only1golda
June 9, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Hi Suzy-
I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your husband, I know that could not have been easy to deal with. You are definitely NOT alone and to know that you have overcome that dark point in your life is wonderful and encouraging for anyone else going through this. Thank you for sharing. Until next time…

Reply

39 Lisa December 3, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Golda,
Thank you for sharing your story! Postpartum depression is a serious illness and it can be scary to share your own experience with it. I am sure you have helped many women and families. Thanks again!

Reply

40 Golda
Twitter: only1golda
December 4, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Hi Lisa-
I LOVE your site and the work you’re doing. After my daughter was born (at home) I became a certified doula through ALACE. So many women need your services so I’m praying for your continued strength to keep doing what you do. Thanks for your comment. Have you meet Tracey, creator of Natural Childbirth World? I think you have a lot in common. Until next time…

Reply

41 Ethan Salon December 5, 2012 at 10:57 am

I appreciate your courage to write this story… I am impressed…

Reply

42 Golda
Twitter: only1golda
December 5, 2012 at 11:33 am

Hi Ethan! Thank you so much.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: