‘I’d be driving to work and see the ‘perfect’ tree to ram my car into. I stared at the railing upstairs, picking out the spot to hang from. I knew this was not normal, but it was my new normal.’

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“It was a dreary day and I was standing by the window with tears streaming down my face. The kids were whining in the background. The house was a complete disaster. I was trembling and my knuckles were white from gripping the chair. I felt sick to my stomach anxiously waiting for my call to be answered. In this moment, I felt absolutely defeated, embarrassed, and ashamed.

It took me 3 weeks to build up the courage to just call the doctor. It had been over a year and a half that I had ‘lost’ myself and I had finally gotten to my breaking point; I needed help.

The doctor gently urged me to come in, and I reluctantly agreed. I packed up the kids (which at one point had seemed like a Mount Everest of a task) and off I went not knowing what to expect. Not knowing what kind of judgment or fate awaited me. To my surprise, I was met with kindness, compassion, and empathy. I was reassured this was NOT my fault. It was a chemical imbalance. There, sitting on that table, the words were finally spoken out loud; I was severely depressed.

Courtesy of Crystal Noll

It was something I had suspected for months but did not want to come to terms with. I kept thinking if I just held out a little longer, things would get better. But they didn’t. In fact, they got worse. Each day that passed I felt hopeless and unworthy of being a mother. I knew my kids were not getting the best version of myself because of my inability to fully be there for them. My marriage was crumbling before my eyes and relationship with God was strained.

It felt like a cloud was following me around; suffocating me, and holding me down. Housework fell by the wayside and I became a shell of my once fun-loving, bubbly self. I was just going through the motions and doing the bare minimum to get by.

I would be driving to work and see the ‘perfect’ tree to ram my car into. I stared at the railing upstairs, picking out the spot to hang from. I knew this was not normal, but it became my new normal.

Courtesy of Crystal Noll

I became a master at hiding it from the world too. It appeared via social media from fun parties I would throw and gatherings I would attend, that my life was picture-perfect. On the outside I had it all together, on the inside, I felt broken.

Fast forward 3 months being on antidepressants and I feel like an entirely different person. I feel like myself again, and I can finally breathe. For the first time in months, I feel hopeful. I thank God I am still here and able to enjoy my children’s giggles and hugs. I feel proud that even on my darkest day, I mustered the last scrap of strength I had to make that phone call for help.

To anyone struggling with the internal battle of getting help, I urge you to. YOU and your children are so worthy and deserving of happiness, and regardless of how it feels, there IS hope – even in the darkness.”

Courtesy of Crystal Noll

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Crystal Noll of Fleetwood, Pennsylvania. Submit your story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.

Read about Crystal’s struggle to become a parent here:

‘We ended up getting pregnant after knowing each other for only a month. A few weeks later, that dream dissolved before our eyes.’

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