"My Friend Prozac": Mary Beth Chapman on Battling Clinical Depression
- Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Editor's Note: The following article was excerpted from Mary Beth Chapman's new book Choosing to See.
People who don't know much about depression often think of it as great sadness, and while it is that, it is so much more. I was sad, mad, frustrated, fearful, reclusive, critical, overwhelmed, and hopeless. No one wants all these adjectives... and certainly no one wants to live with a person who's experiencing them.
And here was Steven, trying his best to understand, but because of his positive outlook on life, it was hard for him. I felt like he was just clueless to what was going on inside of me. We'd moved into a new house, I had three children under the age of five, and it was up to me to multitask my way through all kinds of challenges each day.
Meanwhile, Tigger the optimist was getting ready for his biggest tour to date. It would be full of ministry opportunities and happy fans who would applaud his performances and confirm how talented he was.
So as far as Steven's managers, promoters, and music team were concerned, the single focus was "The Great Adventure" tour. As it became more and more apparent that I was overwhelmed and hurting, managers said they could pull the plug on the tour at any point so Steven could care for his family. I knew that a lot of money had already been invested and spent to get this tour off the ground . . . and the way the business works, no matter what, this Great Adventure tour would happen. Therefore, Mary Beth needed to keep herself together.
But I couldn't.
Steven would come home from the recording studio or rehearsals to find me curled up in our bed crying. Emily had started kindergarten. I loved having little Caleb and Will at home . . . but then there were times when they were right under my feet while I'd furiously clean the house, pay bills, do laundry, and try to keep our domestic life afloat, while continuing to manage various business aspects of Steven's career.
Sometimes I would just stop, sit, and cry. Other days, I would actually crawl under my bed or in my closet. I was physically and emotionally depleted, and though I'm a real pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps kind of person, I could not pull myself up and out of this any longer.
One day before Steven was to leave on the tour, we were out on the driveway talking with Steven's manager, Dan Raines. Dan was discussing plans that were taking me by surprise. I like to schedule things on the calendar, be prepared, take care of details, and not get caught by something unknown. I had asked over and over to be given as much information as possible.
But I was now hearing about all kinds of add-ons . . . more shows, television opportunities, interviews . . . things that would keep Steven out on the road longer than I'd been told. This was great for his career . . . but this latest batch of last-minute information sent me over the edge.
I started crying and couldn't stop. I was way beyond the point of caring who saw me. Complete breakdown. I wanted to die. Steven actually carried me into our house, me kicking and screaming all the way.
Dan was very wide-eyed but compassionate. He told us about a good friend in his small group from church who was a psychiatrist. "Maybe we ought to see about getting you an appointment," he told me when I was calm enough to hear anything.
I knew nothing about psychiatrists, except they were for crazy people. And that definitely wasn't me, even though I'd always felt half-crazy and now was flipping out in the driveway and hiding under the bed.
Actually, I had always been quite open to getting counseling help as Steven and I struggled with some of the difficulties in our marriage. We knew the value of having trained people walk through hard places with us.
Recently on Women
Have something to say about this article? Leave your comment via Facebook below!
Listen to Your Favorite Pastors
Add Crosswalk.com content to your siteBrowse available content