The Truth About Depression

I had an opportunity last month to speak to a room full of MOPS. No, silly, not the cleaning tool, but the MOPS that make the world go ’round…the Mothers of Preschoolers. It was easily one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

I didn’t talk about what to do on rainy days with your toddlers or how to help your preschooler acclimate on a playdate. They would have been fools to ask me to speak on anything like that, y’all. No, I spoke on something I actually know something about; something I consider myself somewhat of an expert about. I spoke on depression, of the post-partum and plain ol’ life variety. I’d like to share with you what I shared with those MOPS. And I would really love to hear what you think. (Insert “I’m not a doctor and cannot diagnose and none of this is considered treatment” disclaimer here.)

Keep in mind that these are the notes I used for a talk, so that’s why it looks so “talky”  and choppy. I thought about adjusting my notes, but I wouldn’t want to read anything that wasn’t authentic, so I’m not writing it, either.  My talk is in red, when you get back to black typeface, you’re back to present day.

Thank you for the incredible opportunity to be here.

  • Couple things we should get out of the way before my speaking style drives you bananas
    • I call y’all “mas” most of the time
    • I also call my husband by his full name, always have
  • I have teenaged sons and I love the mas of that zoo (and believe me, teendom is a zoo) but I’m going to let you in on a pretty special secret: Baby Mas. I love babies, but I love their mas more.          

I love:

  • the exhausted mas
  • the mas who don’t remember what day it is
  • the mas who just want to make it through to the evening every day
  • the mas who just realized there’s a load of clothes in the washer they forgot to put in the dryer
  • the mas who either work in or outside their homes, full or part-time
  • the mas who need help but won’t ask for it
  • the mas who work so hard to have children other people want to be around
  • the mas who struggle with being mas sometimes

 

  • PRAY Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among you”
  • Eat hot food, get kleenex, and relax
    • MOPS Core team (Started a MOPS group in Tracy in 2003)

 

  • Who I am
    • Corey Quinn, almost 19 years–who Corey Quinn is (almost 3 1/2 years retired)
    • A & B–who they each are
    • Cornerstone, Brentwood 2 years
    • SAHM for 11 years
    • Starbucks in Brentwood
    • love to read, write, bake, Netflix binge, craft in my planner, NAP (please see Starbucks)
    • love coffee with old friends and new friends
    • perfectly imperfect woman who struggles with her mouth and her attitude but who loves Jesus and loves how He plucked me as a brand from hell…twice
      • once in 1999 when He saved me eternally
      • once a few years later so my boys could have a ma, my husband could have a wife, and my own ma could have a daughter
  • My story is hard, it’s heavy, but it’s also HOPEFUL. It is full of hope. Yes, I want to talk to you about postpartum depression, about depression in general, but I want you to focus on the HOPE I was gifted and the HOPE that is available to you, not just the road I had to take to get there. Deal? Because here is what I know is true, y’all: Weeping may tarry for the night, but JOY COMES IN THE MORNING. Somebody grab on to that right now: JOY COMES IN THE MORNING. It’s coming. Joy is coming.
  • Married 1998
    • got pregnant within 2 months, miscarriage
    • waited 6 months to try again
    • pregnant again immediately
    • 12 week, heartbeat, D and C
    • devastated
    • tried to divorce Corey Quinn so he could have a namesake
      • He was almost 30, after all. Time was running out
    • my ma’s solution, Corey Quinn’s solution
      • My ma’s solution came from what we knew: Michelle
      • went with Corey Quinn to the Rodrigueses
      • short salvation story (May)
    • pregnant in Sept 1999
      • Mother’s Day 2000, cold, rainy, and PERFECT
      • 27 people in the waiting area, music, EPIDURAL
      • easy baby–thought about having just one
    • November 2000, pregnant again
      • on way home from Dr’s appt, unsure, terrified
      • August 2001 in 33 minutes flat, no music, no people, no EPIDURAL
      • totally different experience
      • scared all the time–Corey Quinn off 6 weeks with each boy
      • tired all the time
      • just wanted to go away…like to Mexico
  • 6 week check-up with Naomi
    • physically fine
    • “slightest bit blue” as she held my hand and put her business card with her office number, her home number, and her cell number in my diaper bag
  • 3 weeks later, “slightest bit blue” became more than “slightest bit” when I ended up in the ER with an anxiety attack. Went home with no help, no care, just a prescription with no real instructions
  • 2 days later, I called my husband and my mom. Then I called Naomi.
    • Her and my people had already arranged care for the boys so Corey Quinn and I could go to HER HOME in Blackhawk for tea and a sit-down in the war room. That doesn’t mean what it means in church.
    • studies printed, resources ready, people on call for me, a plan for Corey Quinn and I
    • made me an appt with doc the next day and I told her I couldn’t go:
      • Recently diagnosed famous people: Marie Osmond, Brooke Shields, Andrea Yates–WARNING
      • didn’t want our boys taken from us, never wanted to hurt them
      • I just wanted to leave
      • difference between PPD and postpartum psychosis and levels of care each required
      • she and Corey Quinn devised a plan I had very little say in the whole thing. Hallelujah.
  • Next day I met with a psychiatrist, a psychologist, and a therapist
    • plan of action, weekly sessions, MEDICATION
    • stigma of postpartum depression, now they wanted me to take medication
    • didn’t refuse, but wasn’t incredibly pleasant for about 8 months
      • I dragged everything out over about a year
      • first medication didn’t work, got frustrated
      • second medication didn’t work, got desperate
      • third medication worked and changed our lives, along with the weekly sessions and support I received from my family and my friends
    • I want to tell you this is where my story ends…bunnies, rainbows, and puppies
      • 1 year later, I quit the medication cold turkey (WHICH IS A BAD IDEA) and ended up feeling more desperate than I did the first time around
        • this is where MOPS came in
        • joined at a local church
        • sat by myself for a few months
        • listened to my husband and my mom when they both told me we had to go back to basic care for me
          • doctor
          • be around people (which is my natural bend, but I fought it)
          • MEDICATION
            • this time I was committed to the process
            • read and researched and became an active part of my healing
            • took the medicine
            • let the people help me
  • There is where my lessons were learned, there is where the rubber met the road, there is where talking turned into walking
    • We aren’t created to do life alone
    • We aren’t created to handle crises alone
    • We aren’t created to bear the burden of being mas alone
    • Matthew 11:28-30
    • If you are hurting, if you have those “I can’t do this mothering thing” feelings, you are in the right place and you are NOT ALONE
    • Jesus doesn’t only tell us that He will give us rest, He gives us people, He gives us each other. How? He gives us:
      • MOPS
      • MomsTogether
      • Bible study
      • sisters, biological or otherwise
      • your own ma
      • people you meet that just feel like the missing puzzle piece in your life
      • friends you have had forever
      • brand new friends
      • family, whether that’s biological or logical
  • So what holds us back from reaching out? I can only speak for myself
    • the stigma of depression held me captive: what’s a stigma?
      • a mark that sets us apart, makes us part of a stereotyped group and didn’t we get enough of that as kids?
      • Tipper Gore (Former US VP Al Gore’s wife) said this in the late 90s: “The last great stigma of the twentieth century is the stigma of mental illness.”
      • Brooke Shields says: “There is a really unfortunate and not-so-pretty part of going through something like this, and nobody wants to admit it…”
      • The stigma, the mark of postpartum depression can be self-imposed, it can be imposed by those you thought were your clan, your people, your tribe, or it can be socially imposed. Any way you slice it, it’s real
      • All I want is to help one person in my life, whether it’s today or in 6 years, see that the stigma is CRAP. I don’t care who makes you feel like you are “less than” because you struggle with this, but THEY ARE FLAT-OUT WRONG.
    • Help is available. I found it.
      • It may mean medication, it may not. I’m no doctor, but one can help you see if medication is needed to help shorten recovery time immensely or if some therapy and behavioral changes are what need to take place.
  • Any Raider fans?
    • Derek Carr told thousands of people at a church in San Ramon this past weekend that there are 3 reasons people don’t step out and say what they are struggling with:
      • Fear
      • Doubt
      • Embarrassment
    • You know what I say to that? Yup. All 3. Yup.
      • All it takes is one moment, one person you can tell your struggle to and that fear and doubt and embarrassment gets punched just once in the throat. Just once.
      • And that one punch turns into a flat-out assault every time you speak up about or act out against your fear and your doubt and your embarrassment.
      • And we can wipe out the stigma–you, me, your people, your clan, your tribe. You can call it whatever you want, but you need one.
      • Debbie Curtis, director of CARE–info and resources
  • My sons have their ma because people God placed in my life rallied around me and carried me when I could not walk…for a long time
  • My husband has his wife because people never gave up on me
  • And my ma has her daughter because she created a place and a tribe for me that went the distance with and for me. Some of that tribe is here, in this room today, still going the distance with and for me.
  • Please allow me to introduce you to some very special women:
    • Noelle
    • Heather
    • Jenn
    • Linda
    • Ma
  • Thank you again for allowing me into this very special space with you and thank you for sharing your morning with me

 

If you’ve made it this far, WOW!! Thank you for sticking around. Depression changed me. It changed who I am, how I love, and what I believe. It made me a girl who doesn’t want anything if she cannot have her family. It made me love the people in my life fiercely and without abandon. And depression helped me see that I am not alone, even when I swear the opposite is true.

I would love to hear what you think. I would love to hear if you or someone you know has struggled and battled with depression and has clawed their way back. Send me an email. Facebook me. Tweet me. Whatever it takes, tell me. And also, keep an eye on YouTube. Rumor has it my talk may be recorded and posted there soon.

 

4 thoughts on “The Truth About Depression

  1. THIS is The Ma. Always have been, forever will be and never bending Ma that adores and supports all that you do and even that which you don’t do! And yesssssss…. this Ma wants more cuz the world is ready for “So let me tell you Something” , by Danielle Muniz Quinn

  2. Danielle
    I can so relate to a lot of what you posted here. In the 4 or so years when I lost my mom, brother, Jim An my dad. I can’t believe sometimes how w I made it through all of that. Many times I was ready to say I’m done I’m taking the easy way out but like you said I got help with counseling medication family an friends. It’s been 3 1/2 years since I lost Jim An sometimes I still feel lost but I made the decision to go to church An do some bible studying an it’s amazing how believing I’m not alone that god is always with me would by with my family an friends, the difference I feel lately has helped me feel peace with so many things.
    Love you dear friend thanks for sharing.

  3. Oh how I wish I had been there to hear you in person. I’m so proud of you for being you, being real, and being open to share and help others. You made me cry, Danielle. You know my family’s long and storied history of depression. I have not walked in your shoes, but I have walked through the fire and come out the other side with several loved ones. You know how much I love you and miss you. I’m so thankful for you! Good job, my friend.

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