I came back to California a couple days after the funeral, and now that all of the events and traumas had ended I spiraled into a deep depression. I think one of the scariest things for me was knowing that I was now going to be a single mom and I had no option to co-parent or have Arik in general.
Fast forward a couple weeks after Arik died and now it was his birthday. It was overall a sad sad day for me. I remember I sent his parents flowers but they were addressed to “Albert” since that was my nickname for him. In the card, I told Arik to watch over our little baby who was growing in my tummy.
Instagram was again filled with posts about him who were expressing their sadness for his absence especially in lieu of his birthday. Once again this made me feel crazy. In my mind, I was thinking, “you don’t even know him like I do”. Girls posting about Arik especially drove me crazy.
16 Weeks & 6 days pregnant
“It’s been three weeks today since the worst day of my entire life. I now know that it’s not possible to die of a broken heart because if it were, I would have died by now.” – An excerpt from my diary
Growing up I never thought depression was a real thing. I thought it was more of a choice and that people could control their state of mind. Everything I thought I knew about life, especially depression were wrong.
Living day-to-day became extremely hard. Getting out of bed every morning, eating food, and even just laughing became hard. If I laughed at something that was funny it would usually turn into me crying. I was on an emotional roller coaster that I thought would never end.
“Once I found out he was dead, instantly nothing he did in the past truly mattered even though it hurt me really bad. Arik was my everything. He was my first thought in the morning and my last thought when I went to bed.” – An excerpt from my diary
Was this really how my life was supposed to be? This was not at all what I planned for myself growing up. Not only was I severely depressed, but I was also ashamed of myself. How did I let my life get this bad? And how in the hell did I get pregnant at such a young age?
I thought about my life often. I really just wanted to go back in time. I wanted to be a child again. A child doesn’t have to worry about things like this, a child has no worries…the only thing the younger version of myself worried about was when I was going to eat dinner or if I was allowed to have a sleepover on the weekend.
I wanted to escape my reality. I really just felt like I was in a horrible nightmare that I couldn’t wake up from. My life felt like it was over. I saw no light at the end of the tunnel. My depression got so bad that the thought of dying didn’t seem scary.
19 Weeks and 1 Day Pregnant
“The truth is, it hurts. More than anything I have ever felt. It hurts more than any physical pain I have ever experienced. I wish I could go back in time and save him, tell him not to drive up the canyon, or tell him I love him one last time. I miss him so much that sometimes it is unbearable. I cry as I write this and reminisce on pictures of times past. He was my best friend, he was my everything. To lose that is just unfathomable. I miss his voice, his happy spirit, I miss everything about him.”– An excerpt from my diary
Arik was constantly on my mind. I couldn’t ever get him out of my head. My mind just couldn’t comprehend the fact that I was never going to see him again. What was he doing up there? Is he ok?
Not only that but the dreams that I would have of him were super vivid. To the point where I would wake up and forget that he was actually gone. One of the dreams I had, he told me that he was visiting me from heaven and he only had a little bit of time before he had to go back. We spent that time catching up and then he left through these vibrant yellow line of trees. The same trees that I have a photo of him walking through.
Pregnancy, in general, isn’t easy for a lot of women. You are so emotional, your skin doesn’t cooperate and you are gaining weight every week. My pregnancy in addition to everything I was dealing with was so very difficult.
Luckily, I never had any morning sickness, but I was super depressed and all of the other symptoms of pregnancy started to hit me. I started gaining weight once I started eating again, but I didn’t look pregnant… I just looked like I was getting chunky. My skin also had a complete mind of its own.
My confidence had really hit an all-time low. I looked in the mirror and just saw “ugly”. I had never really felt like this about myself before so this was a difficult change for me. I felt bad about the way I looked, and it was hard because I had no partner to love me and just lift my spirits. I felt like the ugly, single, pregnant outcast.
Even though I tried to completely forget that Arik cheated on me, sometimes it would creep back into my mind which continued to break me. Was I not pretty enough? Was I not skinny enough? Did he ever truly love me, because if he did, how could he cheat on me? No wonder he cheated on me I thought, look at me… I’m freaking ugly… all thoughts running through my head.
I had hit a low in my life, but it wasn’t something that I could quickly recover from. Hiding my pregnancy also made my situation difficult. Looking back part of me is glad I hid it and part of me isn’t. Hiding my pregnancy did give me constant anxiety. I was frequently scared of running into people I knew. I tried to be happy but I felt like I couldn’t because being happy is “wrong” considering I got pregnant outside of wedlock.
From “perfect child” to “loser sister” I constantly thought of myself as the mess up. Both of my sisters were these “perfect” angels, and then there’s me.
The Instagram Facade
In photos, I put on a pretty face, smiled and acted like nothing was wrong… like the happy girl I was supposed to be. I actually had someone reach out to me a couple weeks ago after my last blog post… this person told me that I was smiling in a photo with Arik’s ex-girlfriend the day we got lunch after the funeral. Just so you all know, just because someone is smiling for a photo doesn’t mean they are actually happy!
I smiled all the time with people. No one could tell there was actually something wrong inside. I put on a face, I didn’t show weakness… because weakness was not part of my personality. I always hated feeling weak, and I always hated showing sad emotion, I still do.
I was on Instagram all the time. Looking at “happy couples” with envy. Wishing I could have any other life but mine. Why couldn’t I have that? I just wanted to have a partner, someone to go through my pregnancy with me… that’s not too much to ask…right?!
I constantly compared myself to everyone. Looking at all of these happy families who have a mother and father with perfect children, in their perfect house, with their perfect life. It never looked like there were any flaws in anyone else but me.
The more I looked through Instagram during this time, the more unhappy I became.
I still posted on Instagram regularly… it was almost like I needed the validation and attention from people to make me happy because I was so insecure. I needed someone to fill my empty spaces now that Arik was gone.
Coping with Death
Coping with Arik’s death was so difficult, especially being pregnant. The only thing I really wanted to do was drown my sorrows in alcohol. It was the only thing I had ever known to help me cope with severe trauma. It’s how I “got over” the abuse and rape I endured and I thought it could help me “get over” this…
Being sober during this grieving period was excruciating. I couldn’t escape my thoughts, I couldn’t sleep and Arik never left my mind. So many came to my mind. I constantly wished I would have done more. Whether it was preventing Arik from cheating in the first place or taking back the harsh words I said. The more I looked back and wished for something different, the more depressed I became.
Every night I would get in my shower, turn on my sad playlist, and then sit in the tub of my shower with my arms hugging my knees. “What is life really?” I thought. We wake up, eat breakfast, go to work, eat lunch, work more, come home and eat dinner, then go to bed. On repeat.
“So really what is the point? Life absolutely, positively SUCKS”
I had never thought about life like this until now. Everyday life seemed like a chore. Depression always had its way of making me feel like I didn’t want to be alive. I never thought about killing myself, it never got to that point. However, the thought of dying didn’t seem terrible.
Despite getting chunkier, my stomach wasn’t big at all… so part of me kind of dismissed keeping a strong face for my baby because I could hardly see him in there and there was SO much time before I would meet him. I knew I had 20 more weeks of living in hell until I could meet him.
On top of that, I started having anxiety about how I was going to provide for my son. A baby is SO expensive and there are so many things babies need that you don’t even think about! I felt like my world was constantly crumbling down on me and I really didn’t know how I was going to do it all.
NEXT WEEK: HOPE FROM ELLEN DEGENERES
If you have or had problems with depression let me know, I would love to hear how you overcame it or if you need any help moving forward! When we have a strong community of people who aren’t scared to be vulnerable more people will benefit from it.
PLEASE… Leave a comment below if you have struggled with depression or anxiety. Don’t be afraid to share your voice, because you can end up benefitting so many people!