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What Depression Taught Me I’m NOT: Part 3

October 4, 2012

Click to read What Depression Taught Me I’m NOT: Part 1

Click to read What Depression Taught Me I’m NOT: Part 2

Every time I talk about this, I inevitably get an email, comment or facebook message. Someone, somewhere is struggling with the same thing and my talking about it lets her know she’s not alone. I’m so glad. It would suck if all this wasn’t used to bless someone.


So I had to go to the doctor yesterday. No biggie, just the dermatologist. But it was a new doctor, so I had to fill out the customary paperwork. I love filling those things out. It agrees with my sense of order that each blank has an answer. It’s not ambiguous – either my name is Regina or it’s not. At the bottom of the page, there is a sense of completion.

This time it wasn’t so fun, though. I got to page 2 and it asked what medications you are currently taking. Not an uncommon requirement, but the way this form was designed, you had to write the medication, the dosage and the “reason for taking the medication.” I happily filled in line 1 – Orthocyclen, 28 day pack, SO I DON’T GET PREGNANT. (And I said a little prayer, just in case the capital letters didn’t prove my point.) Line 2 was harder. I take Wellbutrin, 300 mg, for…….well…..ugh, fine….for depression. Maybe I should have written “because sometimes I don’t want to get out of bed.” Or maybe “so I don’t throw things at the people I love.” Either way, I hated it.

That’s how depression works. Somedays you’re up and somedays you’re down. Somedays you get to carry on as normal and other days, due to a minor breakdown or a medical form (or a breakdown caused by a medical form), you have to face reality. You have to be honest about how you feel so you can decide how to keep going.

So today, I hate it. There. I said it.
I hate having to take the medicine.
I hate having to tell people I take the medicine.
I hate that the medicine keeps me from becoming a permanent resident of Crazyville so I have to continue taking the medicine.
I hate that somedays I have to tell Brynna I don’t feel good sometimes because it’s taking all my fortitude to work a puzzle, so riding bikes is out of the question.
I hate that there’s no food in the house because I can’t muster the strength to go grocery shopping.
I hate that this isn’t something I can fight my way through. (‘Cause I’m tough. And I can fight. Just ask me.)
I hate that I can no longer call it Postpartum Depression. (Or can I? She isn’t into her teens yet. And even if I could..why is that somehow better? A duck is a duck is a duck. Depression is depression no matter what you call it.)
And no matter what you call it, I hate it.

But if I hate it and I still get up, I won that day.
If I hate it and I keep going, I’m doing better than I once was.
If I hate it and believe one day I won’t have to, then I’m one step closer to that day.

Depression taught me that I’m not broken. Being hurt doesn’t mean you’ll never be well again. It means that for this moment, you’re a little bruised and battered.

If you’re bruised with me, know that you aren’t broken. It’s ok if you hate it, too. We can hate it together. Just don’t stop taking the medicine. I don’t want you throwing a toaster at me.

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