depression Encouragement Hope life lessons

What Depression Taught Me I’m NOT: Part 4

December 11, 2012
The day I went to the doctor to say I wasn’t ok was painful. In fact, I hated it. I wasn’t sure who you are supposed to see when you feel like you can’t get out of bed. I didn’t know what medical code they’d use for “she says she feels so overwhelmed she can’t go to the grocery store.” I knew I had recently had a baby and for the past year had seen my ObGyn every week, so I started with her. For whatever reason, that made me feel better. It wasn’t that I’m “depressed.” I just had postpartum issues. It just so happened the medication is categorized as an anti-depressant. Coincidences. All of them.
When we moved to DC, I had to do what you do when you move. I got a new license, dry cleaner, hair stylist and doctor. The day I had to tell the new doctor my story was no less painful. In fact, I hated it too. I also hated the day I tried to get off the medication but was faced with the symptoms returning. To make matters worse, my doctor is very thorough. Not only did he make me explain that first time I met him after moving, but he also makes me see him twice a year to check in. And the man takes notes. Rude. He asks questions and when he’s satisfied with where I am, he writes me a refill. He also never fails to remind me that while some people are able to discontinue medication, it’s very normal that some are on anti-depressants for most of their life. So there’s that. Awesome.
Today was that appointment. The dreaded refill. But…to my surprise, I didn’t hate it. I gave Dr. Huang an update and explained that while I would love to one day not take medicine (other than birth control…we aren’t discontinuing that!), I think a refill is best right now. I feel good, but I can be honest about myself and at this stage, myself needs the medicine. Depression taught me that I’m not weak.It takes strength to be honest. It takes guts to tell the truth.
If you’ve never had to take medicine just to feel like yourself, you can’t fully understand. You can’t relate to not wanting to take the very thing that makes you feel better. But if you do take that medicine, you know exactly what I mean. If you swallow those pills everyday, you can most definitely relate. You want desperately to call it anything but what it is. You’ll cling to “postpartum”or “chemical imbalance” or a host of other titles just so you don’t have to say the one thing you dread…
Hi, I’m Regina…and I suffer from depression.
Being willing to say that means you’re not weak; you’re strong.

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