Click to read What Depression Taught Me I’m NOT: Part 1
Click to read What Depression Taught Me I’m NOT: Part 2
Click to read What Depression Taught Me I’m NOT: Part 3
Click to read What Depression Taught Me I’m NOT: Part 4
If you’ve never had the experience of watching yourself go crazy, well…you have the first item on your list of Things To Be Grateful For Today. If you have had this displeasure, I’m sorry. But know you are not alone. I just got back from Looneytown. The weather sucks this time of year.
I have written during just about every stage of this crazy thing called depression – when I first had to admit “it,” when I thought it was gone and when I finally had to call it what it is. I have admitted that somedays I hate that little white pill. I have been honest when faking it seemed easier. But in the end, I have come to grips with the fact that like some people take a pill for allergies or high blood pressure, I take a pill for depression. Well…I HAD come to grips.
A couple of months ago, I started feeling it around “that time of the month.” I could feel the storm brewing but I was completely unable to stop it. It was like I was an outside observer – I was watching a movie and trying to yell at the character on screen to watch out for what was coming. But I couldn’t hear me. It felt like all I could offer was a warning before I went crazy and an apology later. Then, it began to not just be once a month. I didn’t have the energy to get out of bed on a Tuesday. I didn’t want to go to the grocery store or do laundry because the thought of having to do it all again next week overwhelmed me. It wasn’t every day (but it was a lot of days). I convinced myself it was a hormone issue and only then (when I thought maybe it had another name), I made a doctor’s appointment.
I laid out the facts in perfect detail and then told the doctor (because I have a medical degree) that she needed to check my hormone levels and maybe change my birth control prescription. After asking some questions, she concluded that my hormone levels are perfectly normal and there’s no reason to think the birth control needs to change. What she did recommend was increasing “the little while pill.”
And this is where (in my head) the music stops and everyone stares.
It was like a reel of the past few months began to play through my mind in fast forward flashes. Not being able to get out of bed. Blaming David. (Seriously, poor David.) Losing patience with Brynna too easily. Being overwhelmed by EVERYTHING. The sadness, the lack of motivation, the uncontrollable outbursts. It was the same song different verse.
So I agreed. I filled the prescription and took the medicine. And you’ll be amazed to learn that doctor and her medical degree knew what she was talking about! Each day I started feeling a little more normal and a little less crazy. I felt a little more present and a little less like a bystander watching everyone else do life. And today, as I drove home from taking Brynna to gymnastics, I smiled and thought that I finally feel like myself again. Same old me but different.
Depression taught me that I’m not who I once was. And that’s ok. I’m wiser.
My dad asked how I was doing recently and when I explained my initial aversion to the dosage increase, he said in his matter-of-fact way, “I take 7 pills everyday just so my heart works right. Your medicine isn’t any different. If it makes you better, take it and get on with living.” And he’s right. I’m not who I once was. I’m better. I’m wiser.