A while ago I started getting a familiar (but highly unwelcome) feeling — a feeling that I couldn’t shake no matter what I did.
For me, depression has always felt…heavy. You know those aprons they put on you at the dentist’s office when you get X-rays? It’s like wearing an entire coat made of that stuff. A coat you can’t take off. Pair that with a constant undercurrent of anxiety, and you end up with quite a mess.
Currently, I am that mess.
I’ve dealt with depression off and on since 2004. Back then it was severe enough to go on medication. I got off the medication about two years later and managed to control things fairly well through exercise and behavioral changes. When I went off the medication, my doctor told me that there was a chance I’d have to go back on it at some point in my life; depression isn’t something that really just goes away, and certain life circumstances can cause symptoms to “flare up” if you will.
When he said that to me, I nodded and said I understood. But I was convinced that I had gotten this thing under control and he would not be seeing me again (at least not for this issue).
Well. My doctor and I had a little visit yesterday. Ok, a long visit. A long visit in which I cried a lot and said things like…
“I can’t shake this off.”
“My son deserves a mother who isn’t checked out emotionally.”
and the clincher…
“I feel like I cannot take one more step without some help.”
So last night I got a new prescription filled. And to be honest, I was bummed.
No. I was pissed off.
I’m pissed off that for whatever reason, I can’t just snap out of these things. I’m pissed off that there’s something wrong with my body chemistry that sometimes prevents me from being the best version of myself. And I’m pissed off at myself for waiting so long to address the problem this time.
The plan is to keep the dosage very low for a while. I go back in a month to see how things are going. Overall, we’re hoping that I’ll just need to be on this prescription for about 6 months. By then, I should be at a point where I’ll be ready to turn to other options, like exercise, to help control this. (I would love to have been able to make exercise work this time, but when you can barely convince yourself to leave the house or talk to the people you love, you’re not exactly itching to go out for a run.)
Despite the frustration I felt yesterday, today I’m feeling better. It feels good to recognize that something is off and to do something about. It feels good to take care of myself.
I don’t know why I feel the need to share such a personal thing in this space, but here we are. Maybe because I know a lot of you can relate? Maybe because I know a lot of you are going through the same thing and need to feel like you aren’t the only one? Whatever it is, I’m thankful that you’re listening.