I would appreciate a lot of comments on this. I am NOT asking you all to solve my problems, or help me decide what to do with my little mental health issues, but I do want to get this talked about. I have to decide, soon, what I'm going to do about this nagging depression. If you saw me, you might not be able to tell. I'm getting through life, I can smile and look okay, but people, GETTING THROUGH IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Life is to be lived, not endured. And my endurance is wearing thin.
When I started blogging, my anti-depressants were making me miserable. Back then, I couldn't tell people in person about this. It was easier to tell people I'd never met. Now I don't give a shit. I'll tell anybody who'll listen that I've got this thing to deal with. I've discovered that there is a whole mess of us with this burden. I don't know why and don't think anybody does, but right now I'm facing the fact that I'm struggling here, worse than I have in a long time, and I have to let it out. Maybe you know how I feel, maybe you don't, but I won't keep it quiet. Please let me hear you.
If I look at it from my doctor’s point of view, it makes perfect sense.
His patient is a woman who has a prior history of depression and anxiety; she tells him that she made the appointment because she is miserable.
Crying too much.
Feels sick to her stomach every day.
More frequent panic attacks.
Not sleeping well at all, waking up feeling tired.
Her appetite is erratic and she’s not eating well.
He asks if she’s getting any enjoyment out of life.
She sighs and tells him that she can still have a good laugh but it takes longer and afterwards she’s tired.
She says those weird pains in her wrists and knees and ankles are back.
She says she feels like all she wants to do is stare at the wall.
She says she wishes sometimes she could just close her eyes and not breathe anymore. That would be easiest.
Imagine being my doctor. Wouldn’t you be alarmed?
He has to take me seriously. I’m the one who made the appointment, I’m the one who knew this has gotten too bad and can’t continue. I told him that over the last few years, I’ve really worked on this. I’ve come up with healthy coping strategies, I’ve changed some negative thinking patterns, I’ve faced depression and told it where to go. More often than not, I win. But for the last two months it has been getting harder and harder and I’m exhausted. I can’t fight anymore.
He asked if I had thought about suicide. I said, not really. I can’t be bothered to do anything about it. I just kinda wanna stop, stop moving, stop blinking, stop thinking, stop breathing.
Listen, I don’t really want to die. I have wanted that, in the past, many times. It goes back twenty-five years. (Yes, add it up: I first thought of it when I was twelve.) I honestly do want to live, but there are times when these thoughts creep into my head, these thoughts that I just can’t live anymore. I don’t plan it, I just think about being blank and formless and how comforting it could be. So much easier than dealing with the mood swings and despair and all the questions about why on earth I’d be so damn miserable.
I know I’m not going to do it but the desire to permanently quit pops into my head before I can stop it. I can tell myself all I want that I am not suicidal but there it is, in my head, out of my mouth.
And there’s my doctor reaching for the prescription pad.
He wants to put me on drugs again. And if there’s one thing that scares me more than my screwed up brain, it’s drugs.
It took me almost half a year to get free of the meds last time and I vowed I’d never, ever, go on antidepressants again. Maybe it saved my life, by leveling my emotions, but it leveled me off too low. I felt disconnected and numb for a year. I gained weight- when you start off at 110lbs, an extra 10 matters- and I felt dizzy, sleepy, and uninterested. I was horrified that a pill to make you less depressed listed “suicidal thoughts” as a side effect. I hated knowing that in this inexact science, the only way to know if you’ll have side effects is to take the damn pills and wait to see what happens.
I took the prescription note. I weakly protested that I hated being medicated. He’s been my doctor for ten years. “I know you’re very sensitive to medications,” he said, “so I’m putting you on the lowest starting dose for a month. Normally I raise the dosage after two weeks. I’ll start you off very slowly.”
I nodded and crushed down the tears.
“I’ll also contact the clinic and send your information, then you can call and arrange for counseling again.”
All I was thinking was that this isn’t what I wanted when I made this appointment, but I damn well knew this is what I’d get.
What else would he do? He’s my doctor. He will take care of me to the best of his ability and knowledge.
I haven’t done anything about the prescription yet. It's been in my wallet for two days. I’m trying not to think about it. That may not be the greatest plan. Maybe I’ll call my counselor first. I don’t know.
I don’t want to be on drugs again. I want to feel like me. But being me is feeling pretty bad right now and I really do want to live. I want the living part of me to win. I hate the thought of only being able to do that with the help of a little white pill. But if that’s what it takes?
There really is only one sensible solution: Take the damn pills. Get fixed up. It’s not forever and eventually I can go off them again. I wish I was better at being a sensible person.