Depression: the battle


Depression isn’t laziness.  It isn’t “the blues”. It isn’t being sad.  Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.  It is a daily battle, regardless of medicines.

My depression snuck up on me.  My step daughter had been deathly ill for a year; my job was lorded over by an insecure power hungry princess; I changed jobs; I went to night shift;  my daughter was feeling her growing pains as an adult; my sleep was not orderly nor restful;  my husband was a textbook narcissist who never had anything to give but criticism.

I knew the signs. I knew what to do to fix it. I’ve always been interested in the human body, science, disorders.  I was familiar with depression. I played with my friends, I did my art, I exercised.  I did everything in my arsenal to pull myself out of it.  Nothing worked.

It was Christmas time.  I went to our church ladies’ Christmas dinner.  I brought my little food donation.  I walked in late (with the intention of just sneaking in, eating, and getting out so I could say I went). Everyone was seated, laughing, having a good time.  Immediately the tears sprang up.  I felt so distant, so “not of”.  I dropped off the food donations and got out of there as fast as I could, wiping the tears away as they ran down my cheeks. This was NOT me.  I am the life of the party. I am the one who gets on the tables and makes people laugh. I am the one who is so obnoxious folks either want to be in my circle or sit in judgment.  I am not a poor little weak girl that cries. All. The. Time.  I am a cop! I am strong! I am the one who saves, helps, encourages!

I won’t say that I don’t cry.  Give me a good movie and I will cry with unashamed abandon.  However, sadness, loss, broken heart – I do my best not to cry (tough girl syndrome.  Hey, I’m a work in progress).  But when I cried because the dog’s water bowl was empty, or I needed to take a shower, or it was a day that ended in -y, I knew there was a problem.

I went to the psychiatrist.  Using my own money: insurance didn’t cover it & the husband wouldn’t contribute. (Saying “my own money”, it was the arrears of my child support.  I handed my entire job paycheck over to the husband but that’s another story of Daddy Booboo.)  The husband said I was “running from my problems” and I was trying to put my problems on someone else instead of taking responsibility for them…..what?

I walked in & plopped down.  The doctor said, “What brings you here today?” I said, “I’m depressed.”  Lots of blah, blah, blah and 50 minutes later my time was up.  He said, “oh, this is easy: you’re depressed.”  I thought, “no shit Sherlock”.  He gave me medicine. I stopped crying. I stayed curled up on the fetal position in life – but I stopped crying.

I went back.  He gave me a different medicine.  I almost felt normal again.  After about a year, I was going to try to come off the medicine.  My mom had cancer.  Maybe we’ll try later. Life and times have prevented me from getting off the medicine (like all sorts of things: job, no job, moved, new life, mom sick again, ad nauseam).  I don’t know if it is such a bad thing.  But the pill is not a quick fix. depression

I have so much more to say about this, but my words and motivation are waning.  If life enjoyment is on a scale of 1-5 (5 being the best) here is where I am today: 3.  Somedays I feel like a 4. Here is the crux:  life without medicine is a 1, life with medicine is 3.48.  I want a life of 4.5-5 all the time.  I should not settle for 3.48 just because it is better than 1.  I want to be dancing on the tables all the time.  Today is not a table dancing kind of day. Today I wonder who is going to die.

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Please check out the internet for more information.  Depression is real! It may or may not include suicidal thoughts.  Get help! It is a medical condition, not just in your head!

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/recognize-the-warning-signs-of-depression.html

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/basics/definition/con-20032977

 

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