Saturday, June 11, 2016

Depression 'Round and 'Round

2003. I was mom to three un-understandable children under the age of 3. (Poor family planning there.)

It wasn't my first experience with depression.  But, it was my first experience when I finally understood it for what it was. I owned it.

I was depressed.

So, I did everything you were supposed to do. I sought out counselling. I leaned on my friends and family. I went on anti-depressants.

I liked the first two. I hated the third.

I felt icky. I felt foggy. It helped with the unhappy emotions... but it numbed the good ones, too. I just didn't like them. I stayed on anti-depressants only long enough until I felt like I was out of the pit. Then, I learned everything I could about self-care and how it could help me stay off meds in my future.

Self care became my religion. I learned that I needed a night each week, just one night, that I could reclaim myself from the Land of Toddlers, and I guarded that night with reverence. Over the years, what looked like self-care changed. As my children went into school, the need for One Night lessened, but I replaced it with weight loss, healthy eating, and exercise. Self Care always looked different -- but it always had the same purpose.

Depression has returned more than once since 2003... but I have always been able to head it off with Self Care.  If I felt the darkness returning, I'd put myself a little higher up on the Priority List and I could hold the status quo until the dark receded again.

I started a new anti-depressant yesterday.

Self Care wasn't working anymore. Actually, it's not that it wasn't working. It's that I wasn't doing it. Every time I felt like I started to get my feet under me on the Self Care Train, I'd have to throw it out the window to deal with family crisis. I couldn't take care of myself AND everyone else at the same time, and I never chose myself.

To be honest, it's hard to not feel like I've failed. Like if I had just done a better job at all the other stuff that I know helps me to feel better, I wouldn't have to resort to medication.

Cognitively, I know it isn't a cop-out. Cognitively, I know it's needed and that there is no shame in it. Heartfully, I don't.

Perhaps it was a point of pride. "I don't need medication. Depression is a shitstorm, but I've got this. All. By. My. Freakin'. Self."  And now I don't.

Now, I really don't.

1 comment:

  1. oh...it angers me soo much when depressed people refuse to acknowledge how the proper medication is a life saver...please be proud that you are sucessfully managing your depression with some assistance!! I have been on medication since 1985....every day..except for 18 months when i was pregnant...life is good !!

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