Oh the time has come. I knew it would. These past few months just seemed harder. Longer. Darker. I chalked it up to Seasonal Affective Disorder. I prepared and tackled. I used all my tricks up my sleeve. Yet, here I am at the end of March still drifting aimlessly. I admitted it even. I knew that switching medications for my depression would probably happen in the near future. I just didn’t know it would be so soon.
Obviously, I have no shame for taking medication. I have increased my dosage twice over the past two years. It is time for something new. A medication that will lift this weight I have felt since before the holidays. Today I realized that action must be taken. The weather is beautiful out. The sun is shining. The warmth melting into my skin. Spring is present. I live for days like these. But, the smile doesn’t reach my eyes. Tears are threatening for no reason. I can’t shake this off feeling. It’s deeper than just on the surface.
I am exhausted. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. Trying to keep the darkness at bay. Forcing myself out of my comfortable zone. Fighting the negative, gloomy thoughts that threaten to consume me. It takes tremendous effort to smile, laugh, play, breathe. Especially today, when I was at Target on my lunch hour and the tears almost slipped out. My lungs were rapidly moving, not taking in the correct amount of oxygen. I closed my eyes to recenter myself. Breathing deeply. Slightly embarrassed when I needed to move due to blocking the shampoo aisle.
Do you know how hard it is to stop yourself from breaking down in the middle of the day in Target?
Do you know how distressing it is to force yourself to eat when you can’t make a choice of what to eat? Or what tastes good? To prepare food for yourself and children when you are hallow inside?
Do you know how heavy it feels to care for someone else’s entire needs when you barely know what to do for yours?
Do you know how painful it is to feel numb?
Do you know how burdensome it feels to try so damn hard to move past something but you just can’t? Depression. Grief. Hurt. Betrayal. Rejection. Loneliness.
Do you know how complicated a person’s thoughts are? When one minute they NEED to be alone and the next they NEED to have arms surrounding you?
Do you know how exhausting it is to pretend to feel one way and feel the exact opposite?
I do. I am right now. And this is why I know it is time to switch medications. Something isn’t right. I shouldn’t feel all of these things daily. The good days should be more than the bad days. I shouldn’t feel as though the darkness could consume me at any moment. If I let my guard down, I am done for.
I can’t hesitate. I need to make a change now. If I wait to see if it gets better. If I wait until I get back from vacation. If I wait till summer and warmer days. If I wait until Monday. I can’t hesitate because if I do, my disease might get worse. And no way can I allow that to happen. I work so damn hard. So damn hard. I want to shout at the world, Don’t you see!!!! I am not weak. I am so fucking strong because I live like this every day. I strive tirelessly to beat back the demons and darkness. I use all the tools I have available to me to not let depression with anxiety run my life. The therapy, essential oils, exercise, positive thoughts, God and His son Jesus, healthy eating, venting to a friend, showing up, and yes, medication. Still, it isn’t always enough. The only thing I am missing is physical touch. And maybe that is the the lost puzzle piece.
All I do know is I don’t want to keep feeling this way. I have many options available to me in treating my depression. Different medications. So I am going to find the right one. With the help of my doctor and therapist. I have a team. A whole tribe of family and friends. Two little boys that deserve a healthy mom. Faith in God. And me. I have me. I deserve to be healthy. I deserve to live a full life. So I will. I just got to fight for it.
I am fighting for it.
Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy–the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light. Brene Brown