I write this post in clarity, knowing that this is a hard thing for people to talk about while they are in the midst of it and a tough topic to even bring up in the company of friends, let alone through a blog post. But I feel the need to make my situation public so that I will then be forced to do something about it. For years I have tried, with little results, to use specific coping skills that I have picked up along the way, trying desperately to avoid the inevitable.
But alas, I have reached that breaking point, that ultimate low that tends to come and go every month, and this time I have had enough, I just can't stand to go on living life fighting to come up for air, with that overwhelming sense of hopelessness.
My husband has finally convinced me, yes ME, the chick who is pursuing a career in pastoral counseling, the girl who has a BA degree in psychology and worked 2 years in a state run psychiatric facility, to seek professional help. I guess it gets the best of us, that awfulness called anxiety and depression.
I have tried therapist after therapist and even couples therapy, but nothing has really helped. I have tried all kinds of coping skills like limiting caffeine, running, vitamin supplements, meditation/prayer, journalling......... but nothing seems to really help during that very low low point that comes every single month, for 2 whole weeks. It is exhausting, frustrating and numbing.
So, here I sit, with my husband by my side (he is literally sitting right beside me as I type this) making this struggle public, putting a face to this awful condition of anxiety and depression, telling you all who take time out of your day to read this, that I have finally decided to get help. Go figure, the girl who believes so much in anti-anxiety medication and anti-depressiants to help others, has been so apprehensive to try them on herself. I guess I have just been hoping this whole time that I could take control of this condition on my own, but I can't, it's chemical. It. Is. Chemical.
I am so nervous about what THIS means, this decision to go public with something so private, this decision to step into a psychiatric office, this decision to take medicine for something I have been struggling with for so long. A part of me feels like a failure. Somewhere in the back of my mind I feel like a failure if I "give up" and take medicine for this condition.
While explaining this sense of failure to my husband (he is such a wonderful person), he grabbed me by both shoulders and gave me a light playful shake....
"Jessica, you have an iron deficiency right? and a vitamin D deficiency right? And you take medicine for both of those things right? To help you feel better, right? And they make you feel better, am I right? Does that make you a failure if you are low in iron and have to take an iron pill? NO! No, it doesn't. So, how is this any different? You have a chemical imbalance and there is medicine to HELP YOU with that. To HELP YOU Jessica."
There ya go, I have finally decided to look into finding me a psychiatrist. I am making this public so that I won't chicken out when I start feeling better in a few days. That's how depression goes, it comes in waves, around the same time of the month, then slowly, after about 2 weeks, slips away, leaving me EXTREMELY HAPPY yet confused. It's only during the end of the depressive episode that I have enough pain and enough clarity to know that THIS isn't normal. During my happy days I forget how awful the awfulness was and is, and during the really low points I don't have enough clarity to really KNOW what is going on.