Lately, I have been a little...on edge.
To put it lightly.
I have been on medicine for depression since Sam was about 6 months old. I had to go off while I was pregnant with Charlie, and was able to start taking it again when she was 6 weeks old.
A couple of months ago I decided that my medicine just wasn't cutting it and I needed to be on something new. Something that wouldn't hurt a baby if I accidentally got pregnant, something that I could stay on while pregnant. (NO...we are NOT trying anytime soon. Just planning out the future.)
My doc wrote me a new script, and I have weaned myself off my old meds and will begin taking my new ones tonight.
This past weekend...I realized why I am on medication.
People often look at me sideways when I tell them I am on anti-depressants. They blame it on being postpartum, although I think it goes way before I had kids. PPD was just the fire that was lit under my ass to get on meds. I didn't want to bring up my kids with me being depressed.
I wouldn't wish depression on anyone. I will, however, try to explain what it is like, for those of you who are like my husband, and see life through rose-colored glasses.
In the morning, when your alarm goes off, you physically can't get out of bed. You don't want to, your body hurts, even though there is no reason for it to. You dread your day. There isn't anything in particular to dread, but you dread it all the same. All you want to do is stay in bed, and hide from the world. This isn't just one morning every once in a while. It is every. single. morning.
Little things annoy you, more than they should. And your reaction to those annoyances are a tad more...violent. People at work say, "Good morning", and you want to slap them across the face. (Why do people insist on talking to each other before lunch, I could never understand.) I have a maintenance light that came on in my car, right after I got the oil changed. Looking at that light is like hearing fingernails on a chalkboard. I really want to take a screwdriver and stab it through the plastic cover on my dash and poke that light out. But I won't because I know that I would probably hurt myself in the process and not even get the light to go out. Which would lead to my next thing...crying.
Anything will make you cry. Getting caught at a red light. It isn't the fact that you have to sit a red light for 30 seconds. It is the voice in your head telling you that everything in this world is conspiring against you. That light wants to make you late to where ever it is that you are going.
Speaking of voices...they are the worst. They are thoughts that constantly are in your head, and make you cry even if you just drop something on the floor.
They tell you that you are not able to do anything right.
Why even try to do something, because you will fail miserably at it. (And probably very publicly as well.)
You are a terrible person, an awful wife, a marginal mother. (I mean, your kids aren't dead...so that is a plus.)
They tell you how fat you are, and there is no point in trying to lose weight or eat healthy, because you will probably fail at it. And even if you do lose some weight, your thighs will still rub together, so really...what is the point? (And at that point, you eat pizza and ice cream and chocolate, because it tastes good. Which doesn't really help out your thighs.)
There are times when the voices are constant. Any little thing can set them off, and then they don't shut up. They are thoughts running through your head at breakneck speed, reminding you that once again, you have failed. Once again, you have let someone down. Once again, you should not have gotten out of bed.
If you do go out on a limb, and try something new, something that takes a little bit of kahunas, the slightest bit of criticism is crushing. For example, I remember when I was in high school I wrote a short story about a girl who moved to the projects in Chicago from a middle-class, small-town lifestyle. My English teacher very gently suggested that next time, perhaps I could write about something that I knew more about. Let's just say that was the last short story I wrote for a very. long. time.
Depression is a bitch. I hate it when people who have never experienced it think that you can just "snap out of it." People who think that "if you put your mind to something, you can beat it."
Depression isn't something that can be willed away. Trust me, I have tried. And failed. I have tried faking my way through life. Sometimes I succeed, which is why people look at me sideways and tell me that I am not depressed. OK...you get in my head then tell me I don't suffer from depression.
I have high hopes for my new medication. Hope that it will get me out of bed. Hope that it will make the thoughts go away. Make the tears stop. I have hope that it will help me get back to a life that I love and can enjoy. My girls, my husband, hell...even my dogs deserve that. So I have hope.