This post was originally written in March 2011. At the time I was going through a rather rough bout of depression, was struggling to get a handle on things, and ultimately made the decision to seek help. Given that May is Mental Health Awareness Month, I thought this was worth another look.
In previous blog posts and conversations over the last two years, I’ve made no bones about the fact that I’ve battled with bouts of depression and anxiety since I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and type 2 diabetes.
The daily routines of medications, blood sugar testing, meal planning, and other related bullshit, combined with the constant worry of trying to figure out how to pay for all of those medications and testing supplies, are simply overwhelming at times.
Add to that all of the typical stuff that goes along with every day life, you know… work, bills, chores, relationships, etc… and you’ve got yourself a great big barrel of fun.
Then top that off with dealing with a loved one being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and going through all of the activities and emotions that go along with that, and being forced to put a near 9 year relationship on hold while your best friend becomes the primary caregiver for that loved one, and that great big barrel of fun transforms into the biggest clusterf*#K you’ve ever seen.
It’s all enough to destroy someone mentally. And the extreme mental hurt quickly manifests into extreme physical hurt. And you eventually reach a point where you just can’t take it anymore, and feel like throwing the towel in.
As difficult as it is for me to admit, I reached that point in the early part of February.
And the hard part is that I know it didn’t have to happen. I had a little bottle of “happy” pills in my possession that my doctor had given me the month before. I just wasn’t able to take them immediately, because I was starting a new blood sugar medication and had to get through the side effects of it before starting the other medicine.
And then when it was time to start the Celexa, I kept putting it off and putting it off, because of the fear that I’d have the same problems with it that I had with similar drugs years before. When you’ve had a bad experience with medications, or anything for that matter, you tend to shy away from them. It’s perfectly normal to have those feelings.
Things finally reached a point in early February where I knew I needed help, and knew that I had to take the plunge into the world of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications again. And so, on the 21st of last month, I broke the seal on the prescription bottle, cut the little pill in half as the doctor had instructed, and jumped.
Tomorrow, March 21st, will mark a month since I started the medication, and I can honestly say that I’m glad I did. I’m not nearly as edgy as I had been, and feel quite mellow most of the time. And mellow is a good thing.
Fast forward a year and two months and I find myself in the same place. The biggest difference this time around is that the loved one mentioned above lost her two year battle with cancer two weeks ago. And things have been going down hill since.
In the midst of trying to help April and her Dad deal with the fallout and scrambling to make new arrangements after others fell apart, caring for myself has taken a backseat. My whole routine has been completely FUBAR. Testing, medications, diet, you name it. It’s all out of whack.
Thankfully, I know what the issues are and what needs to be done to get back on track where the routine is concerned. And I’m taking steps to deal with the depression side of things. And what helps the most is knowing that others understand and are willing to listen. To all of you who’ve sent thoughts, prayers and well wishes, I thank you.
The moral of this story is the same now as it was a year ago: It’s OK to need help; You just have to ask for it!