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I'm One of "Those" People



In light of recent events I think this post regarding depression is relevant. This is an older post from last year, but I still struggle with depression from time to time, even while on medication. I shudder to think of what my life would be like if I had not chosen to accept my depression as something I could not handle on my own. I think there are many people who have chosen to fight it alone and I'm afraid, for many, it will be a losing battle. 

Here's the original post from June 2013

For those of you who are uncomfortable with people who speak authentically about their life experiences, you can stop reading now. I have never been one to mince my words when it comes to who I am. That’s not to say I’m completely comfortable in my own skin (I’m working on that) but I have always been a pretty heart-on-my-sleeve kind of person.

Anyway, this past month has been one of reckoning for me. Here’s the sort of short version.
My doctor put me on birth control and it did a nice little number on me. After two weeks, I woke up one morning and really felt as if I had nothing to live for. Seriously. It was quite scary. The only other time I really felt that low was after my father died when I spiraled into a deep depression. Prior to that, I was feeling overwhelmed but not depressed.
I went to my doctor and completely fell apart in his office. My exact words were, “If I didn’t have two kids who needed me, well…” and then I lost it, as in ugly cry lost it.

He immediately diagnosed me with depression and put me on Prestiq. That was a Monday.
I’m already on Wellbutrin because depression has been a part of my life for a long time. In fact, I remember the first time I went to my doctor about my depression. I fought it so much. I didn’t want to take medicine. I didn’t want to be one of “those” people. But I am one of “those” people. My brain is chemically imbalanced. I lean towards the melancholy.

My doctor said, “If you had diabetes, would you take medicine?”
“Of course,” I said.
“Depression is an illness. A chemical imbalance. You can’t fix it,” he said.

Well let me tell you, it’s no way to live. Being all chemically imbalanced and wondering if today will be a day that will matter or not. So I took the “magic” pill and went down the rabbit hole. And what I found was hope.
Two days later life was all sunshine sparkles and starlight ponies – or something like that. I had my moxie back…for now.

Saturday night I went to bed with a massive headache. I really didn’t think anything of it because I have been cursed with a head that aches way too often. Sunday I went on my normal grocery run. As I was shopping and massaging my pounding temples, I had a horrible flashback. Several days after Nick was born I had a very similar headache – a headache that put me in the ER twice. With that memory pushing its way to the surface I pushed my shopping cart over to the pharmacy and took my blood pressure. Nightmare confirmed! My BP was 188/106. I checked out without finishing my shopping and got home as fast as I could.

That night i did a bit of internet research and discovered that one of Prestiq’s side effects is high blood pressure. For good measure I also did a bit of research on the birth control and learned that it can cause severe depression. Hello!
I saw my doctor on Monday and told him that I wanted to detox my body and get off both meds because I felt like they were doing more harm than good. He agreed and told me to quit the Prestiq cold turkey since I had only been on it 5 days. He also gave me some BP medicine to take until I get my pressure under control. The downside is that the medicine wipes me out and I can’t afford to be wiped out with two kids to take care of.

I am now in my third week of detox and it has been hell. I’ve had terrible headaches daily, and my blood pressure still hasn’t come completely down. I’m working my way back to what was a normal life – though filled with anxiety at times – for me.  I welcome that at this point, compared to what I have been through lately. I’m striving to learn how to handle my stress better. I have started running again and plan on adding yoga and meditation as a regular part of my day.

My journal, that has been patiently waiting on my bedside table, will become a part of my routine as well. I know the power that can come from unleashing my words. It’s been way too long since I’ve put pen to paper.
In my attempt to gain some control over my life again, I have pulled out a book that resonates with me in a whole new way – Eat, Pray, Love. In the beginning of the book, Gilbert, who is going through a nasty divorce at the time, writes a petition to God where she asks for specific things from Him. At this point in my life I thought it might be a good idea for me to do the same thing.

Dear God,
I feel strange writing to you since I don’t really conform to the whole religion thing and to some here on Earth that’s hypocritical of me. Whatever. You know me, we’re tight, despite my lack of churchiness. Anyway, I have a few things I need from you. But you probably already know that, huh?

I am at a point in my life where I am struggling. Struggling to find a balance, I guess. And since I’m not really the coordinated one in my family, I thought maybe I should ask for a bit of divine intervention.

I want to learn to be a bit more laid back. I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist and I worry way too much. Do you think maybe you could help me out a bit here with that? I don’t do so well on my own. I want to do yoga and meditation but, for some reason, have a hard time committing to it. Maybe you could help me out with that. Lord knows, I mean, You know that it would only serve to benefit my entire family. So it’s not a selfish request on my part. I think both of those would help me out with my stress level and allow me to feel a bit more grounded.

Also, maybe you could throw in a bit of self-confidence. Not too much because I certainly don’t want to be arrogant. But maybe just enough to make me actually like myself. I know I’m supposed to LOVE myself because I’m all a part of you and everything but it’s hard when I look in the mirror to focus on the divine part of me instead of the bits and pieces that don’t seem to fit the mold I have in my own head. I mean I know animal print is in right now, but I have a hard time accepting my spots. Just sayin’.

If I could “fix” the things in me that are holding me down, I really feel like it would benefit more than just myself. So there you have it. You know best, so I ask that you give me the wisdom to accept your response to my requests.
I thank you in advance for your attention to my personal matters.

With all due respect,
Ginger McGee