So obviously, I haven’t posted in a while.
While I’ve managed to keep a tenuous grasp on occasionally posting on social media, I’ve let my blog and (honestly) my entire site flounder. It’s not that I forgot– far from it. I often thought about my blog, my business, about writing or doing some work, followed by giant pangs of guilt and anxiety. I knew that I probably wasn’t going to actually do it. and the longer I went without posting the worse I felt and the harder it was for me to convince myself I should get on and write a little. It wasn’t until I was asked to write a guest blog on my experience with mental illness and the post just came pouring out of me like a broken dam that I realized that not only could I write my blog after all this time, I need to. Even if I never post, getting the words out of the hole inside me that my Depression creates and my Anxiety forcefully holds in is a huge accomplishment.. and it’s restoring, in it’s own small way.
So here I am, with an update about how my Depression and Anxiety took a giant turn for the worse. Even after Captain and I secured new jobs with less stress (and better pay for him) at the beginning of this year, I was finding that I wasn’t feeling better. By my longtime on-and-off relationships with therapists throughout my life, and the once-a-week online sessions with my therapist at the time, I recognized it as the lovely misfiring synapses of my brain rather than situational. I threw myself into even more research about natural ways to increase my serotonin and I started working out in addition to my yoga. I made myself walk outside more, I listened to music that usually improved my mood in normal circumstances; I did research on healthy food and foods that could naturally raise levels, as well as looking up what deficiencies can cause mood behavioral issues.
As a result I now have a better cardio fitness level, I am starting to lose the weight I want and finally beginning to see the very start of getting into the shape I want to be in. I eat healthy and as a result my toddler loves to eat healthy.
But instead of my mental health improving with it, it kept spiraling down.
I couldn’t figure out why my mental health was deteriorating so bad this time. I had all the tools, from research to what I had taken away from my time with my therapists, but I was sliding backwards anyway. For four months this continued, until Captain lost his job in unfortunate circumstance and then suddenly my chemical disorders had high situational stress dumped right on top. This caused a meltdown which my poor husband had to suffer me through, in which I began bashing myself in the head at one point so loudly he could hear me across the apartment. A meltdown in which I told him in that moment I wanted to die; what was so terrifying to me afterward is that in that one moment I had honestly meant it. And it’s been so long since I’ve truly wanted to die with all my being, even for just a moment. I knew then that I couldn’t keep just trying to survive. I had to talk to my doctor.
Which means that one month later, on July 3rd, I found myself talking in-depth with my family doctor about all of this and finally allowing myself to be open to the other tool: medication; in particular, Zoloft.
Now, I have tried natural medication before. CBD is a non-physchoactive part of marijuana and is legal in all 50 states because it doesn’t get you high. CBD has been proven to help a variety of things, from pain to epilepsy to treating anxiety and other mood disorders. While I have found CBD does help me immensely, it is a little pricier and is still not currently covered by any health insurance– therefore, there is absolutely no way I can afford to use it as my main medication at this point in my life.
What I can’t understand is how I can support people who use prescribed medication because it really truly helps them and yet be so repulsed of the idea of needing it myself. It’s not that I think myself “above” it or anything, but I think I’ve been convinced that I’m just being a sissy and it’s probably not as bad as I feel it is and I don’t really need prescription medication. And guys? It’s not like I’m taking a lot. My doctor is a good one, and she’s starting me out with the lowest dose, and I still feel like I’m somehow being a faker even when I spend too much time out of every day begging myself to not break down right there, to just hold on and keep going, to just keep fighting one more hour. And it wasn’t until I was typing this out that I recognized that “voice” as my mental disorders; it’s so hard to remember that my disorders have a wonderful habit that is typical of them to tell me that I don’t deserve treatment, and that I don’t deserve to feel better and enjoy life again. The ones that tell you to just accept that it will never change and you just need to deal with it and suck it up because it’s as good as you’ll ever get.
But I refuse to let that happen. Because I would be so furious if even one person tried to tell that to my daughter if she was going through this. If someone tried to tell her that it wasn’t that bad, that she needed to get over it or just deal with it because that’s just how it was and always will be. For trying to bring that utter despair to loom so large in her life. And how else will she ever grow up to know and believe that it can get better and you should always fight to improve the quality of your health and life if I don’t show her by relentlessly trying myself?
So tomorrow (or today, rather, because this post took much longer than I imagined.. has gone on for much longer than I intended) I start the first of my Zoloft. And I will do my best to remind myself every time I take that pill, “I deserve to be healthy, and I will get better.”
I will remind myself that if I think it’s okay for others to get treatment, then it’s okay for me to get treatment. So please, wish me luck on the latest leg of my journey with my mental illness. Much love.