In my last post, I talked about how I’d been feeling as of late, and the feelings weren’t great.
Since then it’s gotten better, and it’s also gotten worse. For the first week or so I attributed it to homesickness – any thoughts of Halifax had me choking back tears. Those feelings started to go away after a week, but the feelings of sadness still remained. I tried everything I could to rationalize what I was feeling. In the meantime, I was getting sick, I wasn’t eating, I wasn’t finding joy in hobbies, and the only time I didn’t want to rip my heart out of my chest to stop it from hurting was when I was out having fun with my boyfriend and friends.
I was getting so sick and tired of being sick and tired, of not feeling like myself. I would wake up every morning feeling like my chest was being crushed, and would then stand under the spray of the shower willing that feeling to go away, to wash down the drain with the remnants of the conditioner from my hair. After a month of these feelings, I decided that I needed help. Help beyond kind words and comfort from the people closest to me.
I went to a walk-in clinic and spoke with a doctor there. While we were talking, I began to feel better, telling a professional what I was going through tends to do that. Her nods and her follow-up questions to some things made me confident in the self diagnosis that I had given myself a few days previous, based on doing some Googling of my symptoms (which is terribly ill advised but I was tired of not having any idea). She gave me a test to take home, and wanted me to get some blood work done. The test wasn’t anything terribly official, just a way to rate my symptoms and feelings, and if I scored over a certain amount, we would have a clearer picture of what was going on.
On Monday, I went back to see the doctor, and the diagnosis was what I expected: likelihood of depression.
She prescribed me a month’s worth of medication, with instructions to come back after two weeks so we could discuss how I was feeling, and how the medication was working. Right now? I feel like a trash barge for a few hours after I take the medication. The most prevalent side effect for me seems to be drowsiness, which makes it very difficult to focus at work. There are also some other side effects, but those seem to go away after a little while. The doctor said it could take up to a couple of weeks to feel and see the benefits of the drug, but I can say that most afternoons I do feel better than I used to, whether it’s the drugs or just me willing myself to feel better, who knows?
I’m so happy that I’m on some semblance of a path to feeling better, more like myself, but I’m also angry.
I’m angry because for 29 years, I was fine. Yeah, I got sad and down in the dumps once in a while, but it was nothing that I couldn’t resolve on my own, or by talking to my parents or friends. I know that there’s nothing or no one to point fingers at – depression is a disease and there’s no rhyme or reason to it. And that’s part of why I’m angry. There’s no reason why I’m depressed, I just am. And I have to accept that’s just the way things are right now.
It’s difficult not to get my hopes up right now. I really want this medication to work, and ideally in a couple of months be absolutely fine, but there’s nothing to base that on. I want so badly to feel like myself again, that part of me thinks I’m capable of willing the depression away. It might be with me for a while, possibly forever, and right now I’m trying to make peace with that. There’s nothing wrong with me if that’s the case, it doesn’t mean I’m any less strong. But it also might begin to slowly ebb away, and I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t what I wanted.
Right now, I’m trying to focus on the positives in my life, of which there are a lot. One of the biggest positives in my life right now is Brad, who has been my rock throughout this whole ordeal. He is the greatest partner that one could ever ask for. Time and time again he reminds me that I’m not in this alone, that we’re in this together. Every morning before we go to work, he tells me he loves me, and that he hopes I have an amazing day. He checks in periodically during the day to see how I’m doing. He gives me frequent hugs and kisses. He holds me when I’m upset. He came with me when I had my blood work done, held my hand, and then bought me a doughnut. He’s just this wonderful presence in my life, and I think I’d be lost without him.
I feel like I could talk endlessly about what I’m going through right now, how I’ve been feeling, but really I’m just trying to take it one day at a time. For the first time in my life, I feel like I’ve had to work at my happiness, which isn’t something that I’ve had to do before – happiness tends to come naturally to me. So to have to work at something which has always just been right there is a foreign concept to me, but one I am trying to tackle with every fiber of my being.
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