I went to pick up a refill of my meds today and I realized I have officially been medicated for 4 months. It made me spend a little while reflecting on what these last four months have been like and how the meds have affected my life in a positive way.
Just over 4 months ago I hit the most absolute rock bottom I have ever been in my whole life of dealing with depression. I have had a few crisis -like times in my life and I thought I had hit my lowest a few months previous but this time was different. I had no desire to live. I wished more than anything in the world that I was dead. I was sure that I was a burden to everyone around me, a drain on their energy, their lives, convinced they would be better without me. I was completely devoid of happiness and unable to find any joy, any color in life or the world around me. Everything felt so gray and cold. Hopeless. I was a completely hollowed out empty shell. I was ready to end it.
The day I went to the doctor to talk about meds they went through the regular questions to assess my mental health risk. My answers were terrifying as I heard them but what was even scarier was that I lied. If I had answered truthfully I would have been admitted to the emergency room that day. Had I been able to feel anything at that point I would have felt some pretty deep fear but instead I felt numb. I don’t know why I decided to try this one more thing, but I did, and for that I am glad.
I went home with my prescription. Along with the numbness and deep penetrating hopelessness I also felt like a failure. I couldn’t believe that it had come to this. But at the same time I had no energy left to try anything else so I decided this was it. Sort of a last ditch effort at life I guess.
I took my pills every day and slowly… so slowly… things started to change. My constant anxiety dulled. It didn’t go away but the meds took the edge off. And that was enough to give me just a little bit of energy to deal with life. My compulsion to control every single thing, in my life and all around me, dulled. I didn’t feel the constant need for perfection in every facet of my life. I was able to let shit go. Little tiny things at first but then bigger things. I started sleeping better, feeling rested. Slowly the colors started coming back to my life. The numbness faded and the feeling came back. I felt like I was waking up after a long, restless sleep. Things were not fixed by any means but they were just a little bit easier and that was enough.
This process with meds took months and I was lucky because the first one I tried worked well with no terrible side effects. There was other work that went into me feeling better but ultimately, I would not be here today for my husband and kids if I had not taken that step to talk to my doctor about meds. If I had not gone home and taken them every day. If I had not fought my broken brain. If I had not fought the negative stigma and feeling of failure that is so closely associated with mental health and medication.
There is no shame in medication for depression and anxiety. It is chemistry plain and simple. Your brain is unable to produce what it needs for you to feel happy or it is actively blocking the chemicals that make you happy. That is an oversimplification of course because we all know depression is not feeling unhappy. It is so much darker and scarier than that. But sometimes some brains need help. You take medication when your body is sick so why would you not take it when your brain is sick? Nobody deserves to feel the way that I felt. The way that so many other people feel. Nobody should ever feel so hopeless that the only way they can find to end the pain is to stop existing. We are so lucky to have access to these life-saving medications and we should not feel even one minute of hesitation in taking advantage of them to live a life of normalcy and maybe even occasional happiness.
So if you feel hopeless get some help. Talk to a friend. Talk to your doctor. Find a therapist. GET MEDICATED. The one thing you shouldn’t do is feel bad or guilty or like a failure. Not for one damn second. You are loved. Probably by many, even though you can’t see it. And we need you. This world, your friends, your family, me. We all need you. And you are worth it. I am so glad I was able to see that and make the decision to get help. And if me telling my story can help even one other person to get the help they need then it is worth it.
If you need to talk to someone right now please call 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741 to chat with someone. You are worth it.