Four months ago, almost to the day I wrote my last post on depression – ‘I Think it Might be Time’ . I can’t actually believe it was that long ago, but this year has all totally flown by, so I shouldn’t be surprised really.
I wrote then about how I thought it was maybe time that I started taking something for the depression I was feeling, that I shouldn’t continue to pretend it didn’t affect me too much. Generally it didn’t have a huge impact on my life; I just felt like the edge was taken off with everything, but occasionally it really got me – I would be crying for days and not have any motivation to do anything, and it was horrid.
After I wrote that and made the decision to see if medication could help me, after being so determined I would never take anti-depressants (I just didn’t think they were for me – I wanted to get better naturally), I made an appointment with my doctor, and just desperately wanted to get there so that I could get it all out and she would say ‘yes’ you can have them.
We talked it all through and it made me sad to hear Paul (when asked) talk about how I seemed to him. But it also made me even more sure that I needed to finally do something about it.
My doctor agreed to try me on a low dose of medication which at once was a massive relief. By that point I just wanted to take what I felt was the easy and quickest way out (for me at that time) and hopefully see a difference quickly.
After about a week a few tiny things changed; I felt like the simple things that I had found stupidly overwhelming sometimes, like just getting out of the house, were a lot easier, and for about five days I slept brilliantly (I am a TERRIBLE sleeper). I also felt like I smiled a bit more and was back to making the odd joke again. It got me quite excited, but after that it all seemed to stay pretty much the same. I didn’t get really down, but I still went up and down from day to day, and I didn’t feel like I was getting any benefits from the medication.
I had a couple of little side effects that I am aware of, but nothing major. For the first few weeks I had a really dry mouth, and it did get quite uncomfortable, but it eased off as time went by. I’ve also felt very sick at times, but I can’t be sure that’s the meds.
About a week ago I went to see my doctor again to hopefully increase my dose. As I’d felt like they had started to help I wanted to stick with them but go up a bit with the dosage and my doctor agreed. Now I’m at that same point again. I’ve started to laugh a bit more, I’ve had more energy and have just got on with things, and I feel quite capable again. It’s funny (or not) how you kind of forget what ‘normal’ for you feels like, and also how much every single thing you do and so much of how you feel is affected by this illness. It’s physical and mental. It’s crazy. To think that you are just tired all the time because you sleep badly and because you just do, and to feel like you are not capable of certain things, and spend so much time overthinking and being overwhelmed by everything, and then to discover that that isn’t just who you are, it is who you’ve become because you are poorly, and you can do something about it, is just astounding. And a huge, huge relief.
So now, I’m just keeping on keeping on with this medication, hoping that they will keep helping me, a bit at a time, until perhaps I feel like myself entirely again. It’s exciting and scary. I can’t help thinking though, about the fact that I will have to come off them one day. I know it’s something I don’t need to worry about right now, but clearly it’s not that easy is it? I’m scared that if they really help me (which obviously I want them to do) then how do I one day let go of them and trust that I can feel ok by myself, when I didn’t before them? I just have to forget about that for now, I know. Trust in my body and the doctors. I’ll deal with that when the time comes. If other people can do it, then so can I.
I keep wanting to call them my happy pills, and then I’m like ‘no’. I don’t want to put it in my head that I need them to be happy. I don’t. I just need time. And the pills, obvs.
You can read my previous posts on depression here: