After almost a month of silence, I’m back and ready to say…my name is Kendra and I suffer from depression.
For those of you who’ve never actually had a depressive episode, those words mean very little. Even from the relative comfort of my current state I can’t fully grasp the awfulness of those dark times. When you’re stuck there, it feels like it will never end. When you’re enjoying a period of sunshine, it amazes you that you ever felt hopeless.
After roughly four months of falling apart several times each week, I made the decision to wean Little Miss and see what my doctor could do to help me out. By no means am I stating that medication is the answer, but as my therapist once told me, medicine is the cast that holds us together while we pursue mental health. So off for a cast I went. A new cast.
My doctor told me I wouldn’t see the full effect of the medication for at least a week, then went on to read me the list of possible side effects. For the next seven days I held my breath and hoped to avoid nausea, headaches, detachment, a tongue twitch, and so much more. By the time the one-week mark passed, I realized that besides a decrease in appetite (yes, please!), not only was I side-effect free; I’d also gone five or more days without crying.
Here’s why I’m sharing this (besides it being an apology for my absence): during the past ten days I’ve found increased space to pause between an event and my reaction to it. When My Guy makes a comment that I would have reacted to three weeks ago, I’m able to step back, do a minor analysis, and decide what I’m going to do with that comment. (And in his defense, the comments are as vanilla as, “What’s your agenda for the day?” or “Do you want a salad for dinner?”)
Medication is not the only form of care I’m pursuing in my journey of recovery, but it is a valuable tool and one I’m grateful for. If you suffer from depressive thoughts, I strongly urge you to seek help from both a health professional and a licensed therapist. As one friend told me long ago, it’s an investment in your emotional 401k. And you’re worth it.