Almost 18 months ago, someone posted a comment on this post that I wrote. Scroll down and have a read.
A few days ago, I referred to that post in this post that I wrote.
I was in fact talking about how I am an extrovert and what that actually means. I read over the comment, and my response to it, and realised that this is a post that I have been meaning to write for a long, long time.
Go and read the comment and my response. I’ll wait for you.
Done? Okay. So the thing is, Anonymous was right. I was absolutely, categorically suffering from depression. I don’t know if I just didn’t want to admit it, or I just wasn’t ready to, but a month later, I told Hubs that I think I needed help. Hubs agreed. He had noticed certain things that suggested to him that his Wifey was not quite feeling herself. And when it all came to a head one night, actually the night of this wedding, he said something to me that I’ve never forgotten:
“You’re allowed. Just because you’re depressed, it doesn’t mean you don’t like your life.”
If you know someone who has suffered from depression, or if you yourself have, then you know this to be true. I was loving my family life – my two beautiful children, baby #3 on the way, a wonderful, supportive husband, an amazing family etc etc etc. I was struggling with life in Mount Isa, but if you had asked me at any time of the day “do you like your life?” the answer would most likely have been a yes.
So why am I writing this post now? Well I got help. I went to my doctor and we both agreed that anti-depressants, as well as some counselling, would help in my circumstances. The first day I started the meds, I thought I’d made a huge mistake. The side effects were absolutely awful – dry mouth, nausea, racing heart; but after making sure everything was okay, I kept going. The first week was rough, but by the end of the second week, my body had adjusted. And a month later, I started feeling like myself again. My head was more clear, and joyful moments were more forthcoming.
It’s been a year and 2 months since I started medication. When we moved to Rocky, I wanted to come off them, but the doctor I saw here advised against it. I had just moved towns, just bought a house, just had a baby, Hubs had just started a new job. He said we should revisit it in six months.
Well, now it’s been six months, and I’m going to go and talk to him next week. I know the meds have helped me incredibly, and I’m a bit nervous about coming off them. What if I can’t “cope”? What if I backslide and don’t realise it?
There are so many “what ifs” about the situation, but I can tell you one thing; I’m in a much better place than I have been for a while. And it’s nice. So thank you, Anonymous, for bringing this to my attention. Even though it took me a little longer to realise what was going on, your observations and concern are very much appreciated.
I shall certainly let you know how I go.
Great post Renae, you are very honest and open about a topic that is very difficult to discuss for many. I hope all goes well with the visit, I agree with Susan that you sound like you are well supported and glad the help you got seems to have worked out so well for you.
Thanks mate. Writing about it is very therapeutic and I’m glad I have a supportive “audience” to share it with 🙂
What a fabulous post! Your honesty and candidness is so refreshing in internet-land 🙂
People who have never experienced depression often think of how it’s portrayed in movies, etc. so they fail to recognise it in real life. And even those who have experienced depression, don’t know that depressive episodes can also be different within the same person depending on what else is going on in their life.
It sounds like you’re well-supported by family&friends and doctors. Since you’re worried about backsliding, it might be worth making a list of all the behaviours/activities you do to take care of yourself as well as a list of behaviours/activities you did when you weren’t feeling like yourself. It can help you keep an objective eye on things, and give you ideas for how to maintain your wellbeing 🙂 I’m sure the doctor will have some ideas about this, too.
I’m so glad you sought help and were able to get it! xo
Thanks Susan. I do love lists, so I will start thinking about some things that keep me in check. Thanks for the suggestion, and for your kind words. As I said, this post has been simmering in the back of my mind for months now, but I wasn’t quite ready to share it until now.