I was able to share about my recent depression roller coaster ride because I had gained some perspective. Three weeks into it—a month—I would have told you how awful I was feeling. How hard the whole thing was. How much effort it took for me to not only go to the umpteen appointments I suddenly needed, but just to schedule them. Blocking off previously free time to go to the doctor to get better? The whole process was daunting.
I talked before about how much easier it is to stay in bed, alone, and have a lovely pity party for yourself. You don’t have to go anywhere, do anything, talk to anyone. You can eat whatever you want, maybe watch TV. But recovery. Recovery is a completely different animal. Recovery takes effort, it takes motivation—for me, it took the fear of what would happen if I didn’t get help.
But through all of this, I want to reassure you that I am not 100% better. My depression is not cured, and it may never be cured. Recently my doctor sat me down and gently explained that my brain doesn’t make the same chemicals that everyone else’s does, and therefore I would need to be on medication for the rest of my life. THE REST OF MY LIFE. In other words, I will never be normal. I try not to think about it too much. I try to live in the present, to appreciate the fact that I’m not breaking dishes in anger or hiding in bed every time something doesn’t go my way. That I can hang out with the kids with patience and grace and sometimes even create scenarios in which all of us have a really great time. The main reason I wanted to do all this was for my family. I know they need me, and I know they love me, and me getting better is for all of us.
All that aside, I still have bad days. I still feel sad. I still get easily overwhelmed. I still wonder if the person who chose not to stop at the stop sign and instead decided to try to run me over hates me, and if so, why? I still spend way too much time in my head, and I still have days, although rare, when I think everyone would be better off without me. I still have days that are hard, days I don’t want to shower or workout or make dinner or see anyone. I still have days that need to be quiet and low-key, days I need to give myself and my brain a rest. I still have days when I’m too quick with my temper, yelling when I should be consoling, angry when I should be understanding. I still have days I make mistakes. I still have days I wish I was more, better, different.
But then I have good days. Days I wake up rested and happy. Days I feel proud of what I accomplished. Days full of sunshine and laughter and splashing at the pool. Days that are so good they make those bad days seem like mere shadows in my mind. Those are the days I keep close to my heart.
Image credit: simplereminders.com.