Sometimes, we fall
I’ve sat here for about 30 minutes trying to think of a clever introduction to this post.
I’ve given up. This post is just about honesty. Because when we’re honest with ourselves, and others, and the rest of the world, it makes us stronger in the end. And if talking about my struggles can help others, I will push through my anxiety to tell my truths.
It’s been 5 years since my diagnosis. Five years of being stable. Even though I’ve had my ups and downs, it’s been a generally happy five years. About four months ago, I bounced off the stable train right into a deep pit of darkness. Within a week I changed meds, started pmsing (girls, you understand), and my fiancé left for 6 months for RCMP training.
I had not felt this way, like I had fallen and couldn’t get up, in five whole years. What happened? Why was I feeling this way? What caused it?
I had panic attacks on a weekly basis. I couldn’t breathe half of the time. Getting out of bed each day was a fight. I forced myself to do the daily things – talk to people, go to a therapist, go to work, exercise, eat healthy etc. Nothing helped. Even though I talked about my struggles to people, I still put a pretend happy face on so that no one realized the extent of my depression – one of the worst ones I’ve ever had.
I’d driven myself to the ER probably 5 or 6 times in 4 months, without actually going in. Going to the hospital terrified me. Not because of the stigma, but because I knew I would sit there for hours with not much of a solution.
The main issue that confused me was trying to separate my feelings and emotions – trying to separate which ones were legit and which were caused by my depression and anxiety. I had always assumed that the feelings I had were caused by my fiancé leaving. Living together for 3 years and POOF he’s gone. I felt guilty and ashamed that I was so depressed about him leaving, and that I’d lost my independence.
I spent 2 months trying 5 different anti depressants (in addition to the 2 mood stabilizers), none of which worked or made my depression even worse. The original anti-depressant that I was on worked for depression and anxiety, but provided side effects I didn’t want to live with.
Each weekend was a whirlwind of emotions. I visit my fiancé on Fridays and leave on Sundays. It isn’t the distance that caused me to be upset, it’s the constant interruption in my routine of seeing him, not seeing him, seeing him, not seeing him. Sundays were a cruel day – a day I dreaded and spent depressed and alone in my house after coming home. How would I get through these next 6 months?
Having someone leave my life for 6 months + going off and on 5 different medications all at one time = a total disaster. At some point I realized that my depression and Blaine leaving were not related. My emotions from him being gone were only amplified because of the deep pit I was in. I know that I am strong enough to make it through things by myself. But to have your better half, your main support system, just suddenly disappear at the hardest time of your entire life, is a total emotional shock. I think any person in my situation would have felt the same way as I did.
Recently I went back onto the first medication I went off of because of side effect reasons. I am back on the stable train, feeling quite wonderful, and able to handle stress a lot better. I can honestly tell you that I will handle the side effects for now, but I don’t know what I will do in the future. I know that after going through this deep depression, I can conquer anything. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Even though sometimes it is a battle, it is worth it in the end to be able to laugh again.