Monday, February 18, 2013

I have depression.

And I fucking hate it.

I try to ignore it and there are long periods of time that I can do just that.  I can pass it off as something it isn't.  I'm tired, but I can't sleep, or I'm crabby, or I don't feel like doing anything.  That translates into my brain that I am lazy, I am a bitch, and I am an awful person who isn't any fun.

The truth is, I am some of those things sometimes. I am finding it harder and harder to be nice to the people who are closest to me.

I have been on and off of medications for years.  Right now I am off.  I was on Zoloft last year from about March to July or something like that.  And I think it MIGHT have helped.  But it turns out that I broke out in hives. The only thing that changed in my life was the Zoloft.  So it was decided that I was allergic to it. I went off of it.  The brain zaps, and the dizzy feeling that it left me with, made me decide that I wouldn't try another drug.

In the past 15 years, I have tried Lexapro, Celexa, Prozac, Lamictal, and some other mood stabilizers (I was diagnosed bipolar once upon a time).  I hate side effects. Also, I was on Effexor for a few years.  I was on the max dose.  I tried to go off of it , because I didn't like the withdrawal effects when I didn't take it. But it wasn't until they raised the co-pay by a LOT (and I lost my insurance) that it pissed me off enough to suffer through the withdrawal. My brain felt like electricity was zipping through it when I moved my eyes. The vertigo is horrific, and all I could do was sit still. I felt like they got my body dependent on it, and raised the copay, so they KNEW I would want to get more. Conspiracy, I am fucking telling you.

I was either using or newly sober when I went off of it, so you can imagine how horrible that felt.

So for the last year, I've been slugging it out. Some of the life changes and my recovery community have been helping me out. And some of it has been making it worse. But this past month or two, (and it could be the season or the hard life stuff), has left me thinking that maybe this would feel easier with some depression medication. The hopelessness creeps in, and I have been finding myself with no energy, not caring about school, and not being very nice. I feel like it's getting darker and darker inside my head.

There are for sure things I can do with my diet, exercise and also 12-step stuff that will help with this. But I'm feeling that this is reaching beyond those tools. I will kick those three things up a notch though.

It goes without saying that I'm grateful for all of the good stuff that has been happening in my life. I focus on that. It just doesn't feel it like it should. This has nothing to do with that.

I'm able to smile, and to joke and even to fake fun. But when I'm not doing that, it is getting pitch black in my world. I am finding it harder to go to the store, because of anxiety. I am behind in school. I am sinking. So I guess that even though I HATE medication, it's time to stop ignoring this, and find a new psychiatrist, and stick to something this time.

"Just when I think I've uncovered the secret
To peace and tranquility
That lonely sinking feeling
Creeps up on me" (The Cowboy Junkies)


  1. I think you are right. I know it can be a scary situation- going on meds- for too many reasons to list. The good thing about 'this' time- you won't likely need a massive dose, and you can wean yourself off if its not right for you.

    My concern, as most of us reading this probably worry about too, is what NOT going on medication can do. You're going through some crazy HARD SHIT right now. That leaves open the opportunity to self medicate- and that's no place for anyone to be.

    Best wishes for a good solution hon. Keep us updated?

    1. Thank you Amanda. Now I just have to find a good doc. I will work on that today. I will keep you posted.

  2. Oh you just stole my heart with the Cowboy Junkies! Girl i love them.
    Have you ever thought of some natural drugs that you can take? My cousin takes Theanine Serene for anxiety and you can get it at Walmart. I'm sorry you have to go through this such hard stuff with no help. Hopefully your new Doc will prescribe something that will do some good.

  3. Thanks for your honesty about your struggles. One area where I feel the 12 step community falls short is our idea we sometimes get that the program can heal anything. And sure, I feel a lot more sane when I do the steps and fellowship. But I have to keep in mind singleness of purpose. I went through a couple periods in the past two years where I wondered if meds were right for me. I started taking antidepressants at 7 years old and was on them for 10 years, until that crazy cult told me Jesus would heal my mental illness (HA!). I did some therapy this fall with the thought in mind that if I didn't get some clarity I would go the meds route. The therapy ended up doing what I needed it to do, but meds need to stay an option if needed.
    I hear you about all the med trials though - my mom had been on one of the SSRI's forEVER and she evenutally maxed out the dose and was still depressed - so began trials with horrible side effects. She ended up on Prestiq, I think, which seems to be working well. Good luck with your exercise efforts too - it has made a real difference for me.

  4. I don't know how severe your depression, and I'm no doctor, but to combat what I deal with (anger/depression) I take an herbal supplement called Amoryn. It keeps me from hurting people, which is awesome. I hope you can find what you need!

  5. It really doesn't help that it's colder than hell, and winter is dragging on. Do whatever you need to make it through this rough patch. Beaming you good thoughts and positive vibes.
    Barb in Minnesota

  6. I've been fighting depression/anxiety for the better part (ok, fine, way more than) of a decade. I'm currently on Zoloft. And I'm also trying to force myself to exercise because I keep hearing that's supposed to be good. (Evolution seriously needs to step up here - if it's so good, it should be fun!) I've also been told sunshine is good for mood enhancements. But my insurance company doesn't seem particularly keen on covering a trip to Hawaii.

    I wrote this last year during one of my episodes.

    Thanks for sharing your story. I've always found blogging to be part therapy for me. But also know you've got a huge community out here pulling for you!

    1. Thank you for sharing that! I appreciate it and your words. Us twin, depressed mamas have to stick together right?

  7. Thanks for your honesty. It IS a struggle -- what to take, IF you should take them.... I'm taking Pristiq but if you get on them you have to come off slowly. And please don't let anyone in your group tell you that you're not sober if you take prescribed meds. I've seen people die behind that. Find what works for you. (25 years alcohol-free here.....congrats on your recovery!)