Shortly after posting my last blog, I got a text saying I’m sorry I’ve been a crappy friend. Then I got another, and another, and another. Clearly I did not do a good enough job stating that at this time I’m feeling pretty darn good. Why? In part… Antidepressants.
Since my breast cancer diagnosis, I knew that I had a little stream of sadness running through me at all times but I was able to keep it at bay with my positivity. After a series of unfortunate events and the seemingly constant government discussions of not only repealing my health care but labeling me for life with a scarlet P for my major preexisting condition, I was unnerved and scared. Couple this with the fact that I have been through a ton physically and emotionally over the last three years and I hadn’t realized that the sadness had begun to drown me. It wasn’t that I was in denial, I think I was just trying to stay afloat however I could and it didn’t dawn on me what the culprit was. I was coping with “Un” Happy Hours, having a couple of cocktails and a nosh, of the comfort variety.
On a particularly off day, I went to happy hour and ran into someone I knew. We decided to go on to trivia. I do not normally go out to two events in one day. I did and it was too much. I woke up at 4am (yes, alone… I’ve not gone that far off the deep end) feeling as though I had hit rock bottom. I realize my rock bottom is not as desolate as others, I still had a roof over my head and wonderful family, but this is an individual feeling that needs no validation. I reached out to two friends that day, both of whom I knew were on anti-depressants. The next morning, I went to the doctor and got put on Lexapro. Once it kicked in, it’s been great.
So, for real, let’s talk about depression. Why is it so taboo? Why is it more socially acceptable to drink your feelings than eat your feelings, go on antidepressants, or talk to an expert? This is so backwards. Since I’ve told my friends, many of them told me they’re on antidepressants too. It should not be a source of shame to be kept hidden away. All it means is, darn, we’re human, not Superman and Wonder Woman.
Seeking Help is Strong Not Weak
In realizing that I was not strong enough to continue without help, I did an extraordinarily strong thing and sought help out. I’ve done a total turnaround since. I’m eating well (on what I affectionately call my stupid diet), I’m exercising more (begrudgingly), and after not drinking at all the first month, I now only have one max two when I’m happily out with others. I also sought out a breast cancer support group, something I’ve not had since leaving Gainesville.
I’ve given myself permission to release those dark times. When speaking to one of my friend’s the day I knew I needed to get help, she said something that not only greatly helped me but has stuck with me since. She said that anything and anyone that was attracted to my undeniably off energy during those months that I was drowning, from guys to friends to potential jobs, were wrong for me. Peace out.
I sure do see things with a lens of brightness and glory now. A friend asked me weeks ago if I had any exciting plans coming up. The answer was no as I realized I don’t need exciting plans – just look at the pretty trees, and flowers, and the sky. There’s so much beauty in the commonplace. I do think I used to need “exciting plans” as I was in a hole and it took something grandiose to register as normal.
Now normal registers as grandiose! I keep sending my family gushy group messages of love and appreciation that I don’t foresee stopping. I finally just feel good, physically, mentally and emotionally.
Big hugs and much love to all.