This past weekend, I had a few days where I felt really severely depressed. Might have been due to hormones, latent grief, clinical depression or the fact that winter never ends in Ohio. Or all of the above. Worried that my depression had sunk to a point that I could not combat it with my usual exercise and taking care of myself approach, I visited my family doctor who prescribed Zoloft which I had taken back when I was 35 and finally realized what I had been feeling all that time, had been depression. I picked up the prescription and took half of the first dose. For the first week, you break the pills in half to see if you can tolerate the medication.
The next morning, I could barely get out of bed, my head was killing me, I felt nauseous and like a zombie. I did not tolerate the medication very well at all and I hated how I felt. Finally about one o’clock in the afternoon, I finally started feeling myself again though it took a good two days to completely get rid of that fuzzy feeling. My husband and I had been talking about my depression and grief. I had been telling him that I couldn’t understand why I was having such a hard time with the loss of my mother after almost a year. Some days, it was more than I could bear. My husband pointed out that because of the close nature of our relationship over the years, which included me working with her for fourteen of those years, that I not only lost a parent but it was almost as if I lost a spouse and child in some ways. That I wouldn’t just get over it just like that.
When I thought about this concept, it makes sense. For some reason, just understanding why I am going through something that doesn’t make sense to me, helps me deal with it better. Maybe it is the fear of the unknown or fear that I’m going to fall apart. Once I really grasped that idea, that my relationship with my mom was very complicated and complex, that I had much more to mourn than just a parent, the dark heavy clouds that were suffocating me, lifted and I saw the sunshine again. I realize, I do not want to take those antidepressants if they make me feel so awful. So many times, we take pills to “fix” things when it is within our own power to “fix” them ourseleves. Not that I’m advocating chucking your prescriptions, that all medicine is bad, it’s just sometimes, we want the easy out. The quick solution and for me, though my depression had spiraled down to a worrisome level, I just needed to understand what I was truly dealing with rather than being afraid there was something inherently wrong with me.
As they saying goes, it is always darkest before the dawn. Keep the faith, keep searching and keep hope close.