Anyone who’s read this here blog thing for more than five minutes knows that I have my issues with depression. I’ve suffered with it my entire life. About ten years ago I found myself sitting in my current doctor’s office telling him my story. He listened and asked questions. And then told me he’d like to see me again. I have no idea how many times I saw him before he prescribed any medication for me. It was a sticky subject with me because all of the other medications I’d been on only caused side effects and didn’t seem to help with the depression. I was very clear that I wouldn’t tolerate insane side effects and that I didn’t want to have to wait five years to see if it was working.
So one week he prescribed my medication. He told me about the side effects, which didn’t seem so severe. He told me not to go home and read about it on the Internet because it’s normal use might freak me out. He suggested I give it a try and see what happens. That was almost ten years ago. I’m still taking it today. It changed my life almost immediately. My moods evened out, the fog lifted, and life seemed normal. It has not been a cure all. Turns out this drug was really for my intense mood swings (I’m not bi-polar) but I can go from happy to pissed off in about ten seconds. For the most part I’ve only had three or four real angry outbursts since I started the medication. And I’m about 99% sure they were warranted.
I still suffer from depression and after much work my doctor and I seem to have found a group of drugs that seem to do the trick. I still get down, but I have learned that it’s normal to be depressed some of the time. What I don’t do is crawl into bed and hide for two weeks because the world is closing in around me.
As I’ve said, I’ve been taking variations of these drugs for about 10 years, and every so often I meet someone who tells me that it’s silly to take these drugs. I should learn to deal with it on my own. Or they want to know when I plan on stopping them. For the most part I just ignore them. What I should say is that until you have hidden in your bedroom for two weeks straight, banging your head against the wall, because the physical pain is easier to tolerate than the emotional, and been about three seconds short of killing yourself, don’t talk to me about the drugs I take or my ability to deal with things on my own. Perhaps they are a crutch. But 99% of the people I know have some sort of crutch for something.
I have no idea how I ended up on this discussion. All I really wanted to say is that if I don’t take my medication I don’t sleep. It’s not designed to help me sleep, but without it, my sleep is not good — if I sleep at all. I learned this several years ago and so I religiously take my medicine before bed. Until I met my boyfriend. He’s upset my routine and over the past several weeks I’ve forgotten to take the medication. And so I go to sleep. And sleep about five minutes. And then I’m awake, staring at the ceiling, wondering when I’ll be able to sleep. Now here’s the funny part. When I’m doing this, I never, ever ask myself if I’ve taken my medication. Only the next morning when I’m completely exhausted from lack of sleep does it occur to me that I didn’t sleep because I forgot to take it.
This happened last night. And I tossed and turned. And was miserable. And at 9:00 a.m. this morning I was still awake and so I called Adam who was getting ready to leave for work. And he asked why I was awake and I told him I hadn’t slept. And the first thing he said to me was, “Did you remember to take your medicine?” FUCK!!!! I took it then, and about 20 minutes later I was asleep. Unfortunately it kind of fucked my day. So tonight I’m going to take it as soon as I hit publish. And I hope to get some good sleep to make up for the lack of sleep last night.
It also helps that Adam sent me an email just before he went to bed that said, “Don’t forget to take your medication.” He’s the best boyfriend ever.