Walking Through Fire

I’m taking an anti-anxiety medication.  It seemed to have diminished the more physical manifestations of anxiety but I still needed tweaking.  So then I was prescribed an anti-depressant.  Guess what one of the side-effects is.

Anxiety.

So now I am back where I started.  I talked to Man about possibly going off the meds.

“I know you don’t like them anyway but that means that Other Me will probably be coming back.  Can you be OK with that?” I asked Man.

“Babe, I don’t see the medication doing much for you anyway.  I mean, I guess you’re more mellow but….you still aren’t yourself.”

I talked with Caren about it in her kitchen and from her kitchen to her couch.  She ripped out an ad in one of her magazines and handed it to me.

“Here, this made me think of you.  Read the top.”

It was an ad for an anti-depressant that doesn’t take 6 weeks to start to work.  I flipped the ad over to read all of its side effects.  One was weight gain.  Not doin’ it.  That’s the fastest way to get me down.  It listed the symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder.  First of all, the name just makes me laugh.  It just sounds….very un-medical.

Symptoms:

Sadness, loss of interest in things you once enjoyed, thoughts of death or suicide, and feelings of guilt or worthlessness. Physical symptoms can include restlessness or slowness of speech, thought, or activity; trouble concentrating or making decisions; lack of energy; and changes in weight/appetite or sleep. Associated symptoms of depression may include aches and pains, tearfulness, constant worry, dwelling on negative thoughts, constantly turning things over in your mind, irritability, and anxiety.

I read them to Caren.

“That’s me,” I said.

“Yeah but, aren’t those also the symptoms of grief?  I’m not saying you don’t have depression.  It sounds like how you get in the Spring…”

“Yeah, but I was in my Spring Thing and then Grandma died and I feel like it just snowballed.”

Here’s what I’m thinking.  I’m thinking I haven’t been myself for nearly a year.  With the meds, I’m still not myself.  I’m different but not me.  I’m thinking that I need to wean myself off the drugs and just grieve.  I will have to work hard to be present for my family.  I will still see my therapist and I will have to also allow myself to go through this process.

Things that make me happy no matter what:

  • Being in Man’s arms
  • Buddy’s thoughtfulness
  • Swinging with Bug
  • Holding a baby
  • Babbling brooks
  • My dogs  (Even when they are naughty I just adore them!)
  • Sitting in Caren’s kitchen
  • One on one or two on one time with friends (More than that and I want to bolt.)
  • Playing piano
  • The stage (Back or center.)

I hate the drugs but I am afraid of letting them go.  I’m afraid to fall back in that pit but I’m more afraid of not walking through it.  Sometimes you have to walk through the fire.  I’ve not really had to do that in my life so….here it is.

 

 

 

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About buddyandbug

Man and I moved from Texas to Colorado with Buddy and Bug. This blog is a chronicle of our adventures as we deal with homesickness and adjust to Mountain Living. “If you are a dreamer,come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean-buyer. If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire, for we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!” ~ Shel Silverstein
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3 Responses to Walking Through Fire

  1. MaryLee says:

    I have to admit, I don’t spend much time online reading people’s posts. I may check-in every now and then on Facebook to see who is having babies or who is getting married, but I followed your page to your blog because I will be coming to Colorado in a couple of weeks and wanted to track down who might live close to Denver.
    It is great that this is the latest entry that you had posted. Your one of the few brave people who allow yourself to be transparent so that others can feel that they are not alone in these types of struggles. Apparently, this blog is written for real people with real life situations.
    It is true that you have to walk through grief emotions, and if you avoid the bad feelings, it just delays the process. It is also true, however, that there are some pretty good meds out there that can take the edge off of anxiety and depression. What may be an effective med for one person, may leave another person feeling worse. I work as a therapist, so I definitely believe that someone can climb out of those dark holes with the guidance of a counselor. But, I have also witnessed many people take the right meds and begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and then move forward. Whatever your symptoms and struggles, don’t feel like you have become dependent on drugs just because you take them.
    Five years ago, I had started a new job, bought my first home and was engaged to get married. These are all great things, right? But my anxiety and depression were overwhelming, and I was in tears all of the time. One of my counselor friends (and part of my support system) reminded me that even good things can cause a high level of stress. So, I went to my family doctor, and shamefully asked for medication. I explained to her that, “I’m a counselor, I should talk myself out of being depressed; I am a Christian, I should be able to have faith through all of this.” My doctor smiled and said, “MaryLee, half of the doctors that I know take something for depression.” Somehow, that made me feel better about it. I wasn’t weak, just smart enough to take advantage of advances in medicine. Since then, I take my “vitamin” each day. Although it doesn’t take away moments of depression and anxiety, I have noticed that it takes the edge off of the feelings so that I can deal with all of it better.

    • buddyandbug says:

      Wonderful post and advice MaryLee. Thank you! I still have not completely decided to go off the meds and I will be considering your words. I’m hoping to see my doctor this week so we can figure it out together. I know I’ll have to wean off and want to do that right if I go off meds. So cool that you’ll be in Denver soon! Would love to see you! I’ll PM you my info.

  2. Shari May says:

    HUGE HUG from Texas my friend. I am and will continue to pray for you (not just a cliche’ for me).

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