And it feels strange
I know. This is an unusually optimistic post for me. But, yes, lately, I have been feeling joy.
It’s not necessarily a comfortable feeling for me, but I’m trying to accept it and get used to it.
Why the uptick in mood, you ask?
I’ve finally taken a bit of my own advice. I tell my patients that there is no gold star for completing rehab without pain medications. If it manages their pain to allow them to participate in physical therapy with me, they should take it. Likewise, I’ve figured out that there is no prize in recovering from my past traumas without help boosting my serotonin. I started taking Prozac over a month ago.
It was challenging at first. I felt so very tired. I was slightly nauseated. And I felt completely unmotivated to exercise. But I also knew these feelings would pass, and they finally did.
Now I feel as though the cobwebs are clearing. It’s as if my brain had been under this immense cloud of darkness with no hope of light. Now that I’m on this medicine, the clouds are dissipating, and I have felt moments of peace and immense joy.
The best feeling is being with my family, everyone happy, with their significant others, and thriving. I am at peace. Sometimes I simply have to take a moment to take it all in. These moments bring me goosebumps and warmth, and sometimes even tears. These are not feelings I’m accustomed to.
There is so much injustice in this world, especially these days, that we can easily become overwhelmed, and I tend to soak all of it up like a sponge.
I’ve found it easier to take news breaks now. I get enough through social media to be aware of what’s going on, but I don’t indulge in NPR every single morning on my way to work. If I see or hear about something terrible that I want to explore more, I will do so. Otherwise, my driving soundtrack has been music recently.
I was afraid that this medicine would make me feel nothing. I don’t want to be numb to the suffering in this world. But I also don’t want to be overcome by it.
With this, I can be a bit more objective. I can make a plan to combat injustice. I can still write about my feelings. But I do find that I’m more rational.
Initially, my writing suffered, as evidenced by my lack of proficiency and my drop in monthly earnings on Medium. But there are other reasons for this, too, like having more work hours and needing the time to make some major life choices, like adding a second job and finding a new car. (Also the reason for the second job!)
But sometimes I find myself doing a mindless task like driving, and it hits me that I’m happy. It’s simply the strangest feeling.
Is this how normal people feel? I ask myself.
I don’t think I’ve been normal my entire life. I had a therapist tell me once that I was born with depression based on my recurring childhood night terror. It was of a thunderstorm where the thunder told me that I was a bad child. This was one of my earliest memories, this nightmare. I was around three years old when they started.
Ugh. Born with depression. What a miserable assessment of my life.
The abuse, molestation, and attempted rape I endured when I was nine definitely didn’t help, nor did the lack of attention these atrocities received after I revealed what happened to me. There was no justice for me. I still wonder if the boy who abused me went on to hurt other girls.
But even so, my underlying mantra is shifting.
It used to be my life, my world don’t matter.
Now it’s life is good.
And it’s all because I had a doctor who listened and prescribed the right medication.
Is it really that simple?
Do you battle with depression and anxiety? As we wrap up the month of May for Mental Health Awareness Month, I am sharing bits of my struggle on my main blog and on Medium. I realize this is deeply personal, but I hope that sharing will encourage someone else who is struggling to seek the help they need. We only get one life, and we deserve to make the most of our time living it.
As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.