Wednesday, May 28, 2014

After years of this...

My sister blogged this morning.  Well, technically for her it was last night that she posted`, but I didn't read it until this morning.  Whenever I read her blogs, it reminds me of how much I enjoy writing and how much I miss doing it.  She inspires me.  :)

I realized I haven't posted since Christmas.  That's too long.  I could blame various reasons, most of them you've heard before, the kids take up a lot of time, mornings with Nathan are not generally conducive to sitting at a laptop typing, we've constantly had someone sick in this house, I've been sick a lot too, it was the winter that never ended.

But mostly,. I haven't felt the inspiration to write.  Which should have been a sign to me that things were not quite right as soon as I noticed it.  When I am doing well, or at least am on the road to recovery, the words are a continual flow in my brain, and no matter what I'm doing throughout the day, even if it's the mundane things like changing diapers, I'm writing blog posts in my head.

When I took a shower this morning, and this blog post came to me, I knew I had to actually get it out and posted.  It's time.  (And maybe it will be the jump start to more regular posting...)

About a month and a half ago, I finally bit the bullet and made an appointment to see my family doctor.  She formally diagnosed me with mild to moderate depression and prescribed Zoloft.  I can honestly say this was one of the best decisions I have made in a long time.

As any of my regular readers will know, I have struggled with depression frequently in the past.  It has often felt like a never-ending battle to keep my sanity and stop myself from sliding into that pit that's overwhelmed me too often of late.  In previously instances, I've seen therapists, exercised, taken vitamins religiously, and gone to a naturopath to try more natural ways of beating back the darkness. 

But this time, I knew it was different.  This time, most of my symptoms were physical, as in I had absolutely no energy, I couldn't motivate myself to get up and do the things I used to do with no problem, I was having trouble concentrating and focusing, and I just felt like I was dragging through life. I was pretty sure talking about my issues wasn't going to fix the problem, as I can honestly say there's very little in my life right now to cause me discontent.  My relationships with God, my family, and my friends are strong, and I am so blessed in many ways.

So I started the medication.  Aside from a few annoying side effects, the most notable being that my hands tend to shake like I've had too much caffeine, and I can't sit still for the life of me, I feel better than I have felt in years.  Really.  Years. 

Dr. Grant Mullen did a seminar at our church this past week, and he talked about how when his patients recovered from depression, he would ask them if they remembered the last time they felt that well, and the average response was it had been 20 years.  Since I'm only 30, I can't say it's been 20 years, but I have to be completely honest and say it has definitely been a very long time since I've felt this good.

Am I perfectly happy?  Of course not.  Zoloft is not a miracle happy pill.  But I have energy again.  I'm able to self-motivate again.  Clearly, I can write again.  My emotions are more stable, and I feel content more frequently than I have in a long time.  I'm not so short-tempered with my kids, and my husband has noticed that I'm in a better mood.

Is my journey with depression over?  Far from it.  I don't know how long I will need to be on this medication.  I'm sure that there will be more struggles with whatever trials life brings.  I am working to make sure my life is not defined by my diagnosis, but it is still a part of my life and who I am, and it's a reality I face every day.  I know that God is carrying me through this.  He has shown Himself so faithful, and I can feel Him holding me close in the rough times.  I don't know what the future will bring, but I know that right now, I feel like I can face it.

Sorry for the heavy post.  I've never held back before, and I don't intend to start now.  :)  In some small way, I hope that by sharing my story, others in a similar situation will not feel so alone.