I know, I know – winter has been finished here for a LONG time. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about me. I am finally noticing a thaw in my brain – for most of the fall, all of the winter, and a portion of spring, my head was full of cotton and my body was full of lead. Due to my freakishly optimistic temperament, it took about six months before I realized that it wasn’t something I would “snap out of.”
A medication I had started taking in the fall had caused all of this, and I feel like it cheapens the word to call it “depression,” but in my own way, that’s what I had. I know that so many people deal with depression, that it’s much worse than what I experienced, and most of them can’t blame it on a medication – I know that I’m lucky. But, for a season, not only was I dealing with exhaustion and apathy, but I had become painfully insecure, introverted, and angry at the world in general and myself in particular. It was an ugly time, especially because I knew that most of my thoughts came from something “not me” and from a paranoia of sorts, and that to act on them would bring about drama and longterm negative impact – so I tried to investigate my own mind, knowing that there had to be a source, and that I could find it and reason with it. But then, after months of introspection and isolation, I had reached a point where I no longer trusted there was a source – my perception of it turned from “not me” into “what I’ve been along” and I seemed to be incapable of reasoning.
And that sucked.
It took me a few weeks to work up the courage to find a counselor. And another few weeks to actually call her. With the initial paperwork, there was a questionnaire – it wasn’t until I filled that out that I realized how bad things were, that most of my responses were exactly the opposite of what they would have been a year ago. And I just sat there crying, realizing that I had been too stubbornly optimistic to get help sooner.
After the first appointment with my counselor, during which she said that I wasn’t crazy, we turned into two little detectives, searching for reasons why I was suddenly so different. The medication came to mind, so I spoke with my doctor and we decided I should stop taking it immediately.
Since then, I’ve been benchmarking. Every milestone (“Hey, I haven’t wanted to punch anyone today! Or cry under my desk!” up to last week, when I attended a party where I knew only one person and actually enjoyed meeting new people) is something I hold on to with glee, partly so that I have something to say to my counselor now that she’s listened to all my problems and assured me that they’re perfectly normal, and mostly so that I can remind myself that I’m not who I thought I had become during that ugly time.
Part of the thaw is finally wanting to blog again, and I opened wordpress with two ideas in my head. I just let it flow, and out this came – which was neither, but must have been exactly what I needed to say.