The Pit of Despair

Westley: Where am I?
The Albino: [raspy voice] The Pit of Despair! Don’t even think… [clears throat]
… don’t even think about trying to escape.

~ The Princess Bride

The other day Insta-Mom put up an amazing post about her struggle with depression.  It resonated in a huge way with me, because just the night before I almost had a panic attack when I tipped my pill bottle over and the last pill fell into my hand.  Luckily the new pills were already ordered and just waiting for me to pick up.  But the panic I felt at running out of my depression meds was palpable.

meds The Pit of DespairI have no recollection of when my depression set in.  I honestly have no memory of not suffering from it.  But my teenage angst was more than just angst.  It was a pit that I was having a hard time finding my way out of.  I contemplated suicide many times.  I was about 16 I was finally diagnosed with dysthymia.  It’s a low grade, long lasting depression.  My parents were horrified.  Absolutely beside themselves.  I was warned not to tell anyone about it.  So of course I told everyone.  And I’m glad I did.  It’s no longer something to hide, to be ashamed of, to pretend doesn’t exist.  Because it does exist.  And it can be managed.

Quite often I can manage it without meds.  And I did so for years before I had Vista.  Now, though, I need my meds.

Without them I become someone I don’t recognize.  I’m angry.  I have a short fuse.  I start having panic attacks.  I become a bit neurotic, quite frankly.  I don’t like that me.  Not at all.  And all those things don’t help me to be the mom I want to be for my daughter.

I know this too shall pass and eventually I’ll wean myself off the meds again.  But for now…

As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that it’s OK that I suffer from this.  I’m able to cope with it.  And I have supportive people around me that let me know when I’m not doing a good job of that (because quite often when you’re depressed you don’t realize it).

So every night, before I go to bed, I take my dose of happiness.  And I am thankful that such a thing exists for the times when I really do need it.

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