i have this friend and she's struggling right now. she's an "internet" friend, one of my preeclampsia sisters. she has recently shared her experience with depression on her blog and let's just say her writing hit me at my core. i have had my bouts with depression and this year have been flitting the line. i am so damn proud of Jenny for having the balls to share publicly as well as take steps for her own safety. i love ya, my dear.
for a period of time i was on an anti-depressant and ultimately it saved me from a possible severe post-partum depression when the experience that was Ari's birth occurred. i had first starting feeling down in 2000/2001 after i had my breast reduction. one of the best things i had ever done for myelf, however i struggled as my identity as the "girl with the big boobs" was gone. i had normal boobs and didn't know what to make of it. it took me a while to figure out that the image of myself had shifted and i was uncomfortable with it. fast forward several months to a work holiday party at which i got the most intoxicated i had ever been. i have no memory of much of the evening. the week after, i could barely get out of bed. within the week, i knew something was wrong but i just couldn't make myself DO anything about it. it was the urging of my boss that pushed me to call for help. i must have sounded severely depressed on the phone as the receptionist was worried i wouldn't be okay over the holidays until my appointment. i assured her i wasn't suicidal, just bone fucking depressed. after i started meeting with the psychiatrist and the psychologist, i learned what alcohol does to your brain and how it can affect someone already depressed. with the amount of alcohol i had that evening, my brain went into depression overload. i worked through some issues at that time and just about the time we decided to have me wean off the meds, i mentioned we wanted to get pregnant. we made the decision to stay on to help me stay even keel throughout the pregnancy. while i know this was a lifesaver for me, later on it would be one of many things i would try to use to explain or blame the HELLP on. which didn't help, duh. eventually i went off and remained off meds for several years.
about two years ago, i went breifly back onto the same anti-depressant as i dealt with kid issues. i was feeling anxious and the doc thought it would be a good idea. i didn't stay on them long. i currently have a prescription for those same meds that my doc suggested i take again as i work through the crap i'm working through this year. just to help me through it and to ensure i don't nosedive. i hate them. i hate that even though i know it's good for me and meant to help, i feel weak taking them. that i'm back to being fucking crazy and that i just can't get my shit together. and so i haven't been taking them. but after hearing about how Jenny is doing, i intend to start back on them. i am scared shitless that i will tank again and i just can't.
this is coupled with an awareness i came into this year about alcohol and me. i have never been a big drinker, especially after seeing what it can do and having to help my mom on her "good times." i have a drink or two each week, but they are quite weak and i don't like the feeling of losing control so i don't consume more than 1-2 drinks at a time. i have been thinking on this lately as i have developed a fear of drinking too much or too often. and i realized it is because i think i could very easily become an alcoholic. the send of deadening my feelings, things i am working to feel after not allowing myself to feel for years, things that fucking hurt my heart/mind/soul. i am fearful of wanting to drink more. i had a discussion with a friend recently who shared that is why she doesn't drink much, if at all, anymore. the allure of not feeling is too strong. i shared this with J this weekend and he appreciated my honesty about it with him. i knew it was important for me to discuss with him in the event i do cross a line, but i've kept myself in check for several years now so that i hold dear.
i am focusing on strength now rather than weakness. i read a quote that said something about how on rough days when one cannot think they can make it through one more thing, to remember that one's success rate for making it through the tough times is 100% and that's pretty awesome. i loved it and it really motivated me to change my perspective on a few things. i went back and forth about whether to write this post, but decided being truthful and authentic meant i should.