I have depression and anxiety
Junior high is when depression came to my front door and welcomed me to the club. Back in the 80’s depression wasn’t talked about. I was a freak , looking for attention according to my friends and some family. Ok, it probably wasn’t ideal for me to lose my shit in pre-algebra which ended me up in the guidance office. I admitted I just want to be somewhere quiet, dark and silent , I needed it.
My mom took me straight to our doctor who sent me to St.E’s 4th floor. That would be the psych floor. I don’t remember much about that 24 hours . I had a roommate , she was 40 and a frequent flyer. I just wanted to get out of there , I didn’t want to die… I wanted quiet ! The next morning I saw a doctor , he said I could go home but I had to see a psychiatrist recommended by him.
Having to see my mom and aunts after was horrible . The looks on their faces; sadness, disbelief and disgust . If I wanted quiet before I really wanted it now. I think we talked about ” it” a bit and I’m pretty sure I said what would make them feel better . Being home right after my 24 hour stay was nothing like the After School Special on TV , it was awkward and honestly depressed me more.
I want a do over
Going back to school after “it” sucked ! Could I please have a do over day ? I would erase my melt down in pre- algebra and be normal again. My friends ignored me or put nasty notes in my locker, they would walk past me and giggle, I even had a few people call me suicide girl. If I wanted to get sympathy or understanding I was supposed to be in the hospital longer according to a source. Before “it” happened I felt like an outsider now as suicide girl I was in a different solar system . The time frame is hazy but I know I had a party to show people I was normal. For me normal included parties. I had a few friends who tried to understand what I was going through . Honestly they probably all understood but didn’t want to admit it.
Parents looked at me differently and didn’t want their daughters hanging out with me. They must have thought you could catch depression like the flu. It would be years before the stigma wore off with the parents.
The psychiatrist I was referred to was ahead of the Zen movement , he had incense , new age music and a dog at his feet. I had high hopes for this guy , but he didn’t meet them. After 10 minutes talking to me he prescribed Prozac and sent us on our way. My mom filled the prescription and I started it the next day. Trying to put the whole thing behind me and move on . Being suicide girl sucked , I just wanted to erase that day from my life. I took the pills and went about my business.
I’m not sure when I changed but I remember having super violent urges and I’m not a violent person. I could actually see myself slamming a friends face into her desk or pushing them down the stairs at school. I figured I was just pissed at being suicide girl , who wouldn’t imagine those things. There had to be a problem when the urges and images were coming more and more. The day I finally told my mom was the day I imagined stabbing her with the kitchen knife she was using to cut veggies.
My mom took me off the pills.
The doctor tried different meds off and on through out my teens. Counseling was another thing that would come and go. I hated therapists – tell me about your feelings, why do you think you feel the way you do, journal how you feel , maybe you and your mom should bake together, ( that one killed me) you have abandonment issues (my dad) , are you just looking for attention ? This is pretty much what I heard from each and every single therapist. I’d had enough and told my mom to save the co-pay , I was done !
I was off of meds by senior year and had put “it ” behind me.
Depression after my Chemical Romance
After graduation I didn’t go to college I stayed at home and worked , actually I worked on and off . I really couldn’t keep a job . I’d wake up for work and not want to get out of bed, not I’m lazy and don’t want to get up . I couldn’t get up. Sometimes when I would force myself to go I would end up leaving and either quitting or being let go for so many absences.
I also drank a lot , and got into drugs. When you mix depression with alcohol and drugs you create the perfect storm of bad decisions. I have a hard time talking about this time of my life because it is so far from who I am today. But I talk about The Naked Truth so here are some of the things that happened at that time . I was raped by someone I knew, I sold drugs 1 time , I drove drunk countless times, I had a relationship with a married man and I had an abortion. I would love to say it is because of my depression and self medicating myself with alcohol and drugs that made me make those choices . I can’t do that though because that would be easy. I put myself in that position by being stupid.
I knew I needed to clean up my life or I would be dead by 35. I had been self medicating by using drugs and drinking long enough . Changing my life was now my priority. I’m not sure when but I ended up back on depression meds again .
Back on the chemical train
Paxil was the preferred anti depressant this time when I hopped back on the chemical train. My doctor was able to give me free samples since it was the new miracle pill. I took Paxil for quite a bit and gained a whole bunch of weight. I also lived in a daze , I was driving with my mom and commented on how nice her glasses looked I asked if they were new ? She looked at me like I was nuts . I guess they were a couple of months old. My mom said it was time for a different med, I had been dazed and confused long enough. There were a lot of side effects and the withdrawal was horrible from the Paxil .
I honestly don’t remember all the different anti depressants I tried. I remember one was the same thing I took to keep migraines away when I was 11 . After trial and error we found something that worked. Here’s the deal during this whole adventure of depression I never wanted to die . I never tried to intentionally hurt myself, yes I put my self in dangerous places but I never intended to harm myself. I think that’s why I had a hard time dealing with depression for so long. I always associated suicide with depression and I wasn’t suicidal , messed up ? Yes , I was messed up .
A couple of years later living with depression
Even on the medication I had issues with job stability . I got my Cosmetology license hoping if I did something I enjoyed I would stick with it. Doing hair was great and I loved it. My old habits and behaviors reappeared . I hated that even though I loved what I did I still couldn’t embrace it 100% . I didn’t realize this was part of depression until recently. I always thought I was just lazy or a loser.
My doctor heard of a new medication called Effexor , it was a savior . Effexor helped me live a life I wanted and prayed for many nights in bed. Those prayers were answered when I met Troy. We were married a year after meeting, on our wedding night I got pregnant . I had fears of going off the Effexor and how I would change if I wasn’t taking it.
My OB decided to keep me on the Effexor during my pregnancy . At the time my aunt was in the final stages of cancer and I was one of her care givers. The doctor believed going off the medication with my aunt being so sick would be too much for me. I agreed 100% , I didn’t want to add more stress to my baby. At 15 weeks I thought I was having a miscarriage , we had an ultra sound and found out I was pregnant with twins , we had lost a baby but we still had one that was still viable . That was so much to take in , I will be honest I filed it away to deal with later.
I went into premature labor 8 weeks early . Jack was born at 32.5 weeks he was5 lbs & 10 oz. Jack was healthy even though he had to stay in the NICU for 18 days. After Jack was born I blamed myself for him coming early was it my stress or the Effexor ? Did I cause the miscarriage too ?
That’s all today , This Naked Truth has wiped me out. I will continue tomorrow.