I know these little fore-notes to posts annoy some people. Bad luck. This post has been sitting in my drafts folder for a while now. I’ve been hesitant to publish it because, quite frankly, I never want to be defined by my depression. It’s an illness. It’s not me.
Although I am very pleased to report that the side effects of the meds, as mentioned here, have either tapered off or I’m used to them, because they aren’t bothering me the way the wear.
And so, us usual, I publish the post weeks after the fact- when it’s not quite so raw.
The small, white, oval-shaped pills, scored in the middle for people who are only half as f*cked up as I am.
Two a day I swallow, every morning. With my pride, my guilt and my anxiety.
The first word that comes to mind, in association with those pills, is ‘necessary’.
And the next word is ‘numb’.
The pills, they function for their purpose. They serve as Novacaine for my emotional spectrum. They stop me from plunging into that darkness, that place where the world is in pain.
It’s not me. I know how difficult it is for people who have never had the dog at their door to understand that. But it’s not me. I am not the person who sits, and feels sorry for herself, and makes herself miserable, wanting more from her life.
If only you knew me, really knew me, could meet me face to face. You see me, parts of me, I know you do. This place, with it’s purple, with it’s jellybeans and smack talk and fun and stupidity, this is me. I am the optimist, the light hearted one. I smile a lot. I am a blessed, happy woman, and very contented with my life.
Which is why it’s so very frustrating, so very devastating, when the black dog is prowling around, sniffing at my feet, my face, my hands.
Because then, the foundations of humanity become dripped in pain. So much pain. All the terrible, wretched things that have happened, that will happen, that are happening right now. The terrible sadness of it all. And underneath that, the stumbling fear that I am not good enough, I am simply not strong enough, how I would I cope under that kind of pain? How does anyone cope under that kind of pain….?
The pills, they numb the pain of the world. They place a bumper on my emotional spectrum, that allows it stop at a relatively normal place, where I can view other people’s pain from a distance, less exquisitely.
At the same time, this emotional bumper extends to the other end of the spectrum. I am happy, content, but elation is a tragically difficult emotion to find. Elation, rapture. Intensity. All these extremes are, temporarily, cut off from me.
For my own safety.
The pills, they make writing the UnFunny difficult. That’s frustrating.
And, very recently, the pills have been causing a disconcerting feeling of missing-something. Like I’ve forgotten something desperately important, and have no inkling as to what it is. It doesn’t matter how many inconsequential things I can bring to mind, none of them are it. There is no relief to be found.
The mental equivalent of pins and needles, the numbness wearing off?
Or is that wishful thinking?
If you’re in pain, physical pain, you take medication. For constant, emotional pain, for which there is no cause, you do the same. There is no shame in that.
Eventually, they tell me, the chemical matter around my brain will right itself, and I will find some relief from the depression. The pills, they mask and dampen the symptoms, until that happens.
But if you’re in pain for a long, long time, do you stay on the medication, or do you find other ways to manage it?
I don’t think that’s a question for now, for just yet.
The pills, there is a comfort in them, their numbness, that keeps the screaming agony and the endless fear at bay. Not a crutch, not a blinker to the world.. A God-send, where they’re needed.
If I have to do this, if this is my cross to bear, I’d rather do it with the pills, then without. Believe me, if you were me, you would do the same. You would run, weeping, pleading, in the direction of your script, your pills, your shrink. For the blessed relief of it.