It was November of 1994 and I was unsuccessfully transitioning to my first year of college away from home. My first ray of hope was a campus pastor who said the words "clinical depression" (not the words crazy and hopeless, which were the ones going through my head); the second ray? My doctor and "there's medication that can help you," and my love/hate relationship with Zoloft then Cymbalta, now Pristiq began.
A number of times over the past 15+ years, I've attempted to break up with her--I can do this by myself! Why can't I be normal? If I were a better, faithful, follower of God, I could just pray my way out of it...and so I try. Maybe I can...and hide the damn things in the back of the medicine cabinet. This last time, however, that we parted ways, was a result of poor planning, changing of insurance, and then the complete inability to function to rectify the situation.
Seven days ago, the bottle ran empty, and the depression began. The pills of salvation are back now; and are literally being clutched in my hands, so as not to lose them. But, the six days in between were hell (I've tried to talk with my college kids about heaven on earth...and hell on earth--and now I've got some pretty clear examples of both)...Unless you've been there, it's hard to explain...but, that complete emptiness, and loneliness; having to answer Evelyn's "why are you crying again mommy," the ability to think in my head, there is no reason for this, but to feel in my soul that nothing, absolutely nothing matters--that I am worthless and a failure.
For some reason this time I kept thinking about all those souls in the past who have experienced this--the 1800's come to mind--and didn't have a word to name their demons. I wonder how many lost or took their lives because of chemicals that refused to be made. I wonder about children who had to suffer because their mommy simply couldn't make them breakfast anymore, or about sermons that were never preached, or paintings that were never painted, or dreams that were never realized...
Well, it's no longer 1800, and there is something that can be done; God has created and gifted some wonderful pharmaceutical manufacturers, and I am going to accept their gifts to the world. My prayer is that no one needlessly suffers anymore--that no more tears are shed--that no more breakfasts goes unmade--and that if you know someone who needs help...help them; and if you are someone who needs help, never...never be afraid to ask for it; because the world on the other side sure looks a whole lot brighter.
So my list of gratitude for today: 1. Happy Pills; 2. Steve, who held me while I cried; and for 3. Evelyn who said "it's okay, mommy; I love you anyway..."