Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I Am Pissed ....

..... please forgive my crassness. Since Jim died I haven't had anyone around to give me a disapproving glance for unladylike language so ....... it's been much more difficult to be ladylike.
I think it goes with the experience.

Deep breath here. This will be one of those honestly honest posts.
I'm not sure who should take the deep breath .... you or me.

So .... yesterday was the two-week mark of my four week 'weaning off of the depression meds' trial.
Yesterday was also the day that I ended the trial.
I gave up.
Threw in the towel.
Waved the white flag.
Took the full dose.

And I'm pissed.
And sad .... but I've been past sad for a number of days.
I'm pissed .... not just because I 'couldn't do it' ..... but because this is yet another thing that has changed since he died.
Something else that I did not ask for.
Something else that I did not have to deal with "before".
Something else I didn't get to vote on.
And something else that will be with me for the rest of my life.
Damn it.

In my "non-depressed" body I can tell you that this is not that big of a deal.
I can tell you that my body needs these meds for a chemical imbalance ..... much as it needs medication for my inherited high cholesterol.
I can tell you that it's not a weakness, but a strength to know that I need this and to take it.

But I haven't been in my "non-depressed" body for a while. Things started to tank last week, though I worked very hard at hiding it .... and did a fairly good job (I was a Theatre major :) )
The only sure outward sign was my fingernails. A few friends know that my fingernails reveal the state of my emotional health.
My nails are a wreck. I spent the last week chewing and biting. And since I have solar nails .... it's a pretty difficult (and ugly) process.
I'd take a picture and upload it .... but it would make small children cry.
(Now that I've told you this little secret I know that a hundred or so of you will be checking my nails next week in San Diego. Don't worry .... I'll have them fixed by then. :) )

The inward signs were worse.
I started having those thoughts that one tends to have when spiraling down that hole.
They're like voices in your head that become more than thoughts .... they become reality.
Some of you know what I'm talking about.
"I'm so tired of living like this."
"I don't make a difference so why be here?"
"The kids ... and everyone else .... would be better off without me."
"I will never be happy again."
"This was not supposed to be our life."

Of course they are not reality .... but when you're in that inky blackness, reality is not what it should be.
I tried to fight it off.
I tried to deny it was coming back.
I thought that it would go away if I could just wait it out.

But .... after an exceptionally bad weekend .... I slowly decided to stop fighting.
It's not easy to stop the spiraling once you're in it.
But I had encouragement from a wonderful blog friend who saw what was happening.
And I've been blessed (each time this has happened) to be able to peer out of the spiral long enough to know I had to take action .... and have had just enough strength to act.
This was the last time.
There is no more choice.
I will be on these meds for the rest of my life.
This is proof that I really am a different person now.
The "before me" seemed to have balanced chemicals in her brain (or at least thought she did!).
The "after me" does not.
Another change.

Fortunately, the meds are slowly starting to kick in.
I know that this was a good decision.
I know that I am not weak, even though my emotions haven't totally caught up with reality yet.
I know that I matter.
I know that my children need me.
I know enough to be unable to imagine the pain and damage they would suffer if I suddenly "weren't here".

And I know that Jim would be proud of me.
He'd be proud of my strength.
The strength I found in the middle of my very dark weakness.

Yes, I am different now.
But in some ways .... I am better.
Yes, I have to take meds to stay healthy .... in more than one area of my body.
But I'm ok with that.

Maybe I'm not so pissed after all.


  1. Janine, I started to take thyroid medication and I blamed myself for this. I keep trying to say that if I ate right and exercised that I would not have to take it. But to blame ourselves really isn't fair. Would we blame the diabetic for having to take insulin? we are hardeer on ourselves than we are to others. As for your honesty, I personally love it, because to me it is a hard to find in a world that only wants to look at through rose colored glasses. Such honesty is what first attracted me to my deceaseed husband, a rare characteristic. Keep up the post that call for a deep breath, because I know at times it is the only way I get through the day too! Thanks for the post that shows me that you are a real person just trying to get through this like the rest of us!

  2. Your candor is a source of for all of us to keep up the fight and to accept the new life we did not choose.

  3. i was on anti-depressants/anti-anxiety meds before Brett died but have had them increased 2x since his death. you gotta do what you gotta do to keep what's left of your sanity. there's no shame and no blame in it. chin up, looking forward, no regrets.

  4. I love that you have friends who know that they need to check your fingernails, I love that you are willing to share the painful process of facing the unwanted changes that are a part of this new life, and I LOVE that you were able to get a glimpse of the fact that the world is a better place with you in it. Secret is out now, we'll all be checking your fingernails ;)

  5. I had to giggle because as I was reading this post, I was chomping on my fingernails and didn't even realize I was doing it until I got to that part! I won't look at your nails in SD if you don't look at mine... ;)