With Me All My Life
My battle has been life-long, and I don't believe I will ever "win," but I don't think winning is what it is all about. Depression is a huge part of who I am and have been for so long, I don't know if I could function not having it looming in the background. And, in all honesty, I have depression to thank for much of what I have come to know about myself. Had I not felt so miserable, unable to get out of bed, I would not have been inspired to think, sort things out and several times seek the help of someone to help me make sense of the chaos.
Medication helps me. I've tried to go without and have quickly spiraled out of control - reduced to suicidal thoughts, rocking back & forth on the bathroom floor in the dark, crying all the time. Post partum was really bad, and now menopause is proving to be very rough, as well. Right now, Lexapro is what keeps me on the planet, and I am grateful for it. I know others are not convinced that pharmaceuticals are a good idea, and I respect that. I just know that herbs never worked, endorphins only work if I can get off my *** and therapy alone has been nothing but talk.
I am feeling pretty good right now, but I'm headed into a down spot pretty soon. The cycling sounds like bi-polar, but it's related to my hellish menstrual cycle in its death throes before leaving me for good. So, when I know its coming, I try to just be gentle with myself, not make any decisions based on my feelings (because I cannot trust them), let myself cry a little, sleep a little and then love my family. I can always count on them to make me laugh, and once I can laugh, the spell is broken, at least for a while.
To all of you who suffer, too, my hope is that we can all make this journey and come out in the end a little better than we were before. No one is perfect, we all have issues, cracks in our exterior, and one of our weaknesses just happen to be depression.
I read a parable once about the nature of imperfections and how all things serve a higher purpose - even when we cannot see it. I think depression may be one of those things. It goes something like this:
A slave had two water jars that he carried to the river to get water for the master's house several times a day. One of the jars had a crack and leaked half its contents on the journey back the house every time. The jar was saddened to know that his imperfection caused the slave to make more trips to the river because of him. One day, the jar told the slave he was sorry, and suggested the slave get a newer, better jar. The slave just smiled and said to the jar, "You are perfect just the way you are. See, along the path, all the beautiful flowers that grow on the side that I carry you? Every day, you water them, making them grow. Each day, I pick these flowers and put them in the master's house, where they brighten the house and bring him great joy."
So, if you believe that God, or the Universe, or the Master, makes no mistakes and all things happen for a reason, then we must watering some beautiful flowers somewhere. I hope we find them.