So I’ve decided that since no one reads this, or at least not many people I know IRL (In Real Life) even know about this blog, I will write about this deeply personal issue here. I feel as if the future is going to bring healing, that God is orchestrating things for my good through the events of the past few weeks and that perhaps, through my sharing, someone else might benefit.
And besides, I think it will help me to verbalize things if I actually write them out here. I am looking forward to and expecting some major healing in a lot of areas of my life through the huge steps I’ve taken in the past couple days.
Let’s start by saying I am now seeing a therapist for my depression. That is a biggie for me. I saw a “counselor” very briefly about 20 years ago and the whole experience was abysmal!! The woman happened to be the lady my mother had hired some 12 years earlier to photograph my wedding!! And she didn’t do a great job at that. It was just too much to try talking to this woman. She seemed to me to be even less suited to counselling than she was to photography. I hope she finally found something she could succeed at, or maybe she got a LOT better with counselling??
ANYway, my kids were small back then and it was just such a waste of time to me to go talk to someone I didn’t know and frankly, didn’t respect about things they couldn’t fix anyway. I might have gone twice and the last time she asked me something about how I felt about coming to counselling. I told her all I could think about was all the stuff I needed to be doing at home and how much this was costing us. That seemed to shock her so I have the feeling she probably didn’t stick with that for too long either. *sigh*
Fast forward to now:: For the past several months I’ve been slowly slipping into a deep depression. I’ve struggled with depression since childhood. Being a Type 1 diabetic is, of course, a cause of depression, but I believe my parents both struggle with it and most likely so did at least my grandmothers on both sides. So for years, until I was about 25, I just thought “this” is the way things are.
Then I had my second child and ended up at the doctor’s office for another sinus infection. He almost casually mentioned that I seemed depressed, then informed me that almost anyone with diabetes becomes depressed to some extent. I was flabbergasted. I had no clue, had never heard such a thing or even had it mentioned to me before. The next several months, maybe a year, were spent trying various anti-depressants to find one that would finally work for me. I ended up on one that I can’t remember the name of. Even back then, it was an older medicine but it seemed to help more than the newer stuff I had tried. Those would work for a couple of weeks, then BOOM! I’d feel myself back under the black cloud, sometimes even worse than to begin with. So, we settled on this older med, which was cheaper, so I was glad of that. But it made me gain a lot of weight and along with the things that would soon happen (being diagnosed with a thyroid disease and having my thyroid basically destroyed with radiation) I gained more weight with those medical procedures, so I ended up in a very deep hole. I no longer felt like myself, my body was uncomfortable, none of my clothes fit and I had a much harder time taking care of my kids.
It was not a good time in my life, but I don’t recall a lot of details simply because life WAS just SO busy and I hope my boys didn’t suffer too much from my state of mind and body at the time… but I do worry about that.
So, over the years, I tried various medications for depression. I have been on Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, and a host of others that I can’t recall. None of them seemed to work for me until Wellbutrin XL. It seemed to be the magic bullet and I took it successfully for over 10 years. Then, something happened with either my insurance or it just went up and it started to be hard to afford.
Then, one fabulous day, it became a generic, so I was hopeful that I could now stop worrying about affording my meds. But alas, the generic did not work for me and I spent some time trying to recover from the “experiment”.
Just lemme say, there’s nothing I despise more than messing with my meds when they are really working for me. So, I went back to the brand name. Sometime later, I was actually able to use the generic. Odd, I thought, but I tried not to think about it. I was just glad to afford my meds, ya know? However, it seemed the Wellbutrin was not working as well and I could feel myself sliding down the slope again.
Eventually, I decided I wanted to get off anything I could. I got tired of the side effects, worrying about affording it all, having to choose which meds to get, ya know? And yeah, I just stopped them cold-turkey. They say you’re not supposed to do that, but honestly, I didn’t have an immediate response to it. It took a few weeks before I felt yucky again, and it was a slow decline into really feeling “in the hole”.
I have now been off anti-depressants for about a year. Honestly, I was coping pretty well until the conflict with my new daughter-in-law happened. Well, let me clarify… there have been numerous conflicts and tension with her.
It’s more a matter of having quite different personalities between us because I love her to pieces. I actually introduced her to my son! However, she tends to get hurt over things that are NOT meant to be hurtful, she tends to over analyze things and is much more dramatic and outgoing than I am, so things are said and feelings are hurt pretty easily. All that to say, this is not some huge thing, but this last incident seemed to push me over the edge with the depression.
And it was combined with other things, other situations… I got the flu and was horribly sick; it was right after the holidays, which are a little depressing for me anyway. So, there were a lot of other factors and soon I found myself avoiding friends, staying home to the point of running out of EVERYthing because I didn’t want to go to the store, missing get-togethers with friends because I just couldn’t make myself go. Couldn’t make myself want to go even.
So after just withdrawing from my kids because my daughter-in-law was mad at me, because she blocked me on Facebook, which I felt was over-the-top anger .. I was just so crushed, I just shut down. So this went on for weeks. And they live just up the hill from us, so I could see them passing every time they went anywhere. But on the day that I decided I would just apologize for whatever it was she was upset about and try to extend an olive branch and even begin to fix things, I had printed out the note and planned to have my husband stick it in their mailbox the next day. And our daughter-in-law called my husband. They have always been pretty close and she doesn’t tend to be as “prodding” or “jabbing” with her words toward him as me, so…they talked on the phone for a bit. At some point, hubby decided to come home…
I could tell something was up. His expression was telling. He said he was worried about me, wanted to help me… then he dropped the bomb (that’s what it felt like to me!) and said our daughter-in-law was on her way to the house. The house that was a horrific mess because I didn’t care, and there I was in a t-shirt and panties because I didn’t feel like getting dressed, with my hair two days past washing and a nasty mess. I felt a bit betrayed, but what was I going to do?
She came and we all talked. Turns out hubby had taken off work for the rest of the day. I did not talk a whole lot, but some… I just felt so hurt over the mess with my daughter-in-law that I was to the point I was afraid to say much. I was afraid I’d say something that would make her mad again. But some things about my son, my baby son, were revealed that I had had no clue about. Some serious, painful things that as a mother, broke my heart in a million pieces.
At some point, I said that I was going to have to get some help with the depression and the next thing I knew, Hubby was on the internet searching for a place, then he was on the phone, making an appointment for me with a therapist.
*insert totally shocked face here*
After he got off the phone, after I’d spoken with someone to make the appointment, it came out from my daughter-in-law that she, my other daughter-in-law and my boys had actually got together at some point and decided that my older son was going to speak with us and try to get us, both my husband and me, into therapy.
Wow. Yeah, the revelations were rampant that day, but it was a breakthrough.
A couple days ago, I went to see this therapist. I dreaded it horribly, but along with my hubby, we talked to her and I left feeling better. She asked me about my physical health, which of course, opened up a whole big can of mess, and she suggested that I see about getting these things fixed or at least seen about. She said something like, “We can talk all day about how you feel, but until you address these physical things that make you feel bad, it’s not going to do a lot of good.”
One of the things I needed to get checked, or rather, re-checked, was the fact that I have always had some degree of pain with intercourse. This is obviously a huge part of my depression and we had, about 20 years ago, seen several different doctors looking for help, without finding any. So we gave up. We learned to deal with it.
So this therapist recommended we try again. She said there were places that dealt specifically with pelvic pain and she recommended a women’s health center. I called them once we were out of that first appointment and was told they had a cancellation that afternoon! So, we hung out in Lexington for a few hours so we could go to this second appointment.
I was a little irritated at the wait time, but once the doctor, a lady this time!, came in, she did a pap smear and a breast exam (because I have a lump that wasn’t picked up in a scan and had not been examined by a doctor), then we discussed the pain. She did some checking and found a thickened spot. She asked me about any injuries and the only one I could recall was when I was about 6-8, I had climbed up on the kitchen counter for something and fell off right straddle of an open cabinet door. It was never checked, but I remembered that it did bleed some.
So ANYway, she then tells me that I should go see a pelvic physical therapist!! Yeah, I didn’t know there even was such a thing either! That place, called a “Pelvic Health” practice, called to set up my appointments. Yes, multiple. And it turns out that there is a LONG wait for this kind of thing. The first new patient appointment they had was late April!!! SERIOUSLY!?? Seems they only have the one therapist, who spends an hour with each patient. I asked about getting a cancellation when I was told that there were seldom any cancellations and since long-term patients had visits scheduled a full year in advance, any cancellation went to an established patient first. *insert wide-eyed, mouth-agape look here*
Yeah, who know?!?! So, I set up appointments through June since I don’t know what she will find once she examines me, but til then, I have weekly appointments. Lord Jesus, please let gas prices stay low!! That’s at least once a week to Lexington & bi-weekly to Richmond for therapy sessions.
Thankfully these are nothing like going to see the endo. Hopefully, I won’t need a ton of sessions with the pelvic place and once I can see the PA (in the therapist’s practice) to see about getting on some meds, maybe I won’t have to see her as often either.
I am just feeling a lot more encouraged and hopeful than I have in a LONG time. If there’s some way to “fix me” so that being with my husband isn’t painful??? I dunno… we may have to go on an extended honeymoon. That’s something I’ve never considered or even slightly wanted, but perhaps??
I just don’t know, but here’s to a better future!! God’s so good!!