A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down

I have been thwarted once again by my greatest foe…. my own head.

After struggling for the past several years, I have finally hit the point where I can no longer avoid taking medicine to deal with the effects of my depression. Part of me feels like a failure for not being able to get through this “on my own”, but part of me is relieved to finally get some help.

I’m not real big on talking about my depression, many of my friends don’t know I suffer with it and almost no one knows when I’m in the throes of a particularly bad episode. The bad episodes are cyclical and usually occur every  7 years, meaning the worst is yet to come in about 5 months. This latest bout of depression started when I was still at my last job in 2007 and gained momentum when I was let go in August of that year.

I’ve managed to keep it together for the most part, but the depression has slowly been gaining in strength with the symptoms becoming more pronounced with time. My ability to concentrate is shot, which means I can’t read anything more than a magazine article and my writing capabilities are greatly diminished (the fact that I need both of these skills for my job is not exactly convenient).

I don’t feel enthused about anything and find that I have to force myself to socialize most of the time. The only activity I engage in consistently is visits to the dog park, and although I do get joy from them, I mostly go because the dogs need to play or they’ll be completely insane at home.

I also find it more difficult to control my emotions. I find myself overreacting to things that normally would have no effect on me whatsoever. That’s the thing that bothers me most, not feeling like I’m in control of my own emotions… it’s a very frightening feeling for me.

Then there’s the exhaustion. Always feeling listless and lacking in energy. Always being “ready for a nap”, whether I really need it or not.

The final part is the day dreaming. Due to circumstances beyond my control (which is a huge pet peeve of mine, I ALWAYS need to have control), there are things in my life that I wish were different. Since these things cannot change, I must change my own perceptions and that leads to frequent daydreaming about how things “could be”, if only the fates would allow. It’s all just wasted energy.

I probably would have stayed like this too if it wasn’t for those pesky kids…

That chick I met first day of freshman year of high school.

The one who was dressed like she stepped out of a Land’s End catalog when I looked like I’d rolled out of a home for juvenile delinquents.

The one who looked me up and down and rolled her eyes at me and I did the same.

The one who my Russian teacher in his infinite wisdom decided should be my partner for learning the Cyrillic alphabet.

The one who had a mind as filthy as mine, a wicked sense of humor and an incredibly caring soul.

The one who became my closest high school friend… one of the few I stayed friends with through college.

The one who kept in touch when I moved West.

The one who listened to my heartbreak as I explained how hard a time my parents were having with my sister-in-law, unsure if they’d get to be part of their grandson’s life and how much they needed a hug from their daughter who was 3000 miles away… and then there’s a knock on my parent’s door… and they open the door and find this friend and burst into tears knowing the hugs they were receiving from this friend were sent by their daughter.

And then this friend decides to go to med school, and become the doctor we all knew she would.

And she weighs her options and decides that she wants to go into general practice because that way she can help her family and friends….AND she doesn’t just say that, she means it.

Life gets complicated for everyone.

But she takes the time to send flowers to a friend when she’s down and to let her know she’s there for her. ..AND, she helps her take the step she wouldn’t have taken on her own, the first step towards getting better… getting her back on medication.

How do you thank a friend like that? I owe you two big ones now T and I won’t forget.


About snarkysillysad
A former marketing professional with 15 years of experience in the technology industry. Through her blog she has shared her journey through pregnancy and motherhood as well as her struggle with migraines, depression, and chronic pain

2 Responses to A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down

  1. icanhasdiary says:

    The whole first part of this is like reading something I have written myself… we really are similar with this depression, and the way it manifests for us. It’s so strange. It’s like you’re in my head, woman! 😉

    It’s hard to accept that medication is the thing your body might need to get your brain back on track again, isn’t it? I used to be so ashamed of it and lately, I have been opening up about it and I *think* it has helped. The blogging has been therapeutic, that’s for sure. It’s so hard to talk to friends about it, though! I’m trying, but still… it’s hard.

    Which is why the second half of your post is so, SO poignant. What a beautiful piece of writing about your best friend! I loved reading it. You’re a lucky woman, and I am so glad you have such a strong friend in T. With people in your corner backing you up with this next step in overcoming this latest bout of depression, you’ll get through it. I’m thinking of you and hoping you do feel better really soon.

    • I said it on your blog the other day, I really am starting to feel like we’ve cut from the same mold lately…. all this time out of contact and when we speak again we have all these same experiences. Very weird, but in a wonderful way. Glad I’ve found a kindred spirit.

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