Friday, February 20, 2015

Focus Friday: Let's Focus on Change

I went to my doctor today. We talked about how I've been feeling lately. She asked me lots of questions and I tried to answer honestly. Some of them had me a little stumped. "Did you feel this way before the depression, or just after you started taking the medication?" Um, I'm not sure. I answered that way to several questions and felt even more stupid when she asked what I normally do all day and I could hardly answer. I mean, I do stuff, right? But I sat there for several long seconds before I listed a few things off. Our conclusion was that I don't have much energy most of the time and I usually lack focus. (That sure sounds much better than saying I'm lazy and need to work harder.) All I know is I'm not feeling as good as I'd like to feel yet. There are some up days, but there are also some down days where the despair threatens again.

She decided to change my medication to a different antidepressant and see if it works better for me. That means I'll taper off the generic Lexipro I'm on now and then begin taking a low dose of generic Cymbalta in about eight days. I thought that was a good idea in the office, but when I got home I began to worry (especially after the pharmacy called and the recording said it was going to cost $108!). 

I talked with Gary and started to worry aloud in front of him. Does it cost too much? Should I stay on Lexipro? What if the new medicine doesn't work? Do you think she'll want me to stay on it indefinitely? Should I try to get off it after a year or so? He calmed me down and reminded me to take it a day at a time instead of looking so far ahead. "Just see if the new medicine works," he encouraged. "If it helps you feel better it's worth the money. If you're on it for a year or two and want to try going off it, you can decide then. Don't worry about that now." 

He's right (He usually is). I guess I get scared of change way too often. The way things have always been are comfortable, even if they're not working the way I'd like. As I write tonight, I wonder if many of you can relate to that, even if you aren't dealing with depression.

Maybe you're not happy with the way your marriage is going, but you're afraid that making changes in the way you relate will be hard work and it might lead to even more struggles before you get to a better place.

Maybe your relationship with your child is changing as they grow up and you're anxious about the mistakes you've made or the mistakes they may make as they go out on their own.

Maybe you feel like it's time for a job change but that thought scares you. What you're doing now doesn't feel good, but you've done it for a long time and you're good at it. Making a change may put you in new situations that you might succeed at, but you also could fail. 

Maybe your relationship with God feels shallow and comfortable. You go to church, but you don't really think about Him much during the rest of the week. Making a change in this area could lead to uncomfortable feelings and lifestyle changes that may be really difficult. 

Change can be difficult, but change can lead to wonderful new experiences, emotional growth, and spiritual maturing. We have to push aside the "What ifs" and be willing to move ahead in exciting, scary directions.

I will move ahead, hoping that this new med will work better and get me to a happier place as I continue to work on how I'm thinking about life and the situations I'm in. I know that God has great things in store for me, I just need to trust Him and work with my doctor to get there.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

Are you afraid of change? What things might need to change in your life so that you can experience the plans God has for you?

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