This may be a tough post to write. I'm praying as I begin that it won't be a hard one to read. Stay with me and let me know what you think in the comments.
I'm going to start a new antidepressant tomorrow morning. The old one worked quite well. It got me to a stable place after I was very sick with clinical depression about two years ago. It had a couple of minor side effects, so I talked with my doctor and decided to try a new medication and see if that works better.
I had to taper off the old medicine. When I went to a half dose, I felt quite good. I continued feeling great for the first few days after I stopped taking it completely.
As usual, my idealistic tendencies started to kick in.
Maybe I'll keep feeling great and I can get off medication.
Maybe I'm strong enough to keep depression away for good.
Maybe I'm not depressed anymore.
Then Thursday happened.
I had some frustrations with my laptop and when I tried to talk to Gary about it I dissolved in tears. At lunch time I was on the verge of crying for most of the meal. Little things upset me all day and I felt anger trying to take over. (I didn't let it.) Thank goodness we had Fresh Hope that night. Even though I cried more than usual, it was great to talk to friends who understood those feelings and could urge me to hang in there.
Earlier in the day, Gary came home for lunch and I went to him for a hug as I tearfully admitted "I don't want to need medication."
And that's really the sum of it. I'm proud. I want to be strong enough to do life without help. I don't want to have to take something.
The truth is, depression runs in my family. I've experienced many seasons of depression over the years. I always came out of it eventually, but not without lots of tears, frustration, and angst.
Thursday reminded me of those times. I hadn't had a day where I felt helpless to keep my emotions steady for a long, long time. I think medicine is a tool God has supplied to help keep me emotionally healthy. So, I will start taking the new medicine tomorrow and we'll see how it goes. Hopefully, it helps me feel even better than I did on the old one.
Most importantly, I'll keep working on the way I think and react to problems and stress. I may need medicine because of the way my brain chemistry works, but right thinking is also necessary for living well in all situations. Choosing to focus on what is true, excellent, and good will work with the medicine to keep me in a healthy place.
"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." (Proverbs 17:22 NIV)
What do you think about taking medicine for depression or anxiety? How can focusing on God help you to accept the need for medicine, but also work on having a happy, healthy way of looking at life?