September always brings on The Challenge.
The Challenge is the time when my brain chemicals shift and the anti-depressants stop working as well. As I’m in a place where I can’t easily or effectively go to a doctor and have my meds adjusted, it’s up to me to get through this on my own. This will be my first year in a couple of years that I’ve had to do this, so I’m telling you all about it – I’m going to share my feelings and approach, and hopefully remind you in the process: YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
If you are feeling down and think you have no one to turn to?
If you don’t understand why you can’t just “get happy?”
If you don’t feel like getting up in the morning, or going to sleep at night?
If you can’t seem to explain any of this to anyone, and you feel like they don’t get it if you do?
If you are just so tired of feeling this way but you don’t know what to do?
You are not alone.
One of the reasons that I turned this blog to the subject of my depression and the work I do to live a good and happy life is that I want you to understand this: there is hope. There are options. Even if you are at the literal bottom of the barrel, face-down in the gutter… there is always hope, my friend. And I’m not just saying that to paint the world all rosy-pretty-happy. You know if you’ve read my blog that I’ve been there. I’m not in an awesome place right now, actually. But you know what? I REFUSE to give up. I REFUSE to let my chemicals – and that’s ALL IT IS, stupid messages from stupid chemicals in my brain – win this battle.
I’ll give you my time to kill
But you’ll never never
Break my will
Or I could sink a sleeping pill
And in the morning could be
But most of you are much too ill
Way beyond a surgeon’s skill
In bondage to a dollar bill
What more can you buy?*
I have “medicated” myself in many ways. I drank and drugged myself to numbness and beyond. [didn’t work] I stayed in bed for two weeks straight. [didn’t work] I tried to run away. [didn’t work] I spent and spent and spent in an effort to get a high from the next new toy. [didn’t work] I went from guy to guy, relationship to relationship, looking for affirmation beyond myself that I was worth something. [didn’t work]
But I AM worth something. A lot of things, actually. One way I know this to be true is by the quality of friendships that I have. I asked my friends yesterday, via Facebook, to give me one word to describe me. Want to see some of what they said?
That’s what they see in ME. Lil’ ol’ me.
Ask your friends and loved ones. I dare you. What do you think you’ll find?
So that’s your homework. Mine is to figure out what I’m going to do to get through The Challenge. One thing for sure I’ll be doing is taking extra time to love myself – that includes making sure that I do the small things like get enough sleep, bother to put on clothes that flatter me, eat regular meals. Those things often go by the wayside at this time, and of course they just serve to make me feel smaller and ickier. I’ll try not to bristle when people who care about me offer well-meaning suggestions on how to “kick” my depression. [I’ve had this since I was a kid, I’ve heard it all I promise! *grin*] And I’m going to keep posting positive things, both on here and other places I frequent. I can do this, and I’m going to take you with me to show you that you can, too.
You are loved. So am I.
*lyrics from “Soul In Isolation” by The Chameleons UK. A lovely, though poorly recorded live version is available here.