Depression/Mental Health, Life in general, When Life Happens, When Life Isn't Too Great

I am “normal”…I swear…

Mental illness SUCKS. I’ve had anxiety/depression for a while, and have been medicated on and off since 2009 (steadily since 2012 or so). I’ve had tons of ups and downs, lost a well-paying job, and (in my opinion, anyway; it could be all in my head so to speak) let several wonderful friendships lapse along the way. My behaviour over the years, in hindsight, has definitely caused a lot of trouble for a lot of people; family, friends and colleagues alike. I could drive myself INSANE wishing I could go back in time and change things, there are so many incidents I can think of! I have days where all I want to do is sleep and feel like crying all day; then the next day I feel fine and that I could conquer the world. One day feel like I hate people and don’t want to talk to *anybody*, and the next day I’ll be back to normal (whatever that is!). Some days it feels like I work as hard as I can at what I’m doing, and that that particular day’s “best” is a “normal” person’s “just ok”.

I’m writing this because today is a good day and I feel inspired. There’s no reason in particular; with me, there is sometimes no rhyme or reason to good/bad days. I think the fact that I have read so many things about mental illness in the past few days- Kate Spade’s untimely death, a post on my Facebook feed, an ad on the back of a bus for mental health help- has bolstered my confidence and made me realize that no, I am *not* alone in this. I’m not stupid, useless, or a burden. I can be lazy by nature and can often use a swift kick in the butt, but so could millions upon millions of people without a mental illness. If I try my best at what I do and treat others (AND myself) with kindness and respect (even if I REALLY think they don’t deserve it!), then I think I can do OK in this crazy world of ours. Remember, if you think you’re alone…you’re not. There are others out there just like you. 💚

 

Image result for mental health awareness

Advertisements
Depression/Mental Health, Life in general, Random

Someday…

I’ve written before on here about my struggles with mental illness. I use the word “struggle” because it took me, oh, 27 years to realize that I suffered from depression/anxiety, and a further 2 years to find a medicine that works for me. I know that drugs affect different people very differently, but let me tell you: Effexor is BAD. Very bad. So bad that my anxiety would INCREASE and I’d worry about missing a pill due to the side effects! For me, the worst was the disturbing dreams. If I missed just ONE pill, oh boy…I’d wake up scared. The medicine I’m on now (generic Prozac) is MUCH better 🙂

Which brings me to the inspiration for this post: the dream I had the night before last. I can’t remember every detail, but I do remember this: I met someone, and the relationship evolved over time. None of this “I’m cute, you’re cute, let’s hook up”. We first saw each other at an event of some kind, and I said to a friend at one point “I knew the first time I saw him that he was the one for me”. He was a kind person, and said nice things to me. I just remember waking up and feeling happier than I have in a long, long time.

(For those of you who are wondering- my dream guy bore a striking resemblance to Ty Burrell of “Modern Family” fame. I think he’s very attractive, but what draws him to me most is his sense of humor, hard-working nature and goofiness :))

Depression/Mental Health

Title required?

I’m required to put a title on every blog post I write with WP, and it occurred to me that I don’t really have one for this post. I’m not sure what triggered the feelings I’m having now; maybe it’s the fact that I’ve finally realized that being related to someone doesn’t automatically guarantee that you can live in harmony with them. Of course, you love them…and they love you…but there’s just something missing that can’t be forced.

Maybe it’s the fact that so many of my acquaintances have moved on, are ready to move on, or want to move on with their lives. I wish every day that this damn depression would go away, so that I can make something of myself. No, I don’t want to be how I am, and I’m trying my best to make things better.

Guess I’m just feeling a bit lonely right now. My bff is on a different continent, and I really miss him! Can’t believe it’ll be 20 years this fall that we’ve been friends, and I know we always, always will be, no matter what stupid things I do or what bad decisions I make. Love ya, mean it! 😀

Budgeting, Depression/Mental Health, Shopping and Saving

Drugs…they’re not all bad, but they sure cost an arm and a leg…

This is a pretty good representation of how I was feeling when my family doctor recommended that I start taking Effexor for my newly diagnosed depression. I’m one of those people who delighted in NEVER being sick; I’d buy a bottle of cough medicine or a pack of throat lozenges, and they’d frequently expire before I finished using them. Honestly, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you the last prescription I had filled for myself at a pharmacy before this one.

Luckily, at the time, I had a very good health insurance plan that covered 75% of the cost of my prescriptions. I balked at the cost of the medications, but once I saw the “insurance pays” versus the “patient pays” price, I calmed down a bit! Fast forward to this winter, when a) I started a new job without health benefits, and b)my doctor tripled my medication dosage…well, I was NOT feeling so happy.

Now, before I go on, I will say that I know I am very, VERY lucky compared to some. My doctor advised that I go to a large chain store’s pharmacy to get my medications versus getting them from smaller establishments, which is saving me a fair amount of money each month. However, I recently moved into my apartment on my own, and I also have rent, power, insurance, and groceries to pay for. Medication definitely puts a strain on my budget; however, without it, things are not good in the mood department (to say the least!).

I’m not one to complain without offering a solution, so here is mine; there should be a universal drug plan based on level of income, regardless of place of employment, if the employer does not offer one. I’m certainly not opposed to paying for my drugs, but since they’re necessary for me to lead a normal life, I don’t think that I should have to pay full price for them when I’m just starting out in the working world.

Depression/Mental Health, When Life Isn't Too Great

Realizations

Or, the alternate title: what NOT to say to a person with depression.

–>”You shouldn’t feel that way.” Gee, thanks. Thanks for asking me what you can do to help, and then when I tell you, completely dismiss my thoughts. I’ll definitely come to you with any of my future problems and/or difficulties in life.

–>” You need to get over what has happened in the past.” Yes, I do. I won’t argue with you there. The problem is with the ACTUAL GETTING OVER part. You need to realize that what happened in the past has an ENORMOUS impact on who I am today. Now that I think of it, I will never EVER get over what has happened in the past, but I really, really want to learn how to manage it better than I am now.

–>”Tell your therapist that XYZ is wrong with you.” Never, EVER tell me what I should be telling my therapist. YES, I am having trouble finding work. YES, I know why. YES, I’m going to bring it up with the therapist. I don’t need a laundry list of things to tell her…I KNOW I have a problem.

*sigh* can you tell it wasn’t the greatest of days? I hate, hate, HATE this dams illness. I don’t use it as an excuse, but it sure makes things harder. I would give ANYTHING not to suffer from it, but I do, and I have to make the best of it. My current living situation is neither conducive to me getting better nor ideal, but it’s all I have for now. After Christmas, I hope to be making a big life change…at least that’s something to look forward to  🙂

Depression/Mental Health, When Life Happens, When Life Isn't Too Great

More on my thoughts on depression

First off, I want to admit something; I’m not a fan of the phrase “Unless you ***, then you can’t possibly ***”. I mean, a male OB/GYN has a heck of a greater understanding of my inner parts than I do, even if he doesn’t, and never will, have them himself!

However, with depression, I’m a great believer in the fact that you don’t really have a true idea what’s it’s like dealing with it on a day-to-day basis unless you’ve been there, or are there, yourself. I’m not saying that you can’t HELP someone with depression if you don’t suffer with it; I’ve had help from several professionals in dealing with my illness. While I’m not sure (and frankly, it doesn’t matter) whether or not they themselves have suffered from a mental illness, they’ve all helped me immensely in one way or another.

I have a person in my life who thinks they (side note: as a grammar geek, I know that using ‘they’ is incorrect. However, I’m using my artistic license here in order to conserve anonymity) are supporting and helping me deal with this illness. They tell me that they did the best they could, to forget things that happened in the past…what they don’t realize is that part of my getting better is trying to get over what happened in the past, so that I don’t let it affect what happens in the present and what will happen in the future. They criticize what I wear, what I eat how I look…all in the name of “trying to help”. I’m sorry, but I’ve made it clear to this person that bullying (or what I perceive as bullying) is NOT something that helps me. However, this person continues to do this.

Something I’ve been working on is realizing that you cannot control what and how other people feel about you, and you cannot change those who are not willing and who do not want to change. I’ll give this person credit; they are willing to help me, but the problem is that they are always going to be how they are, just as I am always going to be how I am. I may get thinner, or fatter, or smarter, or more successful but my personality is a static thing. This person’s personality just does NOT go with mine, and this is very, very difficult for me to deal with. However, they’re going to be in my life for awhile, and I’m just going to have to deal with the facts and move forward, which I am working on  🙂

This post was inspired because I’m not having a good day today. I know some reasons why, and they’re both in and out of my control. That’s why I hate, HATE this illness so much; I can be fine one day, and not want to get out of bed on others. However, today I got myself out of bed and out of the house despite how I was feeling, but I’m still a bit off. One step at a time…