Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Honest Man

IT IS WHAT IT IS. It can be completely devastating. When it first hit me I was standing in the middle of a store thinking "What the hell is this?" When I finished my shopping and got home, I realized what it was. It happened that quickly and came out of nowhere. I remember taking a shower, coming downstairs and having a good cry.

There can be signs of hope. The weather can have both a positive or negative effect on it. Medication can help if your doctor prescribes you the right one and at the correct dosage level. When I went to the doctor for help and got a prescription I noticed improvement in about four days. Wow. There is hope.

Three days later sitting at my sister's house watching a football game I realized it was back. Back to the the doctor with a family member and a discussion about what to do next. Change medications or increase the dosage? I don't know.

This is a problem I don't know how to tackle. I'm a man. I look at problems from a logical point of view and set out the steps before me to solve it. After some discussion and a memorable quote from the doctor we increased my dosage.

Here's what the doctor said, "It started to work and then it went downhill. Think of it this way. It's like being in the desert and finally getting a drink of water. It quenched your thirst for a while, but eventually you become thirsty again. You didn't get enough water."

Okay. I thought. Makes sense to me. Let's do it.

When you get severe depression, You can't just "shake it off." I've heard others say just say, "Suck it up and pull your bootstraps up. You will be fine." NO! Trust me when I believe this is a medical condition that needs to be treated and you should always take this seriously when you hear someone talk about it. You might save a life! It's hard for family members and others who haven't experienced it to understand. All I can say is read up on it. Educate yourself.

Some of the symptoms I experienced were- not being able to sleep at all or on the flip side, just wanting to lay in bed and sleep all day. Isolation is very enticing. You don't want to see anyone for any reason at anytime. There is an a way a shamefulness to it. I'm guilty. I shouldn't feel this way and therefore, cause others to worry about me. It's not fair to them. And therein, lies the irony. You need a lot of support from family, but you don't want to talk to anyone, including them. Even though you know you need and want help, you don't want to seek it out. There can be little to no motivation at all. The smallest of matters seems like climbing Mt. Everest. I couldn't, wouldn't or didn't even want to make a phone call.

There had been thoughts of suicide or how to get away from it all. Was there a way to do it painlessly? I even used Google for help on that. Thank goodness there is no easy way. Can you imagine the pain that you would be causing your family and close friends? Just think of it the other way around. What if one of them "bailed" on you in the middle of this game called life. Think of the sadness, grief, and maybe even the guilt you could have caused as they asked themselves, "Was there anything I could have done?"

Oh, and then there's the fact that although the medication can definitely help, it caused quite a bit of weight gain. Which in turn, of course makes you unhappy. Being unhappy though, is much better than being depressed. Yep. I've tried it all from vigorous exercise, combined with small portion and healthy eating. The results: negligible. Maybe a 5 pound loss for what seemed like thirty pounds worth of work. The needle on that scale just doesn't want to move.

For some, such as me, it will be a lifelong battle. The battle involves many facets from food, to exercise (which can help), to motivation and enthusiasm.

At its worst, I remember standing in the middle of my closet one day talking to my mother on the phone because I didn't want the rest of my family to hear the conversation. Do you know what it's like to have your mother ask you if you are suicidal? I do. I'm not sure what's worse, being asked that question, or lying to my mom and saying "No."

Somehow, someway I persevered. There's too much to live for and too many people to hurt so severely. So you put one step in front of the other for yourself, your family, and your God. It's best to take these steps with your hands clasped.

For as someone whom I greatly respect has told me on more than one occasion, "If you think you can make it on your own in this world without counting on your Lord and Savior, you are sadly mistaken."

Without God, I never would have made it this far in the battle of my life called depression. One step in front of the other.

one step in front of the other

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