Spring and summer passed without much issue, and I know it's because I was keeping myself well occupied. I had landed a new position at work and was doing bridesmaid duty for a girlfriend. I changed my look and went out all the time. I even met a pretty fantastic guy and started seeing him.
Now, I don't know if it was the wedding being over, or that this guy I was seeing had to leave town for a while, or just the lack of vitamin D, or all of these at once, but this fall I slipped into funk again. Every day I went over in my head all the things I should be happy about - like the fact that I had a job and managed to get back on my feet after "D" moved out, that I had amazing friends, a healthy body, ect. But, while I knew these were things that should make me happy, they simply didn't. And don't even get me started on the anxiety attacks! This resulted in a hopelessness that started overwhelming me. I am ashamed to say that right around my 26th birthday I was seeking a way to just end it.
It's a terrifying place to find one's self, and it's silly. There was, somewhere in my brain where logic still ruled, a part of me that could look at my emotional self and say "Snap the fuck out of it! You're being ridiculous!" I am happy there was still that glimmer of sanity in there, because after wandering around in the middle of the night on the eve of my birthday and trying to figure out a way to off myself before midnight, I hauled ass to the doctor for help.
I may not be the "tree-hugging wastrel" any more, but I still have a problem with pharmaceuticals. This problem stems from being forced onto anti-depressants by my mother and doctor at the age of 12. Looking back as an adult knowing very well what depression feels like, I can honestly say I didn't need these meds. And certainly not for eight years. Not to mention the fact that they know now that Paxil is likely to make adolescents more depressed. It occurred to me that the industry didn't care if I was depressed or not, so long as some one was pumping money into the system. I stopped taking any prescription drugs when I was 20 - right down to birth control pills.
But after that night in late November, that night I felt like I was actually losing my mind, I caved and asked my doctor to please, give me something to make this end. After going over the adverse side affects I was hoping to avoid (mainly weight gain and reduced libido) we settled on Wellbutrin and Elavil, which is used to help me sleep, and I started seeing a therapist once a week.
It wasn't an overnight success by any means. I was not expecting miracles. But slowly the drugs started working. After a year of being lucky to get more than 4 hours sleep at a time, I was getting a whole night's worth of the stuff. And I was uncovering things with my therapist that helped me move forward. Besides a minor break-down where I couldn't figure out if the drugs were changing my personality, or if I was actually insane before the meds, I was on a pretty good streak! I really can't remember the last time I felt so great. I was confident, charismatic, funny, and having a blast. I loved this improved me.
That is why I was completely blindsided when depression hit again - and with a vengeance.