Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Messy Me: Here Goes!

OK, so part of the reason I said in yesterday's video that I would write about my depression journey this week is - so I'd do it!
I've been thinking about it a lot, meaning to write about it, but just not taking (having!) the time to follow through. HOWEVER, yesterday I said it, so now I'm doing it.

For those of you who don't know, in the spring of 2011 I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. In retrospect, I think I have probably been struggling with it all my life but I just thought that's how I was. I thought it was normal to feel the way I felt. But the tender and loving pushes from some instrumental people in my life convinced me otherwise, and I finally went to see a psychiatrist.
The result of my doctor's visit was that I began understanding anxiety and depression. I started practicing how to think correctly. I embarked on a journey of learning how to talk myself out of the negativity to which I had grown so accustomed.

AND, I started taking an anti-depressant.

There it is. Big and bold and stand-outish. I take an anti-depressant.

I was so afraid to begin the meds. So ashamed of what people might think. Oh, I had no problem with other people needing anti-depressants. But I thought if I needed them, my faith must somehow not be strong enough. There must be something seriously wrong with me as a human being. It was just another indicator to me that I am not good enough.
So, my Mr. Wonderful went and filled my first prescription for me. (Because I used to work at the pharmacy, and I was too embarrassed to let my former co-workers know that I am such a mess.)

It took some time but, when the meds began taking effect, I could not believe the difference they made for me. Instead of immediately resorting to my old way of negative thinking and self-deprecation, I felt like the medicine gave me time to think reasonably. It was like a whole new world had opened up to me. And I was loving it!
However, as time went on and I had conversations with some different people, I began to believe it was not a good thing for me to be on my meds. (Really, I was just hearing their opinions. And not thinking rationally.) So after I'd been taking them for a year, I took myself off of them. I figured: I had a year under my belt of practicing positive self-talk and reasonable thinking. It was time to see if I could do it on my own.

Uh, I couldn't.

A family trip to Disney, and trying to stay positive in my own (lack of) strength convinced me - I had just conducted the dumbest experiment of my adult life.
I returned to taking my meds.
And I swore to myself I would never try that again.

Except about a year later, I decided I would just try reducing my dosage. *ahem*
I'll pick up there tomorrow.



Joanna T. said...

Thanks for your honesty, Karen. Depression created a lot of destruction in my life and relationships. It's encouraging to see how God has met you in your struggle - He is good and faithful! Hope we can catch up soon, Joanna

happyhome said...

Kuddos for sharing your struggle Karen! It is a topic that desperately needs discussing. There is only ONE voice we need to be listening to, but unfortunately many others that threaten to drown it out, including our own. Keep listening and keep sharing. Your struggle will be used to encourage others. Love and hugs!

Laura said...

Love your honesty. Sometimes I think i need them and have felt the same way. And have people in my ear telling me I don't. Thanks for sharing your journey!

Karen Hossink said...

Joanna - God IS good, and faithful. And I am so thankful! Even in the midst of the darkness, HE offers hope.

Angela - Yes, I am listening for the voice of TRUTH!
That my struggle would be used to encourage others is my hope and prayer.

Laura - I hope my honesty will encourage you to seek a professional opinion. As much as I love the "people in my ear" I realize their voices aren't always the ones I need to hear. ((hugs))