Rocketpuppy's world

{December 30, 2011}   Better living through chemistry

Last night, my sister and I drove 3 hours round trip for a 2 hour concert. TOTALLY worth it! We went to see an accapella group, Tonic Sol Fa, in their annual Christmas show. They do a show locally, but it is expensive, would require me to take PTO at work to get there on time, and I just didn’t want to do that when I was going to HAVE to take PTO this week for the holiday break. But this trip was a big thing for me. It required me to drive somewhere unknown AND to drive in the dark. At least it wasn’t raining! I HATE driving in the rain! I would not have been able to make this trip 2 years ago. Heck, I wouldn’t even drive downtown for the local show 2 years ago!
I was first diagnosed with depression about 20 years ago. I was a junior in high school, my best friend had moved to go to college, I was secretly dating a guy because his parents didn’t want him dating anyone, my mom was pressuring me to get my learner’s permit, and things were just different and hard. So, during Christmas break, mom dragged me to the doctor’s and was told that I was fine, just depressed. Part of me wishes that I had been given more “treatment” at the time. I think it would have made the last 20 years a little smoother. I eventually bounced back, but anytime there were major changes in life, I would slide into depression. I suppose the anxiety of the unknown made it easier to shut down instead of to deal with things. Along with all this, I also could not eat in front of others and was afraid of making a fool of myself around people I didn’t know well. And even those that I did know, I guess. For example, I have known hubby since my freshman year of high school. When we started dating 2 years after I graduated, he had never really seen me eat, and I had never really talked to him. We had know each other for 6 years and didn’t know anything other than each other’s names and friends!
I managed to control the depression and anxiety by basically ignoring it or situations that would trigger it. This was all well an good until it began interfering with my job. I was in an administrative position in a child care, and I was unable to handle parts of my job because of my fear of failure and whatnot. This in turn made me feel like I was not a good person, mother, or wife. In August of 2010 I saw a doctor and was given an official diagnosis for social anxiety and depression. I started on medication and within a month I was feeling more like my old self. I had also been asked to step down from my position and spent 2 months, “getting better.” Sleeping, eating, playing, relaxing, and just being human again. During this time, I took my daughter to the Mall and the zoo, and all kinds of places I would not have gone to alone in the past. The BIGGEST step I took was this past summer, when I drove to Wisconsin to meet a bunch of people I have known online for many years. Not only was I driving a long way, I was meeting people. And I was ok with it!! I got sick about a week later, and I had to stop my medication….and discovered that I am much better on it than off it! My stomach flu triggered erythema nodosum – inflammation of the fat cells. My legs were all bruised and bumpy and my joints hurt. I couldn’t run or play and I was really just happier being wrapped up in a heating pad or electric blanket. Add that to being off the meds and I was not a healthy girl! I took a couple days off of work to get myself back on my feet and now know that I HAVE to remember my meds OR ELSE.
I always thought I was anti-medication, but without it, I am not a good mommy, teacher, or wife. Unfortunately, it does make me not care so much about the mess in my house and stuff like that, but I figure that’s better than being anxious about the mess 🙂


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