Monday, July 11, 2011

Life, simplified

Today marked a turning point in my life.

No, I didn't get married.

Nope, no babies were born, either.

Nothing overly exciting, thrilling, or even groundbreaking occurred. Absolutely, positively nothing interesting happened.

Unless you were me.

I went to the library with my kids. We played. We looked for books. We had our reading logs signed, picked our prizes (another maraca for the Toddler, and a Hello Kitty calendar for the Preschooler, as well as free ice cream coupons to the stand here in town). I paid our library fines, we got hand stamps, we checked our books out, and we went home.

Pretty prosaic, huh? You know you're thinking that. And that's okay.

But here I am...admitting something to that Great Void out there - is anyone listening even? Going to the library a year ago would have resulted in temper tantrums, freak outs, and tears. And I'm just talking about ME. Going places the last few years with two young children in tow hasn't been the easiest. Lest you judge or say something to the effect of, "Well, I have FOUR kids, and it's just fine for me" or something to that extent, I'll explain.

I suffer from depression. Mind-bendingly numbing, horribly debilitating depression. And just for good measure? Add a side of clinical anxiety to that. Sounds fun, hey?

At first, I tried to get through it on my own; I was being cyberbullied, but because I'm almost 30, no one believed that I was being bullied, save a few people who knew what was going on. Then, I blamed the fact that my hormones were out of whack; didn't I just have a baby six months ago? That HAD to be it. Then it was that I had too much on my plate with graduate school, a part time gig, plus my own home and the kids. Not to mention, I was trying to be the best darn wife possible. Even if my husband was working sixty plus hour work weeks. And get through that whole cyber bully thing? That had to be it.

Right?

RIGHT!?

Nope. It wasn't.

Not even close. Not at all.

Finally, I spoke with my doctor. And after months of tears, screaming red faced anger, time on my knees in prayer, prostrate in the Nave at Church, begging Christ and his Holy Mother to help me, and fits of debilitating anxiety, I had a fix. A little, round, white fix. It took me two whole weeks to swallow that first pill.

And for the last year, roughly, I haven't looked back.

While I certainly do not advocate medication as the first resort for someone suffering from depression and anxiety, I do advocate speaking with your doctor. Try talk therapy first; I did, but it only made a dent in what I was feeling. I've found a happy medium for me: that little round white pill, talk therapy, and regular workouts keep me happy. I'm hoping to wean off of the medicine within the next year, but if I'm not advised to, then I won't.

And this is why today was such a big deal for me. I enjoyed my kids. I enjoyed my life. And even though there were temper tantrums (not mine...not this time. Talk to the Toddler about that!), even though it was hot outside, and even though things didn't go the way I thought they should go today....I realized something.

Things just went the way they did. And I'm cool with that.

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