11/20/15

Update on November

I set some goals for myself this month, but apparently I don't do too well under pressure. The day after I posted about exercising and writing more this month, I fell into a deep funk. I kept up with the exercising for about two weeks, but I didn't write anything else during that time. It's worth noting that I was scheduled to take the GRE and needed to put some of my energy toward studying. Maybe that's why I wasn't able to focus on writing. I'm not sure what happened.

The good news is that the GRE is behind me now. I got a 156 for my verbal score. I was hoping for a 160, but I'll settle for this. It's 5 points higher than the practice test I took online at the beginning of September. Now all that's left to do is get my writing samples ready to submit and complete the online application process. The deadline for UT is Jan. 15th, and I think I'm on track to finish in time. Yay, me!

The day before I took the test, I went to see my doctor. I told her that I felt like my monthly PMDD struggles were starting sooner, lasting longer, and proving harder to bounce back from in the past year. She suggested I start taking an antidepressant again. I took her advice. I was tired of losing days. We only get so many of those, you know. I don't want to not be able to function for three days every month (sometimes it's more). I don't want to keep feeling ashamed of being sad when I have no legitimate reason for being sad. I don't want to feel so sad and angry and tired all the time. My kids deserve better. My husband deserves better. I do, too.

Depression doesn't let you see that when you're in the midst of it. It convinces you that you're broken and it's your own fault. That's not true. I'm really trying to adopt this new language and educate myself about how this is a medical condition that I need to take seriously. I don't want to become another statistic. If I was diagnosed with some other chronic illness, would I be embarrassed to talk about my treatment? I don't think so. I want to do what I can to erase the stigma that exists around these issues.

It's not a lack of faith or some unconfessed sin that makes my brain crazy sometimes. It's an actual chemical imbalance. I'm more sensitive to hormonal changes than most people. I'm more sensitive about a lot of things. That's part of the reason I'm a writer. I can't change that, and I don't want to. But I also don't want to hide anymore. Taking medicine is not like some magic happy pill. I know because I've been on it before. It doesn't automatically turn you into a different person. That's not how it works. It just takes the edge off my feelings and helps them to be less intense. That's what I need right now. I hope that if you're feeling overwhelmed by your emotions, you'll seek out the thing that helps you, too.

Last week I posted a poem where I basically confessed to having been suicidal before. I've never come up with an actual plan, but I've gotten close enough to know how it happens to people. I want to be an advocate for those of us with this kind of pain. If you're a reader who's been there too, please let me know if there's any way I can help you find some relief. You can find me here on FB.

As always, thanks for reading. Cheers and sunshine, people. Drink them in.

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