I was thinking about starting another (totally unrelated) blog. I saw this one and how little I’ve done with it and thought “what a waste.” But then again, I saw the number of viewers, number of visits, and my four ‘followers.’ So maybe it hasn’t gotten tons of views and changed the world in some dramatic way, but as I thought to myself from the beginning, even if what I write or has been written helps a single person, I’m ok with that. That makes it worth it. Maybe part of why I don’t write more is because I don’t know what people want/need. I’m still on this anti-depressant journey, but ooooooh man I am sooo much better than I had been when I started.
Short recap (aka whatever comments come to my head) of the journey over the last couple (actually just over 1.5) years:
So I’ve had this low grade long-lasting depression for my whole life…or for at least as long as I was at a cognitive level sufficient to know that there is a difference. I never wanted to admit it, because it’s scary, it’s embarrassing, nobody wants all the weird worrisome attention that comes with the label. There’s definitely a stigma about it. Or at least I used to think that. My last semester of school, I realized that I was not lined up to step into a career, that school had been a pretty big waste, and that like everyone had told me for years leading up to it…what you learn in school really doesn’t matter. Well, that just about blew it for me. Even up until the last day that semester I was ready to quit. It didn’t help any that the majority of my ‘friends’ came from being part of an honors program…and that entire program and all the friendships in it (not just mine) were falling apart. Luckily I hit my low before that semester even started, so I was able to get help before running into the dark abyss of that last semester.
Just reaching out and getting help…helped. I was still embarrassed and didn’t tell anybody so long as I could find a way to hide it. It was quite awkward, but probably one of the most beneficial things for me was going to “that class” where every meeting starts with “Hi, my name is joe, I’m feeling awkward that I’m sharing my feelings with strangers.” But the tools they gave to me in that class were sooo helpful. I’ve since lost/forgotten most of those tools. I wish I had them back. I’ve tried to do the program on my own from the booklet I received with the program…but for me at least, I have to be accountable to someone in order to have much success with the follow through.
I’ve been on Zoloft ever since. I’d really like to get off of it, but I just recently started taking Adderall, and my psychiatrist doesn’t want to do a bunch of changes at once. I think the Zoloft helped, but it’s not like some magically everything is better type of thing. Without going back and reading past comments, I actually can’t even think of what exactly it did to help.
Then right after I got fired (strongly encouraged to go away) from my first “real” job, I was prescribed Adderall for my ADD…which was also the cause of not being able to keep my job. Oddly enough, I think the Adderall has helped more with the overcoming depression than the Zoloft ever did. I think my “low-grade long lasting depression” has just been a symptom of “high-grade long-lasting procrastination” and ADD. It gets pretty depressing when you feel like, or actually can’t, get anything done. Euhhh such a horrible feeling.
The Adderall has some drawbacks though. I don’t have an appetite. I LOVE ice-cream. I plus Adderall doesn’t love ice-cream. I plus Adderall doesn’t love anything I eat any more. Although I’ve been having cravings for a Dole Whip, one of those sounds pretty good. The lack of appetite became so bothersome, and my ability to do what I need to be doing has improved so much, that I stopped taking it….aaaaand here comes depression. Oh good, glad that didn’t go anywhere…thought I lost it. So…back on the Adderall. I haven’t fixed my diet…but it feels so great to actually be able to focus and get the things done, & achieve the goals I need to.
I think being cognizant of my thoughts and attitudes has helped as well. There are a lot of thoughts that I have changed. I would tell myself “I don’t care.” but I always knew I was lying. So I started telling myself “yes I do” whenever that thought came up. Thinking of what the actual reality is makes it easier to. “It’s not that I don’t care, I do care. I just don’t enjoy doing dishes and cleaning and I wish I didn’t have to.” I don’t have to, but I really don’t want the alternative…as I kept being honest with myself, I was eventually able to get to “actually I do care, I do want the dishes done, I do want to live in a clean house, and all I have to do is wash them, like 7 minutes.” that and “Actually, what I don’t enjoy is depression. What I don’t enjoy is beating myself up over NOT getting it done. I don’t enjoy the internal struggle trying to suppress the thought that I know I need to go do it.”
There have been some pretty successful times, and there have still be some pretty low times. But at least now I’ve got some idea of where I want to be, and when I am depressed, *it has been recent enough that I’ve been happy* that I can remember that, and remember what it feels like, and have the will to get back out of the depressing mood I am so easily beset with.
Soo…anyway…back to that comment about not writing more perhaps because of not know what people want or need. Yes, I’ve had some success. I have tried different solutions, and I may have just walked a few decades in your shoes (or a pair just like them). I am happy to share…if it makes you feel better. Just tell me what you want to know.