For those of you bored by all my talk about having depression, just skip this one...
I quit taking my birth control pills about 2 weeks ago. It wasn't really a planned thing, just my script ran out and I haven't been in to get it renewed.
I don't think I want to, now.
I have noticed that the last few days, I have been lighter than before. I don't know how else to describe it. I don't feel as if every breath has to be drawn through a straw, I don't feel the weight in my chest as badly. I can breathe, I can smile and laugh. I am finding the Sprouts fun and sweet.
I can't say for sure that stopping the pill is the cause of this feeling, but I can't say the opposite, either. For all I know, the whole thing is in my head...but it feels real.
One of the hardest things about Depression is that it is so difficult to make people understand how it feels. How do you describe something that is so all-encompassing and yet is so similar to a feeling that every person in the world feels at one time or another? It is like a weight that presses down on you constantly, wearing you down and making you feel diminished. It is like looking at the world through dark glasses: you can see the colors, but they are muted and bland. It is like moving through mud. The anxiety is like living as a chicken in a fox den, or a mouse at a cat show. It is miserable.
For a really long time I thought that the way I felt was normal, that everyone felt as afraid and as sad as I did. It was such a shock to find out that I was wrong. It hurt to find out that not everyone lived in the same world of fear and shame I did. It was frightening to discover that many of the things I believed to be true about the world were really just constructions of a mind out of balance. It made me angry to realise that things were harder for me than for others. It just didn't seem fair. What had I done that was so bad that I needed to be punished like this?
Sometimes I wonder if my clients feel that way. Angry that they are trapped in a world where figuring out how to tie their shoes will always be a struggle, sentenced to a life of having to use all their problem solving skills to get their shirt on front-forward. Or are they, like I once was, blissfully unaware that their daily lives are so different from "normal" folks'?
I get a little mad at folks who say that depression and anxiety are not diseases. I understand that there are people who probably are not clinically depressed that are just too lazy to tough out natural down times and deal with life as it is. For some of us, though, having Depression is like being at war every waking moment. You have to fight the feelings of hopelessness and despair constantly just to do simple things like shower or eat. It is exhausting.
I was talking to the Sarge one time about my depression, and she said something that really changed the way I think about myself. She said that I was a very strong person for dealing with my depression and anxiety (as well as some environmental factors that have since been removed) without treatment for so long. I have always looked at myself as being weak for needing meds in order to function. Now I think that maybe she was right.
And that's about all I have to say about that.....for now.