That Liberal With Depression

Yesterday during the storm I found myself scrolling through Facebook and losing brain cells as I discovered a thread of old men claiming depression was not a thing, it was simply made up by “liberal American snowflakes” looking for an excuse to be lazy and a way for big Pharma to make money.

And oh, how I laughed. For multiple reasons, really, but we will stick with just one important one:

How could depression be made up?

Americans have suffered with depression since before I was even thought of and way before that. The way depression affects us is more than just how we feel.

Depression is our mood, our will to live, our lack of motivation, and for some of us; our whole being. Without the proper help, it may very well take our lives. Most of us are no stranger to that.

With that being said, I am currently on day number two of my withdrawal from Venlafaxine, more widely known as Effexor XR. Venlafaxine is a serious antidepressant and should be thoroughly thought through before being regularly taken. As with all medications, what may work for me may not work for Jane or John. I’m happy to say that it does work– when I remember to refill it.

With yesterday’s storm and my dumb ass, I haven’t taken it for two days now.

I will never forget to refill my script again.

Besides my usual lack of sleep, I am experiencing dizziness, slurred speech, fatigue beyond normal comparison, and crying. A lot of crying at a whole lot of nothing. It hurts to walk, think, and do pretty much anything. I am having “brain zaps” and my vision is fuzzy. Getting out of bed today was an accomplishment all of its own. It’s like I’m drunk, only I’m not drunk at all. I don’t want to imagine what I would feel like on day three.

And yet, as much as I want to kick my own ass for forgetting something as imperative as my medication, I would still rather go through this once in a blue moon rather than want to kill myself every day.

So, John Doe on the internet– I pity you. I am also grateful for you, despite your lack of intelligence. I am glad you never experienced depression. I’m glad you never wanted to take your own life. Thank you for showing me that some people are really just that daft, and I am not actually just losing my mind.

Sincerely,

That Liberal With Depression

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Experience with Sleep Paralysis- #2

I’ve discussed in a past article about sleep paralysis and how it plagues me several times a week, and if I’m extra lucky; several times a night.

Only once or twice have I gone through sleep paralysis before I began taking strong medications. It has now become so routine I am scared to go to sleep some nights because I can, quite literally, only dream of what is to come.

The other night my experience was so terrifying I nearly cried myself to sleep. Four separate times I woke up in a dream-like state, very much awake but hallucinating vividly. It sounds strange or made-up, but I swear to all things pure; this is as real as it gets.

Episode one- I remember this clearly, as it was so colorful to me even at the time. A house phone was ringing in the middle of the night, around 3:30 a.m, and woke my step-father up. He started yelling into the phone, pissed at the caller for waking everyone in the house. I was scared, but my body wouldn’t move and I couldn’t mutter a word. I tried, but nothing would come out. It felt like I was stuck in another dimension. It could have very well been real, however… we don’t have a house phone. And this never happened.

100% a hallucination.

Episode two- It seems like not long after episode one, came episode two. I had waken up to a newscast, an onscreen talent rambling about the weather. The TV was loud and the glow was bright in the pitch black room. I was mad that it woke me… except it didn’t. Because it never happened. My TV was never on that night.

100% a hallucination.

Episode three- Blurry but worth the mention. Once again I had woken up, something had been yelling for me. I was trying to move but no limbs would budge. As childish as it seems, I kept yelling for my ‘mommy’ but nothing would come out, and I felt my heart race faster. I was scared shitless as I felt myself becoming engulfed in an energy different from what I am used to. Except nothing was getting me. I was alone.

100% a hallucination.

Episode four- The scariest I’ve experienced thus far. I had woken up on my left side, covered tightly with blankets on the coldest night of the year. When I opened my eyes, I felt and saw something tugging at my blankets from the floor, forcefully trying to get at me. It wouldn’t stop. Once again, I tried screaming for help, screaming for my ‘mommy,’ trying to move away. Except I wasn’t going anywhere, I was stuck. Except none of this happened.

100% a hallucination.

I know this may seem redundant, maybe even silly, or maybe you may think I’m lying.

I wish I was.

I’ve never in my life felt such strong phenomena like this. It’s slowly changing my life, night after night, and not in a pleasant or welcoming way.

The downside is sleep loss, obviously, but also increased anxiety in my daily life as well as increased depression and sickness. I know I am not getting a good night’s sleep and it’s beginning to drastically affect my daily life.

I know that it’s only going to get worse untreated but I’m not sure there is a clear treatment. I could see a therapist, yes, but there is only so much they can do for me.

I can quit my medication and gain sleep but in the process I will also lose my mind and everything I have worked so hard towards mentally.

I’m at a loss, for once in my life I am not sure if there is a cure.

Time will tell.

She and Me- Two Strangers

I like to think of myself as a “sign” person, always looking for nudges from the afterlife or the universe or God or whoever’s looking over me that day to let me know things are going to be okay.

Someone or something came through with one of those signs today, and I am in pure bliss.

I was feeling as lethargic as possible, slightly miserable, mostly cold. It was a shitty day. Anxiety rampant, stress making its nest comfortable in my mind.

As I got to work, I made sure to find my very best customer service smile and slap it on before I hit “clock in.” As it turns out, I could have left the fake smile at home today. I wouldn’t need it.

She rolled in, quite literally. She was in a wheelchair. You could tell She was uncomfortable and in broken spirit.

I think I would be too.

You see, She had lost a leg. Not that I couldn’t tell, but She mentioned it anyway.

She tearfully told me an infection cost her a leg, but she would have preferred it took her life. I politely disagreed.

It was then I told her the story I’ve told many times before. One would think after repeating it so many times, it would come out fluid and smooth, but it never does. I told her of my dad and how he had taken his life when I was a young girl. I told her how happy I was that she was still here, even if she doubted her existence today. I told her that although we don’t know each other, I am thankful she’s still alive.

She cried.

Her response was one I’ll never forget. She had told me her husband committed suicide years prior, leaving her kids without a father; much like me. She sympathized and told me how hard it gets sometimes, and how my story and my kind words made her day. She lit up as she asked me questions about my life, and in exchange, told me about hers. It wasn’t a long discussion, but it will last forever in my memory.

Before she left she assured me I would see her again, before hugging me and kissing me on the cheek.

She will never know how much she impacted my life. She will never know how grateful I am to have met her.

She will never know.

I will never forget.

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