Ten Minutes

It’s not that nothing is going on, really. I just can’t seem to finish an entry no matter what I do. I also can’t seem to return emails or finish vacuuming my house. I have five saved drafts of half-finished entries right above the box where I’m typing this and I keep going back and trying to finish them and I just can’t.

So I thought I’d fall back on an old standard, the ten minute writing exercise. I have to do something to get the habit going again and this has worked well in the past. I’ll type for ten minutes and I’ll post whatever comes out, unedited except for fixing typos.

The power just blinked. Weird.

I just broke a rule because there was originally a different sentence here, but I got halfway through it and went back and deleted it because I decided I didn’t feel like writing about that after all.

I suspect that part of the problem is that I, like an asshole, allowed my mood stabilizing medication to run out because I have to have my doctor authorize refills and I don’t feel like calling him because I’m pretty sure we need to change the dosage somehow and it’s a conversation I don’t feel like having even though I need to have it. I began what should have been a detailed, heartfelt entry about this last night and could never get it into postable form, even though I worked on it in fits for almost two hours. The upshot is this: I need the medicine but I hate that I need the medicine and so I keep trying not to need it but it doesn’t work, which means that every six months or a year or so, I let it run out and decide to try living without it and it never ends well. I wanted to write about how ashamed of myself I am for being such an advocate for depression education while being too embarrassed to write about my own struggles with it. I wanted to write about these lengthy conversations I’ve had with friends and family where I encourage them to stick with the medication even when it doesn’t seem to be working, and where I tell them that they aren’t failures for needing to take medication, and that depression is a disease just like diabetes or high blood pressure and that it’s treatable and there’s no shame in seeking treatment for it, but all the while I secretly feel like I am a failure for needing to take it.

And then I end up where I am now, unhappy and unable to focus, increasingly erratic and having more and more trouble getting out of bed every day, but hoping against hope it’ll just go away this time because I’m sick of taking pills every day and I’m sick of going to the doctor and I’m sick of talking about it and I’m also sick of feeling this way.

14 Replies to “Ten Minutes”

  1. I don’t think you’re alone in thinking that you’re a failure for needing to take the medication. I’ve felt like that before too, and I’m sure many other people have felt like that. I actually stopped taking medication about a year ago, because I thought I could handle things myself. Sometimes I can, sometimes I can’t. But once you’re off it for a long time, it’s hard to get back on, even if you know you really need it.

  2. Let me tell you about my best friend, Lexapro. I started taking it over a year ago and after a few months of feeling like a totally normal and functioning person, I deluded myself into believing that I no longer needed the medication. It took a few months for the depression to sink back in but come back it did, with a vengence. There were days when I physically could NOT get out of bed and I have two small children to take of. My husband finally called our family doctor himself and made an appointment for me to go and speak with our doctor. I’ve been back on the meds for about a month and a half now and I feel terrific. It’s sometimes hard to accept the fact that you need to take a pill to make you feel and act like everyone else, but if that’s all it takes to make you function as you should, take it like I do and be thankful that you can get back to normal. To make light of the situation, my husband will say “have you taken your crazy pill today?” if I’m acting out of sorts. It’s actually funny and makes me grateful that I don’t have something terminally wrong with me. And sometimes if you feel that you need to shut yourself away from the world for a few hours or whatever, that’s ok too! Sometimes the solitude helps you put things into perspective. Good Luck Lorie! I hope you’re feeling better soon.

  3. Lorie, I had no idea you went through this same struggle. I too go through this drill every prescription renewal time and I loathe it. Like you said, it’s a conversation that needs to happen, but I never really want to have it, so I sometimes, stupidly let the medicine run out and torture myself for a few days. Plus I don’t feel like the medicine I’m on at the moment is quite right for me and I worry about the drama associated with switching to a new one, so I always finally get the same one renewed and go on with life.
    I hope you feel better soon.

  4. “I wanted to write about how ashamed of myself I am for being such an advocate for depression education while being too embarrassed to write about my own struggles with it.”

    Members of my wife’s family, including my wife, have imbalances that necessitate meds. When they take them, they are happy, productive members of the community. When they don’t, they have symptoms similar to what you describe.

    I wear glasses. I don’t like glasses, but they help me to perceive things I might not elsewise. So I will continue wearing them, even when my nose smarts from an small, errant arm flailed when horsing around with my kids (or wife…)

  5. Lorie, I was on and off anti-depressants for nine years (1987-1996). You name it: Elavil, Prozac, Wellbutrin. I also did some heavier stuff when things got bad. (18 months on lithium in 1990-1992.)

    I struggled with shame constantly, but was reminded over and over again that I was worth feeling well at any price. And, thank God, for whatever reason, my “brain changed” as I moved out of my twenties, and I haven’t had medication in nine years. It’s a blessing. But if I should need it again — I’d go back on in a heartbeat.

    Praying for you. Thanks for this candid entry.

  6. i get it. there’s logic and then there’s not logic. but just keep in mind that if you truly want to get off the meds this is the wrong way. you have to pare down slowly, not just stop taking them or else relapse is almost certain. on my first round with anti-ds i did the same thing you do. i eventually did go off them (and was off for four happy years) but had to wean myself and did have a little withdrawal. good luck whatever you choose.

  7. Wow… I don’t know what to say other than, “I hope you feel better soon…” :( I’m sorry.

    I struggle with depression a lot, and it seems a lot more frequently nowadays. I often wonder if I should see a doctor and be put on meds. I was severely severely depressed once before, and was strongly urged to see a doctor but I never did.

    The notion that I pulled myself out of that particular bout with depression on my own is what keeps me from contacting a doctor now. But I’m can’t be certain I ever fully “recovered.” I dunno.

    At any rate…Thank you for this. Now I don’t feel so alone anymore.

  8. speaking of Nada Surf, I have the songs Killian’s Red and Blond on Blonde help me get through sometimes. They’re pretty songs.

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