Short answer: They’re bringing me back to life.
Long answer: It’s been ten months since I’ve been married, which means about ten months since the fire was turned up under me, and it’s been about six months since I hit a freaking emotional wall full of pain because of people being unkind to me and to my husband, which means, it’s been about four months since I began taking an anti-depressant.
And I wanted to check in for a couple reasons.
One, because I know you all care, which is sweet. And two, because anti-depressants can be controversial and I wanted to say something about that.
So, first of all, I want to thank Jesus and my husband and Prozac (not all in equal measures, but still…) for helping me start to feel basically not so sad all day every day.
This season had just kicked my ass, there’s no other way to put it, I’m afraid. It was (and still lingeringly has been) rough on me and on us. People-hurting-people is the worst kind of hurting, I think, and my least favorite, for sure.
But I am grateful to say that between Jesus doing what he does (heals) and my husband stepping up in ways I didn’t expect (putting me first time-wise, for instance, and trying to be very compassionate and understanding) and yes, my anti-depressant doing what it does (rebalance some chemicals in my brain a bit), I am feeling a bit better.
Not all the way better. Not laughing all day every day. But, well, first of all, I never laughed all day every day to begin with, so if I were now, I should probably be concerned, and more importantly, my aim is not to “feel” better. My aim was to help me clear my mind and my heart a bit from the noise and the rumble and the voices that just wouldn’t die down (not, as in, I am hearing voices; but, as in, the harsh and inappropriate words replaying over and over in my head, the anxiety that would bubble up to the surface, the thoughts that would keep me up at night).
And the voices are quieter. I still think about these things for sure. But I’m not obsessed anymore. They don’t wake me up in the middle of the night anymore and keep me awake for three hours anymore. They don’t make me cry in the shower anymore. They don’t follow me around when I’m driving or putting my make-up on anymore. They’re all still there…I have forgotten none of the words…but the volume has been turned very, very low on them these days.
And I’m grateful. And I do truly thank Jesus for Jesus, and I thank Jesus for my sweet husband, and I thank Jesus for my medication.
But quickly onto this one little thing. I am not saying that anti-depressants are the way to go. I am not saying that everyone who is a bit sad should go on meds. I am not saying medication plus nothing else is the answer. I am not saying once you get on an anti-depressant, you had better stay on an anti-depressant.
I am simply saying they have worked for me. I am simply saying they have worked for others. I am simply saying they have been one tool in my very large toolbox to help me move forward, that I have combined with things like yoga, and continuing my daily quiet times, and quality time with my husband, and continuing to eat well, and continuing to drink a lot of water, and continuing to stay in contact with my girlfriends, and continuing to write, and continuing to check in with my mentor and counselor and doctor, et cetera. And I am saying, as of now, I already have a cut-my-intake-in-half date on the calendar, along with a you-can-stop-now date in my head as well. This is not a long-term thing for me. (It may be for some, if that’s what you and your doctor think is best.)
I am not an advocate for one thing over another. I am an advocate for when your life is a mess and you feel stuck and what you usually do isn’t working, then try a few new things. I didn’t go back on these without first talking to my husband and my mentor and my counselor and my doctor and mostly Jesus. So, of course, pray it all the way through.
You are absolutely allowed to disagree with me. But, in this one issue, my mind is made up and I’m okay with my decision. And you can do what is best for you.
‘Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. -Jeremiah 33:6
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I heard the Christian counselor, Leslie Vernick, speak at a women’s retreat about depression medication. She suggested that if we were to break a leg, we would use crutches. However, once the leg healed, we wouldn’t need the crutches anymore. Nor would you still want to use a crutch if your leg was functional. It is the same with depression medication; you use it when you need to with the goal of getting to the point of not requiring it.
I agree that people hurting people inflicts the most intense and life-altering pain. I’m glad you pulled some more tools out of your toolbox. This post is a good reminder to all that our words can change the course of someones life. And possibly, that change has the potential to be irrevocable.
Just wanted to chime in with:
– YAY for what both Laurie and Lynn said. I agree wholeheartedly!
– I have been in a place where the hurtful words of another person kept me from sleep. It is a hard and vulnerable place to be. I rejoice for you that you have Jesus and your hubby and friends and advisers and an accepted season of meds to help.
– I also grieve for and with you. I truly do. Even though my circumstances are and were different, we have a couple things in common. We both have very tender hearts, easily wounded. We both follow hard after Jesus. And although I’m divorced, I have been single again for 12 years. Nonetheless, I have an excellent support system, as do you.
– I am pleased to see this update from you, and proud of you that you are willing to claim help from every resource that presents itself. (That, in itself, is a battle I have fought, and with Jesus’ help, have won. Not easy.) And that you proclaim it with no apologies.
It hard to be exposed to hurtful and critical words. I pray that light overcomes – in increasing measure – the darkness and pain. I pray for you and yours, and remain,
Your Sister in Christ,
Excellent! and Amen!! We should each examine our situation and be honest about what we need to complete our healing. It won’t look the same for me as for you…but if you pray for direction, it will come and you will heal from this trauma.
Amen Beth!! Once again your willingness to be vulnerable has touched us all in different ways! I needed anti-depressants for a season, but I have friends who need them always. I have been on high blood pressure meds since I was 32 (so 20 years: yikes) I am in no way over weight, I eat right and I exercise moderately. High blood pressure just runs in my family and I will be on them, mostly likely, the rest of my life. How is my physical condition any different than my friends who need anti- anxiety or anti-depression medication? It should not be the stigma that it can sometimes still be!!
God bless you. Praying all of this will calm down soon. In the mean time I know you are seeking God and trusting His Faithfulness through your stormy season!!