The other day my good friend asked me for a new blog post. I told her I had nothing new to write about but that I would think about it.
The truth is, I have taken a major step in the last couple of weeks but have (for some reason) been reluctant to share. Maybe because this is something I haven’t done since my mother died 18 years ago. Maybe because I have always felt it was great for other people but not for me (kind of like Breaking Bad).
No, I haven’t started doing Meth (though I think the South Dakota government wants us to?) My newest Vice is taking antidepressant medication.
I fought against it for such a long time (much to my detriment). It was fine, to me, if someone admitted that they needed help. It was great if there was something that they couldn’t handle and needed help with. I was never one to judge anyone taking them and often admired their courage for reaching out and saying so. It just wasn’t for me. I didn’t need it.
And then I got everything (nearly) that I wanted. Great job, beautiful marriage, wonderful friends, insane travel opportunities. I even made a playlist!! about having it so good.
But that sinking, awful, no good feeling still persisted. I was able to pass it off and work around it at times, self medicating when possible (never a good plan). But there were times when the depression just took hold. Like a rock in a bubble. You can only float that weight so long.
I often thought of it like a happy go-lucky dude. Just walking around, minding his business. And then someone would pass him a brick. And it was no big deal! Carrying a brick is easy. But then 100 other people handed off bricks. And you hadn’t yet put one down. Because every bad thought in your brain, every relationship, every obligation, is a BRICK. And all of a sudden you think you are doing your best, holding all of the bricks, juggling them at times… And then your arms get tired. So tired. They hurt, and you just cannot hold all of them..
Needless to say, I did not make a house of my bricks. I dropped them all.
This isn’t the first time it has all come crashing down. Not the first time I tried to go it alone without success. But, somehow, this crash hurt the most. Maybe because I had really convinced myself of my strength this time? Maybe because what I had built from the bricks looked so lovely before it all fell down? I don’t know.
The difference this time, is that I refuse to go with the status quo. I am not going to allow this to happen YET AGAIN. I am working hard for my mental health and taking time to really get to know myself and my issues for the very first time since I was a teenager (and who the fuck knows themselves at 17??).
I know there is more work to be done going forward. I am seeking therapy and exercise (both of which I have hated in the past). But, it has occurred to me that I would like to live a full life. One filled with happiness and promise. Just because my mother died at 46, does not mean that I need to or should. Just admitting that is a new step. I look forward to taking many others. And much like the Matrix, it all starts with a little pill…