Well, it’s been just over two weeks without meds, for the first time in 5 years or so – and I actually feel good!
I was so terrified by the memories of what life was like without meds back then – but with the amazing work I’ve done through therapy and the amazing works that God has done in, with and around me I’m feeling free and chirpy! Yes I still have chronic pain and fatigue and yes I still have depression but I feel that this has been a big and positive step!
Since having a bit of a clearer head I’ve been reading a lot about the meds I was on and sadly realising how little I and my GP knew about them and how wrong they were for me – and how common this is for so many people. I’ve also been saddened by people having similar experiences to me, such as being prescribed drugs and sent away with no real chance to just TALK and the GP having no real knowledge of my/our situation.
I am so thankful for the therapy I’ve had and am having but I know would NEVER had had the opportunity if it weren’t for a lot of financial help. It’s so easy to get lost in the system and to be treated as a number or a faceless problem. If it weren’t for my family, financial aid to be able to access help and my therapist I honestly am unsure as to whether I would still be alive…which makes me wonder about those who don’t have these things. And I don’t say that lightly.
For example, how you’re sent away with drugs, leaflets and phone numbers really upsets me. More often than not – if you struggle with depression, you will struggle with anxiety. Therefore, taking yourself to a group, leaving the house or making a phone call is something you just CANNOT do. Left then only with drugs to take that make you sweat excessively, shake, twitch, salivate, vomit, make you dizzy, make you manic, increase suicidal thoughts and feelings and so much more – you are in trouble.
Oh yes, and of course you’re put on this waiting list to see a free therapist – sounds good right?! Except this list is like, eternal and actually you probably won’t get to have one to one sessions. Sadly, this is hardly ever recommended to you so in reality, you’re put on a waiting list to get approximately 20 group sessions of CBT to learn how to cope practically. Like timetables. And stuff.
Again – not something I ever felt I could do, or infact wanted to do. Perhaps in a few years time when I had actually been given the chance to learn what was going on with me, had begun learning to heal and to express it what was going on inside me, perhaps then….but as a first measure?? NO! No no.
Plus, this is without my (then) GP having any real knowledge of what I was struggling with exactly – all they had to go on was a desperate delirious me saying I couldn’t cope with feeling so low all the time. How could they know CBT would work for me? How could they be sure I was capable of making rational decisions? How could they be sure that I would go? How could they know what drugs would help or harm me? HOW COULD THEY KNOW?
My appointment went (sadly) like this: The doctor asked me what seemed to be the problem, looked out of the window while I tried to answer, asked if I smoked and – with the door half open, having been hastily prescribed drugs – asked if I wanted to kill myself.
One of my biggest worries is that when you struggle with this stuff, you NEED accountability. You need a LOT of help and support and encouragement. You need people turning up outside your door to take you to things – even if you’ve said no. You need someone elses voice to block out the ugly noise going on inside of you. Sometimes you even need someone to physically fight you or hold you or drag you! Depression tends to freak you out and make you do crazy things. Being sent away to have to access all of the worlds support groups alone is not something that makes much sense to me.
I’m still terrible at throwing all of my energy at trying to be normal and funny and ok and good company. I’ve seen so many adverts and videos and leaflets and campaigns that plead with people to be real and to talk openly about how they’re feeling etc (which I actually truly do agree with) – but honestly? People can’t handle it. And how could they? I’VE never been trained or advised on how to cope with somebody who is suicidal or hears voices or who isn’t in control of themselves all of the time. How would I cope if my mother or son started chatting to me about how they were planning to end their lives, or how this person with a strange name was telling them things and would often take over them? Or if they turned up at my workplace in having a crazed episode or having just self harmed?
We can be SO ANNOYING. I am such hard work and I will take you to the edges of your love and acceptance and grace and friendship.
People who struggle with this stuff are hard work-FACT.
You will not find yourself in a nice, neat two way relationship that is fair and equal and rewarding. Oh no. You will be messed around, hurt, quite possibly hit at, cried on, rejected, ignored, shouted at and lied to. You will have to bandage us up, wait for hours outside our door, listen to us sob endlessly about things that may not make sense or indeed be at all real. We will forget things, demand things, refuse things and expect things. We are unreliable, self absorbed, unpredictable and worst of all – there really isn’t much you can do to help.
Not to be too controversial, but I really don’t think you can treat depression like any other illness. Because it won’t treat you like that! And it doesn’t treat its victims like that either. It is unique in so many ways and it is still such a mystery even to the brightest of minds.
So this muddled rant is finished, I didn’t expect to write most of that and it isn’t a work of art – but it’s honest and just my thoughts and experiences.
Here’s to tomorrow!