Asking for professional medical help was one of the hardest things I have ever done.
I started writing the morning after I was released from the hospital. In 5 North, I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder, with suicidal ideation. Feeling up against the wall, seeking professional medical advice was the least hard of the three choices I felt I had.
Choice #1 was to end it all. This idea pops up from time to time, but I have never acted on the idea. Having not made my peace, I am frightened of the afterlife. Plus, being incredibly competitive, I want to see my 100th birthday.
Choice #2 was the middle ground. I knew that I could keep doing what I had been doing but expect a different result. Now that idea is crazy. Yet, I have fallen back on that concept repeatedly. This time, I decided that choosing this idea was not going to work. Looking back now, I can see that it has never worked.
In the end, I picked door #3 and I sought professional medical advice.
I am still paying the price for this decision. And I am still reaping the benefits. But that morning, I had no idea how things would turn out. All I knew was that I needed a different plan. 44+ years of not facing or examining what was going on finally caught up with me. And while I am 100% confident that morning would not have resulted in my taking my own life, the idea was on the table.
My writing has been all about my own personal recovery.
Writing, blogging, in a public space has kept me honest. It as allowed me to work through many tough challenges and see my choices in the light of day. One of depressions best tools is secrecy. Sneaking around, it loves it when I keep secrets. So, writing in a public forum keeps me from having secrets that only depression and I share.
I have been painfully honest about what is going on in my head.
And as I have begun to examine my feelings and core emotions, I have written openly about the experience. It turns out I have been such an expert at concealing my feelings, I am starting from the beginning. After almost 16 months, Unhelpful Thinking Styles are the easiest for me to recognize. Experiencing my core emotions is still very much a work in progress.
Now, after writing 361 blog posts about my experiences, my focus is changing.
There are still up days and down days. Life is not linear. But the good news is I am no longer looking over my shoulder to see when the next “circle the drain” episode is coming. My Doctors and I have worked through Prozac and have found Wellbutrin XL. This has resolved my trouble with getting out of bed in the morning. Even better, I do not have that 1 to 3 hours of groggy, unfocused, foggy time before I can face the day.
So, as I continue to blog, I am spending more time writing about the tools that have given me a new lease on life.
Sharing these and having them be a resource for others makes the effort worthwhile. And the act of researching these tools and writing about them also helps me immeasurably. I finally recognize and can say, “I have depression, depression does not have me.”
In the coming weeks, I will be revamping my website making the tools I have found to address my depression and anxiety easier to access.
I’m not sure what this will look like, but I hope it will be helpful to others. For me, staying on top of what’s working is an important part of my leading a balanced life with depression. In addition to the courses I have completed, I have signed up for upcoming seminars and conferences being put on by several mental health groups. These are and will be a key component of my continued recovery.
Thank you for continuing to read my blog.
I hope my writings give you hope, or clarity, and possibly an insight into something you thought only you had experienced. I have been surprised in Peer Support Meetings to hear people talk about the very thing I felt only I had ever suffered. Those experiences validate my feelings about the event and show me I am not alone.
My hope for each of us is to feel we are not alone.
My concealed depression is written under the alias “Depression is not my boss.” I have certifications in SMART Recovery and am a Global Career Development Facilitator.
Diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder last year, I am sharing what I learn.
If you know someone who might benefit from reading this, please share.
I very much appreciate your comments. I learn from them and respond to everyone.