12 weeks ago, I would not have thought this was possible.
In the first few days after getting out of the hospital, depression still had me not seeing much of anything. It was a struggle to get out of bed, to eat, to get dressed. There was a glimmer of hope that I was on a better path, but when I say glimmer, that’s being very generous.
My days were filled with forcing myself to go through the motions.
There were days finding a therapist. Days finding a Psychiatrist. Days working on finding myself. Every action was forced, deliberate, and draining. Understanding my new reality as I faced depression was a full-time job. I am grateful to everyone who rallied around me and helped me build a support group. I have been inspired by others to build a life where depression is not my boss.
But these thoughts kept popping into my head.
Where were these coming from? They weren’t nearly as frequent as the weeks before I sought professional help, but they were there none the less. They didn’t fill my days, but they were around. Before beginning the Prozac, I would have them periodically throughout the day.
Now, I would have one soon after getting out of bed.
Automatic thoughts are something everyone has. What we do with them is where it gets tricky. These thoughts I would have in the morning I would treat the same way I treat thoughts when I am meditating. I watch them arise, say something like “oh it’s you again,” and then I would let it go.
I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder with suicidal ideation.
Depression is a disease that has many components. And thoughts of suicide are a part of its toolbox. Thankfully, my focus has been on the “ideation” part, not the actual carrying it out part. I am way too frightened of death to think about doing away with myself. And, I am way to competitive. I want to see my 100th birthday. There is too much I haven’t done yet.
But even on the Prozac, the thoughts kept coming.
And then I noticed something was missing. The suicidal thoughts weren’t there. It was probably a week before I realized I wasn’t having them. Now it has been three weeks since I have had any ideation.
What a victory in my new life with depression.
There are so many tools I have learned which are helping me re-program my brain. I have learned how to challenge unhelpful thinking styles and am building a wellness recovery action plan. While all of this has been dramatic, I am not sure I would have been able to explore and embrace these tools without the help of Prozac.
For me, medication is a key part of my recovery.
It has given me back my mind. I am no longer up against the wall, but now I see options again. And I see a path forward. This is spectacular! Facing depression has made all the difference in my outlook on the future. I am no longer afraid of depression; I know it will be there. I also know it is not my boss.
Plus, now the suicidal thoughts have stopped.
This is a victory for my treatment plan. This is a victory worth celebrating. I am grateful that these thoughts have stopped. This reinforces my desire to continue my wellness plan because I can see the results. And even better, I am not thinking those thoughts.
I am once again looking forward to the future.
Your comments are appreciated as I continue my journey.