I have spent the last year in a battle with... myself. I have never found life easy. I struggle with anger and feeling like a failure, terrified of facing my own shortcomings. Last fall I felt terrible. I went to my doctor. Was it Lyme's disease, allergies, did I have an auto-immune disorder, was my thyroid on the rampage? At counseling, I was a wreck and Mike and I were fighting all the time. Finally, after months of blood tests and doctor's visits, my doc called me. "I think you are depressed." What! No way! I don't struggle with depression. She made some gentle suggestions and said I should think about my options. The kicker was, the week before, my counselor had suggested that I may be struggling with depression and I had roundly rejected the idea. But here it was again... So I met with a psychiatrist who consulted with my doc and counselor (am I sounding full-on crazy yet?) and they felt that due to changes caused by perimenopause (i.e. I am getting old) I was experiencing depression exacerbated by loss of my support network I had in Pittsburgh.
I have always been a person on the go, and now I couldn't get through the day without 2 or 3 naps. I am not a fan of medications and I have a lot of issues due to my pancreas and gut that restrict what meds I can take. Yet here I was receiving good, Godly counsel that perhaps during this season of hormonal chaos a low dose of anti-depressant might help. My counselor made a comment that really struck me, she said, "It doesn't have to be this hard." She could see how hard I was trying, when to the casual observer, I just seemed to be wallowing.
In my life, when two or more faithful people independently make an observation or recommendation I am likely to listen. I find that this is how God gets my attention and guides me especially when I am unsure of what to do next.
So early in 2019 I started on a low-dose of anti-depressants. I have watched many friends deal with side-effects, poor results, and a long haul to find a medication that works for them. I was prepared for a murky, messy road and instead it simply worked. Textbook worked. I began to feel more settled and less anxious and overwhelmed within a week. In a month I found my feet, I felt eased in mind and spirit. Life wasn't so hard and then I found my joy.
Ironically, I am now wondering if my entire adult life I haven't needed a little hormonal/chemical help. I am grateful to my doc, counselor and the time and team effort to support me and guide me. I am even more grateful to my husband who chose not tie me up or run away when I was at my most distressed and aggressive. I would rather that my body work without medical intervention, but it doesn't. I am glad that there is help and I am glad I got it.
Every day that I wake up feeling good- I rejoice, every day that I don't spend in an angry funk-I rejoice, everyday that I have a migraine makes the days that my head doesn't hurt a gift and a pleasure. I still have cruddy days, but they are fewer, milder and shorter lived. I look forward to being able to face each new challenge with a greater emotional equilibrium, clearer vision and whole lot of JOY!