Well I’ve just had a massive wake up call. This past two weeks have been a fucking unbearable roller coaster ride of emotions. I’ve lost one friend to suicide, one friend in a freak footy accident and my beloved grandfather and hero. I can’t say how, but even through all this, I’ve managed to keep my head above the water.
I can’t even begin to explain the sorrow of attending two funerals in two days, then only days later losing the one man who has been there for me unconditionally my whole life.
My heart aches, like actually physically aches, its so heavy in my chest but somehow I have pushed on. I have two babies, a husband and a community of thousands of amazing customers to think about, to keep me going and keep my head in the game.
Photo credit to The Frizz Kid
I should probably also add here that I’ve been taking antidepressants. I have struggled with depression my whole life but in the last three months I’ve been giving medication a try. To be honest I have always been against antidepressants but I was so far down the rabbit hole of depression that I started getting fleeting thoughts about suicide and that scared the shit out of me. So I thought it was worth a try.
My life has improved so much in the last three months but things like emotional state are hard to measure and I didn’t know exactly how much the medication was doing for me but agreed to my doctor that I’d give it 6 months before reassessing it. Then last Friday I was so busy with work and the cluster fuck of life that I’m currently in that I forgot to fill my prescription, then it was a long weekend and I didn’t get to the chemist. That left me off my medication for four days. I’d like to explain to you what that was like.
When I was on the medication I felt like I had big emotions but I was able to react to them in a healthy way. I’m sad, so very sad, but I can still function as a human being. As each day went on while off my meds, my ability to seperate myself from my emotions got worse. At the start I was able to see the sadness coming and ride it like a wave. I’d do things to bring it out like listen to a sad song or look at pictures of my grandfather, then I’d ride it out and follow it with something that made me feel better like a hot shower, chocolate or a nap. Then I’d feel better and I’d be able to get on with my day. Now off my medication I have become my emotions. There is no separation. I’m so overwhelmed by my emotions that I can’t even cope let alone function.
Another thing I’ve noticed is my ideas are bigger. I’ve always been a big ideas person and countless times a day before medication I used to let my mind take me on waves of ideas, I’d ride them for hours or days thinking about all the possibilities around that one idea. I’d question my current path (reality) & compare it to this idea (dream). I’d lose focus, lose sleep and lose hours of my day to these waves of ideas.
But they’re not all bad, I’ve also gained a lot from these idea waves, for instance Mama + Me was once an idea wave and I’m still riding it. The only difference is when I’m on my meds I’m able turn those dreams into a reality. I don’t get swept up in them anymore. I’m able to focus on the steps I need to take to make my dreams a reality.
I used to be so in my head that at times I felt like my head was too heavy for my body, like it could explode at any minute. I felt like a victim of my circumstance like I was paralysed with indecision. ‘My whole life is an enormous to do list. Where do I start?’ Or ‘I have so many great business ideas, where do I start?’ But after I started taking my meds I was finally able to see the steps I needed to take. I was able to step out of my emotions and get shit done. Then it just snowballed into an easier, more enjoyable day, week, month & life.
I think there are misconceptions about antidepressants like you’re instantly a human reproduction of ‘Joy’ from inside out. No that’s not the case, but I must admit off my meds I feel as hopeless and heavy as ‘sadness’, as anxious as ‘panic’ and I’m totally a ticking time bomb like ‘anger’. That shit is not fun for anyone, especially my poor hubby.
Anyway I just thought I’d share this with you to get a conversation happening. I recently lost a friend to suicide and while I was grieving and thinking that it could’ve just as easily been me, I read something that changed my life. It was of course from Glennon Doyl from the momastery and it said ‘anything you lose by telling the truth, you never had in the first place.’ So many times I’ve considered talking about my depression with people but then I wonder if they’ll think less of me as a mother and a business woman. If that is true then they probably didn’t think much of me in the first place so here goes…
I have depression.
It comes and it goes. Most of the time I have it under control but it’s always lurking under the surface. It hangs around me like a dark cloud and sometimes I have to give in and go back to bed for the day because my emotions are just too big. But here I am, showing up the best I can & I will continue to do so.
I now know that depression is not something I can control on my own. It’s just that my body is not able to create the serotonin I need to cope. Like a diabetic’s body not being able to create insulin. It doesn’t make me weak, but it is a sickness that I’m fighting every day.
I also know that antidepressants are not the fix for everyone but if you’ve experienced any of the things that I’ve mentioned here, I urge you to at least talk about it. Tell your friends or family, your partner or a doctor. Ask for help. Do some research & be willing to try lots of things to get better. There is no quick fix but suffering in silence is never going to get you the life you so deserve.
Each day I’m trying to get better at coping for the sake of myself, my family & my ability to help the world. So here I go, wish me luck!
P.S I’m back on my meds now and ready to take on the world. I’m able to be more proactive towards improving my mental health with meditation, healthy habits and working on my relationships so I’m not totally relying on my meds to do it all.
I’d love to hear your journey if you’re willing to share it with me. Thanks for reading 😊