Whenever I remember my childhood it always seems like my memory's lens is covered with a grey film that can't wash off. There is a darkness that no one seems to beleive or understand, not even myself. I was always lagging several steps behind my peers, perceiving things (often wrongly) with gut-wrenching intensity. Aside from my general human wickedness, I was just sad. I remember my mother telling me a story she had read that I can barely stand to repeat or remember and hearing it as a second grader just ruined me. I literally fell into a depression that I could not escape for months, and my whole life seemed defined by that moment. I could not succeed in school. I could not care. I could not love God. I could not move one foot in front of the other to do anything I was supposed to do for any length of time where it would matter. I could muster the strength for a couple of days, and then I would collapse again. I told myself, if you just got married, you'd get better. Then, if you were a mother, you'd HAVE to get better. Then, if you just took the right vitamins and ate the right food, you'd find your golden ticket to wellness. I shunned pharmaceuticals as a crutch of the weak and foolish. I didn't take drugs when I was birthing my babies, even the 10 lb girl I was in labor with for 36 hours. What I failed to recognize is that birth was 36 hours, but my life had been going for 30 years or more and I was still being tortured by who I was.
I finally realized, after visiting a psycologist and talking to a good friend, that I had nothing left to lose by trying to fix my broken brain chemistry. Depression and mental illness run in my family on both sides. And most assuredly, it is an illness, like diabetes or other chronic, deadly conditions. It was not being "sad" so much as physical heaviness and constantly feeling like my brain was full of rocks. I was constantly cycling, from super mom who makes homemade chicken stock and cookies to a semi-comatose sack who is constantly irritated and could barely speak to her beautiful children. It had to stop.
I've been on the generic for Prozac for over a month now, and...I'm astounded. I am even. I am level. The moments of profound, nasty irritation are essentially gone. The "edge" is gone...that thing that made me brittle, that filled me with anger, that made me feel like I was falling down a well and pull myself up onto the bucket before my lungs exploded. The water never reaches past my knees now. I can now honestly say that if I am stressed, or sad, it is from actual circumstances that I can cope with, rather than my body just rebelling against me for no reason.
I have damage control to do. I have to re-establish bonds with children that I have tormented with my ugliness, my hatefulness. And I have to work out my faith with fear and trembling, because for years I beleived I had a spiritual problem to be healed from. It can shake up your love for God when you feel he has let you down. I'm not sure it's him, more things I have believed in my stead-fast ignorance . We'll be alright, we always are. I just need to work it out.
To all the friends who I have dumped on over the years, I apologize. It was always amazing to know that I was making a complete ass out of myself in front of people whose griefs I could not comprehend. There were things jumping around in my brain that I was unable to cope with, and I'm sorry you had to listen to the incoherent ramblings of a sick person all the time.
To everyone who feels the way I have...you are not a bad person. You need help. It's not your fault. Please don't hesitate to seek help, to give yourself a foothold in this world.