I am not to much of a beat around the bush type so I am going to come right out and say this..I suffer from depression. I have for the past 13+ years. If that makes me crazy, then so be it. This is a bit of my story of combat against my own demons.
It has been 11 years since I started taking medication to combat my depression, and almost 8 years since I have been on one specific med (the only one that I ever found to work). I haven’t felt depressed in years because of this medication but I was always scared and worried that I could fall back into depression at any time. A depression that does not make you feel sad but actually makes you feel nothing.
I have been there before. The beast that kills all emotions. Never happy, never sad, never proud, never scared, just numb. Always numb.
I used to lay in bed and stare at the wall. What was the point of getting up to do anything? It didn’t make me happy. It didn’t make me FEEL at all. Unless you have felt that black hole of nothing-ness yourself, there is no way to explain it so that someone who hasnt experienced it will understand. I was a zombie, moving about my days copying others expresions, copying their emotional responses I remember, on several occasions the feeling of my cheeks aching from smiling with my friends. But I wasn’t smiling because I was having fun, I was smiling because everyone else was smiling and I knew that that was what I needed to do. In reality I was thinking the entire time ‘how much longer can I hold this smile, and fake this laugh, before they notice that I am a fraud”. .
A little over half a year ago I decided (with the advice and help of my doctor) that I would come off of my medications to see if my body still needed them. For me depression was so much more than just sadness and I was so scared to come off of the medication that regulated my emotions for so long.
I was scared but I knew that it was something I needed to try. I knew that if I didn’t I would regret it for the rest of my life. So I did it. I came off my medication and I am doing great. But that doesn’t mean that I am free of depression or its claws forever.
I can still feel it trying to get me to slip up every once in a while. Not too often but every now and again. I feel the anxiety, the irrational fears, the restlessness, the EXTREME irritibility, the complete lack of motivation to do anything. Those are my warning signs. The warning signs that tell me that I need to get my butt in gear to keep my head on straight and not fall back into that black hole of nothing-ness.
Do you know what I do now, when I begin to feel those symptoms creeping up on me? I excersize. I walk, I run (even if for only a few minutes 🙂 ), I go to the gym, I lift weights, and I work my body hard until I dont feel the claws grasping at me anymore.
I know I’ve mentioned it before but for me, the gym isn’t just about GAINS or weight loss. The gym or excersize in general, for me, clears my head. It helps me to think straight and get my ‘CRAZY’ in check lol. When I am finished a good workout, I feel relaxed and fearless. I feel balanced and stable. I feel strong and motivated to keep doing good.
The fact that I actually feel those things though, that is the biggest accomplishment in my books. Working out is NOT the only thing I do to keep my ‘Crazy’ in check. I have to make sure that I am also doing things for myself, eatting right (for the most part) and making sure that I am honest with myself, doing self-checks to make sure that my ‘Crazy’ is not slipping.
Today, I feel great. Today, even when I have my low moments I rise up. Today, I have my ‘Crazy’ in check.