In light of recent celebrity news, many people have weighed-in on depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Jamie at The Very Worst Missionary re-posted her "Jesus or Zoloft" blog. Brant (former Air 1 DJ) re-posted "Is Jesus Enough?" Ann Voskamp - who's book 1,000 Gifts encourages readers to count their blessings - shared her struggle. And they aren't the only ones. Seems like everyone is taking this opportunity to (re)tell their story.
Initially, I made the decision not to re-share this blog. These gifted writers have said it all - far better than I could. However, with anxiety and depression, isolation is a huge issue. The lie that no one understands is prevalent. As is feeling alone, despite being surrounded by people.
With that, I once again give you my story. In the hopes that the more of us talk, blog, tweet, or comment about it, the more those in the midst of the darkness will realize they aren't alone.
A couple of weeks ago, I scheduled a doctor's appointment but felt uneasy about it. I've been having issues for the past few months, but wasn't confident that my doctor (who I love and think is fabulous) could really help. That particular Monday was an especially bad day, leading me to finally break down and call the doctor.
My appointment was scheduled for 8:30 the next day. I don't know how it works with your doctor, but appointments are never obtained that quickly with mine unless there is bodily fluid oozing out of an orifice.
In the waiting room, I was the first patient to be called back - despite the fact that others were there before me. The normal nurse was out for the day, and the fill-in chatted me up, helping take the edge off my nerves.
Then it was my turn with the doctor. I told her my WebMD diagnosis and waited for her to agree with me. Instead she asked my symptoms. I twisted my hands as I explained my problems have been more intense the past few months, but I suppose they’ve been around for a while now.
Family history was then discussed. I always knew it was a problem most of my family had, but I had never considered it to be significant enough to mention to the doctor. After only providing 3 examples, she interrupted.
“Do you ever…”
“Have you ever…”
I answered her questions as honestly as I could. I cried. We chatted. She explained. I left her office with 2 new prescriptions and a sense of dread in my heart. How in the world was I going to explain my need for medication to a man who doesn’t believe in medication? Who had to be begged to go to the doctor when a power tool accident left him bleeding?
Resistance was met – from Jay, my Mother, and from a friend, but not how I expected. All were showing a loving concern for my well being. All their points were valid, and taken under advisement.
I am thankful for them.
I’m also thankful that the morning I began taking my medication, my Bible reading plan had 2 Kings 20:1-7 selected for me. 7 Then Isaiah said, “Prepare a poultice of figs.” They did so and applied it to the boil, and he recovered. My study Bible commentary spoke to healing of God, and while some times He works in inexplicable ways other times God uses the current medication of the day for the healing of His children.
Today is my follow up. I’ve been taking my anti-anxiety medication for over 3 weeks now and am very pleased with the result. Honestly, I’m not sure how much of my progress is the actual medicine and how much is just the hope that life doesn’t have to be that way.
I don’t have to live with a racing heart and mood swings. I don’t have to grit my teeth at work, when someone wants my assistance. I don’t have to use every drop of restraint to resist yelling “awful!” when someone casually (and out of habit) asks “how are you?”
I will defeat this monster. Through the power of prayer, hope, and Xanax as needed.
***I’ve had several “been there done that” friends who’ve been willing to chat with me about their journey through anxiety and depression. I am thankful to have them in my life. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you are struggling.