My foray into mental illness
|August 1, 2007, started out like every other day in my life. I ran around the house fighting with the clock. There never seemed to be enough time in the morning. I finally grabbed my purse and ran out of the house, slamming the door shut behind me. I started the car, pulled out of the driveway and around the corner. I made it about a block and a half when the tears just began falling from my eyes. I just couldn't face another day. I couldn't face one more minute. I felt so overwhelmed, as if my brain was as full as it could get. My thoughts were all over the place, none of them making any sense, as I pulled over and began to sob, my breath ragged, my breathing hard. The tears streamed down my face. I cried as I've never cried before. It took me close to twenty minutes to calm myself. What on earth was happening to me? I drove straight to the hospital. I cried all the way there, wiping my eyes with my sleeve when stopped at a red light, oblivious to my surroundings.|
I made it to the hospital and went into the clinic. I've been going to this clinic for the past eight years for a chronic disease I acquired. The receptionist, who knows me well, took one look at me and called my psychiatrist. I sat and waited, tears erupting spontaneously even as I wiped them from my eyes.
My psychiatrist came out and brought me into an examining room. She asked me what was wrong. I tried to explain; I had no idea. I just can't stop crying. Eventually it was decided to change my antidepressant and send me for intensive out-patient therapy.
For the next two weeks, I sat in my house and would just cry. I cried so much it was almost unbearable. I found I didn't want to leave my house, nor did I want anyone at my house. I wasn't able to work. I barely managed to drag myself out of bed just so that I could walk to the living room to lie on the couch. I would have crying jags that left me exhausted. Some days I just sat and stared into space as if I were catatonic. I was tired of trying. I was tired of life. The only bright thing in my life - the tiniest ray of sunshine in my otherwise drab world, was my little boy. He is the only reason I kept on trying to function.
What I experienced, I found out later, was a Major Depressive Episode. I'd been treated for depression in the past - I was actually taking an antidepressant when this happened. Apparently, I just reached my breaking point.
Living with depression is one of the most difficult things I have ever experienced. It has affected every facet of my life - my work, my home, my family, my friends - everything. I had felt as though I would never again feel happiness or joy - or anything, for that matter. But, slowly I am beginning to heal. After nearly three months of intensive therapy and many medication changes, I can see some light ahead - a future. I am finding it easier to cope with life on its own terms. It may still be a little foggy, but at least I know eventually the sun will shine.