When Depression Returns…
On Monday this week, I began ketamine treatments for treatment-resistant depression. I had heard I would get relief much more quickly than with traditional SSRI’s, so I was hopeful. I wrote this yesterday, feeling ready to be done with everything. I was frustrated and tired and angry. But, this morning, I went for my usual mental health run, and I saw the wildflowers on the path. I came home and saw my husband blow drying my daughter’s hair so that it would look just like Violet Baudelaire’s, and those small things brought me joy.
If the following resonates with you, please talk to a loved one, a ward member, a medical professional. Please know you are worthy of being here, and your brain is not giving you an accurate perception of your value. See the end of this post for resources that I have found helpful in my management of this illness.
I set boundaries; I kept them strong and adjusted others.
I worked so hard to not let the depression back into my life.
I was honest (maybe too honest) about my failings and self-doubt.
I meditated and journaled and ran miles.
I moved my running time back so I could make sure I got enough sleep.
I eat the foods that sound good and eat on regular schedules.
I accepted what I could not change and changed what I could.
I prayed and fasted and hoped and had faith.
Please don’t let this happen again.
Please don’t let me keep hurting my family and friends.
Please just let me go back to my old life.
I tried new medicines. I adjusted old ones. I tried acupuncture (and it made me feel so good if only for the day of each treatment), and now, I’m trying a new and radical treatment, which right now, is a blessing only in that it allows me the relief of not hating myself for a couple hours three times a week.
I don’t have as many communities to fall back these days; I dropped a lot of them to “simplify” my life.
I am lucky to still have friends and family who show up, even though I’m not much of a friend or family member anymore. I tell the demons in my head that they don’t hate me.
I’m embarrassed and tired and ashamed.
I had a different plan for this journey. I’m learning to adjust.
There is help; I have to remember to ask for it.
Crisis Text Line
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (chat and phone)
UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC) Guided Meditations: https://www.uclahealth.org/marc/mindful-meditations
Self-Compassion: the Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Dr. Kristin Neff, https://self-compassion.org/
Furiously Happy: a Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson
National Alliance on Mental Ilness: https://www.nami.org/