Thursday, June 05, 2008

Greetings from the other side

I believe that my depression is behind me. I know it's not a coincidence that it passed as soon as my period began.

It was awful. I felt isolated, misunderstood and completely unloved. My life was meaningless. I was fat and ugly and would never have sex again. I felt I was always on the verge of tears -- and trust me, I'm no crier.

I have spoken to both my shrink and my GP about this. I think it helps that they are both women and older than I am, so they have already traveled down this Hormone Highway themselves. As my mood darkens, I'm supposed to remind myself this isn't real … it's not my fault … it's hormones. I should carry my Xanax in my purse and remember, it's OK to pop one if I feel "the fury of the broken thunder come to match my raging soul."* My two doctors conferred on what meds to prescribe, and I have to remember that 3 Xanax pills a month won't make me dependent or turn me into Courtney Love. It will just alleviate my suffering.

In addition to Xanax and realistic self-talk, I worked out, avoided sad songs and stressful situations, and reminded myself that as long as I have my doctors and God looking out for me, I'll eventually be fine.

But don't ever let anyone tell you depression isn't serious. That hormones aren't powerful. That you can dismiss someone else's pain with, "It's all in your head." I've come out the other side and I can tell you truly, depression is all-encompassing and MISERABLE.

*From Laura Nyro's 70s classic, "Stoney End." Barbra Streisand's rendition of it sums up how I felt