It’s Monday August 11th around 8pm. I’ve been sitting here with my husband and dogs for the past hour trying to decipher why someone with such an impact on so many lives felt that there was no way out. Felt that he was all alone. Felt that no one would be affected if he was gone. No one will know the exact reason. That’s the hard truth behind depression.
When I started this blog, I wanted to share my knowledge on makeup and skincare. I also wanted to show a small glimpse into my life as a makeup artist. I never thought that I would be able to use it to write about my journey through pregnancy. And most of all, I never thought that I would use it to tell my story of something I’ve kept private for 16 years except for my family and close friends….. Until now. I’m not here to gain attention. I’m not here to “glorify a hot topic”. I’m here to let people know that they aren’t alone. That it’s more common that you think.
I was first diagnosed with clinical depression my sophomore year of high school. I fought tooth and nail with my mom when she forced me to go to countless doctors appointments to find out why I had no energy. Why I felt alone even though I was surrounded by a loving family and friends. Why I felt like I was nothing. No one wants to admit they have a problem. Especially one that society leads us to believe that we can control on our own. I can’t remember the exact moment I succumbed to my fate. Maybe it was when my physician told me that I wouldn’t feel the way I was feeling anymore. That I would have a self worth I had been longing for. Maybe it was the conversation my mom had with my middle school and high school theatre teacher. But I gave in.
I was prescribed 10mg of Prozac to start off. It’s funny because I remember the exact moment I felt like how a human being is suppose to feel. I was sitting in algebra class and I was alert, awake, and ready to learn! Which was bizarre behavior for me because I despise math. But it was such a profound moment because I felt like I could finally do anything I set my mind to. One little pill helped me find my happy place!
Through the years, under my doctors supervision, my condition stabilized with the help of medication. I had ups and downs as I moved down to Orlando, FL after high school. As I tried to figure out my purpose in life. As I ultimately decided to go to esthetics school in St. Petersburg, FL and then move back home to start my new career. During this time, I was switched over to Effexor XR. Where most antidepressants are serotonin inhibitors (SSRIs), Effexor is an SNRI. SNRIs work to increase the activity of brain chemicals called serotonin and norepinephrine. We found that I was deficient in both chemicals. So therefore I was put on a stronger medication.
All in all, I couldn’t complain about my life with depression. It was controlled. But then a life was made. And the first thing I wanted to do was get off of my medication. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if something happened to my unborn child that could’ve been prevented by coming off of my medication. It’s a chance I wasn’t willing to take. I met with my doctor right after finding out I was pregnant. We decided on a plan to wean me off of the Effexor slowly for the following 7 weeks. Slow and steady is the key when coming off of antidepressants. Otherwise your body goes through severe withdrawal symptoms. My doctor reiterated that if I started to feel less energetic or down, that I could be put back on a milder antidepressant such as Zoloft or Prozac.
I was ready! Ready to start my new life off of medication! I thought that I would be on such a high from being pregnant that the transition would be a breeze. It’s funny looking back just a few weeks ago that I thought that I wasn’t depressed. I finally had an amazing husband, a new home, and new career path. The first few weeks went as well as can be expected. Besides the typical morning sickness, pregnancy exhaustion, and hormonal episodes, I felt like my transition was going well. But that changed about 2-3 weeks ago. I was on my last dose of Effexor and my depression reared it’s ugly little head. It took every ounce of my body to get up and get ready for the day. A couple of times I even broke down and just cried by myself. I was so achy like I had a bad fever. I felt like a burden to my husband and family. I felt…. Alone. But through all of this, I’m lucky enough to have “that person” in my life. And that person is my mom. Don’t get me wrong, my husband is my person too! He’s my rock, my everything. But my mom has been there for me since the very beginning of this journey. She gets it and just knows exactly what to do and say. I spent the weekend at my parents house the weekend I started to feel my depression come back. She helped me give in. She helped me see that it’s okay to reach out for help. For some reason I lost that. That’s the awful thing about depression. You feel alone because you don’t want to burden others with your feelings. You feel like people won’t understand. It’s so hard to push through that barrier. I know, I’ve been there….
I had my rock-bottom moment that weekend. I called my husband late at night hysterical because I thought that if I went to sleep, I wouldn’t wake up. I don’t know why I felt that way. But I felt like I was slowly dying.
After speaking with my doctor we decided to try a couple of other methods before going back on medication. It hasn’t been an easy transition. But I learned that I’m not a burden. That I’m not alone. By the grace of God I’ve never wanted to take my own life. I’ve hit rock bottom and thought there was no way out. But the idea of death scared me more than living with depression. So this is where I stand. Living with depression.
If you or someone you know is suffering from this ugly, ugly disease please call 1(800)273-8255. People care. People love you. And people will suffer if you’re gone…..