The day I hit bottom, or at least what felt like bottom to me, was the day my denial ended. It was the first day the stigma no longer mattered to me. Failure was no longer represented by taking medication, but instead meant not taking medication and remaining stuck in this place of unhappiness and fear. The day started with my feeling awful – depressed, anxious, upset, frustrated – and it kept getting worse throughout the morning. Sometime during the late morning, I had a defining moment when I knew that I did not want to live the rest of my life on this roller coaster of uncertainty that accompanied each day. I knew, at that moment, that I wanted to live the best life that I could, and I knew that I was not even close to that kind of life as I sat there thinking about my options.
First, I called my husband at work and told him how bad I was feeling, and that I had decided that I was ready to do whatever it took to get back on track to a happy and healthy future. Because I believed that the best place to start in the right direction was with my therapist, I asked my husband if he would meet me at the therapist’s office if the therapist had time to see me that day. My husband said yes, and asked if I could drive myself there or if I needed him to come get me. Somehow, I knew I could drive. I called the doctor, and one hour later my husband and I were sitting in his office. It did not take long for me to explain how miserable I felt, and how ready I was to do whatever it took to feel better. I was done with denial, and ready to move forward. He asked if I was ready to take some medication, and I said yes. He then called the psychiatrist who is associated with the same office, and an appointment for me was set up for the next day.
I was very lucky that it all came together so quickly. Fortunately, the first medication prescribed worked immediately for me. Of course, I had to let the medication work its way into my system, but it did so without any bumps other than progressively delivering every anticipated side effect. Luckily, each one lasted about 24 hours. Remember, I remarked that this all happened quickly? But putting it in a time perspective, it took roughly three years for quickly to happen.
After the prescribed six weeks of letting the medicine build up in my system, I noticed a marked improvement in my mood. Things that I had understood intellectually after months of talking with the therapist (before taking the medication) were now beginning to become part of my internal tape, and I could actually begin to “walk the walk.” I felt more comfortable in my own body and more secure that a full and rich future lay ahead. I was now receiving the chemical/mental support to enable me to continue working with my therapist and peel away the remaining layers of the onion. The verbiage we (the therapist and I) had exchanged over the past three years became more than just words. I was now able to translate the verbiage into actions. I also noticed that the medicine continued to build for an entire year before appearing to level out. With each passing week, I could feel additional strength of spirit and purpose.
Everyone has to take his or her own path. No one walks that path with you. A person can get a ton of advice and support from friends and professionals, but in the end, we each walk our path alone, and make our choices alone. The most important point to remember, based on my experience, is that we can only make those choices when we are ready, and not a moment sooner.
4 thoughts on “And Not A Moment Sooner”
I think firstteachers (above) said it well.
thank you for your comments and the video. she speaks to the exact issues that are very important to me. i am going to continue to share and continue to try to reduce the stigma that is so very negative in the scheme of healing.
My goodness, thank you so very much for sharing your story. I so admire your courage and strength. The importance of removing the stigma surrounding our mental and emotional struggles cannot be overstated. Sharing our personal stories may the most useful, and also the most difficult, place to start. Thank you for sharing your story.
I thought you might appreciate this:
I cry every time I watch it!