Hello dear reader
Note: There were some issues with publishing this post. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.
I try very hard to keep a positive outlook on my life, and most of the time I’m fairly successful. But I have to admit that I’ve been in a really bad place recently. It’s hard to explain, but I just gave up. I didn’t follow up on getting my teeth fixed, or doing the mammogram or colonoscopy my doctor ordered a month ago. I stopped wearing any jewelry or make-up. I didn’t care what I wore, just pulled on clothes because it’s what I had to do. I didn’t keep up with housework or laundry, just did what absolutely had to be done. Nothing mattered. I didn’t want to do anything but sleep. I felt done.
The thing is that I didn’t realize what was going on, or didn’t care. I’m not certain which. Maybe both. But I woke up this morning and felt different. I got up, took a bath, thought about what I was going to wear and got dressed, and started cleaning the house. Yes, I know. It was classic depression. But what I don’t know is where it came from and where it went.
I’ve dealt with depression for the majority of my life and have been on some kind of antidepressant or another for years. I know the signs and symptoms. I know things that help and things that make it worse. But I cannot see it when I’m in it.
About three weeks ago I woke up at 3:30 in the morning with a high fever and having convulsions. My husband rushed me to the hospital, where they diagnosed me with pneumonia. They gave me a prescriptions for antibiotics and home oxygen and told me to follow up with my primary care doctor, which I did. I spent the next week and a half in a LOT of pain and completely exhausted. The one good thing that came out of it was that I quit smoking. I’ve tried so many times and ways. All of a sudden I simply had no more urge to smoke! Almost worth the pneumonia… maybe. The point to this long story (yes, there is a point) is that there’s a possibility all of that happening had something to do with the depression coming on. I say possibility because I believe the depression started before the pneumonia and all that went with it.
So I still don’t know where (why?) it came from or where (why?) it went. I only know that I’m very glad it’s gone and that I have a TON of catching up to do.
I think the reason it’s important to me to put all of this out there is that there is still a stigma about mental illness, which depression is a form of. But I don’t choose to be mentally ill any more than I choose to have Chiari Malformation or chose to have pneumonia. There should be no more stigma attached to mental illness than there is to physical illness.
There needs to be conversation about these things. Only by talking about them can people understand what mental illness is and is not. Communication is what will bring us out of the dark ages and the fear that goes along with ignorance.
Until next time….