Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Stop the Ride, I Wanna Get Off

I have to stray away from my normal posting today. The world lost a very important, loving being yesterday. The death of Robin Williams seems to have struck a chord with many individuals. Chances are, someone you know, at some point in their lives was influenced by him, was made to laugh by him, or can remember being captivated by a performance of his. He fought demons that ran deep, a true Pagliacci. A comedian to the rest of us, but somewhere, deep inside this sad clown was always harboring an intensity, hiding an insecurity or an overwhelming feeling that he could not manage.

Depression is never easy. Suicide is never the answer. A permanent solution to a seemingly temporary problem that just so happens to swallow you whole is not the solution. I don't agree with the assumption that suicide is selfish. Far from it. Someone in that state never thinks very highly of themselves. Someone in that state thinks the world is a better place without them, a burden of their being is lifted from those around them and a pressure to perform is gone. That's not selfish. That's desperation.

This past year I lost a friend to suicide. I found out from his ex-husband (also my mutual friend) that this person had attempted to take his own life before last year, but managed to accomplish the task this year. Recently, I also fell down the rabbit hole of Googling people from previous lives I used to live and realized that my first lover, actually killed himself last summer. I had not spoken to him in over 14 years, but that memory remains of someone being your "first", and the feeling that life must have been so terrible for this person as we got older, he had to take his own life saddens me greatly.

Everything is not always as it appears. On social media, on TV, even in real life. People put up facades. They put on faces. They go through the motions and they pick up the pieces. I include myself in this generalization. This month I came to the harsh reality that I truly had not been feeling myself. I have not felt like myself for a very long time. My journey has been going on a few years now and while I still believe I was at my physical peak in 2012, I truly hope I have another one coming my way, possibly in 2015? A girl can hope.

I sat and reflected on the things I've gone through, mentally and physically. It all came to me like a lightning bolt one morning from a simple post on social media from another blogger, Go Kaleo. In it, she listed a myriad of symptoms and asked us what we thought it could be. They varied from weight loss/gain, fatigue, hormonal imbalance etc, and seeing them all listed like that, as well as mentally checking off each saying "Yes, that's me," in my mind, it all started to make sense.

Depression comes in many forms. The fix is not as simple as "bucking up" or "going out for a run" to help cheer you up. I have gone on many runs and I have lifted many weights, but nothing has helped lift this fog. I had noticed myself withdrawing more and more from friends. Recent trips where my reticence to go out was obvious and obviously not me made some friends wonder. My constant struggle with weight, my fatigue--no matter how early I go to bed--exhausts me. My anxiety? I blamed on the car accident. The thing is, that was over a year ago. The nights I lay awake for no reason or feel my heart pounding for nothing...these things happen. They happen to me, they happen to others. I just decided to talk to my doctor again and get put back on a prescription I used to be on years ago. A friend also suggested I seek out a third party or therapist to talk to, which I may do.

The thing with antidepressants is, you start to feel better and think you don't need to take them anymore. "Oh! They must be working and I must be fixed!" In some situations that's true. I think I was truly OK for years. And then I was not. I learned to just push things to the side and not really process them. A strained family relationship. The loss of two close friendships. A major surgery. A job loss. A car accident. More surgeries. Things take tolls on people and we all need a little help sometimes. I'm not ashamed to admit it, and I'm not ashamed to ask for it.

All I ask for now, is that people pay attention. Pay attention to yourself and those around you who may never feel good enough to ask.








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