Better Living Through Chemistry

I knew what needed  done, but I didn’t know how to start any of it.

Laundry and clutter and dishes and library books and kindergarten homework and first grade homework and unpacking from the vacation that ended two weeks ago.

I sat in the middle of it all, flat affect, with nothing to say and no ability to think.

(This is what my depression looks like, only I never really recognize it in the moment.  I simply feel irrationally and unreasonably overwhelmed.)

Some investigation by the people who know me well revealed an important puzzle piece: I had stopped taking one of my medications.

The one that supports mental clarity and capacity in the face of depression.

I remember when it happened, actually.  The prescription ran out, I meant to fill it that day, then I forgot, and when I remembered again, the task of calling in the refill very nearly overwhelmed me.

It’s an odd irony.  I was overwhelmed to call in my prescription because I was out of the prescription that keeps me from feeling overwhelmed.

(Which came first, the chicken or the egg?)

I can perhaps predict what you’re thinking: how irresponsible this is, how important it is to stay current and stocked with ongoing medications, how I need to put on my own oxygen mask first, how dangerous it is to go ‘cold turkey’ without the knowledge and approval of doctors and therapists and all parties involved.

I know.  I really do.  I know.

It’s a whole lot of work to take care of me sometimes.  The presciption simply fell off my list of things to do.  And then I fell off my own radar.

Prescription: hereby filled and in my system for two days now.  I still haven’t unpacked, but that’s just because I don’t want to bother with it, not because I don’t know how to put things away.

My children went to school with packed lunches and complete homework, and I came home and did the dishes and cleaned the fish bowl before I sat down to write four chapters.

Better living through chemistry.  It’s a good thing.

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11 thoughts on “Better Living Through Chemistry

  1. Yes…the truth is when it’s working, it is very difficult to not falsely arrive at the belief they are, in fact, no longer needed. This trickery of chemical equilibrium is only magically revealed in their absence.

    No one likes to unpack…welcome back.

    • Isn’t that the truth?? I have felt like that so many times – thinking to myself – I feel great I probably don’t need to be on an antidepressant anymore – it has passed. :) Always sounds great like a logical thought until you stop taking it for a few days and notice it returning.

  2. At least for me, I was not thinking what you thought I was. You deserve a break for something like that, and not because of what’s happened to you. You are human and you always have been, and minor slip-ups like these deserve a pardon regardless of your situation.

    So while some are inclined to give you more breaks for what you’ve gone through, in cases like these, minor, everyday mistakes, you deserve a break because anybody would.

    Hope you’re well,

    Jeremy.

    PS the offer above is prreettty cool

  3. Have to agree with Jeremy. I wasn’t thinking that. I was thinking, Boy, do I relate! And yes, for chemical imbalances, nothing beats chemistry!

  4. Wow can i relate to this. My husband wants me to go to the doctor and try medication, as well as therapy, but I am scared to make the call.

    • I had a severe personal loss 6 months prior to Tricia’s. When I wasn’t getting better and things got to an all time low, I called my doctor to tell him I needed help. Turns out, he had gone through all the things I was grieving. He understood. Recommended a therapist to help me. We found the right dose of anti-depressant. Turns out, my brain has a hard time bouncing back from saddness. My meds help with that.

      I recommend you make a list of concerns and symptoms to tell your doctor. Ask someone you trust for a recommendation. Don’t be afraid to say a therapist isn’t right for you, because sometimes they aren’t. I personally like the ones who give feedback and push me to think.

      It’s okay to be scared and it may only be temporary. You and you’re doctor can figure that out. Always remember, you are not alone! Remember that!

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