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When my depression scares me


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This morning I slept through my alarm and woke up an hour and a half late. Meaning my handful of depression meds and mood stabilizers were an hour and a half late. I lay there with my eyes closed, letting the feelings just wash through me, like the therapist always says. Admit them. Permit them.

My depression scares me. Underneath the apparent calm provided by the fistful of meds I take three times a day, it smolders. All it takes is one late dose and it starts pushing through.

I lay there thinking, "How did I live like this for decades? How did I function?"

Try explaining it to someone else. Tell them about the battering ram that punched a hole right through my chest, that aching is all there is. Tell them about the mind spinning in a thousand different directions, each thought growing offshoots and suckers, each offshoot digging tighter. Tell them about the boiling rage at the helplessness of it all. Tell them about the depersonalization, that floating off of the me and the entry of the void. Tell them about the nausea and the pounding in the ears. Tell them about the sensation of choking and the air that has no oxygen. Tell them about the black fear. Of losing control. Of losing hope. Of going mad.

I am grateful for the meds. I am. But why should I need them? What happens if sometime I can't get them?

It's not a purely theoretical concern. I remember Hurricane María which hit my town in 2017. I had not yet been diagnosed with depression, and I never would have admitted it then anyway. I spent the first 16 days afterward in bed. Want to help the neighbors with their tree? No. Can you help me look for gas for the generator? No. Want this bottle of cold water? No. Looking back, I see what it was. It would be months before the stores reopened. A year before the power came back. What if that happens again? What will I do? I know there are solutions, but fear answers to no logic.

A thousand other thoughts force through, squashing me down into a tiny corner of my tortured brain. The fact that a few pills and a glass of cold water will push them away for a time makes them all the more terrifying. I have pitched my tent on a volcano. Scenes from La Palma in the Canary Islands pass before my eyes. The heat and stench of sulfur below, forcing up, forever seeking to break through.

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Wow, I feel like you do.  Sometimes I wonder what would happen to be in a disaster if I couldn't get my psychiatric medications.  Luckily I have had cognitive therapy and that would probably help me a lot.  Still, I think the medication is the most helpful.

You wrote very poetically.  Your words create vivid sensations in me.  You really have a gift for writing.

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You described how I often feel.  And it is difficult to explain the feelings of depression to people who don't understand.

I had not thought of what would happen if I could not get my meds.  I'm going to check into what could be done about that.

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