A few weeks ago, I lost my will to live.
You may have noticed that I have not been very good at getting back to your comments. You may have noticed an extra slice of snark on the blog. It's true, something is up.
It's not my home life, that I can assure you. In fact, home has never been better. Everything, aside from the snot-nosed, bossy, bitchy two-going-on-fourteen year old is sunshine and rainbows. All except one little thing; I cannot function.
It started a few months ago, when something in my body said, "Oh, you know what? Screw this." I went to the doctor, and at first glance there was a very apparent reason for this, and after a slew of tests and scans, I came back perfectly healthy. Good news, right?
My doctor basically told me that this shit was in my head and that I needed to move on. Now, if you know me, if you know any little thing about me, you will know why this is exactly the wrong thing to say to me.
First: This shit is not in my head. The fact that I managed to pass a kidney stone last week tells me I was right about something. It's not over yet.
Second: Y'all know that I have some mommy issues, right? You know that my mother was an abusive, crazy, lazy, paranoid hypochondriac, right? Good. You'll need to know that. Well, my mother was chained to her medicine cabinet. She could not function in any small way with any less than five bazillion pills every day. She kept every single empty bottle, for proof. Of what? Your guess is as good as mine. Point is, she was totally whacked in the head and enslaved to her prescriptions.
Naturally, I swore I would never take a prescription for anything. Ever. After a few untreated bladder and/or sinus infections, I softened a little on my resolve.
Wait, I've jumped ahead too far. Backtrack with me for a moment, if you will....
I was a severely depressed child. I was 8 the first time I tried to slit my wrists. I couldn't eat, I couldn't think. I lived in fear, and when that ended, I lived in sorrow. One day I woke up, after years of crying and starving and cutting and twitching and I just said, "Well, ok then. I'm done with that. I hate myself like this and so right now, I am stopping it." POOF. I was all better. Yes, just like that. I willed myself out of some very deep dark depression. I just didn't want to be my mother, you know?
Fast forward to 2005. I was having some wickedly awesome post-partum depression, and things were shaky on the home front, and I went to my doctor. I told her I was tired of the teeth grinding and the nail biting and the general tweaky anxiety. (I am the most anxious person you will EVER meet, by the way. I make people nervous, simply by being. I ooze tension.) Anyway, I told her I felt like I was sinking, and she threw a prescription for an SSRI at me. She knew my history, she knew how I felt about this stuff, and she assured me it would help.
Oh dear god in heaven, how right she was.
I never knew people could be that reasonable inside. I could sleep, I could function, and nothing got too me quite as badly as it used to. The overwhelmed stopped dead in its tracks.
And then we moved to Canada, and then we didn't have insurance, and then we moved back to the States, and then we REALLY didn't have insurance, and I went through some very hard shit drug free, and I survived it all just fine. Cudos to me, huh?
And then we moved back up here, and got insurance, and I got my SSRI's back. And life was good again. But then the prescription ran out. And I didn't fill the new one because I had gone to my doctor about some health problems (this is where the story weaves back in again) and she basically told me I was nuts, and I needed to quit smoking, and here's this prescription for an actual, real-life, hard core anti-depressant.
Oh dear god I am my mother. It's started.
I stared at this prescription for almost two months months. I had the sheet, but I didn't fill it. I couldn't. I could not accept that I couldn't just will myself out of this again. While I was waiting, though, something happened.
I lost my will to live.
I couldn't clean my house. I mean, I couldn't. Really. I couldn't do anything. Every little molehill turned into a huge mountain. The social anxiety that I struggle with every stinking day took total hold of me. I couldn't leave my house. My messy, pigsty house. I couldn't cook or clean or make phone calls or anything. I got really crazy paranoid. I could sleep, but at all the wrong times. I started screaming at my kids. I started snapping at my husband. And then I started doing the one thing I do that lets me know something has gone terribly wrong. I found a razor blade around the house. I sliced off my cuticles. That's where it starts for me, that's my warning.
I filled the damn prescription already.
It has been a little over a week, maybe a week and a half, on actual, real-life, hardcore anti-depressants. And not the small dose. The kinda big dose. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. It was the biggest leap of faith I have ever made.
I am trying to learn to accept that some of the parts of my mother got slapped onto my genes, and I am looking for acceptance with that. I can't help where my DNA came from, but man oh lordy, I can help how I deal with it. I am really afraid of these pills, of needing them, of needing anything. I have attachment issues that reach all the way out to small white tablets. But, you know, the way I see it, I have two choices here. I can take the pills, and accept what I am made of, and try to do something pro-active about it and help it, or I can sit here, wallowing, worrying, in a filthy house.
I can be my mother, or I can NOT be her.
I always thought that taking the pills meant I was surrendering, but I think that maybe, just maybe, taking them is fighting back.
Right now, my house is clean. My dishwasher is unloaded. I went to a PTA meeting last week. The laundry is all washed. I haven't folded it yet, but baby steps, you know? I can't really sleep all that well, and I have almost completely lost my appetite, but I have actually cooked my kids a meal or two this week. We have had groceries in the pantry and the bills are all paid and I have taken a shower every single day for a week and a half.
Is it worth it? Time will only tell. For now, though, I am proud of myself for taking the leap. I am proud for being able to take the next step in growing, in moving forward, in recovering. I get cocky sometimes and think it's all done, that time and distance have healed those old wounds, but the fact is that this is just a part of me, and I have to face it, and I have to deal with it realistically. I am not Superman, and whether or not I want to admit it, sometimes I need help with ME.