Friday, September 23, 2011

Baggage

For the past month, I have been fighting with myself about whether or not to continue taking medication. I don't feel depressed anymore. I feel as if I can deal with my feelings. I am tired of being tired, and I really am tired of gaining weight. Faced with this dilemma, most people would go talk to their doctor; that would be the right thing to do. Alas, I'm not most people, and while I always try to do the right thing, it often isn't the socially acceptable thing.

I made a list in my head of pros and cons. Pros--I am happy. Cons--I've gained 20 pounds, and I'm tired all the time. When the doctor initially put me on this medication, she said that she didn't think I would have to be on it long-term. She said that she just thought I was going through a rough patch, and I needed some help to get through it. I felt as if I had that help, and now it was time to put my big girl panties on and deal with the issues I'd medicated into submission.

So I prayed for a sign whether or not to keep taking the medicine. That morning, on my way to the gym, I heard "Your help comes from the Lord," on the radio, and that was my sign. Instantly, I felt a wave of relief, and thanked God for showing me such a clear sign so quickly. Throughout the day, I had little signs that reinforced my decision, and I felt pretty confident that I was doing the right thing.

That was two weeks ago. Today, without medication, I feel tired, overwhelmed, and unsure. I think it was the right decision. I think it was what God wanted me to do, but the signs that so suddenly appeared to guide me have now vanished, and I find myself on a desolate path wondering if I'm going the right way.

I knew it wasn't going to be easy. I knew when I stopped taking the happy pills I was going to feel all the pain I'd been numbing for the past few months. I knew that I was going to have to deal with the fact that my baby is going to college in a few short months. I knew that when I looked at my dad's laminated obituary, the fact that my dad was dead was going to tear my heart to pieces, again. But I also know that if I don't feel these things, if I don't face that pain head on and deal with it, I will be stuck in a state of suspended animation.

I realized that for me, taking the medication was taking the easy way out. I don't want to be artificially happy anymore, even though it was nice for a few months. I want to be a better person. I want to grow and change and develop, and in order to do that, I know I have to walk through this pain. My vacation from tears was nice, but it was just that--a vacation. I needed it and am grateful for it. Now, it's time to unpack my bags and get to the business of dealing with all of this shit.

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