As open as I have been about my struggle with depression, I find there are still things I kind of hide on a daily basis. Its not really hiding, it more just sucking it up so one has to be bothered by what I am dealing with.
A couple months ago my anti depressant stopped working. It just stopped. Out of nowhere, all of those old quiet symptoms of a dark depressive episode started to sneak its way in. This time I was prepared though. I see a doctor regularly and I am very open and clear with my husband when things are getting a little out of control. My doctor was fairly certain my meds just stopped working. I didn’t even know that was a possibility. After not much discussion I decided to try a new med. This means I needed to ween myself off my old med.
I was open to the idea of the new med (Wellbutrin) . Of course I read up on the side effects…they were essentially 1. Suppressed appetite, 2. increase in energy and 3. no sexual side effects. (there are many other possible side effects but these are the three that stood out. ) Essentially I would lose weight, not be so tired all the time AND actually want to have sex. Sign me up.
I started a low dose right away and was very much looking forward to feeling better. What I didn’t anticipate however was my body’s reaction to getting off the former medication. It proved to be extremely difficult. Difficult as in extreme dry mouth, dizziness and complete confusion. Like I went to the gas station to get gas and couldn’t figure out how to get gas. (I shouldn’t have been driving!!!)
As I was in this state…I was also co -producing and speaking at a Mental Health Awareness event. My brain was severely needed.
It was a bit scary because I was unsure how long my brain was going to remain in such a state and part of me was scared that I was never going to get my brain back.
At the event I just kind of hung in the background (a place a tend to hang out anyway) so I am not sure anyone could tell. I mentioned my state of mind to the other producers of the event and they had my back…. But when it was my turn to speak.. I unexpectedly opened up. I figured, if anyone was going to be understanding about me being crazy in this moment it would be 125 people who just paid $50 to raise money to end the stigma of mental illness.
I can not remember a thing from that night. I am sure I had conversations and connected with new people but unfortunately it is all a bit of a fog for me. All I remember is that I felt a lot of support, a bit paranoid and so unbelievably thirsty!!!!
In the past I would most certainly hide this mental state, but that night I just owned it. I let go of the idea of looking good, I was somehow ok letting everyone see my crazy.
Now, I realize you have to hide your crazy sometimes. Some people and employers and family just don’t understand. I think the trick is to find your people, with like minds, so you don’t have to hide the crazy you can just embrace it.