Some may be aware of the six months I recently spent down at the bottom of a deep hole, the sky a tiny dot of blue almost infinitely removed from my existence. It was a very long six months and it wasn’t the first time I had taken up residence in that place.
Then about four months ago I agreed to meet with a new mental health provider, one that was more versed in medication and could actually write a prescription. The goal was to find an antidepressant that works and doesn’t make me feel like a dog turd in return.
The first appointment arrived and proceeded with the obligatory recounting of the last four or five years’ worth of ups and downs, suicidal thoughts and extended stays at the bottom of that well I mentioned earlier. Add to this a brief foray into my childhood and all that being a closeted transgender adolescent added to this mix. What I discovered was that even if you’re feeling pretty good that day, this retrospective is sure to bring up something that will linger all day. It wasn’t exactly a pleasurable hour and a half but with that out of the way we could move on to reason I came, the “meds.”
Her approach was conservative, “lets start with what you’re taking now” I had good results when I started but it seemed to have become less effect with time. I was only taking 20mg so first step, up the dose. Then wait…..
OK that seems a bit better but not quite where I hoped to be, so up the dose again. Now I’m at the maximum dose. More waiting, then suddenly one morning, presto… smiles and happy thoughts.
Three months later, I’m still smiling and getting ready for my next check in. The expected questions are waiting, how are you feeling? how have the last months been?
I said I’ve been great but ended the declaration with the depressed person’s lament, “I hope it lasts”
This was her opening to make sure I knew that what goes up must come down. Then it was on to an interrogation about how happy I’ve been, a brief mention of bipolar ensued which left me defending myself against the implication that I was manic. Her mention of having spoken to my therapist planted a lingering suspicion about what the two of them could have said about me.
Well, that appears to have cured me of my apparently irrational happiness, plunging me back into second guessing how I feel. I resisted medication for a long time thinking about just these concerns, if I feel better do I really feel better or it akin to having a couple of drinks. It has me wondering if my therapist knows something about me she hasn’t shared with me.
All in all, it knocked me a bunch of rungs down the ladder and left me wanting to scream
Fuck this, fuck it all…