Wow. It’s amazing what modern medicine can do; and what a difference it can make! I re-started my anti-depressant meds (Cymbalta and Abilify) about 2 weeks ago now and the difference in me is nothing short of amazing. My energy level has bounced back to normal, and my entire attitude has flipped from bleak to enthusiastic again! I am so freaking happy about this I could dance!
It’s taken a lot of work and energy to get back to being happy again. The meds were just the final addition, the final move back to feeling normal and not useless. I know some don’t like modern medical fixes, but I am rolling hard with this one – it’s exactly what I needed. I had been on these before, but decided (somehow with my wrong brain) that I didn’t “need” them anymore, so I quit taking them about 18 months ago. And the rest is history…I spiral down to a level of depression and hopelessness that I hadn’t experienced ever before in my life. My temper grew shorter, my tolerance lowered considerably and I just wasn’t happy with anything.
After meeting with my doctor to finalize my getting completely off all of my pain medications permenently and finding other pain relief avenues, we discussed my stress, depression and overall declining mental health. After much discussion we decided together to make the jump back to the medications and I am now SO freaking glad that we did! I was unsure at first. Questioning if it would “really” make a difference. But I now wake up happy as hell and looking forward to each day! Wow! What a 360 degree change! Hell, I even LIKE myself now! Even my pain has become manageable. Cymbalta does have a component that helps with chronic pain, and with ibuprophen and my heating pad I am managing quite nicely without any other pain medications. I am going to pursue help with it via the Pain Clinic as well, after I undergo a full set of new MRI films later today. I will find ways to deal with this in a much better, and healthier manner from here on out. Chronic pain sucks, but I can live with it – as long as it doesn’t impede my enthusiasm for living and life in general. Of course, a new exercise routine is also being added to my regimen to help strengthen the muscles around the affected discs and help support them a bit more.
I am setting up my button booth at the Eliot Festival this weekend. I’m really looking forward to just being there for the day; for the excitement of the little town fair and seeing all the people – many of who I will probably know. Its cool being from a small town area, you grow up around these families and it’s just a much more quaint and tight kind of community feel. Everyone cares so much for their friends and neighbors, unlike many parts of the country where the hustle and bustle of busier lifestyles and community conditions prevents that small town closeness.
Next weekend I will set up the booth at the Berwick Dog Park during their fund raising event. That will be a blast also. Taking photos of dogs and owner always makes me smile and I just love meeting the dogs and their owners. Yes, all of this gets me back out into the public realm and back to making new friends, meeting people I haven’t seen in a long time and just plain old socializing – something I’ve always been great at but have lacked lately. I’ve always been a very social type person, but the depression made me more reclusive and I would hide from the world most of the time. I love that I am feeling so much better and am feeling far, far more social now. I even went to my father’s birthday gathering last night with my family and I was probably the happiest I have been around them in over a year. We had a lot of fun!
With this new attitude and having gotten back to being more of my happy self again I am also hoping to find more romance in my life. And I don’t mean flirty stuff, I mean I hope to find love again. But without the depression looming over my head I am also much, much more comfortable with being alone. It’s not so bad, because now I can just jump into the truck and go visit when I am lonely – AND I now have the energy and drive to DO SO. It was always hard when someone would suggest I get out of the house and go visit…they just did not understand that I didn’t have the energy – or the social desire – to get my ass out of the house. Depression is often very misunderstood. It’s such an invisible condition, but it’s very real, and it’s very devastating to one who suffers with it on a daily basis. I try to understand that others don’t usually “get it” and that it’s easier for them to think one is “lazy” rather than to see that they have a mis-fire in their brain that is causing the symptoms that look like laziness to others, but feel like hopelessness to the one suffering.
Anyway, in closing here, I appreciate all of the support I have received from everyone in my life. I realize I have put some distance into some of my relationships, and I hope to close those gaps once again in the near future. My family has been wonderful during this very difficult and trying last year of my life. Without them I am sure I would not be where I am today – feeling loved and supported is so very vital to one’s over all happiness in general. It just is. Without the encouragement and support I may not have chosen to do all, or that I have done, to get by this by myself. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart my supportive friends and relatives, you are truly loved by me – each and every day!
And as usual – ROCK ON!!!!