Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Battle (a repost)

This time of year is almost always tough on me. Financial constraints and family stress during the holidays are usually the trigger point. After the holidays, I face the anniversaries of my parents deaths: my father's in January and my mother's in February. To say that winter is a bleak time for me is an understatement. It's also during this time of year that I start recognizing an old demon rearing its ugly head.

I battled depression from the time I was 9 years old. It was undiagnosed for years, then I spent another ten years on one psychotropic drug after another. I also spent years in therapy with psychologists who were hell bent on labeling me any and every way they could. Agoraphobic, manic depressive and narcoleptic were some of the most outrageous. I was prescribed meds that were typically given to schizophrenics and narcoleptics. It was unreal the amount of drugs I had pumped through my system in the 90's and 00's.

Since my days of diagnosed depression, I've done a lot of research on that particular diagnosis as well as the other diagnoses I was given during that time. I've come to understand what situations trigger that behavior in me and, over time, have successfully eliminated many of those situations. I've worked very, very hard to surround myself with supportive, positive people. People who build me up rather than break me down. I've also chose to cut ties with friends and family who reflect the behavior that I'm trying to avoid in myself.

As a result I've been med-free for almost five years. This battle is one that I dance with daily. I know myself and I know how easy it is to slip back into that depression. For my own self preservation, I have to remove myself from places and situations that may trigger those low points from me. Much like a diabetic has to regular sugar and insulin, I have to regulate being supportive to friends who may be feeling defeated and stepping away entirely to protect myself.

I spent ten years in a black cloud of negativity. I spent every day wondering if anything was ever going to go right for me. I wondered daily "Why me?" I stayed awake at night worry about the "What next's?"

I'm a firm believer that God only gives us what He knows we can handle. He gives us the tools to become strong and to recognize our limits. That ten year cloud was my limit. I can never go there again. I've come to realize what things I need to do to guarantee I don't reach those limits again.

It's not that I don't want to be supportive. It's not that I have no sympathy for those dealing with depression. It's not even that I don't understand what they're going through. The fact of the matter is - I can't help them without hurting me.

And that's not something I'm willing to sacrifice again.


No comments:

Post a Comment