I’ve had clinical issues with depression for 24 years now. I’ve been in and out of therapy, mostly in, for all of that time. I’ve been medicated for it for the better part of 19 of those years. I know the symptoms. I understand the importance of my medicine. I do everything I can to not be in an acute state, but it still happens.
It doesn’t help that my body has always had a love-hate relationship with the only antidepressant I’ve had a significant positive reaction to. Effexor is my savior and my torturer. It is fickle. It is capable of a level of pettiness that would cause Gossip Girl characters to screech obscenities.
So when I legitimately forgot to take it until nine hours after it was due, my nervous system decided to revolt. Two hours before I remembered, I was crying over a television show being watched in another room. My eyes were overwhelmed by light. My ears couldn’t handle sound. I felt tired. I felt scared. I felt like my life was meaningless and that I served no real purpose in the world. I felt like I should just go ahead and die.
I’m lucky. The years of therapy and medicine, of knowing what my disease is like, of knowing why grieving has increased my risk of suicide for a while,1 and of knowing that the disease was lying to me made me start thinking: why do I feel like this right now? Because I have the tools & skills to do so, I started figuring out what happened.
When I fixed my breakfast, I didn’t take my Effexor because I was trying to avoid taking any of a new brand of Fish Oil supplements.2 I actually missed several medications & supplements while avoiding that one thing. And that sent me into a tailspin.
That’s all it takes.
One bad decision.
Depression takes advantage of those mistakes and decisions. It is opportunist, but with the right tools, you can fight back. And if it’s a chronic issue, like mine, that will just be one battle, or maybe just a skirmish, in a lifelong war with it. But I’m willing to fight because I prefer it to the alternative.
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