There’s a light at the end of the tunnel

My shrink changed my meds last Sunday. I started feeling slightly better by Monday afternoon. To be fair, I was in a fog and exhausted all morning, but it was still an improvement. Tuesday was a bit better – the fog only lasted until about 10, but I was exhausted. By Saturday, mood-wise, I felt pretty good. Pretty good to the point where I was concerned I was swinging the other way and becoming manic. My shrink pointed out that when you’re feeling as low as I was, even for the short four weeks that I felt that way, feeling normal feels deliriously high, even when you’re really not. The exhaustion I felt from taking the Zyprexa lasted until about Saturday. Now I seem to be able to (mostly) get through the day with a little help from my friend Diet Coke.

But I’ve been thinking about it. How do you explain what depression feels like to someone that’s never experienced it? And if you really get down to it, depression feels different for each of us. It’s more than feeling sad. It aches, deep in the center of your joints, between each vertebrae. It’s an all encompassing hopelessness, the feeling that no matter what you do nothing is going to turn out right so why bother trying? The sense that you’re just a burden on your entire family and all of your friends. An exhaustion that seeps into your every pore and makes it impossible to get off of the couch.

But we live through it. We come out on the other side and work to pick up the pieces, get back to life. Back to routines. Back to remembering to feed the cats without them sitting on your chest and glaring at you. You make a peach cobbler for your husband as a way of apologizing for putting him through it. And you do what you can to hit life with a renewed vigor to prove to yourself that you’re not worthless, and things can work out in the end.

Here’s to hoping.

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