Thursday, August 23, 2007

My Story: Part 2

So what came next? Antidepressants of course. If you are depressed, you most likely know what I'm talking about. I don't remember all of what I took: I became very tired, and beleaguered during those months. I had a psychiatrist I saw at the hospital, who would always say "Maybe we should up the dose a little." But the first drug I tried made me feel so "drugged". I was not myself anymore.
I went onto a different antidepressant, which was much better, and at around the 1 year mark, I remember sitting in my kitchen and my husband saying to me "I think you're getting better now, don't you Liberty?" I agreed somewhat thoughtfully. I still didn't feel like I really had a handle on things, but it was true that I felt hopeful. I was attending a depression support group at the hospital around that time, and since I was really feeling much better, I tried to encourage the other people there. But it was only a couple weeks of this, before an unseen clutch wrapped around me, and I found myself crying. "I think I'm getting depressed again," I bewailed in astonishment. My life was entirely out of my control.
I really can't say why, but things got a lot worse after that. I guess I had started to recover physically, but had never dealt with the roots of my depression, so there was nothing to keep it from coming back.
I don't remember fine details about those 2 years, but I remember the events as though I am looking back at someone else's life. Maybe we do that when something is too painful. We just don't take it up.
I was very angry a lot of the time. I threw things, smashed things. I yelled at my husband a lot, but I didn't yell at Elijah. I really did love my baby, I just felt like I was trapped in a swirl pool, and I could not get out.
I began to develop food allergies, which would result in severe migraines. If you have ever had a migraine, I don't need to explain! But for someone who hasn't, I must explain: it was agony. Often I could only lay with ice on my head, being amazed at how painful it could get. Other times I would writhe in agony, and nothing would make the pain go away. I had taken so many Tylenol by now that they didn't work for me anymore. The doctors were talking about weird things like injecting my nerves with botulism to kill the nerves. My husband thought electroshock therapy sounded good by now. He wasn't vindictive, but he was desperate. "If it would save you, it would be worth it!" he reasoned. Toward the end of the 2 years I was having a migraine every second day, and when I didn't have one, I had a tension headache.
I was in a prison of pain and fear. Everything gave me a headache! If there was a chinook, or a change in air pressure, I would get a migraine. If I accidentally ate yellow dye or MSG at a restaurant, I would get a migraine. It was imprisoning my family too.
How did I care for Elijah? Well my mother watched him A LOT. I don't remember how often he was there, but I'm sure it was 2 or 3 days a week. My mother in law watched him one day a week. My husband (a dairy farmer) often took him to work with him, or lost sleep so that he could take care of Elijah for me. It never made a dent in what I was going through.
Nobody could help me. As I mentioned, I saw a psychologist, who tried to hypnotize me, but I don't think she could. I tried to be helpful, and meditated on my past a bit, but the psychologist didn't seem to know how to help, and it didn't. I saw a different hypnotherapist with the same lack of success.
I saw several massage therapists (because of the pain). One of them told me he had just healed me of a hiatal hernia! Hmm, I thought, I don't even have one. Another lady requested that I bring my spirit to the surface- to just below my skin. Hmm, I wondered. How in the world would I accomplish that?
The only thing I can think of that I didn't try was the chiropractor, because I had gone to the chiropractor A LOT as a teen, and developed a spinal curvature while under his care!

Now, why am I going on and on with this depressive story, and not getting to the heart of things, namely: how did I get well? Well, I want you to understand the bits and pieces. If you can see the puzzle before it was put together, you will be able to recognize just what a miracle it took to make this thing whole.

I did see the reflexologist, and she was nice, but let's face it: she just massaged my feet. It didn't get to my broken spirit.
Yes, I was broken. All my hopes had been dashed. I had so many visions and dreams for what my marriage would be, and now I was fast falling out of love with my husband. It wasn't anything he did, he was still wonderful- I was just full of bitterness, and poison at how my life had turned out. I hated everybody. I hated my life. Nobody understood me.
Actually, I don't think they could. How could anyone know my pain? They knew what it was doing to them, but couldn't see life inside the cell of my selfishness.
I went to the acupuncturist (who was also a medical doctor), and when I left the clinic, I felt something running down the back of my neck. I put my hand up, and it was blood! I felt betrayed somehow in that moment. I had trusted myself to this person, seeking healing, and walked out of the clinic with blood running down the back of my neck. It was more despair.
But I didn't give up.
Yes I had tried feverfew, yes I had tried St. John's wort. Yes, I had changed my diet (remember there was hardly anything by now that I wasn't allergic to), Yes I exercised. I joined a gym, and really enjoyed it, and it did make me feel good. But it seemed like I only enjoyed a limited success with these things, and then the black cloud of depression would close in on me again. It was like there was a little girl inside me, a shadow of the strong independent girl I had been. Every once in awhile this girl would stick her head out tentatively to make a go of it, and see if it was safe. She was always defeated. This enemy of depression was ugly, and vicious, and it wanted to kill me.

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