I remember a time when life was crap. I woke up, put off eating, ate, worked, read, did some chores, ate, slept. I was depressed. De.Press.Ed. Depressed to the point that I was horrible to my family. I hardly wanted to read (though reading is one thing that I think kept me sane through my struggles). I wanted to sleep. Quite simply, I wanted to die. My mom took me to a doctor, and I was prescribed food and an antidepressant. I started taking the pills, and felt like a zombie. Everything buzzed and I was so tired. I could sleep and sleep, even more than before. My stomach felt queasy. I heard a high-pitched bzzzzzzzzzzzt all day long. My jaw was constantly clenched. I was on edge. I thought I would never stop feeling this way. I wanted to give up the pills. Day one, and I was feeling worse than I had before I was on an antidepressant. I just wanted the noises and bright lights to stop.
Day two and I fared better. The side effects were toned down a notch, and I still felt sick to my stomach most of the time, but it wasn’t as bad as the day before. But I didn’t feel better mentally. Not at all.
A month in, and I still felt anxious and depressed. My food aversions were as strong as ever. It’s never gonna get better, I thought. I told my mom, between sobs, that I hated myself and I wanted to die. I hated how I looked, how I felt, who I was. I hated what I was doing not only to myself, but also to my family. I knew I made them angry, worried, sad. I knew I was a horrid sister to have to hang out with, and that my attitude was far from friendly. And all I wanted was to curl up and die.
So you can see how this medicine was like a poison to me. These “happy pills” were not yet making me feel happy (far from it), but when/if they did, I didn’t want to feel happy. The emotions these pills would force me to feel wouldn’t be real. I would feel happy, but I wouldn’t really be happy. I didn’t want these pills to work, they were doing to me exactly the opposite of what I was trying to accomplish. They would bring forth healing and life, when all I wanted to do was fade away into a little bundle of twigs of sadness.
I fought and fought. Finally the pills started to bring me a sense of calm, sometimes. My anxiety was still hanging around, but not near as obvious to me as before. I was eating a little more than before, but not a lot. Okay, you’re probably wondering where I am going with this. This is where I was wanting to end up: even when you feel depressed, and lie a pill could never solve anything. Even when you are as stuck up and selfish as I was, and never put a modicum of faith into these little morsels of bitterness…somehow, they do help. Despite resistance, they do. And as hard as it is to admit, I am thankful that society and medicine has come as far as it has, so that I can benefit from these drugs that make me happy. Some days my happiness feels forced, but here and there, I feel little glimmers of my old self. I lost that old self back when I was 13, so it’s hard to recognize her sometimes. But I’m there. Here I am. Better. Sort of. Some days.