This is probably the hardest post I've ever written. I am depressed. I have been without health insurance for nearly five years. I have been off of my Prozac for quite a while now, though not the whole five years. I haven't admitted that I am depressed, not even to myself, until just recently. Then I realized that nothing seemed to be going right for me, and I was nearly powerless to do anything about it. Depression affects everyone differently. For me, it's this incredible sense of overwhelm. I suspect that's also due to the anxiety that co-exists with my depression. Add to that adult ADD, and you've got quite a combo. Yippee.
Baby steps, right? You all know that's my philosophy in life. Hence, my blog's name. Well, the first step to overcoming a problem is admitting that you have one. Of course, I've known for a while now that things just haven't been right for me. But I'm a redhead, and I'm stubborn. As hell. However, I did admit to my husband recently that I've been sad. Just the other day, I shared with my Facebook friends that I'm dealing with depression. I wrote "First I've worn makeup in months. Depression sucks. Gonna be a good day."
How It Feels
Of course, I wanted to add that last optimistic thought. It really is my nature to be hopeful, even when things are dark. You know what? It ended up not being a very good day. Despite the hope I found in that small act of putting on makeup, that day was just like most of the other days I've had lately. It was a day of struggling not to cry. Struggling not to snap. Struggling to do one damn productive thing. I did do one thing. I completed a blog post. I'm a blogger. That's what I'm supposed to do. Too bad it doesn't usually turn out that way.
Most days, I sit in front the computer screen frozen in fear, overcome with a fog that just wo't let me proceed, even though I desperately want to. I have ideas. I have projects. I have deadlines. Too bad depression and anxiety don't really give a damn what I have to do or what I'd like to do. Instead of doing something productive, I often end up visiting Facebook, hoping to get inspiration from the wonderful things my friends are doing. Too bad that doesn't work for me. The lack of motivation is crippling.
Adult ADD is yet another obstacle I'm up aganst. Attention Deficit Disorder leaves me in a constant fog, unable to get a handle on my thoughts and to lay them out coherently. It takes away my sense of time. Before I know it, those precious uninterrupted two hours of my day are gone, and I've done nothing. Nada. Zip. As you can imagine, depression jumps in quickly to remind me how I really messed up, yet again. What's sad is that I've been a mental health counselor. I am well aware of strategies that could help me. Knowing doesn't make it any easier to implement them.
Then there's the constant irritability that comes with the lack of control I feel over my life. When the simplest task of getting dinner on the table or taking my son to preschool overwhelms me, it's awfully hard not to feel frazzled. I've found myself snapping at my family. That's the thing I so don't want to do.To me, there's no excuse for yelling at the ones you love, for taking out your own shit on them. They don't need that, and they don't deserve it.
Light at the End of the Tunnel
Yes, there is light. Of course, there always is. Logically, I know that. Sometimes it's just so very hard to remember. The light in this case comes in the form of health insurance. My husband's company just changed insurance providers, and the premium to add me to the policy is significantly less. It's still not exactly affordable for us, but it's something I desperately need. So we went ahead and put me on his policy. What a relief it is to have insurance. I go to the doctor tomorrow. I will tell him everything I've been feeling. I will beg him to put me back on the combination of medicines that worked best for me in the past. And I will hope that it's enough to give me a spark, just enough to push me toward the change that I need. I know that once I'm able to start making baby steps toward improvement, things will be different. I've experienced it before.
But what about those who don't have insurance? Those who don't have the academic and professional background I have which have, at the very least, allowed me to get out of bed everyd day and function to some extent? I feel so bad for them. That is why I fully support the Affordable Care Act. We don't know what kinds of snags may be in the system, but at least it's a start. It's a chance for people lto get the care they need to live a productive and healthy life. I think we all deserve that.
I'm tired of just getting by. I want to live my life to the fullest. I have an amazing family. My children are so bright, funny, smart, passionate, fun and full of life themselves. They deserve a mom who can participate fully in their joy and their struggles. There are professional and personal goals I want to accomplish. For such a long time, though, they've seemed out of reach. Far away in the distance to a place I simply couldn't reach. I feel pretty confident that if I can just rid myself of this dark cloud that surround me, I'll stand a good chance of getting to that place I so desperately want to be.
Thank you to all my friends and loved ones who have supported me thus far. It means so much, and I truly appreciate it.