In March, I started a seemingly harmless medication to help with my constant anemia. I won't go into the detail of the medication now, because TRUST me that will be a post of its own. Right away, I suspected that the medication was having a negative effect on my mood and anxiety but I tried to ignore it. Bad idea. By mid March, I could feel myself slipping back into the person I used to be. A person riddled with depression, irritability,negativity, and anxiety. I was constantly on the verge of tears - if you know me well, you know that I am NOT a crier so this was alarming. I felt like I was regressing back into a person that I never want to be again.
The absolute worst part, was dealing with the emotions and feelings that I could not seem to control. I knew that there was absolutely nothing wrong with my life at the moment but it FELT like everything was falling apart. I knew I was surrounded with friends and family that loved me but I FELT absolutely alone. It is a special kind of hell to know that your emotions and feelings are not on par with the reality of a situation.
I spent two days in bed. At first I thought I was just physically sick. I wanted to get up but I could not muster the energy to even walk to the kitchen to get a glass of water. I snapped at the kids for nothing. I cried over everything one moment and the next moment I felt... absolutely nothing. I battled feelings of worthlessness. By the end my secs day in bed I experienced a panic attack over absolutely NOTHING. I forced myself to face the facts. I was depressed and it was hell but I was not going to let it get the best of me.
Which brings me to the point of this post. For years, I thought the depressed and anxiety riddled version of me was the REAL me. I thought I was overly emotional, angry, sad, pessimistic, and broken beyond hope. My recent experience with the return of the symptoms of my mental illness were a blessing because it reminded me who I really am or rather.. who I am not. I am not the emotions and feelings that I experience when I am depressed.
I am not my illness nor am I the symptoms of my illness. Yes, it affects me, it challenges me, it changes me, but it does not define me. My symptoms are not who I am or who I was created to be. I want to share this for those who are in a place of darkness, because I know that darkness. I know the hell that is depression and anxiety. But I also know that there is hope and healing. You will not be in that place forever. Where you are at one moment in time does not define WHO you are. DO not give up or give in to the lies that depression feeds into your soul. Seek help. Seek hope. Seek God. Seek the right medications and therapy when needed.