So I’m depressed. Clinically. I was on a medication for 13 years. Last December I decided that it was really not working so I weaned off. By May, I was really really depressed, so I got on a new medication. It seemed to be working really well. It made me a little jittery, but nothing I couldn’t ignore. I took half the dose prescribed because I wanted to learn to manage my mind- not just mask the feelings.
Mid- June I started blogging about my marriage because the situation between Husband and I seemed to be spiraling out of control. I simply could not manage the emotions that surrounded and constantly attacked me. I blamed Husband. After all, it was his disclosure and total honesty that brought on the whirlwind of feelings that threatened to un-do me at every turn. Right?
Fast forward two months. Things are not improving. In fact, they are deteriorating rapidly. I have this intense love and adoration for Husband, but then I turn around and am sickened by him. The kids have become an afterthought- their lives a list of jobs to do that get me out of bed in the morning, and force me to put one foot in front of the other. I eat because they are hungry. I go to bed because they will need me bright and early. I live and breathe for the survival of this marriage.
On the other hand, there are moments of great clarity and joy. Elation even. I can do anything, and face anyone. Husband can go out and do the entire high school football team and I’m okay. (that’s not permission babe- just an illustration.)
These emotions are like shuffling a deck of cards. Flipping through my brain; flashing thoughts, ideas; shouting, whispering, comforting, destroying; all at a ridiculous pace. Nothing lasts long enough to hold on to. I try and try to grasp the good. I visualize peace. I repeat calming words. I imagine uplifting encouraging images that blot out the discordant ugliness. But it all slides away almost as rapidly as it arrived, leaving me defenseless against the onslaught.
Last Wednesday I told Husband that our marriage was over, that I couldn’t do it anymore. There was a sense of relief to imagine that I would be free from the insecurities, the doubt, the fear and the anger. Just as I exhale from that relief, I inhale the reality of my decision. Too ugly to enumerate the details. Husband comes home, I melt into his arms and determine to make it another day WITH him.
By Thursday I am in the darkest Hell I have known. I look forward to going to a preschool meeting so I can see friends and get out of my own mind. But I can’t get out of my mind. I am seeing people, talking to them as though underwater. I am nauseous. I can’t get out soon enough. I ask husband to look for an apartment. He does. I panic. I call friends. Something I don’t do often. My friends are angelic, supportive, loving and concerned for both of us.
Am I being my authentic self? Can I live with a gay husband and still have the ability to be who I am meant to be? I deserve to be with a man who has passion for my (rockin’)* body. I deserve to be with a man that I can trust. Don’t sacrifice your ideals and values for anyone. Maybe I need some time just to remember how to breathe. Maybe.
But then he comes home and I melt into his arms, determined to make it another day WITH him.
Saturday I wake up- ready. I have come to a new determination to clear my mind of the negativity that wears away at me all my waking (and some sleeping) hours. We run. We run nine miles together, with him cheering me on at the end- up the last hill- down the street 400, 300, 200, 100 meters. Done. We made it. Together. Exhiliration. I feel good enough to let him go home without me so I can do a yoga class. I even see the ex boyfriend and I don’t get upset by it.
By 3:30 I’m deteriorating. Shuffling cards are back, and the darkness sets in. We go on a date. Watching the movie- fighting the thoughts- trying to pay attention- keep up the happy spirit. We go to a (unbelievably red-neck, hick town, lowest of the low class) party and I manage to hold the face steady. We don’t stay long. We get in the car. I want to kill myself. I am contemplating having Husband take me to the hospital. (that’s serious because I’ve been there before. It’s not a nice place.) Then, I realize something:
I’ve been freaking out like this since I started the medication.
A quick google of Wellbutrin and it becomes quite obvious that severe anxiety is a very very common side affect. In fact, 10 years ago when Husband was on it, his M.D. prescribed an anti-anxiety med to go with it.
I don’t pretend to think that ALL of this stress is chemical. There are some serious issues in my life that need addressing. But through all of this I never could understand why, for 13 years I was able deal with all of this, and then, all of a sudden, I couldn’t AT ALL.
So, I didn’t take one yesterday. Wellbutrin has a very short half-life, and most of it is out of the system within 12 hours. By yesterday afternoon, while not exactly thrilled, I felt good. I felt calm. The voices are resting. The thoughts have slowed. I can look at Husband and see the reason why we are together, and see that we can keep going.
But now I’m back to square one with medication. I don’t want to be depressed. I don’t want to be medicated. But I’ll keep trying to find my way. And I’ll figure it out.
Life with Husband is so much more than dealing with the next betrayal, the doubt, the wondering. There is passion. There is passion for the things we do together. There is passion for each other. There is excitement to share every moment of life- both big and small, mundane and thrilling. I don’t see that ending. Ever.
Except for one thing: Husband just called and said our house is going up for sale tonight. We are going to buy a dump and remodel it.
THIS might be the end of us.
*EDIT: oh, and by the way- I don’t really have such a great opinion of my body- it’s just fun to pretend.