I have suffered from some degree of depression for most of my adult life. I’m not a cheerful, ‘bubbly’ person, and I know that. Part of it is genetics. My maternal grandmother was known as ‘melancholy’. Sounds much more romantic, doesn’t it? There are periods when I’ve been pretty ok and periods of difficulty – usually when I’m under some other kind of stress. For instance, it’s not easy to be alone in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language and the only person on the continent that you know has been sent out to camp in the mud for a month. It’s not easy to deal with a spouse who has a problem with alcohol, or to raise children by yourself. (Especially when they are teenagers and “going through a selfish phase’).

None of those periods can touch the stress of losing my beautiful boys and the three years of hell that have followed. Between the holidays, which are hard anyhow, and waiting for the word that we’re going to have to retry the penalty phase, things have been pretty black lately. Did you notice? Yeah, sorry about that.

Monday I had a consultation with a psychiatrist recommended by my therapist who is a psychologist. She thought he could make sure that I was getting the right medications – psychologists can’t write prescriptions, you see. So, I ended up with another pill to add to my collection. It’s a third anti-depressant – one of those that is advertised on television and then scares you half to death warning you about suicidal thoughts and other side effects. After 4 days, I can actually feel a difference. I’m not sure if I like it though.

I’ve lived with a constant dull ache and blunted thoughts for more than three years now. The fog has started to clear away just a bit – enough that I can see what a mess my life has become. Severe depression saps your strength and makes it such an effort to do anything. There are things that I haven’t done for 3 1/2 years, like go to the dentist. I have piles of opened and unopened mail, and boxes of the boys’ stuff everywhere. I haven’t had repairs done. I sometimes didn’t even pick up the papers when the cat knocks them down. I didn’t notice. Any of it. I’m actually lucky that I had already set up most of my bills to be paid automatically long ago – not a computer geek for nothin’. Who knows where I’d be if I hadn’t?

But, the wool that dulled my pain and blunted my thought processes is starting to thin out a bit. It hurts. I have no idea how to go about digging out of the funk I’ve slid into. At least when I didn’t notice, I also didn’t have to worry about stuff. I’m a mess – inside, outside and every side. “Oh, heck!” The boa constrictor is up to my neck “and I don’t like it one bit!” Monkey.

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