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« The Easy Stuff | Main | How Can You Help Your Depressed Person? »

Why Am I Talking About This?

In 2000ish I went to my doctor in Calgary and told him that I felt horrible, that I was irritated, fatigued, etc etc and could we figure out what was wrong with me? We ran tests and about a month later he sat me down and told me that he thought I was depressed. The conversation went something like this...

"What? No, I'm not. There's something PHYSICALLY wrong wit...h me."

"You're right, Jen. There's something physically wrong with your brain - a disease."

I walked out, totally pissed off that he couldn't see there was something WRONG. It was a year before I went back to him and told him that he may be right. Then it was two more years of trying medications until we found one that worked. By then, I had a whole other shitload of bad behaviors that I'd used to 'help' and 'compensate'. I'm still struggling with some of those, even after all this time. The injury and chronic pain since have only made it a whole new ballgame and even more difficult to treat me.

And it's been a LONG time. That's 14 years and trust me on this - there are medications that don't work, there are 'okay' medications and there are very bad medications. I was on one once that made me fall asleep, face down on my keyboard, at work, all the time. I lost that job.

There was one medication that one day when I was walking down the street in Calgary and someone bumped into me and I actually stopped walking so I could contemplate if I would feel better if I went after the person and pushed them in front of a car. Seriously contemplate. We got me off that one pretty quick.

I was actually in a really good place for a long time and then my GP in Victoria, after the injury, put me on Cymbalta because he thought it would help with the pain. It didn't but otherwise, it didn't really seem so bad.

I used to write and I have all of my life. Some of you know this because I met some of you that way, some of you may remember this from high school. When they put me on Cymbalta, I stopped writing. I thought that maybe it was the price I had to pay for feeling better.

So, now, I'm weaning off the Cymbalta and suddenly, I can kind of write again. I'm not really functional in most other ways but oh.... I want to write!

I find myself in the unique position right now to be able to look back over the last 14 years, parse them into something resembling insight and talk about things I couldn't talk about at any time during those years. So I started to think, how can I use this to help other people? You could have asked me (and probably did) how you could help - but I couldn't have told you. And chances are, your depressed person can't tell you either.

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