I started this post at least two or three months ago, but never got around to finish it. Somehow, now seems an apt time.
A close friend asked if I was prescribed anti-depressants for my tummy problems last year. I wasn't. I don't think I had written about what happened with me exactly. Here it is.
I had been unhappy for what may be a prolonged period. I had been stressed out by things I did not (and perhaps, still do not) consciously acknowledge, or hadn't been aware of. I know not when these unresolved issues, piling and compounding on each other, as issues are wont to do, crossed the limit of my tolerance. They did, and consequently, the tummy problems began.
My gastroenterologist diagnosed functional dyspepsia and prescribed me anti-anxiety meds. I took them for a couple of weeks to no distinguishable relief from symptoms. He upped the dose and I still didn't get better. Finally, he ordered an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. Nothing. I continued on the anti-anxiety meds for another month or so, while making it a point to be fine with everything. I strive not to sweat the small stuff, not even the somewhat bigger ones. I made an effort to stop over-thinking too many things and learned to let go. I got better, and haven't been in serious pain for over a year now.
So, no, I told my friend. It wasn't depression, which, perhaps laughably, I experienced before too. It was the time I cried myself to sleep every night, lost the will to live, and lost enough weight to look like a ghost. Granted, I hadn't needed medical attention (or maybe I did, but... oh, well) and I dragged myself out of the crazy, all-encompassing gloom after several months. It wasn't easy, and it was scary.
It was scary because I entertained thoughts - several times - of ending it all. All I could see was circumstances hopeless and repellent - there wasn't a single thing I could imagine doing that would lead me down a path I would enjoy, or at the end of which I could see a light, or even affect in the slightest manner anyone in my life. No one cared, and I didn't care. It would be when I was performing mundane daily tasks - driving, showering - when panic would attack. I'd feel a tightness in my chest and maddening lightness in my head. I'd have to physically scream at myself, sometimes including pulling at my own hair or slapping my own cheeks, to snap out of it.
If you know me, Reader - if you are a friend, I imagine you might be rather taken aback right now. Is this true, what you are reading? Isn't she a very happy, funny, and most of all, tough, girl? How can she be this messed up inside?
The truth is, sometimes, the most messed up people put up the best facade to hide their true feelings. I am fortunate that I wasn't that ill, so that I was able to find my way out of the black holes on my own. What about those who aren't? They kill themselves.
I don't know why we should insist on saving those who want to die - in the end, we all have to die anyway. The reason I would guess, is that perhaps many just couldn't, at the worst time in their lives, see that they really want to live, and they can, if only they get past the darkness. And the darkness, eventually, definitely will pass.