Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Back to the Drawing Board

When Bubba and I had been dating for a little over a year, he graduated from college and moved to Washington state. Since I still had one year to go before graduation, I stayed in Oregon and we commenced a commuter relationship. Luckily, he found a weekday job that enabled him to drive down on weekends and my weekend job started at 4:30am and had me off work by noon, so most of Saturday was ours to spend together.

I had weekends off every once in a while so, whenever I could, I headed north on I-5 to visit him for the weekend. The drive wasn't bad - gas wasn't terribly expensive and I had a ton of music I could listen to. It was mostly freeway and the speed limit was 70 mph in most places, so I had the drive from door to door down to just over three hours. My only complaint was those damn ruts in the road. Over time, the interstate had been so well-traveled that there were two ruts in each lane that sucked you in and held you there. I wasn't often inclined to fight my way out of them unless it was pouring rain and there was standing water in the deep wells they made. My little college-student car wasn't heavy enough to push through to the pavement and I often found myself hydroplaning through the ruts.

Bubba and I used to joke that we shouldn't complain too much about the ruts considering we probably had a lot to do with their creation. All in all, it was worth it. I didn't mind braving the ruts for him.

About six months ago I decided to wean myself off of my antidepressant medication. Once I got past the side effects of getting rid of the meds, I felt pretty dang good for about three months. Last week I got sucked into the ruts. The darkness descended and no matter how hard I try, I can't talk myself out of them. No amount of sleep, exercise, vitamins or healthy self-talk is doing the trick. Every thought is tiring. Acting on those thoughts is exhausting. It's all I can do to get out of bed in the morning, get the girls off to school and stare at the wall for a while. I've forced myself to go swim laps every morning and have coffee with a close friend. Writing helps for a bit, but ultimately, all I want to do is climb back into bed and pull the covers over my head.

As frustrated and disappointed in myself as I am, I've been here before. I know that I can't just suck it up and turn on the happiness. So today, it was back to the doctor for a new prescription. I'm not upset that I need an antidepressant. In fact, I'm heartened by the notion that I can take something once or twice a day that can help. I'm frightened by the thought that I can't trust my own brain to snap out of it. Frightened by the knowledge that I can't just tell myself to get over it. For now, I'm keeping both hands on the steering wheel, staring straight ahead and waiting for the road to flatten out. I'm not sure what I'll do if it starts raining before my new prescription kicks in, but it's nice knowing that Bubba's along for the ride and his hand will help steady mine.


Carrie Wilson Link said...

It's so wise to recognize, and accept help. I'm proud of you. Love the metaphor of the ruts!

Deb Shucka said...

Ditto, Carrie. It's medicine, not weakness. And you're not alone. It only takes a phone call, or a blog post, to connect to your circle. Love you. said...

Wishing you relief and applauding you for seeking it.


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