Finding the right medicine for depression and anxiety is awful! I wish there was a better process than trial and error. I knew going into this that there would be bad side effects, I've tried this MANY times before (which is why I put it off for so long). But when I started Wellbutrin, a miracle happened!
I started to have energy again. I'd been convinced that my body was just too overweight and unhealthy to be able to do all but the smallest amount of physical activity. My mind has been sluggish, my ADHD out of control, and I'm just exhausted all the time. But shortly after taking Wellbutrin (SR), I found myself literally dancing around my house. I had so much energy, my body couldn't handle it all! I kept having to rein myself in so I wouldn't hurt myself doing too much. But I suddenly felt like I could do it. Life wasn't just something to get through, it was happening. We were going to be okay. Not just that, we were going to be fantastic, because it was all possible. I could see good outcomes and resources to help us get through things.
AND I felt like myself again. Not my usual everyday self—the ME that had gone missing years ago. I had a vague memory of what I used to be like, the ME that had gotten buried and nearly forgotten, but that I'd seen snippets of here and there throughout adulthood. It was like waking up from a long dream and remembering that I love to go on adventures, I'm curious and eager to learn, and I love people! I remembered that, long ago, deep in my heart, I was an extrovert. That a life full of trauma, disappointment, and pain had wrapped the real ME in countless protective layers until I didn't recognize myself anymore, and for years, I thought I was an introvert. I can't tell you how surreal that feeling is.
While all these things were great, incredible really, a friend came along for the ride...
My anxiety levels were through the roof. Because I'm ridiculously stubborn and completely chicken and would apparently rather (metaphorically) chew off my own foot than ask for help, I waited and hoped it would resolve on its own as my body acclimated to the medicine.
Months later, after countless panic attacks and sleepless nights, I finally worked up the courage to ask my psychiatrist for help with the anxiety. He prescribed something that I could take either daily or simply as needed. Still, I was terrified to try something new.
Why? Because I had a bad experience. Actually, a year of them. I spent months after my youngest was born, working with doctors to find the right medicines. I probably went through twenty different ones during that time. Months of new (and often very scary) side effects with very little positive outcome. We tried everything from depression meds to ADHD and even antipsychotics!
I eventually gave up. I had 3 preschool children that was I pretty much single-parenting (despite being married. We won't go there right now.) and I just couldn't. I didn't have the time or energy to do that for myself, My kids needed me, and, broken as I was, I was better off with the crazy I knew than the crazy I didn't. Some of the worst side effects were suicidal thoughts (I once thought my kids were going to be taken away and I deserved to die because my kid woke up with a wet diaper. Not even a leak, just wet) and extreme drowsiness—knocked out for 24 hours straight after the 1st dose. No one could wake me!
I'm sure you can see why I didn't want to go through something like that again, especially since I am officially a single mom now.
A few weeks later, the anxiety meds were helping, and I was brave enough to try increasing the Wellbutrin (which many friends and family members have had wonderful experiences with) The doc switched me to XL, hoping the slightly higher dosage and the extended release would do the trick.
It didn't. Depression hit me hard. Maybe it was the stress of my dad having emergency gallbladder surgery, or our bunny suddenly dying, my cat fighting and getting a massive abscess, or summer school starting, or kids going to camp, or PTSD triggers.... Maybe even just a change in schedule. But it was bad. All my energy was gone. All that hope and drive slipped away. I was snapping at people over the smallest things. An Otter Pop spill left me in tears.
I took the day off, laid low, took my anxiety pill, and called my doctor. I've been off the Wellbutrin XL for two weeks now, and am already MUCH better. Problem is, we have to try this all over again with a new medicine. I am NOT looking forward to that. Usually, I wouldn't even bother. I'd give up and just live with it.
Problem is, now I see what hope feels like. I've started to see the light, and I WANT it. I want to be myself again. I want my life back.
And I keep feeling a call.. That I can help people. That there are others out there who are going through the same things, that need to know they're not alone. That maybe everything I've gone through can help someone else.
I've had the 2015 talk "The Comforter" by Henry B. Eyring on repeat lately. It's helped a bit:
You have seen such tests in the lives of good people you love. You have felt a desire to help them. There is a reason for your feeling of compassion for them.
You are a covenant member of the Church of Jesus Christ. A great change began in your heart when you came into the Church. You made a covenant, and you received a promise that began changing your very nature.
Alma described, in his words at the Waters of Mormon, what you promised at your baptism and what it will mean to you and everyone around you—especially in your families. He was speaking to those who were about to make the covenants you have made, and they also received the promise that the Lord made to you:
“Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;
“Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life.”
That is why you have a feeling to want to help a person struggling to move forward under a load of grief and difficulty. You promised that you would help the Lord make their burdens light and be comforted. You were given the power to help lighten those loads when you received the gift of the Holy Ghost.
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I'm a single mom with 3 special needs children, living in Utah, overcoming mental illness and crazy health problems to pull my family out of poverty and live my dreams as an author.
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Medical information is based on my own beliefs and experience. Nothing on this site should be used instead of professional medical advice.
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