Those who are close to me know that in recent months I have struggled. I slept a lot, avoiding (or escaping) life much too often. I was able to point to a number of “causes”, but nonetheless could not rouse myself. The winter months of January, February and March are challenging for me, or at least have been so in recent years. I experienced a disappointment that prompted me to delve deeply into consideration of who I am at this point in my life, and what my purpose is. As an introvert and an introspective being, this was a difficult path. In this time period I struggled more than usual with finding value in myself, instead looking to and at others as “better” – by whatever measure. Add to the mix the sense of dis-ease with my church’s response to our recent giving campaign… Because the church is an important part of my life, this outcome brought me even lower.
All that said, I will as well confess that I have taken a mild anti-depressant for a number of years. In her later years my mother took similar medication, as have other family members on her side of the family. I had shared my predicament with a much loved and wise friend (from church!) who suggested it might be time to try a different medication. I made that doctor appointment, and I did it.
It’s hard for me to say exactly what it is that has turned me back toward the light. Spring, and the sight of life coming anew from the ground certainly has helped. Even the pesky robin who’s pooping on my car and the wascally wabbits who are munching on the tender tips of my plants, have played a role. Finding a solution to nagging pain in my ankle for almost two years has been a big plus, as was a three day getaway with fellow travelers to New York City. As I sat in Saint Paul’s Cathedral last week I had a sense of God reminding me that I was not being ignored…in spite of my not paying much attention to God lately. Thankfully that is not a quid pro quo relationship.
But I cannot discount the power of the change in medication, and am grateful to my doctor who walked me through the many alternatives available, as well as their respective down sides. And I’m grateful that there is no longer a stigma attached to the availing myself of such medications, or at least that I do not feel stigmatized. Feeling miserable, having a flat affect – that, is stigmatizing, and certainly does not encourage others to interact with you.
I know I’ve been turned toward the light because I am again experiencing gratitude deep in my being. I am making plans, and in this altered place recognize that I have responsibility for finding and making joy in my life. Not a new discovery, but this time I really got whacked on the head with the lesson. Does that guarantee that each day will be a good day? That’s unlikely. But it does mean I can move from one day to another with some degree of anticipation and hope. And that’s all that really matters.
For better or worse, I’m back,