A new day today. A new beginning for me. Well...sort of...
As I mentioned in a recent post, I've been struggling with depression lately. A general angst and a sometimes overwhelming feeling of hopelessness have been regular companions in my life, robbing me of joy. I've been carrying around a pervasive sense of doom, an anxiety, an anticipation of disaster that has taken a huge toll on me in many ways. And also on my beloved wife, Maty.
Well, last night Maty and I had one of those raw emotional conversations. You know, those talks that are upsetting and traumatic and difficult, and very, very necessary. Maty said she was very tired; tired of seeing me mope around, worried and sad and defeated. She was tired of seeing tears in my eyes at odd moments and for no apparent reason. She said it broke her heart and it exhausted her and made it hard for her to stave off her own sadness and anxiety.
When she spoke, I clearly saw her honesty, and I saw the desperation in her plea. She was suffering, and the thought of that stabbed me in the heart like a searing, white hot iron. It made me ache to think that my sadness and hopelessness was hurting her, was making her life difficult.
So, last night I resolved that I must do all I can to beat this depression thing. For her. For this brave young woman. For my beautiful, saintly wife. For Maty Bombay.
Back in December, I took myself off of Paxil, an anti-depressant, anti-anxiety drug that I had been taking for years. I had tried several times previously to wean myself of the drug, and it had always ended badly, with me in a state of mental despair.
This time, I consulted my doctor and he told me I should use my own discretion in determining whether or not to continue the prescription. So, I took the plunge and quit taking Paxil right around Christmas time.
At first, things seemed alright. I was not overwhelmed with anxiety or sadness. But over the months, things have slowly changed. And I suppose that's how things like this happen. The transition is slow and scarcely discernible.
Now, six months later, with a little help from Maty, I have assessed my emotional state and I can see that it is time for me to restart my pharmaceutically-induced stability. When even moments of joy and levity are deadened by all-encompassing sadness and dread, it is time to make a change.
This, I suppose, is something of a defeat. I seem unable to function emotionally without this drug, and that is sobering and worrisome in and of itself. But, on the other hand, life is far too short to be unhappy each and every day.
This has been a very personal post, and I apologize to you, dear reader, if it makes you squeamish or uncomfortable. But I remain committed to telling the truth as I know it, and so here it is.
And this: As Maty says, quite often, "Sometimes you have to give everything to God."