Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Back on the Pax!

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.

Me and my life-saver
I popped my first tab of Paxil this morning and followed up with a call to my doctor to get the prescription going again. I'm hopeful that Paxil will once again be the little chemical breeze that disperses the gray clouds in my emotional sky.

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."

5 comments:

Ridwan said...

Hey there Dade it takes a lot of courage to write as truthfull as you have here.

Don't view Paxil as a defeat my friend. It is not.

You have made a choice in a holistic manner and, most importantly, you have considered the happiness of Maty over you.

And in a beautiful way that decision is a circle.

I wish you strength my brother.

On a side note, a former student of mine told me that she really enjoyed the balance of your comments on my blog and your post here.

She said: "I like reading your friend Dade ... "

She is right on two counts. I too like reading you and I consider you a friend.

Onward! brother.

Ridwan

Dan Binmore said...

It's not a defeat Dade, and you really can't see what's going on from inside. I've been on both sides of this, I've been in Maty's position and in your position. If you have headaches you take aspirin. If you break your leg, you wear a splint and walk with crutches. Depression is a real medical condition, not a personality fault, a fact I have to remind myself of from time to time.
Well done, good choice.

Shus li said...

Kyle Gardiner had depression. He treated it by drinking alcohol - lots of it. In the end, he blew his brains out. Suicide is the far end of a spectrum of damage done by untreated depression.

Congratulations on knowing how to help yourself, and on having such a caring wife.

KATRINA said...

Hi Dade, Here's to you and your wonderful wife.......I have a wonderful husband I'm sure as wonderful as your wife in understanding and caring for us so much but feeling hopeless in there efforts....I too have struggled with depression and often look around at our dream home, wonderful job...beautiful girls...and on and on and ask myself what the hell is going on with me.....I strongly beleive that it is a real medical condition..I tryed the mind over matter....and that worked only for a short time......I have made the choice myself of no drugs and so far so good......have taken the approach of a life counselor...I beleive is what they are calling themselves here in southern cali.....give each hugs those always help............there's nothing better and a good old hug.........take care....still enjoying your BLOGS..........DORA

KATRINA said...

Hi Dade, Here's to you and your wonderful wife.......I have a wonderful husband I'm sure as wonderful as your wife in understanding and caring for us so much but feeling hopeless in there efforts....I too have struggled with depression and often look around at our dream home, wonderful job...beautiful girls...and on and on and ask myself what the hell is going on with me.....I strongly beleive that it is a real medical condition..I tryed the mind over matter....and that worked only for a short time......I have made the choice myself of no drugs and so far so good......have taken the approach of a life counselor...I beleive is what they are calling themselves here in southern cali.....give each hugs those always help............there's nothing better and a good old hug.........take care....still enjoying your BLOGS..........DORA