Have you seen those new SoyJoy ads? I hate them. The people in them all look like they're on some kind of opiate. They seem to equate 'drugged out of your mind' with 'optimism'. This image of using a substance in order to live in a perpetual state of bliss purely irks me. When I went on medication for depression, it wasn't with the intention of erasing all negative emotions from my life. I wasn't trying to escape the natural pain that comes as a consequence of poor decisions, and I certainly wasn't using it to enable myself to live a more frenetic, crazy and uncomfortable life by numbing out the sadness that comes with that. I wasn't aiming for bliss, I was aiming for functional.
I remember seeing Julianne Moore's character in The Hours. Watching her emotionally crumble while trying to bake a cake was excruciating, not only because she plays the part so exquisitely, but because I saw myself in her. Depression is insidious and debilitating. There were times when I, like her character, truly believed that my children and my family would be better off if I were not around. It is humbling to know that if it weren't for the watchful eye of my Father in Heaven, I could have done something terrible to myself or one of my children. With the advantage of perfect hindsight, medication seems like an obvious life saver. So I find it infuriating that one of the hurdles I had to overcome when deciding to go to my doctor for help was the stereotypical image of a drug-taking-housewife-trying-to-numb-out-her-life.
I still wrestle with that. Perhaps it's pride. I don't want to be on medicine. I don't want to need it. So lately, I haven't been taking it. I'll go a few days without it, crash, and then take a dose. As soon as I'm feeling a little less suicidal, I stop taking it again. I know that it's stupid and dangerous and unhealthy, and yet I continue to do it. I don't want to be thought of as someone broken. Someone who needs help in order to live my already ridiculously privileged and charmed life.
I'm finding that just as when I went through pregnancy sans medication, I now have to humble myself, set aside that pride, and turn to the Lord every day-- this time in order to submit to the relief of the medicine. Today I'm telling myself that it's okay to need help. It's part of life to have weaknesses to overcome. I have weaknesses in order to teach me to rely on a higher power.
But those SoyJoy ads? So not helping.