I’ve been taking my new meds for a little over a week now and I am very happy with how I currently feel. I realize this could be the honeymoon phase that people talk about, and once my mind adjusts to the meds it will all calm down. But right now I feel amazing- better than I have in… well, since I can remember. Symptoms of my depression that I didn’t even realize were there are starting to lift. I went into the doctor saying, “I’m mostly okay but I have some really bad weeks.” But what I am realizing now is that if what I am experiencing now is “normal,” then I wasn’t mostly okay. I was depressed most of the time with the occasional good day or two.
Just What’s Changing?
- I can look people in the eye. I’ve always been the type of person who looks away quickly when I accidentally make eye contact with a stranger. But now I find myself smiling and offering a little nod. And you know what? They usually smile and nod back. People are generally friendly!?! I know I am going to need deeper interactions in order to deal with my lack of roots and community here, but this is a big start- breaking down that wall I’ve built up in my mind that the people in my town are so wrapped up in their own lives that they don’t have interest in me. I’m realizing I was wrong- I had things backwards. I was the one wrapped up in myself.
- My vision is changing. They say that change in eyesight might be one of the side-effects of zoloft. I wasn’t sure what to expect with that- even blurrier vision? Ugh, no thank you. But my vision has become slightly sharper. I’m not saying it is a miracle cure and I don’t need glasses anymore- but everything seems just a tiny bit clearer.
But even weirder than the sharper vision is that my field of vision has expanded. Apparently I used to have some sort of tunnel vision and I never realized it. When I would stand outside, I would have to look at each item individually- “There’s a house. There’s a tree. There’s a mountain.” My eyes would move across the landscape, not really seeing the inter-relation of things. Now, I can take in the whole picture. It’s like my focus has just expanded. And it is amazingly beautiful. Yesterday I just spent time on my balcony staring at the landscape of this city I live in and, as a whole picture, it is beautiful.
- I got my dance back. I didn’t even realize it was gone, but I haven’t been able to dance in months. I’ve been able to mimic the moves, but my body felt stiff- unnatural. Nothing felt full or free. Those of you who know me know that dance is super important to my soul. So not being able to connect with it has been frustrating. But I didn’t realize how bad it was until I put on some music yesterday and the dance just flowed- real, true dance. Not just a mimicry of movement.
- Sex. Just sex. Better sex. More sex. More desire for sex. More connection during sex. Sex as something emotional instead of just physical.
- Less coffee. I was drinking 2, bordering on 3 coffees a day just to make it through the day and I still felt exhausted all the time. I thought it was a parenting thing, a lack of sleep thing. Now I drink my one coffee in the morning, but I don’t feel groggy and grumpy until I have it. I don’t crave coffee constantly. I also don’t crave a beer every night. My escapism is less demanding.
- Better sleep. My mind winds down and I am able to sleep a deep, restful sleep. I feel better in the mornings. Unfortunately, that is paired with Jojo going through a sleep regression, so she isn’t letting me take full advantage of this sleep. But even with her waking me up 5 times a night, I am still getting better sleep than when she was waking me up once and I was “sleeping” through the night.
- Less anxiety. I used to freak out whenever Nikola stayed late at work. All the lights on, imagining people breaking in, seeing the stupid clown from the new IT movie (which I only saw a preview of). It was pretty bad. But now that is under control.
- No fog! The fog around my brain has lifted. I feel like I am really on earth- that I can touch things. And it is a great feeling.
- Easier to care about hygiene and appearance. I find myself wanting to look good- showering is easier and more refreshing. I almost considered shaving, plucking my eyebrows, or putting on makeup. Things I thought I wasn’t interested in because I am married and have no reason to attract attention. But really I was just too depressed to want to express myself.
As you can see, I am pretty stoked about how things are going so far.
Sure. There are some bad side effects, but nothing what I expected.
- I have to pee all the time. Part of this is probably because I am drinking 2 liters or more of water a day. Part of it is also my body trying to process out the drug.
- If I don’t drink enough water, I get a headache at night. This has happened twice, both times I did not drink quite as much water as the other days. The headache went away when I drank more water.
- I’ve had a couple of intense rushes that felt overwhelming. About an hour or two after I take my morning pill, there was a sensation like coming up on ecstasy, where I thought I might puke and my body was buzzing. But it passed both times, and I think my body is adjusting to the meds so it is less intense now.
Where do I go from here?
My friend pointed out that meds are just a band aid and I should take this time to process my actual depression. I have a feeling that I might be one of the ones who has endogenous depression as opposed to depression caused by environmental factors. But there are definitely factors that are making it worse- and I do need to take the time to face those issues and do what I can to fix them. I’ve started some hard discussions with Nikola, and I feel like that is a step in the right direction. A friend also introduced me to tantra and I think that may be something for me to focus on right now.
As far as the meds, I have a check-in after 20 days. Then we will make a plan for what will help- how long I should be on the meds, what I should do while on them, and whether I will need therapy.
Right now, though? I am feeling very optimistic.