Relapses suck. Whether it’s a relapse of drug use, or a relapse of alcohol abuse, or a relapse of self harm–they suck. Luckily, my relapses are just in depression. It never physically harms me to relapse, but it still sucks so much.
I’m a firm believer in medication, especially for depression, especially for my depression. I truly believe that my depression is a result of a chemical imbalance because I honestly have no reason to be depressed. I have a job (ok it’s not stable), I have a home to live in, I have friends and family, I’m otherwise a happy person with no huge life-changing event that could trigger depression. Yet, here I am.
And when I’m put on antidepressants, my mood improves. My suicidal thoughts go away. But medications are fickle, and our brains are too smart to handle them for too long, which ends in what I call the Plateau Effect.
When I first start a new medication, it’s great. My mood improves on an incline, up up up and usually after a few months, it plateaus. Boom. Deadpan. I don’t get worse, but I don’t feel better.
And then we try another medication, and it cycles through. Up, up, up, deadpan, try something new.
In October 2014, I was put on Pristiq and I’ve been on Pristiq ever since. Which means it’s working. It plateaued at one point, which made me increase my dosage from 50 mg to 100 mg, but I’ve been on 100 mg for as long as I can remember.
But recently, I’ve been feeling the Plateau Effect again. I’ve relapsed back into this hopeless, worthless feeling where I sleep nonstop and always cry and want to die. And it sucks. It really sucks. Because I wish I could just THINK this away. I wish I could just stop feeling this way, but I can’t. It’s literally what my brain’s chemically trained to do.
I have help. I have mantras, both of which are tattooed on my feet. I have support. I have medication. But it’s not enough sometimes. I can tell myself over and over Know Your Worth, Love Your Life but it doesn’t stop me from wanting to die. No amount of She Loves Me tickets, and meet and greets with Tom Hiddleston, and snapchat selfies with Zac Levi, and tequila by the handle will make me feel better.
And sometimes people don’t understand that. I really hate when I’m venting to someone and they say, “hey, you gotta stop thinking that way” like NO SHIT. But brb, let me try that because I have never thought of trying that before. “But you seem happy” or “Just be happy” or “You have so much”
I don’t choose to be depressed. I don’t choose to sleep all the time and cry all the time. I don’t want to be sad all the time. I want to be happy and I want to go a day or two without thinking about killing myself. I just can’t. It’s literally like asking a diabetic to go without insulin for a day or two–newsflash, it won’t work because their pancreas ain’t programmed to work that way, even with healthy food.
You can’t choose happiness. I mean, you can choose to not let things affect you and you can choose to move on with life, but in a sense of having depression and not having depression, you can’t choose happiness. At least, I haven’t figured it out yet.