Sometimes the only monster we see is when we’re looking into a mirror.
This is her story:
The sad part is that I allowed it, and not only for a little while … oh no … I allowed this person to eat at me every single day … all day … for years, until there was nothing left but a shell of my former existence. They were mean and hurtful, yelled at my children, they could have cared less about my happiness … their main goal was to make me and everyone around me pay for their misery. They let their selfish need for pride crumble the walls of my life … I was sure there was no way to rid myself of this person … I was trapped … the very thought of ending the darkness they brought was unfathomable.
I could simply just kill them.
The thought crossed my mind on more than one occasion … but what little common sense I had left stopped whatever notions that crept into my mind.
To escape this person was to escape my very self.
I was her … she was me, and deep down in her head, buried under the anger and depression was a tiny flicker of light that called out to her … “don’t drive your car off the road … you know better than that.”
The problem was that no matter how deep I analyzed myself, I could come up with not one valid reason to feel this way. What was wrong with me? … why was I spiraling into a hole? What was my problem?
Was it a learned behavior? … it was possible.
Was it genetic? … that was quite possible as well.
One morning I woke up and opened the refrigerator … a tub of margarine fell out and you’d think the world had just ended. My ranting and yelling and crying over something so trivial was ridiculous. Kind of like when my Dad didn’t have enough milk for his cereal in the morning … off he’d go to the store … tires screeching down the driveway … he couldn’t just have a piece of toast or something … no that was too easy … he had to upset the entire household.
I know now after seeing the same behavior in myself that it had nothing to do with the milk, just like it had nothing to do with the margarine. It was a sickness … one that I was passing down to my own children … I was well aware, yet I still refused to do anything about it.
I had a reason for everything.
I’m not getting help because I’m not a failure. I’ll be fine … it’ll go away. I’m not going on medication because I don’t need a crutch! And to hell with gaining any ten or twenty pounds by popping the pills either. Ain’t happening. Instead I chose to make my family walk on egg shells. Instead I chose to stop caring about my health … Instead I chose to put myself at the very bottom of the list.
I was and I still am stubborn.
Thankfully, there is a voice of reason in my life. A voice that knew how I felt … someone who had been where I was … someone who had made his way through the darkness … someone who said, “you don’t have to live this way and the only thing on my wish list is for you to get help.”
I felt like I was giving in … succumbing to failure … and making that phone call was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done.
I thought for sure I was making a huge mistake. The doctor would put me on medication and that would be the end of me. I’d be a fat emotionless entity who drifted through the rest of her life wishing she could just be ‘like everyone else’.
I was given medication … my doctor said, “if you couldn’t see very well, would you not want to wear glasses?” … I filled the prescription … then I made my second mistake and scoured the depression forums like a mad woman trying to find out what was to become of me. The best advice I could ever give a person who’s never taken an SSRI is to stay the hell away from those forums. STAY AWAY. They will scare the living crap out of you.
I took the medication.
Slowly and surely each day was a little brighter. Each day, life became less hectic in my head. I could think … I could breathe and most importantly, I stopped bringing misery to the lives of those nearest and dearest to me.
Today I’m happy … I’m not fat, I didn’t gain the seven thousand pounds I was certain of gaining … I wake up every morning without that nagging rage. If I see a dirty coffee mug sitting on the table, I don’t start the next great war … nor have I lost my ability to emote.
I was wrong about getting help … I couldn’t have been more wrong if I tried.
It hurts me to see people who feel the helplessness that I felt.
You don’t have to live that way …
you really don’t.