Hi there. Again, please let me thank those of you who have commented on my journal. I read many today for the first time and your notes of encouragement brought tears to my eyes. I've still not emailed anyone back but know that I adore each of you and wished you lived closer to me so we could have coffee and talk about anything besides me. :) I haven't been posting every day because I'm just working this stuff through...who wants a day by day update on my battle with depression? ugghh...that even depresses me!
I do believe that many creative individuals suffer from emotional turmoil more often than most and since I believe the majority of people who read my journal would fit in the creative category, I'm going to do my best to share what I'm going through. Although I'm in Portland, OR now, I'm a native Texan and by nature we tell everyone our life stories within 30 minutes of meeting them.
I'm going to try to give the short version....but once I get started, I might get on a roll....hopefully not.
I've had this ongoing struggle with depression forever...but usually things are more normal than depressed (whatever the heck "normal" is). After being diagnosed with ADD in March 2004 at the age of 40, mind you, I was given a medication - Adderall- that has been praised for treating the symptoms of ADD...(people with ADD don't always look the same. my symptoms, well, the ones that really caused me grief most of my life were; chronic sleepiness...the triggers in my brain that should stimulate motivation, adrenaline, etc. were very sporadic. I might wake up totally motivated, get 1 hour into a project and suddenly feel overwhelmed and I would actually feel my brain shutting down and have no option but to lay down and sleep. If I had too much stress or demands on me, instead of being able to hunker down and get things accomplished, the same thing would happen. Other symptoms...being very disorganized - I spent most of my time looking for things. I was very easily distracted at one point but at another time, I would totally hyper focus and one of my daughters would carry on a complete conversation with me, with me even responding...and I would have absolutely no idea what was said. Which plays into the fact that my memory is crap.
Adderall works to keep me awake (which is HUGE), helps me focus. When I first started taking it, I felt I had a miracle happen in my life...not only because I was diagnosed, could actually study up and read about ME...there were actually REASONS I struggled with the things I had hated myself for forever. (major time management issues...always late for everything, major procrastinator, forget birthdays, anniversaries, mail Xmas and bday gifts late, even 'tho I bought them months in advance). These negative attributes have actually been the cause of broken relationships. How dare I be so insensitive, lazy, selfish as to not remember and follow through? Makes sense realistically...but unfortunately, my brain is wired in a way that I don't have everything all together.
So, after being on the meds for a month or so....things started fading a bit...my body adjusting to them, I would assume...but then, it seems my anti depressant, Zoloft, began to not be as effective. My Dr. switched me to Welbutrin to see if that would help...it didn't...Welbutrin had an adverse reaction and I honestly thought I was having a break down....this was in November of last year....I couldn't cope and this was the time I began thinking it would be nice to be committed to a hospital. I have never felt suicidal, but knew I couldn't go on living like that anymore.
My Dr. finally switched me back to Zoloft...things were immediately better. Not ALL better, but so much better than with Welbutrin. I've basically just drifted along since then. I would say, over the last 5 months or so, I've been existing. Have often said it would be nice to be bi polar (out of ignorance, mind you) just so I'd have some extreme highs occasionally...
It's so late...I've been writing this in stages tonight.
I'll finish tomorrow.
thanks for taking the time to read.