thanks a pantload

16 Nov

this was originally going to be a lump sum version of the daily “what i’m thankful for” list that is going around facebook like the clap this month. i started typing it in word because i’m really good at writing lengthy blog posts and accidentally deleting them. it evolved into the part you’re about to read, which i’ve (surprisingly) pared down. i apologize for rogue inconsistencies in capitalization, and any typos, since i am already sick of this post and don’t feel like editing.

thar she blows:

 

i am thankful for zoloft. although my awareness of it stems back to high school, and, looking back, i think it goes back to elementary school, i was recently diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and mild depression. i was diagnosed with PMDD (a.k.a. unreasonably bad PMS) a couple years ago, and have tried a couple different birth controls to alleviate the symptoms with no avail. the depression/anxiety is worse in the winter, so there’s probably a splash of seasonal affective disorder in there as well, but we didn’t really talk about that.

anyway, i hesitated for a long time about going on medication, because it usually means that, once you’re on it, you’re on it for good. as someone who takes allergy medicine for up to nine months out of the year, i didn’t want to add something else to the mix that would make me feel more groggy or gross. it turns out i probably should have hit this shit up a long time ago.

in college, especially while accidentally minoring in psychology, i learned a lot about anxiety and depression, and suffered from it often. i would be relatively fun and outgoing (depending on who you ask…take all of this with a grain of salt) for the first semester of school, then when we went back to school in january, my happiness and my level of sanity would decline.

…i actually need to stop myself here and interject that, any reference made to me being a shitty person or a shitty friend are all hearsay. it’s my (albiet waning) self-doubt and lingering pangs of self-hate from my earlier years. i will end up peppering this post with notions that i, at times, have basically been a choad. i pride myself in having a hybrid positive/realistic outlook, and a good sense of humor. i phrase things in ways that make me laugh, so that mixed with my extreme sarcasm can be taken as passive-aggression or negativity, but it’s all in how my words are taken. i really do like myself and think i’m a decent person. okay, back to bullshit:

the winter was basically a spiral of whydon’tboyslikemeback mylifeisinshambles whyamisougly whycan’tisleepallday whydon’tmyfriendslikeme. once the spring came around, i’d tell myself to get over myself, i’d perk back up again, and i’d leave for the summer miserable to be away from my friends. my overall sense of being is to do/say things that make me happy, and that can absolutely be translated into me being obnoxious and overbearing. i get that. unfortunately, second semester rach was obnoxious and overbearing in a negative way, whereas first semester rach was a bit more loveable (if you could stomach her). i often look back at my personality in college and cringe, especially knowing it could have been controlled with medication. especially thinking about failed relationships of all kinds. shudder.

i was similar in high school. i’m pretty sure people probably still think i’m a jerk for being a bad friend or something.

in elementary school i don’t remember how i felt on a day to day basis, but i know i was super sensitive. like, i was one of the kids who’d have an annual cry in the classroom for getting a math problem wrong or some shit. in fourth grade, i won the volleyball championship game for my class and was so overwhelmed by my fleeting athleticism and everyone hugging/liking me that i started to cry. i blamed it on bending my finger back as i served the ball. (i was actually pretty sensitive and prone to crying up until maybe 6 or 7 years ago, probably around the time i met my husband and started to feel more self-confident, but i continue to build up an emotional callus as time goes by.)

around that same time, and i’m trying to remember if it was at the same time my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer, i had a couple compulsive practices. if i tapped my left foot three times and my right foot four, i’d have to tap the left foot one more time to even it out. i’d have to do similar things with any type of food/leg/arm/hand movements. thinking back to this while studying abnomal psych, i concluded that this was probably stress relief/a coping mechanism.

the worst one is something i haven’t told many people, if any at all, although i was asked about it frequently because it was very visual. one night i was having a sleepover and my friend was cutting her hair with scissors i probably lifted from school (because office/school supplies are the SHIT). i ended up accidentally cutting a chunk out of the center of an eyebrow, so i did it to the other side to even it out. it looked stupid and was embarrassing. however, one night i was running my finger over my eyebrows, and i could feel the hair start to grow back. something about the smoothness of my skin in between my remaining eyebrow hair was super nice, so i pulled out one of the hairs that was growing back. i instantly felt super comforted and pulled out all the rest of the regrowth. honestly, when we learned about why people pull out their hair/cut themselves, the sense of relief that cutters and pullers feel is exactly what i felt when pulling out my eyebrow hair. this became a nightly ritual for awhile until i got sick of people asking me what was wrong with my eyebrows. i told myself not to pull out the hair anymore, so i didn’t, and the impulse went away shortly.

i had always been able to talk myself out of shit that i was doing to myself that wasn’t right (other than all the self-deprecation that, realistically, i’ll never get over). with the hair pulling, the extremity tapping, and the depressive episodes, i was able to reach a point where i was like, wait, this sucks. unfortunately, as an adult, you get more and more bullshit to deal with on a daily basis, more responsibility, more sadness/anxiety triggers. i got really anxious while planning my wedding, but it died down a bit after. the following winter was especially depressing for me, and the end of 2011/all of 2012 handed me a large amount of hot turds on a platter. i officially got to a point where i couldn’t talk myself out of feeling like shit.

i attempted cutting myself off from negative people/people who made me feel bad, both in person and via social media. i walked for more parts of my commute to add more daily exercise and natural light into my life. i did all the other things you’re supposed to do to relieve yourself from symptoms of anxiety and depression, and they stopped working.  i was being a bitch/lousy to be around. i was argumentative and i didn’t know why. i literally couldn’t control the nastiness that was spilling out of my mouth.

Enter Zoloft.

i already knew deep down that i had generalized anxiety and mild depression. i knew enough from all my psych classes, and from extensive research. to have it confirmed by a professional was an extreme relief in and of itself. i was put on a very low dose (lower than the typical starting dose) and started to feel a difference within the first week. by week three, i knew for sure it wasn’t just that hopeful, giddy, YAY A NEW REMEDY thing. seven weeks into it and Iive only had one day where i felt depressed. it was for three hours, and it was completely petty and situational. i’m not going to say i’ve been completely cured of anxiety, but the only time i’ve clenched my teeth during a tough work day was this week, and, coincidentally, it was the day after i forgot to take my dose. i was not an asshole pre-menses this time, and i was only surly when THE SECOND STUPID DUNKIN DONUTS I WENT TO IN THIS STUPID TOWN DIDN’T HAVE A GODDAMN CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFIN AND I HAD TO SETTLE FOR A STUPID ASS LOW FAT BLUEBERRY.

i personally think i’m better to be around. i’m not really the one to confirm that, though.

i sort of wish i’d hit the SSRI sauce sooner, but i’m a firm believer in the notion that things happen for a reason. maybe i needed to be a crybaby kid, a sensitive yet kind of crummy friend probably teen, and a loose cannon college student to become who i am today. underneath any topical lousiness, my general personality that i’ve been crafting for 30 years is something i’m proud of, and i feel like i have myself “back.”

thank you, zoloft. seriously.

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2 Responses to “thanks a pantload”

  1. eepeepee November 21, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    Is it weird to say I’m proud of you? Cause I am. Unless you think that’s weird, in which case…sorry, I still am.

    • adrach November 22, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

      haha, NO! thanks!

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