Permanent illness is not an easy sickness to live with. With my depression, I have always expected myself to reach a certain point in my healing and then to remain there, being able to know what I can expect my body to handle each day. I gave myself a 5 year plan from the time I first got sick, that in 5 years I would be at level of healthiness where I could be independent enough on my own and at least have my Interior Decorator’s Certificate completed. I wanted a lot more than that but some things I have come to realize are not realistic goals. But my problem lately has been that even my 5 year goals that I did consider realistic are not realistic; I have instead regressed.
Regression is not something that was part of my ‘Get Better’ plan. I know in November I get a little bit worse due to SAD and basically the low amount of light in the winter sky but I was still well enough that I could attend class and go places without becoming too tired. But already this summer and perhaps even since I’ve been taking classes in Spring, I’ve been regressing.
It started with me missing about 7 of my 13 CAD classes due to the fact that I was too tired or too sick to go. It continued with a summer where I spent a great deal of time sleeping and on the couch. I spent less time having the energy to do all the activities I wanted to do with my friends, my articles were often not as grammatically correct or spelled correctly due to the fact that I was too tired to care, my emotions often felt all over the place, and I became tired of becoming this unhappy miserable person who didn’t have the energy for 20 minutes of Yoga never mind all the other events or activities I couldn’t attend or do.
I still was able to do some things I wanted to do but not as much as I used to be able to do. It took my Mom having a frank discussion with me about my declining health, to put the pieces together. These last 2 months I have spent much time at different Doctor’s offices trying to find a healthier way to fall asleep besides 20, 5 gram melatonin pills which no I cannot cut back on, I need them all to sleep. I have received sleeping medications from my sleep Doctor that have only made me sick or tired all day as well as all night and a ticture from my Naturopath that did nothing for me at double the dose she recommended. Finally, I visited my psychiatrist to address the actual regressions I have been feeling with my depression and have been trying to function unsuccessfully with a new dose of certain medications without feeling tired in the day and serious withdrawal when 1 of the medications wears off which unfortunately has been around 2:30 pm in the afternoon, a change of about 2 and 1/2 hours from the lower dose of the drug. 2 hours of activity wears me out in the day, my motivation, and my concentration has not been any better yet.
I’m so frustrated. I am tired of suffering through medication changes just to have somewhat of a normal life; I am tired of being fatigued and sleepy in the day; and I’m heartbroken after all that time I spent trying to move ahead despite my disease, working towards greater independence and trying to become someone who can contribute to society, that my health has regressed and is not improving.
I am trying to be positive though, really. I try to remember that so many people are suffering so much more. I try to remember that I have a family who can help me take care of myself when I cannot do much; that I have a boyfriend who loves me and is extremely understanding of my illness; and that I have friends and relatives who have not stopped supporting me at whatever stage of recovery or regression I have been in since getting depression 5 years ago.
It is essential to look at the bigger picture in life and it is essential that I don’t think no one understands what it’s like to be me because suffering is universal. When I consider the different painful situations I have been in in life I think of the Bible verse ” My Grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses . . . ” ( 2 Corinthians 12:9) This Bible verse said to Paul by God when he prays, suggests that Paul too suffered from some illness, that he prayed 3 times for God to take this ” thorn” away from him but God told him to depend on God because through Paul’s suffering the power of God was apparent. I hope that people see God’s strength when they see me suffer because He is greater than that suffering and He has greater things in mind for me than I will ever know or understand, just as he did for Paul in the Bible.