Sunday, October 22, 2006

Embracing Myself

Been a busy couple of days. Long weekend pairing to a long week. Things will start working themselves out in the next few weeks, but it will be a long little journey.

I have decided to go see the doctor. Seems that the depression they've been thinking I have for the last ten years is actually a bit more than thought. Have embraced the fact that I am a manic depressive and I need medication to help me through it. For the past few years I've really known that medication was probably a good idea, but like many with a mental disorder, I have had a time accepting it. The thing is, even though I know that it is a chemical problem and that if I had a problem with any other organ (like my stomach) I would take the medication needed. But mental diseases are hard things to accept. I'm doing my best to live through mine, but I've finally realized that I need more help than just my own willpower.

I've really known that this was a part of me for a long time. Nearly ten years ago I was in love with a boy named Scott. Scott and I had grown up together and went to high school together. We were good friends. He was one of the kindest, smartest, most wonderful human beings I have ever known. Scott was manic depressive and took lithium to help balance himself.

When we graduated from high school, Scott moved up north to go to school at the state university. It was hard watching him go. But I had no claim to him. We weren't dating, we never had. I was too chicken to tell Scott how I felt about him. We were good friends, but I didn't think that he would accept me as his girlfriend; I felt he was too good for me.

Scott and I kept in touch over the next few months and he got himself a girlfriend at college. He came home for a break and I decided that I would finally tell him how I felt. I knew I couldn't hide it any longer. He and his girlfriend had they frequently did (typical off again on again relationship of young couples). I picked up the phone to call him, let it ring once, and hung up. I couldn't get the courage back. The next day, another high school friend called to tell me the news. Scott had stopped taking the lithium and he had committed suicide.

I have wept over Scott for the last ten years. I didn't go to the funeral, couldn't bring myself to say goodbye to the man that I loved. I have never forgiven myself for not trying to tell him how I felt. I will never get over him.

But Scott has helped me in so many ways over the years. I have learned so many lessons from that man. And now I know that I need to get myself the help that he let himself lose.

So recently things started to crop up again. J actually started me down the pathway to realizing the problem. He has noticed my tendencies, not a hard thing to do when you spend multiple hours with me on a daily basis. He suggested that I get help and I was defensive. But now I know that he was right. I have been in an extreme manic phase for the last few weeks. I obsess over everything and I have all these buzzing thoughts around myself. I feel like I have a million things I need to be doing, but I can't focus on one long enough to finish it. I spend too much money on things I don't really need. Thank god I can afford it. I had far too much fun in Vegas for me to think that it was sane. I need to stop, breathe, backtrack. I need to slow down and focus.

So...I'm going to take the big step. I'm going to be the brave girl and take control of myself...of my disease. I may not always feel 100% comfortable with my own diagnosis, but I can be strong enough to not let it take me over. I can beat it.

1 comment:

  1. Good on you, Elle! I hope they find something helpful for you to take. There is not the stigma attached to depression these days as there used to be. I kind of think that is because more and more men are suffering from it, too. (Ever heard of a depressed man being called 'hysterical'?!).

    Just confronting what you need to do is hard enough. Well, done: you are brave!


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