I had entered the ballot for the London Marathon and somehow got in. I had mixed emotions about doing it, I thought it would be good for me to have something positive to focus on but also I was bricking it. I’d been pretty good for the first months training, I barely drank alcohol too but despite my seemingly healthy lifestyle, I kept getting ill. I joked with people saying my body needs alcohol as it seemed whenever I went without it for too long, I got a cold or a virus, things I had never been prone to before plus my libido was at an all time low, another thing that was out of character. I was hoping that all this exercise would boost my mood, as I kept reading it would but if I’m honest it didn’t really I was either at a complete high or I was at an all time low and the highs were few and far between.
After the marathon was over, the lows got worse and worse, at first I thought it was because of the build up and now it was over, kind of like a bride after her wedding, but it just kept getting worse. I would be at my desk at work and for no apparent reason I would feel such an overwhelming sadness I would have to fight back the tears. There were no highs at all now and I was annoyed with myself, why was I feeling like this? I have nothing to be sad about, nothing at all. My life was pretty perfect and my divorce was finally coming to an end. Any day now! The straw that broke the camels back was when I went to lunch with my boyfriend and I just burst into tears. I couldn’t go on like this, I had tried everything to lift my mood, vitamins, meditation, reading books & articles, CBT, counselling, exercise, I’d even had my thyroid checked. I didn’t know what else left there was to try apart from the one thing I had been avoiding. Medication.
I was always reading articles about mental health, trying to keep up to date with any techniques that may help with my anxiety, depression is often mentioned in such articles and I would sometimes read them and think “that sounds like me” but dismissed it as I didn’t have anything to be depressed about! I had a good job, great family, nice home & fantastic boyfriend. How could I be depressed? Whatever this was, I knew I could not carry on living in such misery, I wanted myself back, I missed me!
So after much deliberation and lots of tears, I booked myself in to the doctors.
My perception of antidepressants was that they turned you into a zombie and that they were addictive. I’m not even sure where this came from, but I has always been very anti anti- depressants, but knowing I had tried every other avenue, I knew it was likely that this was going to be offered to me and I was so far gone that I was actually worried they were going to turn me away with no options at all and nothing would change.
After four weeks of crying on a daily basis, the day I went to the doctors, I was extremely happy, I was almost annoyed as I thought the doctor would think I was making it up. I sat in the waiting room nervously awaiting my name to be called and it seemed like forever, the next thing I knew I was sat opposite a doctor who actually looked more nervous than me.
“So what can I do for you today?”
“Well I can’t stop feeling low and crying, I’ve tried everything vitamins, meditation, reading books & articles, CBT, counselling, exercise & blood tests but nothings working, typically today is the first time I have actually felt good. I didn’t want to go on tablets but I feel this may be the only way forward, but I don’t want to be on them forever, I dont want to get addicted. What do you think?”
It was like verbal diarrhea! I don’t even think I took a breath. To my relief (and probably his now I had shut up!) he agreed that I had tried every possible avenue and that he would prescribe some anti depressant for 6 months, I was to come back after I had taken them for one month to see how I was getting on.
Where these really going to work? I was scared!