In a prior blog, I shared that I devote the mass majority of my life living like an F5 tornado day in and day out. My detection of the slow fade begins like a slow, minuscule, trickling leak. At impromptu intervals, I hit a disguised brick wall. My knees buckle; I stumble; and I fall to the ground. Shaking my head, I wonder what is happening. For me, it is similar to a boxing match — punched, falls down, get back up, over and over and over and over and over and over and on it goes. It will take me literally years, and I do mean years, to identify this inescapable pattern. I pass it off, return to my ‘normal’ self, and race forward. Eventually, colliding with that wall begins happening in rapid progressive intervals, with time in between decreasing and longevity of down time increasing. The battle is fierce and I am a tough competitor! In the down times, I am in unchartered territory. I do not know this slow life, nor do I like it whatsoever. The first significant wall collision occurs when one morning, I wake up and a steamroller has leveled me and backed up over me again. I cannot start my engine; the fuel tank is empty! I think I must have a bug of some sort. I call in sick, stumble my sorry self back to bed, and am certain I will be back in sync tomorrow. One day turns into an entire week. On day three, I call my doctor, get an appointment that day, and my mind continues to concoct that I have contracted one serious bug. The doctor asks me a series of questions and then proceeds to prescribe me an anti-depressant. An anti-depressant? Wait! What! I have never heard of such a med! I do not need an anti-depressant. How silly! I am not depressed! I am fine; it is just a bug, right? He suggests I take the medication for six months and writes me off work for the remainder of the week. I leave his office rather perplexed. I am fine; I just need to get back to work. It feels like punishment!
Because I am a rule follower, I begin taking the script as prescribed that day. At first, I feel pretty funky – queasy, headachy, shuffley, listless, just off. I think, “Wow! This bug has taken a turn for the worse.” I call the doctor’s office again to inquire if I should really be taking this medication because this bug I have has worsened and after all, I am not depressed, I am just a tenderhearted, melancholy person! The nurse assures me that my symptoms are normal. She tells me to continue taking the script as prescribed; she says in about three to four weeks that I should notice a difference. Well, OK, but truly I felt a little better before taking this foreign medication; it is just a little bug! I continue the prescribed course.
It is a peculiar experience. I am standing at a co-worker’s desk one afternoon enjoying friendly chatter when a subtle thought occurs to me – I feel like I have a layer of cellophane between me and the world; I feel like things are bouncing right off me with no internalization; I feel like I am unaffected by things that would normally unsettle me. Well, how awesome is this! I am feeling pretty good! Now my little magic pill is a bottled up corked secret like my entire life. I tell no one, except my husband, that I am taking this pill. In pure ignorance, this valuable miracle medical discovery has just given me permission to increase my speed to flash lightning. Hallelujah!! God is good!! The birds are singing! I am bursting with positive endorphins! After about four months, I am convinced I need no further medication intervention. I am back in flash lightning sync, managing a balanced life, and believe all is well. So, cold-turkey, I stop taking the Paxil, after all I am not depressed; we all have our sad, melancholy, sentimental days, right?
I am going to stop here, but do not be fooled! My warning signs of a great tsunami are countless; my warning flags are everywhere blatantly flapping in the breeze, even beyond hitting the wall, but I am clueless! Believe me, ignorance and denial are an elusive, crafty, liar my friend! Is it time to take inventory of your life, your behavior patterns, and your motives? Now my framework and yours will not look alike, but these concepts are universal. What I have shared thus far is a very tiny blip on my radar. I could not begin to detect the depth of the mud from the surface, but I sure wish I would have known to seek help sooner! Think about it!
Love you, mean it!