So, I think i have talked about it here, maybe not. I can't remember anymore. I am too lazy to look back and see right now. I started a while back, hmmmmm maybe a year ago? I felt like i needed to get off my crazy meds. My dose was low, lower than the "recommended" dosage. I had been on them for years!!!! and i just felt like it was time. I have a sweet, kind, amazing friend who is going through similar things and we talk about our depression, our kids and our faith. When I told her i wanted off my meds she said, "I know what you mean about having chemicals in your body, like in some ways it might make you feel better, but you don't feel like yourself and then some of the side effects really suck."
That made me think. a lot. I had not seen life without the numbing grey of my antidepressants in over a decade. Who was I without the meds? What was life really like? could I handle it? would i literally fall apart?? Could i survive the withdrawal? sigh. only one way to find out, right?
I called my Dr. and asked to come off the Rx. I followed his directions. It totally sucked! I felt like my brain was short circuiting. I couldn't concentrate. I felt like a bundle of raw nerves. I just wanted to go to bed and sleep it off. Days turned into weeks. I kept staring at the Rx bottle like a junkie thinking if i just had one more pill my brain would feel normal. Then some small part of my brain would remind me that if i took 1 more pill, all the agony I had been through would be for NOTHING because i would have to start all over!
I finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel and surprisingly it was not a train about to plow me over! I realized the other day that my brain appeared to be functioning without all the blips and shorts. I had several really good days.
Well, guess what? Turns out that though i seem to be through the worst, this is a daily battle for me. This Demon is not giving up that easy. I have cried all weekend long for no apparent reason. Just as I was beating myself up for the 12th time for being such an emotional train wreck....God reminded me of something. He reminded me of a book He'd lead me to read. The book is called Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge.
Though i have not finished this book, I think I am about to start over at the beginning. When i started it, i just knew this book had been written for me. If i could I would buy a thousand copies and hand it out to every person I know. Every woman should read this book! Every man who loves a woman or who wants to love a woman should read this book! I mean i suppose that not ALL women really need it, but it is so true and so right to the heart of who and what and how I am, that i can't believe I am the only one!
This is what God reminded me of today from this book. (paraphrased in my own words except where directly quoted.) God created the whole world. start to finish. every. little. thing. First the basics: light, land and sea. Then more details to those big things: plants, stars, fish, birds, and animals. "From water and stone, to pomegranate and rose, to leopard and nightingale, creation ascends in beauty." This is getting bigger and better and more amazing and beautiful with each word of God. "Each creature is more intricate and noble and mysterious than the last. A cricket is amazing, but it cannot compare to a wild horse." Then after all of that, God sets his own image on the earth.
Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed
into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
"It is nearing the end of the sixth day, the end of the Creator's great labor, as Adam steps forth, the image of God, the triumph of his work. He alone is pronounced the son of God. Nothing in creation even comes close." He is amazing, but God is not finished yet. Something is still missing. Still not quite right. What's missing you ask? Eve. She is the final thing. Eve is the "crown of creation." Women were the final thing the Master created. "Not an afterthought. Not a nice addition like an ornament on a tree. She is God's final touch, his piece de resistance. She fills a place in the world nothing and no one else can fill."
God created women in His image too. In women he shows us His softer side. His relational side. His need to be needed. In some way I, in all my brokenness, am an image of God. "It is ok to be a woman," He whispered to me. There is no shame in your tears. "Even Jesus wept, " He reminded me.
So, I have over a decade of tears bottled up inside me. Of course I did cry during the time I was on my meds, but so much of the joy, the pain, and the sorrow of just everyday living was numbed through chemistry. I even cry now when i am happy. I found myself laying bed yesterday with my husband and was so overcome with love for him and joy that he is mine and I am his that I began to weep. I felt like a nut. But you know what? I don't care anymore! I will cry when I need to! I have to let these dang emotions out so that I can move on to the next thing God has for me. I wish i could stop the world, go away and deal with my STUFF, but I can't. I have to deal with it while being a mom, a wife, a friend, a daughter and a servant of God.
Nothing can fix me or heal me or change me but Him. I am a mess and I am tired of pretending I am not. Are efforts helping ease things? yes, yes they are, but it is because of God's hand and mercy and power and His spirit in the plants he spoke into being. It is not because of anything other than God and his power. I am on the path to healing. I can see it is not a short road, so in the meantime, if you see me crying, just hand me a tissue and smile because God has a lot of cleaning out to do with me and He is using my tears to wash away years of shame and pain and fear and doubt.