I’m infamous for over sharing, one instance that comes to mind is when I shared my life story with a woman I had only met once. I met this victim after a lecture she gave on EcoFeminism, after speaking to her I asked if she would like to get coffee with me and we ended up talking over coffee for five hours. The thing that united us at first was just that her and I were the only unshaven woman in the room, and we loved rubbing our hands up and down our hairy legs (it feels great, but as this was over two years ago I have sadly since then shaved my legs after of a year of no shaving). I admitted that I had days where I’d sleep 14 hours. I felt like I was giving too much information about myself- but she said back, “Don’t worry, I’ve been there.”
I suppose a lot of people have been “there,” and I was there most of my young adult life. THERE meaning that ugly place where you want to do nothing but sleep or lay in bed looking at the ceiling until you feel like sleeping again and the thoughts and feelings you’re having are leaving you sick to your stomach as you’re imagining the worst things that can happen, feeling like your throat is closing on you. Then of course there are the times when you feel nothing at all for extended periods of time. It’s a shame really, because we’re only young once and I’m burning through it. That fantastic hairy-legged woman who has everything going for her, she admitted to having her ruts just like me, just like anyone else. I asked her how she got out of them and she said, “Time.” That wasn’t the answer I wanted, but it makes the most sense. I guess I just wanted an easier solution.
I have been off of anti-depressants (Prozac and Xanax) for over a year now. I have gone on and off of them for most of my adult life. When I first went off of them for a short period of time in 2013, I decided to conduct this experiment at a pretty unsettling time in my life, right after visiting home (Washington State) for the first time in years, for my grandfather’s funeral, while it was my last semester of college and I had a number of other personal issues. Needless to say, I was back in bed and it was harder than ever to get back of out of it and time escaped me. Months were taken away from me because of my depression and anxiety.The next day after meeting that woman for coffee, I woke up to a text message that read: “I hope you’re awake, you have so much to offer this world.” I don’t think there are many things nicer than that to hear. Getting support from friends feels like being handed a ladder while sitting at the bottom of a well.
When I take my pills, I always imagine them going straight to my brain, waxing and polishing my brain. There’s nothing wrong with taking anti-depressants, nothing pisses me off more than a person bad mouthing someone for taking medications. If someone is trying to improve their life, support them or at least keep it to yourself.
I feel like I have some amount of control over my life right now. The best indicator is that I made it through my first semester of graduate school. In fact, I even gave a seminar on anxiety and how to cope with it in school. Fall semester wrapped up three days ago. My semester is over. My grades are in. 4.0 motherfuckers! Now I am getting ready for the next semester and going through some books I’ve had piling up next to my bed. I am glad I woke up each and every day.
Here is the latest blog I wrote for HappyCow: http://www.happycow.net/blog/holidays-with-the-family-and-the-lone-vegan/