Friday, February 10, 2006

When tears are not enough

I have mentioned before my ongoing battles with depression. Medication goes a long way to helping me keep a clear head and a level of realism that is otherwise flawed when in the throes of a downward spiral. My flatmate views anti-depressants as an unnecessary crutch that should not be required. Clearly, he has no idea what it is like to be at the mercy of one's emotions.

In the past I had tried to wean myself off the medications, following discussions with my doctor on the correct process. Unfortunately, this resulted at one stage with me crying with a knife in my hand, demanding a hug from my then partner. It became quickly apparent that I was not quite ready to be off the drugs.

About a month ago my prescription was due to be filled, and with a combination of misplaced arrogance and a hectic schedule, this never occurred. So for the past month, I have been flying au naturel and letting my Seratonin do what it will. Up until the past week, things have been good. Moods have come and gone, but no more or less than what I perceive is normal.

But then I had a birthday.

The birthday itself was surprisingly good. My parents remembered. Many of my friends remembered. Good wishes were wished and celebratory meals were consumed. But slowly reality dawned. For the past few days, I have begun crying. A lot. On and off over the day, maybe about five times or so a day. Not knowing why, but just becoming overwhelmingly sad, and beginning to cry. Maybe it was the drugs had finally relinquished their lingering effect on me and my levels returned to their usual low. Maybe it was my birthday and that thought of being a little older and a little further away from youthful possibilities. Maybe it was also seeing the opera singer over the weekend, and again trying to reconcile the fact that maybe I am only the shag on the side and nothing more meaningful. And maybe it was knowing that I was about to undertake a significant process that I had decided that I could put off no longer.

I had earmarked this year to freeze embryos - with or without a partner.

Three days after my birthday I had an appointment for yet another stage in the process of fertility evaluation. This time it was an ultrasound to determine the state of my tubes. I was told it would be a slightly uncomfortable procedure, but no great issue. When I began crying and whimpering, even the doctor had the decency to be concerned. For a person who has had teeth drilled without anaesthetic, to be in such pain from the simple addition of saline and dye into one's uterus, was shocking. The doctor completed the scan as quickly as possible, with the somewhat surprising news that my tubes seemed to be blocked. This news never registered, and to be honest, still hasn't, since the pain was still so great to render my consciousness quite deaf.

Changing out of my charming procedural gown, I wept. I cried for the horrendous pain I felt. I sobbed at the thought of future invasive procedures and the possible agony I may feel. But most of all, I wept for my loneliness.

At that moment I questioned why I was doing this. Could I be a single mother by choice? Do I want to do this all by myself? Do I want progeny so badly that I will go through expensive and invasive procedures for it all?

I am not sure about any of those questions, and I think there is definitely no easy answer. What I do know is that the pain has diminished, and I feel a little stronger to face the next stage in the process. And just as importantly, I have filled my prescription for my anti-depressants.


Anonymous said...

Some people just do not understand the significance of anti-depressants and they never will. Their narrow-mindedness makes me angry and as you can imagine I get fired up when they preach about something they know nothing about.

My doctor tells me to treat it like diabetes medication. By that he means that it's not something you can do without and just accept it. I'm sure you already know that anyway but sometimes we need to be reminded.

To the readers of this blog who don't personally know our Classy blogger here, rest assured she has plenty of people around her who will give her big hugs and support any time.

Miss T

Anonymous said...

I agree wholeheartdly with the Ho and Miss T - people who think that antidepressants are a crutch should just shut up. They have no idea what they're talking about. (yeah, Tom Cruise, shove that one up yer clacka!)

Being "blue" is something that everyone experiences, being depressed isn't. For anyone who's interested, I can recommend MoodGym which is an ANU program.

In an ideal world, we'd all have therapists to allow us to find solutions for our warped ways of thinking and interpreting the world around us. For those of us who don't have access to one, MoodGym is an excellent place to start.


some chic said...

Love you
BIG HUG I'm only a phone call away. Anyway who is your flat mate to talk, anyone got a beer or a bar for him to prop up?! :-) xox