“I wish I didn’t have to take pills to be normal!”

This was my complaint to my Beloved Husband. His response:

“Well at least you can. A hundred years ago, you’d just have had to be abnormal.”

Not quite the reply I was hoping for, but he does have a point.

My GP was more sympathetic, pointing out that if I was diabetic I wouldn’t have a problem with using insulin to stay alive. But because it is my brain that is malfunctioning rather than my pancreas I find it harder to accept the need for pharmacological support.

I have a love-hate relationship with my antidepressants. I’m sure they have literally saved my life at times. On the other hand, they are strong drugs and they do have side effects. I have now been taking them for nearly 22 years. More than half my life. Longer than I’ve been married to my Beloved (he knew what he was getting into…) If I remember rightly I was about 10 years old the first time I saw a psychologist. Certainly I was still in primary school. I’ve had more episodes of depression than I can count. I’m definitely a hard case. I need these medicines; I know that. I just wish I didn’t.

I’ve recently crashed yet again with another episode. Which has reopened old wounds and unanswered questions. Why me? On the surface I have no good reason for this. I’m happily married, I have three wonderful children, I have a job enjoy, good friends and a secure home. I studied psychology before I became a nurse in an effort to understand it. I have devoured books on the subject. I have swallowed enough fish oil to decimate Atlantic fish stocks. I even learned to love exercise – and believe me that one was tough. If I could have beaten depression by my efforts alone I would have done so by now.

“I’ve always been neurotic. But usually I am at least a functioning neurotic. At the moment I’m not even that.” Me, complaining to my Beloved again. This time I got:

“Being functional is not the most important thing. The most important thing is to be kind.”

Wow. For all the teasing, sometimes he says something so profound, so important it takes my breath away. Wisdom and humour. You can see why I married him.

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