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I Had to Hit Rock Bottom Before I Could Get Better

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As much as I am completely aware lifestyle and mindset play a key part in recovering, I have to admit being on medication for my depression has helped me a significant amount. At first, I was cautious to accept and admit I had depression, I was also in complete denial regarding the prospect of taking medication.

I was of the opinion — shared by too many people — if you can’t see it, it isn’t there. This was strange because I have friends who have mental health issues and I was completely supportive of their “invisible” illnesses and I understood just because it was in their head didn’t take anything away from the fact they were seriously ill. However, when it came to addressing this about myself, it was completely different and I’ve got no idea why.

Before I started taking my meds, I thought I was at the lowest point I could ever reach and I couldn’t imagine feeling any worse than I did at that present moment in time. How wrong I was. I was about to hit rock bottom, a depth I didn’t know existed. I definitely had no idea I was about to visit a place so dark I’d never want to return there again. In hindsight, this was the shock I needed to help kick me into gear and realize I couldn’t ignore this forever.

The first two weeks of my medication was the worst time of my life. Every emotion I was feeling seemed to be enhanced such extreme amounts and I didn’t know how to cope. What had I signed up to when I agreed to take these tablets? And why did my doctor think it was OK to prescribe me with pills with such an adverse affect? I was a mess.

Welcome to rock bottom, the most horrendous place on Earth. In fact, I don’t even think I was on Earth. I was nauseous. I had the shakes. Every night was sleepless but every day was clouded with fatigue. I went from feeling nothing at all to absolutely every emotion imaginable. How I was supposed to get out of this hole, I had no idea. Every night just as I’d get to sleep, I’d wake up in a hot sweat, panicking, crying and confused. My chest was tight and I was scared. What was happening to me?

Though it was hard, I’m so grateful for this brief period of my life. Hitting rock bottom pointed out the direction I needed to head in to get better. It made me realize this wasn’t a way of life and it definitely wasn’t permanent.

Two weeks of sleepless nights, nightmares and midnight panics later, I finally slept a full night. Don’t get me wrong, I still have the occasional restless sleep but nothing in comparison to what it was like at the start. My emotions still fluctuate and I can be heartless one minute and completely over-sensitive the next. But because of this experience, I was able to appreciate that I had to get worse before I could get better. The sooner I got through the worst part, the sooner my new uphill journey would begin.

I’m certainly not on top of the world right now, but I’ve definitely travelled a long way in the opposite direction of rock bottom. I have my good days and I certainly have my bad days, but it’s about learning to embrace the good days and to cope with the bad days. Both are just as important as the other. Bad days are normal and I won’t be disheartened or set back by them.

Follow this journey on My Fertile Mind.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Thinkstock photo via Archv.

Originally published: February 23, 2017
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