Saturday, February 26, 2011

Mental Health

Throughout a lung transplant and then a kidney transplant (not to mention other conditions that have popped up through the years), I have always made it through with a positive attitude and smile. This last bombshell, that my lungs were failing, seemed to send me over the brink. All of the sudden, after the murder of my dogs followed a month later my CMV, pneumonia, and a pulmonary embolism, I realized I needed help. No matter where I went or whom I was with, I was not able to be happy. I couldn't laugh. I couldn't eat and have subsequently lost twenty pounds. My hair has been falling out due to lack of nutrition. My skin isn't the same. I felt achy and tired all the time. There were days I would barely move. I felt as if I had sunk into the deepest of depressions. Was it possible I just couldn't take so many crippling blows in my short life? That eventually one was going to knock me out and make take away my will to even keep fighting?

I was suffering, people around me were suffering. And that's why I made the difficult decision after 11 years of being chronically ill to finally seek some help for my mind and my soul. I had to go through several doctors and several unsuccessful medications before I met someone who actually listened. I was prescribed something for my trouble sleeping and for major depressive disorder. After almost two weeks, I am sleeping almost a full night and I can feel the joy returning to me, even in simple ways, like the tone of voice I use on the phone. I still have a long way in the treatment process, but I feel like what improvement I have experienced thus far is somewhat of a miracle. I am slowly emerging from that dark hole I had isolated myself in. As a usually private person, I am only posting this because I feel a lot of people, especially young adults, have trouble for asking for help. No one wants to be labeled as crazy or feeling they need pills to function. But if you or someone you know has lost that spark to live, please encourage them to look into treatment. Do not see it as a long-term reliance on a drug but rather a stepping stone to get back to a happier place in your life. I am a perfect example of this. Nothing has changed in my physical health. I'm still very sick and may or may not get better. But I smile more, I laugh, I try new things. It wasn't always my lungs holding me back from living my life. It was also my mind. Now I am beginning a sense of freedom that I haven't experienced in months.

Please send this on if you know someone who you think they may be depressed. It can be SO MUCH BETTER! Otherwise, God bless and thank you for reading my rambling thoughts.

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