So, y’all remember how I said I was starting counseling? Well, it happened–but not until yesterday.
Turns out it’s hard to coordinate schedules between one working mom and another working mom who also volunteers as a church counselor two days per week.
Anyway, the lovely Counselor J. and I met for lunch yesterday. She asked me why I wanted to meet with her. I said, “Because I am always tired, I am not interested in anything, I cannot attempt the simplest of tasks, I am overwhelmed by tiny things, and I don’t remember the last time I felt happy. There is no reason for any of it. My life is amazing. I have no problems.”
Guess what her next question was?
“Are you creative at all?”
And I said something like “Haaaaaahahahahahahaha.” Then I realized that was a pretty weird response, so I elaborated. “I’m a writer.”
She nodded, as if she sees a million writers a week in her office, which she probably does.
I won’t go into all the details, but the long and the short of it is that she believes I am at the threshold of depression. She told me I could take a couple weeks to see how things went, but if I still felt this way after two weeks, I needed to call my doctor.
Now, I know a lot of y’all have dealt with this on some level before. But I never have. I’m not saying I’ve never been depressed before–I know of one very specific time in which I probably should have gotten help, but I didn’t.
And let me tell you, it is WEIRD to have someone look you in the eye and say, “You should probably be medicated.”
Anyway, J. the Counselor also suggested that I start regular counseling twice per month at the practice of my choosing. I will probably choose her, because she was awesome (did I mention she is a professional counselor? The church counseling gig is just a volunteer thing that she works into her schedule.)
I left the meeting feeling sad at first, but then, as is my way, I immediately told all my friends and family what she had said. I described how I’d been feeling and admitted I was nervous about medication.
And the replies began to pour in:
DUDE. I feel you on the depression front. I’ve communicated with you all this before, but yeah. I have felt the exact same way . . . anyways, I just want to say I feel you, and feel free to reach out if you want.
Hey boo! So I talked to my doc today. Similar symptoms for me. Would be interested to know what they prescribe for you.
Proud of you for being so open about it and proactively attacking the problem. I’ve been there.
This is such good news! It feels weird/bad to say that, but I think you know what I mean. I know you had been struggling for so long, just floundering and trying to figure out what was going on. So glad you were able to connect with the counselor.
First of all, I think it’s awesome you are facing this head on and working to knock it out so early . . .
You have not seemed yourself in a while. I’m glad she was able to pinpoint it so fast!
I shall keep you in my thoughts. You know where to find me whenever you need to unpack a box or two.
Hey kiddo, I wish you had said something to me earlier. I love you, Anne, and will do anything for you. (That one was from my dad.)
I’ve experienced depression before and it’s so frustrating and debilitating. The complete lack of interest is something I can relate to . . .
If I’m honest with myself, I have to admit that I too probably had it at one point in college . . .
Love you and am praying for you. I admire everything about you.
Hey, your plan sounds great and very normal. Did you know I have been on three different medications in the last year for anxiety / depression? Call me or let’s get together and we can talk.
I am proud of you for pursuing this and not just thinking you can muddle through. Glad you filled us in on this–and glad help is so readily available. Love you much. (My mom.)
And after I got all those replies and talked on the phone to a couple people and then rehashed everything with my husband, the strangest thing happened.
I started to feel happy for the first time in months. And I am still feeling happy. Not happy enough, I don’t think. But I’ve had more energy today, and I feel like if I go home and try to put in a load of laundry, it might not kill me.
Progress? I think yes.
So I’m not sure what to do about the medication. I’ve called the doctor but have not actually gotten a prescription for it yet–they just said to come in for a consultation if I ever felt like I needed something “extra.”
But like . . . I seriously feel better after having all those conversations.
I’m leaning towards putting the meds on hold for the time being and just starting with counseling. I have no problem with the pills, but I don’t want to take them if I don’t absolutely have to–some of those side effects are scaryish.
What do y’all think? Have any of you been able to defeat mild depression with counseling only? Or did you have to use medication too?