I had been down too long. Way too long. My brain couldn’t think straight, let alone make important decisions. I was snapping at everyone, including my husband, my children, my boss. My perspective on life was badly skewed.
I seriously questioned whether I should be locked up in a facility for crazy people.
I can finally feel the fog lifting. After what seems like months and months of being down in the dumps, I finally went and saw my doctor. I was an absolute mess.
I was stunned when she told me it had been 18 months since I last saw her.
Actually, that shouldn’t have been all that surprising, given I’d spent that time elbow-deep in Babyville.
But without realising it, I’d also spent that time falling deeper and deeper into the depression abyss and had no idea how to crawl back out again.
So, Dr D put me back on the same medication she had me on last time: venlafaxine. It works to conquer depression and anxiety by basically chemically altering your brain.
The first time I went on this drug 18 months ago, I was hesitant. VERY hesitant. You get started on an introductory dose of 37.5mg, then after a month you go on the full regular dose of 75mg. Dr D told me quite a few of her patients are on 150mg.
At first I experienced bad headaches and dizziness. Then I went on the full dose, and dry mouth syndrome kicked in. I didn’t like it. I took myself off the drugs after 5 months without going back to my doctor.
And then, without noticing, I went downhill.
My problem with taking drugs is two-fold: Basically, I don’t believe depression is a true condition (so therefore how can you take drugs for it?) and two, I don’t want to rely on drugs to get me through the rest of my life.
But I couldn’t take it anymore.
“My marriage is over,” I told my doctor a few weeks ago as big, fat tears rolled down my face. “There is no chance of reconciliation.”
Because in my head, it WAS over. I couldn’t think anymore. Everything around me was black. I felt I was walking with a shroud over my head. There was no point to anything. It was all over.
So when the doctor suggested, no, STRONGLY ADVISED, that I give the medication another shot, I nodded glumly but didn’t fight it like I did 18 months ago.
“Do it to be a better mother to your children,” she said. “They deserve to have their mother present.”
Well, she knew how to pull at my heartstrings.
She said I had to stay on the medication for at least 12 months for the chemical imbalance to be restored, and to come and see her in a month.
I took the script she wrote for me and headed to the chemist.
The person who walked into her office a month later was a very different person. I could feel the fog had lifted. I could see things clearer. Making decisions was a bit easier. I was smiling.
Even the Dr D was noticeably surprised, but in a good way. Right now, I’m taking 75mg of venlafaxine every night before I go to bed.
The depression has lifted and the anxiety has subsided. I don’t like having to depend on medication to get me through the day, but I will commit to 12 months, and review things at that point.
For me, feeling better HAD to happen.
The negative thoughts were destroying my well-being, festering and breeding in my brain, day and night. I was mentally exhausted. (It is currently 2 years and 1 month after D-Day.)
I haven’t forgotten the affair — it still hurts like hell. Triggers will still set me off, as will seeing my husband on his phone.
But the medication has cleared my head enough to begin seeing a new psychologist. I even sound coherent when I speak to her.
The medication can cause insomnia and make it harder to climax, but if that’s the cost to feeling otherwise somewhat normal, I’ll pay it.
Because going through day after day drowning in misery and blackness is no way to live.
I know I’m strong enough to walk out tomorrow if I choose to.
But I choose to stay.
My family matters more. I will do what I need to do, and that includes taking medication.
You have two choices when you discover your husband cheating on you: you can find a way to move forward, or you can leave.
I am moving forward.