Today I took an enormous step. I talked to my GP about my depression and anxiety, both of which have been a part of my life for a very long time. And I came home with a filled prescription, for antidepressants.
Over the years, I've considered this step numerous times, but always talked myself out of it. I know that some of the reasons behind my symptoms are things that have happened in my life that still affect me in ways that I don't want to admit to myself, let alone to medical professionals. I've convinced myself that I'm better without help, but, as I've come to realise recently, this is another symptom of the depression. It tells me that everyone else is fine, why can't I cope, I must be useless. I know, logically, that everyone is not fine, but that doesn't matter to the voice in my head that tells me I am not worthy, not good enough, weak. Its a horrible voice, when it goes away for brief periods, its like it's never been there and I can go on with life, imagining I will be fine. Another lie, but its hard to want to think about how awful you've felt when you finally have some respite from it.
I'm writing about this for two reasons. For one, its depression awareness week, and if you haven't yet, check out the Blurt Foundation's hashtag: #whatyoudontsee. Those who have tweeted using the hashtag are giving a glimpse into the minds of people suffering from depression. They're extremely moving and so accurate it hurts.
Secondly, I feel like I'm on the cusp of something. Whilst SSRI antidepressants take a few weeks to start working, being about to take the first pill in the packet is momentous for me. It might just be swallowing a tiny capsule of chemicals, but to me it represents taking a step towards not feeling completely awful all the time. It may not, but I owe it to myself to try.
What I have always thought of as a jagged edged pill, one with more bad consequences than helpful effects, may help me to live my life more fully, to feel less stuck, to breathe easier. I hope that it will do all these things, and allow me to see myself as I should: not scared, not trapped, not inhibited by negative thoughts, but someone who has done and can do amazing things without fearing the inside of my head.