Journey Through Depression Part 2
I look at my hands. “How did I get here?” I wonder. I am slightly aware of the person standing in front of me. “Taunya?” I look up and see her. A stranger. A stranger who can save me from the darkness that engulfs my mind.
I walk slowly behind her, my stomach threatening to upheave with every step. Fear taunts me. I walk into her office. We sit down. Her in a single chair. Me on the couch. A box of Kleenex beside me. I take a deep breathe. I cannot speak. Deep, heart-wrenching sobs escape my lips. I quickly compose myself.
“Sorry.” I whisper.
She starts with easy questions. Where were you born? Who are your parents? Do you have siblings? Where did you grow up? When did you get married? How did you meet your husband? How many children do you have? What were their births like? “This is easy.” I tell myself.
Then she says “Tell me why you are here.” I pause. What do I say? Do I tell this person the horrible things I hear every day? Do I tell her that I’m terrified I will actually hurt myself? Do I tell her that I desperately just want to go to sleep and never wake up? Do I tell her that I keep myself from driving our car into oncoming traffic? What do I tell her? Can I trust her? I decide to tell her the truth. She doesn’t condemn me. She doesn’t threaten to take my children from me or tell my husband to leave. Instead she gives me hope.
We begin this journey through depression together, her and I. She gently pushing me to share more, me cautiously sharing my pain. She ceases to be a stranger and becomes someone that I cling to in the midst of the deep darkness.
A few sessions later we discuss different diagnoses. Bi-Polar. Personality Disorder. Clinical Depression. Anxiety. Postpartum Depression and Psychosis. “Basically, you’re saying I’m mentally ill.” I reply. I am devastated. I don’t want to leave this room. I don’t want to even live. I just want this nightmare to be done. I try to hide so I pull my arms around my chest and curl into a ball, begging God to please end my life.
“Taunya.” She snaps me out of the familiar spiral. “We need to discuss your safety at this moment. Do I need to admit you to the hospital?”
I can’t hold on to a single thought. I feel like I’m drowning. I’m overwhelmed with terror. Am I really that sick that I need to go to a mental hospital? NO. Somewhere inside I scream against the darkness and the voices and decide I’m done.
“No. I don’t want to go to the hospital.”
She looks at me. I can tell she’s trying to understand how to reach me. She has no idea how deep the pain is; I’ve refused to tell her.
“Ok. I won’t admit you to the hospital. But I am writing you a prescription.”
I have been fighting her against a prescription for anti-depressants. My momma had started taking Prozac and then divorced my father within the same year. She cannot convince me that won’t happen to me, so I stubbornly refuse the very thing that can bring me relief from the bountiful mood swings and stifling darkness.
This time is different. I’m tired of the pain and I either want to die or I want to feel better. I can’t stay in this place. No matter the risk, I have to do something different.
I leave with a prescription which the husband immediately takes to be filled. We get home and he’s putting me to bed again. “Please don’t tell your family…your friends..the church.” I beg him. He kisses my forehead, hands me a glass of water and the small pill. “Take this. Go to sleep. I don’t want to talk right now.”
I lay there alone. Somehow I know this medication will be the thing that will bring me back to life. For the first time in a long while, I pray. I ask God to help me. I weep for my children. I ask him to please shelter them from any pain that I’m causing them. He whispers “It will be alright.” I close my eyes and fall asleep feeling hopeful for the first time in months.
Thank you for reading about my journey through depression. If you are walking this road please know you are not alone.