Meds and Me
For many years I struggled with being me. I couldn't deal with my life, so I used a number of unhealthy coping mechanisms and numbing/escapism type behaviors. I was in a constant spiral where I'd crash, feel unworthy, despair and be utterly hopeless, feel like there was no point living. Somehow, I'd muster up the strength to face another day, do somewhat OK, feel like I have things together again, only to find myself where I swore I would never be again. I tried moving schools, I tried moving countries, I tried moving out, I tried... At the end of the day, the problem was me so there was nowhere I could possibly run to that would be far enough. It was a constant battle - me against myself.
I tried therapy - many, many therapists and some were better than others. I believe that at every point in my life each one of them carried a message G-d wanted me to hear. But I still couldn't stop. Some times I was better than others - I could put up a front to the world, but feeling like I wanted to disappear on the inside. And that double life hurt too - because nobody could see or even imagine what was going on inside me. There was a point where I had this sinking realization that if I don't do something about my life, I'd pass a point of no return and my time in the world be up.
Not because I wanted to, I dragged myself to a psychiatrist. He challenged MANY of the beliefs that I held about myself, such as: "I'm just an attention seeker, this will all blow over, I just need to try harder, there's nobody out there who can truly understand me, my life isn't worth living..." Anyway, he put me on medication. I thought that would be the end of my life - no future, no shidduchim, but little did I know that it was just the beginning of really starting to live. I started to realize that a lot of my thoughts, actions, and feelings were out of control not because I was truly messed up, but because there was too much or too little chemicals firing in my brain. Once the medication took the edge off the extreme things I was thinking/doing /breathing, I became someone who could see for the first time. I wasn't fixed, but the medication meant that I was sane. I could finally function from a human place, rather than being driven by every desire or manic/depressive thought that crossed my brain. I was open to suggestions and to using tools that never worked for me before. I was finally able to work the 12-Step program. Rather than 'listening to more shiurim' or 'speaking less lashon horah', I had to learn how to be human again, then I was able to see where I was really at. Today, I'm happily married and doing well, thank G-d. One day at a time.