Thursday, February 05, 2009

A Letter To Lena From Lena: Life Without Meds

Dear Lena, February 4, 2009

This is a letter to yourself to help you remember what it is like when you are not taking anti-depressant medication. This was an idea that came to you after receiving a priesthood blessing full of guidance relating to your mental health.

When you are not taking medication regularly your mind is foggy and literally weighed down. It is hard, to near impossible to make decisions. Your patience level is at an average of a 3-5 on a scale of 1-10 (1 being no patience.) It is not uncommon to drop to 1 within seconds after being disobeyed or irritated.

Your energy level is at a 3. It is an accomplishment just to take a shower. It is a triumph to take Jakob to dance class and do a mandatory grocery trip. It is near impossible to wrap your mind around the idea of going outside and actively playing with the kids. Sitting on the steps is as good as it gets. Cleaning the house is a weeklong task.

Fear and anxiety are close companions. Fear and dread of the trials of the future are among the most frequent thoughts of your day. Anxiety while driving is not unusual. Despair over the fact that Leif will be working and going to school with Very Little time for you brings you close to despair.

You tend to move into an egocentric state of mind and being. It is hard not to focus on how miserable you feel mentally and physically. You are tired, weighed down, and physically sore.

There are some things that for very brief moments, you enjoy more then life while on medication. It is nice to have a strong desire for Leif. However, it is such an emotional response that if Leif is not able to respond for some reason, it is a devastating event. It is also nice to have the emotional responses such as crying while feeling the spirit or crying due to sadness. However, the emotions are very exaggerated. The highs are really high, and the lows are really low.

When you are not taking medication, you are not able to carry your part of life’s responsibilities. So then, it weighs on Leif. That can’t happen because he already has way too much to carry.

Medication is a blessing in your life. The side effects are irritating and wearisome at times. And the bit of anxiety felt about passing the medication to the baby is not fun. But the benefits of taking the medication just simply are obviously much better then not taking medication.

Always Remember This Lena! Father in Heaven told you last night that there will be times that you will NOT be able to rely on anyone beyond yourself and Him. This is a terrifying thought to you when you are off your medication. But when you have the medication, this will be bearable.

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