“Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.” ~ David Augsburger
I’m having a really difficult time in my life right now. I haven’t written here in months. That’s what I tend to do when depression creeps in around the edges. First I stop writing, and then I begin isolating. Strange, you’d think I’d recognise it by now, but denial is stronger than anyone realises.
I have to admit, I didn’t expect to be in this place again, and perhaps the denial is justified to a point because of the health issues I’ve had. Beginning a few years ago with breast lumps, which thankfully turned out to be benign, cervical cancer scares, culminating in a radical hysterectomy last July.
Through all this my therapist made subtle suggestions (okay, okay, he knows me too well to have been subtle) that I was perhaps depressed which I flatly ignored. In my defense, I really didn’t feel depressed. There was just so much going on.
My small stint on hormone therapy before the hysterectomy made me feel like a new person. I was full of energy and felt that I could take on the world. That all came crashing down after the hysterectomy, which ended up being an extremely complex procedure I’m told, lasting over 2.5 hours.
Talk about crashing to earth… No more hormone therapy, and no hope of getting the doctor to prescribe, given my extremely “high risk” for cancer. Having finally admitted to said therapist that I was NOT coping, I agreed to see a psychiatrist, my least favourite people. She really was wonderful, I guess it helped that she was a woman, and understood that I believed the route of my problems were hormonal. We spent three months trying out medications that alternately made me feel suicidal or dead, and eventually settled on the old favourites, Aropax and Xanor. Not ideal, but what else was there?
A few months after that, I went, in desperation, to see a specialist physician in Pretoria. R4500.00 worth of blood tests later (she’s the only one who actually DID blood tests), and it is glaringly evident that I SHOULD be suicidal. In fact, I am physically so deficient that it’s somewhat of a miracle I am actually functional at all.
My Endocrine system is severely compromised leading to the fact that my body is producing pretty much no hormones whatsoever, at least I was proved right as to the cause of my “depression”. Having said that however, my Serotonin levels are so low as to be insignificant, as the Doc put it, she’s never seen such a low Serotonin reading (and this ON Aropax!).
I’m in severe adrenal failure. It apparently takes years to get there if not treated, there are seven stages of adrenal failure, I’m in stage seven.
I’ve been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in which the body attacks the thyroid, eventually destroying it (meaning no hormone production by the thyroid either…)
I’m deficient in folic acid, magnesium and vitamin D, among some other things that I’m unable to pronounce.
All of this results in an immune system that is dangerously compromised (and yet I haven’t contracted flu this year )
Over the last several years, I have been from doctor to gynaecologist to psychiatrist to homeopath to iridologist, in desperation to find answers. Now I have them, and it’s a long road to health. The estimate is around two years.
In addition to the health problems I’ve faced, there have been a myriad of personal problems which I will not go into here out of respect for those involved. Because of the overwhelming nature of these, I have isolated myself even more. I owe huge apologies to close friends whom I have neglected as a result of my own crushing sense of despair and helplessness. In particular, Fiona, Sharon, David and Wayne. I love you all so much, and yet it has been inordinately difficult to even pick up the phone (or in Wayne’s case, Skype).
Why am I sharing this here? Well, it’s a little like talking to myself really, and having hit one of my lowest times in a really long while yesterday, I am determined to claw myself back. I cannot bear to go on living this way. It impacts every aspect of my life, tainting every interaction, clouding genuine emotions, and allowing myself and others to invalidate my needs and my concerns.
So while it may have seemed to the outside world that I have been going through the motions, I have, in fact been drowning, dying a slow death, and I am saying ENOUGH.
The drip treatments I received in the first month seemed to help somewhat, but I think perhaps more radical measures are necessary, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I have always been a believer in remaining true to myself, even through all the really difficult stuff, but the insidious nature of the physical problems I am facing, together with the subtle self sabotage brought about by the resulting depression has caused me to compromise the essence of who I am.
Radical changes are called for, and they begin now. It’s a new journey, and if it resonates, I’d love to have you by my side as my accountability. I know so many of you who have walked a similar road, we should be able to hold one another up.