Was reading over at AAGblog about her struggles with negativity – the little voice in her head that is so terrible. I think it’s something so many of us battle with on any given day. This past few months has seen me trying various things. First, I went on anti-depressants again for the first time in more than a decade. Life was getting increasingly difficult, I was exhausted all the time, and BOY was my negative internal voice on high. It was like someone had given it a megaphone and tourettes. Anyhow, I tried the antidepressants, and while I wasn’t crying and negative, I found that I just didn’t care about anything. And I started drinking way too much wine. Now I love a nice wine, but this was way past anything moderate.

So then I went to a hypnotherapist to see if he could help, as I put it, “be less eat-ey and drink-ey”. He was a perfectly nice guy, who unfortunately wanted to treat the cause, not the symptoms. And he was a big believer in everything emanating from past childhood trauma. Now I had a perfectly acceptable childhood – there are about two minor incidents I can recall that even occasionally bothered me. Rather, most of my trauma started at 15 with the suicide of my father, and my ensuing little-lost-girl ridiculousness that I didn’t want to address or admit to myself. Anyhow, I’ve dug into all of that stuff so often that I just didn’t want to go there again.

Anyhow, then Elliott suggested that I go see someone new, with a fresh look. I went off antidepressants the first week of January. I talked to this new therapist guy, and imagine my surprise when in talking over my symptoms and reactions to antidepressants, he suggested that I might actually be ADD, not depressed! I was skeptical at best, but I dutifully did the evaluation, and had a couple of people close to me (my mother and Elliott) take it about me. I pretty much maxed out the scale. I’m not saying I had every single symptom, I’m just saying the biggies, from childhood to now, were all there.

It seems that everything I’ve always thought was related to depression wasn’t. In defense of both my own thinking, and that of professionals I’ve visited over the years, I will say that when one has as many suicides in close family members in their history as I do, it’s probably normal to look there first. So I went on the new meds about two weeks ago. I have to say that so far I feel like a fog has lifted for the first time in my adult life. Things don’t feel so overwhelming. As AAG can attest to, in the past when someone was asking for me to DO something, I swear even if it was something I wanted/meant to do, if it was asked more than once I would just shut down. Quit communicating. Because that is how much it was overwhelming to me. Perhaps it’s too soon to tell, but right now I feel like I’ve found a miracle.

The other thing I find kind of interesting, is that it’s always been so easy for me to throw out there that I was on antidepressants, but for whatever reason I was kind of embarrassed about this. I totally don’t know why, as I would never think twice about someone ELSE being similarly diagnosed. Maybe it’s just that I never, in a million years, would have self-identified that way. I had some idea in my head about what ADD was and wasn’t, that was just incorrect. So yay me! 95% less drink-ey, and the eat-ey thing is better too. Could it be that self-medicating is a thing of the past?

:)

~Janie

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