Depression and Pure Joy
One of the downsides of the pill–for me, at least–is depression. It is not the debilitating depression that I endured with one of the experimental1 drugs I tried while attempting to avoid the pill. But it is still depression.
It is a dramatic lack of any sort of emotion. It is the inability to think of anything with which to bribe myself because nothing interests me. It is the reality of being shocked to see tears in Josh’s eyes because I did not feel anything as I rambled on with hurtful words. It is in the sudden absence of the happiness in which I have stood in awe for over a year.
Sometimes Josh asks what he can do to make me happy. I raise an eyebrow. You’re good man, but nothing can compete with these soul-sucking hormones.
I plan to put up with it for as long as possible because in the pill I trade feeling for doing. What I lack in motivation I can make up in action, if only I choose. I can get things done, and I know that is good, even if I cannot feel it. I may not care much about what I do, but at least I know that I will appreciate it later.
As the pill kicked in and I first thought about all of this, I was thankful for evidence that I wasn’t just an insane religious person for running from the pill before. I may discuss some things in religious terms, but depression is something any reasonable person should should want to flee!
Several times I have tried to figure out how to explain it to Josh. I thought that the word “numb” was inappropriate because I’ve had a lot of dental work recently, and numbness involves surrounding areas of tingling and “off” but very real sensation. My experience on the pill is closer to a little death.
But then it turned out that it is actually numbness.
In the midst of the depression I have liked one thing, and felt one thing. More precisely, I have liked one person, and felt for another.
I like Josh. A lot. I am immensely thankful for this since I know from experience that it could just as easily go the other way. I do not feel able to actually connect with Josh, but I still like him. On most days when I try hard to think of something I might like I am able to conclude that I would like to be with Josh. That is grace.
And then there is the burst of heart-stopping feelings which have played around in these past two otherwise emotionless months. It is renidemus. Every time I read Anne’s posts or tweets my heart is suddenly back, and I know the crushing feeling of life and death exploding within me. Anne is pure beauty.
I can’t describe why she is so amazing without offending those who simply cannot understand this beauty. So I will not try. But oh, God. Somehow I can still feel this, and it is incredible to share in such emotion when I feel nothing else.
And tonight I turned on my computer to check her blog for an update. And it is nothing less than joy.
1. Well, the drug itself isn’t experimental, but the off-label use certainly is. One of the things that infuriated me about NaPro was finding out that so many NaPro fans don’t even realize how much is experimental and what is and isn’t normal. Seriously, how could you recommend that people try drug x when you haven’t even bothered to research the uses for which it was FDA approved? Oh, right. Normal people don’t associate fan-dom with research. I’m odd.
- New Year’s Day, And All That
- Adele and the Married Woman
For years, I mean YEARS, I had no idea what my “flat affect” was all about…I would have experiences that should have brought me to ugly tears and experiences that should have had me skipping for joy and yet most often I felt flat inside. I suspected it was The Pill because when I would have one of my 4 periods per year, my emotions would go craaaaazy. (Can’t imagine why? ;)). Yet, I had no idea just how many (sometimes crazy, sometimes beautiful) emotions I was capable of.
My prayers are with you…I know this cannot be an easy time for you as you make these big heavy decisions (that certainly don’t help depression, do they?)…and I wish I had some wonderful insightful piece of advice for you or words that would ease the depression – but it seems you have found your answer – that “doing” will provide some “being” and that will be a beautiful gift for you. And you are right – an amazing husband helps, so so much!
Prayers, I’m glad some feeling for Josh breaks through the fog and that together you are looking for other ways to care well for each other.
“It is the reality of being shocked to see tears in Josh’s eyes because I did not feel anything as I rambled on with hurtful words.”
This was my reality too…only I didn’t realize that it was affecting me like this until I was off the pill. Then I had to relearn what it was like and how to handle emotions, which come for me very strongly, both the good and bad ones
In regards to your Napro footnote, all I can say is this was the most uncomfortable part of us pursuing ‘treatment’ through Omaha after our surgery and why we had decided to stop the month before we got pregnant. My endo was removed and already my period pain had all but disappeared. And now we were on random drugs that may or may not help us get pregnant? That was not helping our marriage and not what we needed to be doing. And unfortunately, this is exactly where we find ourselves now with progesterone support during a part of pregnancy where no proven benefits but we’ve brought a third party into this now (our baby) and I’m terrified at the idea that if we were to stop for the sake of saving money and avoiding using any more drugs that we’d find my placenta has been malformed and now unable to support this growing one. Its a rock and a hard place. And to question Napro is akin to questioning God it feels like. Very frustrating.
*Sorry, for clarity, we decided to stop the month we got pregnant. Not the month before.