So, I am starting to feel better. 100%? No way. But better. I appreciate all the helpful comments. For me, I find the old standbys are helpful. A black-powder pistol. Killing things. Alcohol. The right music. G breaking my balls and threatening to hurt me bad if I didn't snap out of it. Last night we went to a party. Kadee got to go on a trampoline for the first time and needless to say, she loved it. I got to hang out with some super cool people. Normally I am the life of the party, so it just made me feel better to stand around a campfire, drink whiskey and be obnoxious. I also got to argue with some people who read my blog and think I'm a total whackjob. One person there, who would know, told me all the judges read my blog. Good. Although I never talk about specifics on this blog, maybe they will know how serious I take the concepts of life and liberty that I argue before them everyday (and usually without success). Anyways, like I said, I'm not 100% but a reader Angie is right: life is not a roller-coaster ride. For most of us, life is raising children. Paying the bills. Going to work. Praying we make it to the next payday. Most of the time we do what we have to do. I'm lucky enough to get to do what I want to do sometimes. I'll see how things go but for now I'll rely on what works for me.

Comments

Duke said…
“I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.”
Hunter S. Thompson
Elaine said…
Hey, if having a drink, standing around the fire, watching your daughter laugh - if all these work, sounds pretty healthy to me!
-Elaine
Anonymous said…
luaqyMy dad (a dentist) told me that one thing a professional struggles with is the cycle of accomplishment coming to an end. From highschool on we start at the bottom and scratch our way to the top, only to start at the bottom of the next task and work our way to the top. (Highschool, undergrad, lawschool, career)... after several years of career, there isn't a palpable goal to reach anymore... you must settle in to life without a concrete goal.
He said when he realized that, his depression feelings lifted quite a bit.
Steve said…
I am criminal defense atty in North Carolina, but lived in Fairbanks for a year before law school. The weather and light this time of year will bring anyone down. Everyone in my house of volunteers was ready to kill each other in November. Hang in there and keep sticking it to the man!
Anonymous said…
That very sad death of your old dog just a couple weeks ago is sure to be bearing on you too.
I need a new Drug said…
This should make you feel better.

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2007/1105072jenkem1.html
Anonymous said…
Seasonal affective disorder need not control our lives
COMMUNITY VOICES: A guest columnist's view

LESLIE LORENTZEN
COMMUNITY VOICES

(Published: November 8, 2007)
Something started happening to me three years ago, and at the time I could not explain it. Like the darkness filling the Alaska sky, darkness crept into my heart. Its weight increased with each passing day. I started to ride a strange mental roller coaster of depression, which took me up high one day and crashed me down the next. I had just given birth to my fourth child, so I chalked it up to postpartum depression.

When the next fall came around and the same weight came crashing down I realized I had a problem. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder.

Medication was recommended as well as a SAD light to use every day. Call it pride, misguided faith or the stigma associated with mental ailments, but I refused to take the medicine. However, I did purchase the SAD light and used it regularly. Then I battened down the hatches to ride out the hurricane within my soul.

I was tempted to take medicine. I even picked up the prescription from my doctor, purchased it, and set the bottle in my medicine cabinet. But for some reason, I felt too ashamed to take it.

In many religions my condition represents my lack of faith, or in secular society it represented a lack of mental fortitude. Not to mention that every form asking probing questions about my health would require admitting my failure to pull it together. So I muddled through somehow, exercising my body, spirit and mind, desperate to rid myself of this problem.

Summer came and the clouds lifted. I forgot about my struggle, or perhaps I hoped it had gone away, but come September I found myself spinning out of control again. For three years now I have repeated this pattern of suffering, trying to pull myself up by my bootstraps, asking God to deliver me out of this quagmire of depression. My house became a mess much of the time. I was too busy gripping the handlebars of my roller coaster from hell to do much about it. I did my best to be there for my kids, but all that I could offer most days was the phantom of who I was when the sun was bright and the days were long.

When thoughts of suicide began to trickle in I knew I couldn't wait anymore. I couldn't let my pride come between me and a healthy life. I had to take the pills, if not for me, then for my kids. I took the bottle I had had sitting on my shelf since last fall. The medicine had expired only a couple days before. I opened the lid, shook one pill into my palm, than popped it into my mouth.

When I saw my doctor a short time later, I shared these feelings with her. She suggested I read a book called "Blue Genes," by Paul Meier, M.D.

As I read I began to realize something. If my asthma had acted up or my allergies had started to flare, I would think nothing of taking medicine to help my body be healthy again. So, why not for the brain? Why is there such a stigma against getting help for the mind, just as one would any other part of the body?

My perspective suddenly changed and I felt free.

I've been on antidepressants for six weeks now and I feel like a new person. Despite the dreary sky, and growing darkness, I am smiling again, laughing, enjoying my kids, and loving life. I have more energy than I've had in years, despite a hectic schedule. And for the first time in three years, my house is sparkling clean.

The weight of depression crushing my soul has been lifted. And what's more astounding is that I no longer feel shame or guilt. My only regret is that I didn't act sooner.



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Leslie Lorentzen is a writer and mother who lives in Anchorage. Her e-mail is leslielorentzen@ yahoo.com.

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