Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A New Season

I've been absent from the blog for over three months, so it's safe to say a new post is long overdue. Of course, you're all in luck, because it's almost my favorite month of the year: April! And we all know what that means. (In case you've forgotten, April is National Poetry Month, which equals a post/poem for every single day.)


Before I prepare you all for the wonder and joy of NPM, I should give some  updates, since my last post was somber--for good reason--and slightly ominous. I re-read it very briefly, to review my state of mind at the time, and couldn't get through it because things have certainly changed since then.

I'm not the first person on the internet to divulge details about depression and anxiety. I know that. I didn't expect to get an onslaught of sympathetic notes or anything. But part of the tragedy of depression is that we so often, for a multitude of reasons, feel as if our depressed state is something to be hidden or dismissed. I have been among those secretive people, deciding that I am fine and behaving as if I am fine to the best of my ability until I simply can't handle it anymore. I chose to express myself in a blog because it seemed to be the most honest way of admitting I needed assistance and also explaining why I had to make some difficult choices.

In any case, it has been an interesting three months.

For the first time since I was 19 I started an antidepressant. The first round was fascinating, especially the first week. I considered blogging the first week to talk about my extreme exhaustion due to the medication and wanted desperately to talk about my vivid dreams. My favorite side effect is definitely the vivid dreams. I've written previously about how realistic my dreams are, but these are on a whole new plane of fantasy. Usually I'm able to tell myself while dreaming if something is real or not--for instance, if something really terrible has happened or I'm scared, I can calm myself down and convince myself that it's not real and eventually I will wake up. But not anymore. Unicorns? Totally real in my dreams. Rainbows? They actually taste delicious. And don't get me started on the people I've dreamed about. Basically, I have no way to differentiate between subconscious concepts or reality. 

Other than the dreams, the exhaustion, and the incessant jaw-breaking yawns, it has ultimately been a successful experience. 

I can't describe to you the joy of being physically calm and mentally calm at the same time. Don't get me wrong, there are still plenty of stressful things in my life and moments filled with anxiety, but they no longer overwhelm my body and brain. I am completely astounded that I have not had any serious side effects and am thankful that this treatment is actually available to me.

Due to this blessing, as strange as it may be to call it a blessing, I have felt more like myself than I have in years. I have been painting a lot. (Sidenote: I redid the blog's design, and the background is one of my fun watercolors!) I have been able to read and draw and develop relationships new and old. I have been able to focus on the good things and handle the bad things.

I'm not going to say I'm happy. Happiness is a temporary, insignificant feeling. My goal is not to be happy. My goal is the ability to find contentment in every circumstance.

Of course, sometimes that circumstance involves going to the beach... and feeling happy.

More later. The next time I write here, it will be a poem. The time after that, it will also be a poem. Because National Poetry Month is coming. So watch out. ;)