anti-depressant · books · celebrity · Major Depression · Mental Health Issues

So Much More

“There’s so much more to a book than just reading.”  -Maurice Sendak

My life has revolved around books, in some way, shape, or form, for as long as I can remember, and so when I came across this quote today, it struck me as especially true. Books have been my self-medication, that drug I turn to, reading until the pain is numbed or the anger faded; my anchor, helping to keep me calm in stormy seas; my inspiration, showing me that the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t neccessarily a train (and if it is, teaching me how to avoid being run down!). Books continue to show me that I am not alone, and for that reason alone, I will never give up reading.

I am still fighting darkness, and this week, a book gave me some words I desperately needed. I began reading

Asylum: Hollywood Tales from My Great Depression: Brain Dis-Ease, Recovery, and Being My Mother’s Son

by Joe Pantoliano, the actor best known for his role on The Sopranos (although I remember him primarily as Guido in Risky Business, this is how old I am!). I haven’t made it past the introduction yet, and already, I’m reading parts of this book to family and friends, and writing a post about it. This man, who has struggled his entire life with depression, ADHD, and for years never knew what was really wrong, has put my feelings into words so eloquently, so perfectly, I can’t talk about it without crying. As he discusses his brain disease, and the battles against the stigma of mental illness, he writes this, which is where I began to bawl:

“Louis B Mayer once said ‘The most important thing about acting is sincerity….Once you learn to fake that, you got it made.’ That’s what my depression felt like- like I was faking it. Faking sincerity. Faking serenity. Faking life.” (p. 224) Faking it is what I’ve been doing my entire life, it seems, but Joe finally put it into words.

There is much, much more to this book, and I know I’ll have a whopper of a review for you all once I finish it. But right now, I just had to say that I have never been so glad I chose a book at the time I did.

By the way, I am beginning a new antidepressant tomorrow, (saw Dr Jeff today), and have a referral to a therapist, so with any luck, we’ll get some of this darkness cleared away for good. Or at least find a nice storage facility for it.

RiffleFriendsBooks

anti-depressant · Anyone? · breast cancer · Bubble Meds · Bubble Wrap · cancer · exercise · Fun · Major Depression · medication · Michele · money · Oprah · Scientology · stress · Tom Cruise

I’m Not Tom Cruise. I’m Taller.


A few days ago in a post titled ‘Bubble Meds, Anyone?,‘ I stated that I detest anti-depressant medications. I got several rather obnoxious comments about this (which I have been deleted, because I don’t want hate here), all telling me how evil and stupid I am to not recognize the wonders that are done by these medications. One commenter even compared me to Tom Cruise ranting on Oprah!

Let me say right now that the only similarities between Tom Cruise & I are height. And a sofa.
Anti-depressants, and medications as a whole, are a good thing. I know lots of folks whose lives are vastly improved by their blend of prescription drugs. Heck, if it weren’t for the varied anti-seizure meds I’ve been on since I was 16, I’d not be able to function. It’s quite possible that without those medications I’d be dead now. These medications save lives. I know that.
My issue with anti-depressants in the past has been simply that I’ve not yet found one that works for me. And of course, I want the quick fix. I’m not a patient person when it comes to medications–I want my pain-killers & cough syrups to work NOW!!! When the happy pills didn’t make me happy as soon as I swallowed, well, I gave up. I was young, I had time to wait for the bad feelings to go away. It wasn’t a matter of strength, so much as patience & time.
I’m not that young anymore. Many, many things have changed since the last time I had an episode of major depression. Back then I was living with my parents, I had no one depending on me for anything, my health was much better, and my stress level was lower. Now I’m living with my fiance and we are trying to start a business, my health is not good (although my seizures are controlled!), I’m in charge of a household. (Yes, I am!)
Stress, well, stress is high. My best friend, Michele, who just came through breast cancer with a smile on her face has been sick for the last few months. Two weeks ago they found Stage Four cancer in her bone marrow, the bones on her back, and a spot on her lungs. She began chemo last week. I want to be there holding her hand right now, but don’t have the money for my passport, much less a plane ticket to Toronto, where she lives. (Her mom is there, so she has help.) But can you understand why my stress level just flew up?
Anyway. My point is that I do not have anything against these medications or the people who take them. I’m not looking for a quick fix this time; I’m willing to be patient.
But if Tom Cruise shows up, telling me all I need are vitamins & exercise to fix my depression, there’s gonna be one less Scientologist in the world.
anti-depressant · Bubble Wrap · insomnia · Major Depression · medication · tears

Bubble Meds, Anyone?


I spent most of yesterday in tears. And dressed in one of my least attractive outfits, which didn’t help how I felt at all.

It’s been years since I swam in the swimming pool of Major Depression, but it seems that when I wasn’t looking, I put on my suit & dove in. Last Fall I argued with my doctor about whether my sleeplessness was caused by depression; next week I’ll be asking for a new anti-depressant.
For the record, I detest these meds. In the past, between feeling EVERYTHING and feeling nothing, I’ve chosen everything. It seemed as if tears & darkness were a better option then. And I always had the time & strength to pull myself out of it. I don’t feel that way anymore. Maybe it’s because I’m older, maybe it’s because there are so many other things going on, maybe it’s because I’m just so frikkin tired. I don’t think I could pull myself back. So I’ll ask for help, and take the damn pills. And if that means I don’t feel anything, well, so be it. Life wrapped in bubble wrap could be fun, huh?