The song "Beautiful Day" by Edwin McCain is playing and it's appropriate. Today has been a beautiful day. It's the first day in a long while that the day has ended on a good note. No melancholy, no overwhelming sadness or despair. After months of patience in the presence of irrational thoughts and a depression that has felt like a lead weight in every fiber of my being, I feel like the new medication is putting me on a path to wellness.
Depression came after me like a bloodhound, hunting me this past summer. It rolled in like fog, a slight mist at first and, before I knew it, I was submerged in such a dense cover of fog that I struggled to find the right way forward, stumbling with each step, my rational mind tired of battling the irrationality of depression. I tried to ignore it, look past the little snips of irrational thoughts that would start to nag and nip at my rationality before I pushed them aside. In the fall, I could no longer push past the heavy weight of the disease. JK Rowling's literary creations of dementors is quite appropriate, thoughtless creatures who seek only to suck all the happiness out of every fiber of your being, leaving only a shell of what you are behind. Having gone through the experience of depression herself, cheers to that apt description Ms. Rowling. You have truly nailed it on the head.
Months of experimenting with different doses of Prozac and resuming talk therapy did nothing to calm that inner turmoil that seemed to escalate. The irrational thoughts were winning, to the point of trying to convince me that my physical existence was worthless and that its absence would not be felt by anybody. Thank God my rational mind piped in that while friends, acquaintances, and family out-of-state might not notice, my husband and children would deeply mourn the loss of a wife and mother. And that was the turning point where I told my therapist and physician that my drug therapy needed to change--drastically.
I write of this publicly for nobody else but my children. I hope someday in the future you will come across this and find some sort of explanation for why you may have memories of Mommy being abrupt, easily frustrated, constantly tired, and always wanting, needing, to rest. As young children, you are energetic and deserve the best attention possible from your mother. The disease of depression takes that away from me, as well as from my family. My suffering affects those who love me and have to live with the depression that weighs heavily on my shoulders.
But my medication has been changed to one whose dosage, as my physician says, can be more easily fine tuned to respond to my depression. It comes with it significant risks, such as cardiac arrythmias, and thus requires close monitoring. If such potential side effects are the risk I take in bettering myself for my family, then so be it. Luke and Vivian, you are the absolute joy of my life and desire to be better for you and your father alone. The reason that depression has not won yet is because God has planted that seed of knowledge in my being that all children need their mother. You, my lovely little darlings, are what ground me to this physical earth. I have to fulfill my job as your mother to guide you to adulthood properly until God, and not the evils of depression, calls me home to Him from this life.
And I am thoroughly enjoying the two of you now. Luke, you are almost 5 and have a mind like a sponge. You soak in all these facts from the PBS shows, especially Wild Kratts. You really like that one now. You keep informing me of the habits of wild walruses, monarch butterflies, the honey badger of Africa, etc. It's amazing. You are a wonderful big brother to Vivi and help me immensely simply by listening to me. You are open to learning more about God and I am grateful for that. I love that you still want to cuddle up with me and have no qualms about telling me or your father, out-of-the-blue, that you love us. It warms our hearts. I cannot get over how big you are. You are getting so tall and acting like such a little man, it saddens me that you are not that little baby Daddy and I brought home almost 5 years ago. Our firstborn is growing up at such an alarming pace. It's both humbling and just a joy to behold.
Vivi, you're starting to talk more. "Tan-chu mommy"(Thank you, mommy), "Me me, mommy" (Excuse me, mommy). It's simply adorable. And you have this game that you play at dinnertime where you fix us with this darling stare and you hold it until we stare back at you. We had a church dinner last night and you demonstrated this game to everybody at the table to their great delight. You are excited to see me in the morning ("MOMMY!"), and your kisses are so sweet and soft. Your delicate skin is just as lovely to kiss back when I cover your face with kisses. And I marvel at the sheer beauty of your creation every time I stroke your hair or hold your soft body to mine in a simple hug.
Depression may try as hard as it can to win, but the two of you are my greatest weapons against it. The knowledge of that warms my heart and infuses my spirit with a strength that can only come from God Himself.
It is a beautiful day, indeed...