Many years ago I went through a period of feeling pretty darn depressed. Like sad to the point of crying – or actually weeping buckets – for weeks on end. Finally a close friend dragged me to my doctor to get help. My good doc suggested anti-depressants.
I thought umm … no. I don’t need chemical help. I don’t want meds. I want to know WHY I am so perennially sad. I’m quite sure it had to do with boys and loneliness. I wanted to work on the WHY so that I could manage it without tears and angst.
So my good doc suggested counselling.
Okey doke, I thought. Let’s give that go.
You know what? It worked. A few sessions of honestly discussing my shit and I finally understood it, I accepted it and I was able to move forward. Talking was good. Talking with a professional was good. Sorting through shit was good. Making a new plan was good. It was all good.
Since that time I have become a therapist. Armchair therapist, I know, but I did take a coaching course and I learned that I could help. I learned that I could listen and actually hear (big difference) and maybe even point in a new direction. Man, did that feel good!
I’m still an armchair therapist but last fall I found myself back in the patient’s chair. There was an avalanche of stress in my life and the weird thing is, most of it was the stress of those I love. My own personal stress was actually quite minuscule. But handling all the stresses surrounding me was beginning to choke me. I was incapable of saying “No” because I never say no to those I love. But my health took a hit, my blood pressure rose to dangerously high levels and my headaches were off the chart.
Back to the good doc I went. Except I have a new doc now. Loved my old doc and love my new doc who actually takes the time to listen to me and HEAR me. He’s young and super cool and up on all the latest and the first thing he did was prescribe a sleeping pill.
Whaaaaaaaaaaaat? I don’t need no fucking sleeping pill.
“Are you sleeping well?” he asked gently.
Umm … nope.
“Then just take it for one week. One week only. You need to get some rest to even start getting these numbers down.”
So I took the damn blue pill. Yes, I did. Not only did I take that blue pill, I fell in love with the blue pill. I mean Holy Shitballs! Who knew a little blue pill could do more than spice up your love life? This little blue pill allowed me to shut down. And in shutting down so completely I was able to bound out of bed before the birds, bright-eyed and ready to tackle the day’s traumas.
A week later I returned to my good doc and said “I am in love with this blue pill. I want to marry this blue pill. Pretty please can I have a prescription ad infinitum?”
Umm … nope. No you cannot. Nope. These blue pills are highly addictive and we’re not going down that road.
(aside: since then I have learned that a lot of people I know are highly addicted to these blue pills and loving every long blessed sleep … but that’s another story)
As I hung my head in sorrow, wondering how ever I would cope with life again my good doc said “I’m going to put you on a little yellow pill”.
Up my head perked! Yellow pill, you say? Oh do tell.
Please know that although I do take prescription meds (remember that blood pressure) and Tylenol for the occasional pain I am not a pill popper. I’ve had some pretty painful surgeries in my life and all that Oxycontin and Demerol and whatever else I was prescribed went down the toilet.
The new yellow pill did not. He called it a chill pill. Just a little something to take the edge off. Absolutely non-addictive and hopefully helpful in the long run?
Long run, I asked? My short run is pretty messed up right now.
Just take it, he countered. In 6 weeks its effects will plateau and you will see and feel the worth.
And I do.
You know what I feel? I feel better. More able to take on life’s challenges. More able to navigate through mucky bogs of stress and more available to help those around me, the sources of those mucky bogs of stress. I do sleep better (although am still available at 3am if you need me) and I am … wait for it … much more content with my circumstance. I am grateful and optimistic and realistic and … content.
God, how I love that word.
Now some my call this an anti-anxiety medication. I honestly never though I suffered from anxiety and even if I did I knew it was my poor estrogen-deprived soul kicking and screaming and I was able to quash it. But here’s the thing – the yellow pill quashes it now. So now I can deal with all of life’s slings and arrows.
I can assure you that all those stresses that led to autumn’s meltdown still exist. I am just handling them better. Maybe one day I’ll stop the yellow pill? Maybe not. Right now I am loving the new me.
So … let’s talk.
Because I never ever thought I would be a pill-taker. And here I am, madly in love with my little yellow pill. Much like I was madly in love with the therapist who hauled my ass through that previous crisis.
We all need help. Sometimes we ALL need help.
Get it. Please get it. Whether it’s a conversation or a medication please get it.
And by the way I do think I’m a pretty decent life-coach and I’m absolutely free. As in NO COST. I made that decision years ago when I passed my course with flying colours. I am just a phone call away. And as much as I am grateful for the help granted me, I am more than willing to offer it back. I can’t prescribe those yellow pills but I am here to listen … and to HEAR.
So yeah. Reach out.