1. You wonder if every laugh could be solely due to your meds.
2. People will joke about needing happy pills.
3. When you’re talking with a friend about how someone has been grumpy, they’ll say, “I think she forgot to take her meds today.”
4. You must be vigilant, because though thoughts of death will come, if they come too regularly, you need to get back to the psychiatrist.
5. Your meds might stop working. For no reason. Without warning. It happened to you in 2009. You stumbled into the doctor’s office, sobbing, dripping tears, and he said, “Oh yeah. That’s been known to happen. We like to call it the ‘Prozac Poop Out.'” He then switched and doubled your meds.
6. Your kids will ask you why you take two pills every day. You will tell them that it’s so you won’t get pregnant and leave it at that.
7. You will peel off the pill bottle label and crumple it into a tiny, sticky ball before recycling the orange container so that no one will have to find out, unintentionally, that you suffer.
8. You will wonder if the handyman fixing your shower knows that Sertraline is the generic form of Zoloft.
9. You will know if you’ve forgotten to take your meds because your hands and feet and neck will buzz with a strange electrical sensation.
10. You will wonder if the meds will stop working again. You think sometimes about the perverse pleasure of sinking back into your normal resting place, which is half-suicidial.
11. You’ll watch a documentary on the Golden Gate Bridge suicides fairly certain that each person, as they let go of the orange structure and began falling to their death, changed their mind before they hit the water.
12. You’ll be grateful. Forever grateful that you live with this disease now and not a hundred years ago, because the suffering would’ve been so dire.
13. Maybe if you tell the kids they’re your happy pills, they’ll just leave it alone.
14. You know they’re not your happy pills. They’re your stay-alive-pills, and isn’t that a miracle?
15. Clinical, pharmaceutical, therapeutic, whatever it takes, as long as it worms you through the dark to a tiny sliver of happy and optimistic, Swallow It. Every Single Day.
5 thoughts on “When You’re A Depressed Person Who Is Now Mostly Well…”
I have to admit, My scrolling comes to a fast halt when I see a ‘new post from Julie Barton’ in my IN box. I am a true fan of your writing and your bravery for telling your story. My 86 year old mother just started taking anti depressants and was so upset because she was afraid everyone would think she was “crazy”. I told her half the wold is on antidepressants and the other half probably are and don’t know it from all of the ones that are flushed down the toilet every time there is a med change. My obgyn just said everyone over 70 should be on an some form of ‘happy pill’ because growing old sucks!
Great writing Julie, and since Pat Conroy takes forever to write a new book, I will wait, anxiously for your next post! Janet
Sent from my iPad
This is so spot on! I am grateful for your fearless honesty Julie, because it wrenches through the numbness I feel on anti depressants and resonnates with recognition. For me, I am reminded to take my meds when my tongue vibrates with that electric current sensation, or when weeping starts out of the blue. Recently, in an attempt to “feel” more, I have been lowering my dose. But its a fine line i cannot master; between really deeply feeling or turning into a puddle of tears. I am finding it hard to feel authentic without tears!
One of the marks of the maturity of a society is how it treats the less-than-completely-strong. Too many still see depression as a failure of character. Wrong.
So honest and compassionate. Thank you Julie.
This is a good one.