I’ve been struggling for several months now.
The symptoms of Meniere’s Disease and Chiari Malformation seem to be getting the best of me as of late. I keep telling myself that the vertigo is always worse in the fall and winter months. I wholeheartedly believe that this recent onset coupled with relentless attacks of vertigo can be attributed to the unstable barometric pressure this time of year.
BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! I can try to rationalize it until the cows come home but the cold hard truth is that I am broken. Broken with no fix.
I consider myself to have a pretty strong constitution about me. I try to stay positive. I try to “be still and know.” I try to stay tough.
Today, I started taking an antidepressant.
The past few months, I’ve slowly lost my sparkle. I can’t shake the sadness.
I taught school for many years. Prior to and during those years, I raised two amazing humans. I’ve always felt that I’ve had a purpose. Today, I don’t.
I visited with my ENT this week and she cried with me. She told me I was the worst case of Meniere’s she had ever seen. She went on to say that Meniere’s Diseases alone is truly depressing and debilitating, add to that Chiari and well, you have a recipe for disaster, emotionally.
These two illnesses have robbed me of my independence. I think said robbing is the hardest pill to swallow, so to speak.
I honestly don’t remember a day when the back of my head didn’t feel like it was going to explode. I can’t tell you the last time the roaring in my left ear was nonexistent. Recalling a day that has passed in which my spine doesn’t feel like lava is running through it is near impossible. I am physically tough, however. I have a very high pain tolerance. I can handle those things.
I am having a very hard time, however, mentally coping with the parting of my independence.
Driving has halted on rainy days. The movement of the windshield wipers provoke vertigo attacks.
Driving on the freeway has been put on hiatus. The movement of the cars brings on vertigo attacks.
Anxiety regarding driving is suffocating me.
Going to the grocery store has halted. Walking down the aisle and seeing items of the shelf in my periphery spurs vertigo attacks. I was at Kroger earlier this week and had an attack. Came out of nowhere. The manager wanted to call an ambulance.
Anxiety surrounding having an attack in public is suffocating me.
Substitute teaching has been put on hold. The movement from the kids and classroom noise pokes the vertigo beast.
Not having a purpose is suffocating me.
Fishing in my kayak. I don’t think I need to explain that one.
I tell you all of these things not for your pity or condolences. I tell you these things because many of you reading have dealt with or are dealing with sadness or depression.
It took my several weeks to get to a point where I could even mutter the words, I think I need medication. Why was that so hard?
Those of you that have been following my ramblings know that I am no stranger to mental illness or depression. Observing my mother for the past 25 years has my sister and I scared to death. We jokingly, not jokingly ask, when is it going to hit us?! If I am predisposed to depression, add to that two debilitating illnesses and well, holy crap.
I pray. I know that God can help me get through this. My faith is not wavering.
I also know that it is what it is. Life is messy. Life isn’t perfect. Life can just suck sometimes.
Many of you deal with sadness and depression for other reasons. Some of you are dealing with darkness that I can’t fathom. Some of you may be dealing with sadness such as mine. Whatever the circumstance, know that you aren’t alone. Don’t be scared to share your story. Someone may need to hear it.
The shame is not in being depressed. The shame is in not getting help.