Come Monday

17 Mar

Let’s be honest.

For once, at least.

Honest with my friends. Honest with my family. Honest with complete strangers.

But most importantly, I need to be honest with myself.

I am not well.

I have been struggling for so long now, that I don’t even know where the surface is most days. Sure, I can see the sunshine sparkle as the waves splash miles above my head. But I’ve lost the ability to swim. Or maybe, just maybe, I never had the ability in the first place.

I’ve been dodging this truth, this brutal honesty for quite some time. My vocabulary of quick answers carry a bevy of “I’m fine. I’m okay. I’m surviving.” All statements used on a daily basis to thwart a single worry from anyone else about what may or may not be going on inside my head.

But Monday, I woke up and verbalized to myself and the pillow I clutched tightly that I, in fact, am not fine. I am not okay. I am not surviving. And as I heard those words actually come from my own mouth, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I’ve known for the last couple of weeks that I was nearing my breaking point. I already knew I had one foot over the edge. And I could feel the other foot lurching forward without much hesitation.

With my grip on reality waning, I picked up the phone and dialed. As ashamed and defeated as I was, I knew I needed help.

Monday was my first therapy appointment.

After staring at a hauntingly scary prescription bottle that sat harmlessly on my bathroom counter for the last three months, I finally opened it and took one of the tiny blue pills, placed it on my tongue, and washed it down with a splash of orange juice.

Monday was the first time I took Zoloft.

For those who know me well, this admission, this revelation proves just how low I am and how serious I am about getting my life back on the right track.

I’ve been saying for years that I don’t need medication. I don’t need therapy. I don’t need help. My pride fooled my logic into thinking these statements were gospel. My stubbornness instructed me that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression were for the weak.

But Monday, I admitted to myself I was wrong.

I am four days into trying to right my ship. The waters are bumpy on the best of days. From hour to hour I wonder how this is all going to work out. My feelings of shame, guilt, and weakness have been magnified exponentially because in my mind, I should be stronger, I shouldn’t need help.

But I do.

And since this Monday, I am no longer afraid to admit it.


25 Responses to “Come Monday”

  1. Jen O. March 17, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    I’m so proud of you for stepping up and admitting that sometimes the weight of the world is too heavy to carry on your own. Help is the hardest thing to ask for and you’ve done it.

    You know you can talk to me any time you need an ear.

  2. KBO March 17, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    TJ, I’m here for you. Been there, done that (well, Cymbalta, not Zoloft, but STILL), and here for you.

  3. Jett March 17, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    From one white-knuckler to another: You can do this. YOU can DO this.

    ….and not that it amounts to the square root of fuck-all, but I am over this way fervently rooting for you. Call on me if you ever need encouraging.

  4. Laurie March 17, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    I’ve been thinking about you so much. For what it’s worth there are a bunch of us out here (at a distance, yes) who care and want to help. You know how to contact me and I hope that you will do it if you need anything, anytime — just an ear, really.

    And I’ve been in those shoes and I know what it means and how hard it is to do the things you’re doing, but it’s the best possible thing in so many circumstances. Pulling for you, truly.

  5. Dysfunction Junction March 17, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    I’ve said this all before to you, so you will roll your eyes.

    It takes strength to get help. It takes a bravery to say, “you know what? I’m not doing well, but I WANT TO BE.” There are countless numbers of people out there who aren’t ready, who are too afraid to take control of their own thoughts, their own happiness (or unhappiness).

    You haven’t failed, you haven’t given up. You’re participating in your own fight.

    So cut yourself some slack, wouldya?

  6. Tiff March 17, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    You’re the best there ever was, so I have no doubt you’ll get back to good. You’re one of the strongest people I’ve known. And I’m proud of you.

  7. sweetney March 17, 2011 at 10:28 am #

    I love you and am thinking of you. Family, always. Always here. xoxo

  8. Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah March 17, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    Medication is not for the weak. It is for the sick.

    Medication is one of the best things that ever happened to me. It saved me.

    PSTD is real. Depression is real. Medicine is there to help us and we are so fucking lucky to live in a time where these things are available. Or we would all be getting leached together.

    It is temporary. It is good. You are loved.

    • Frelle March 17, 2011 at 11:05 am #

      Being transparent about this is very brave. I know the internal wrestling match, trying to summon the strength to keep surviving but knowing the dark is going to keep winning. There is nothing weak about you, the endurance you showed in working to cope and the realization you came to about your own limits are proof of your strength. I hope the shame and guilt evaporate as you are rallied around by those who care about you. I’m glad you are at peace about this, and that you are talking to your readers about it.

  9. Miss Ash Tuesday March 17, 2011 at 11:54 am #

    sending love.
    also, everyone needs someone to talk to.
    therapy is AWESOME!

  10. Mandy March 17, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    Thinking of you, TJ!

  11. JTW March 17, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    i’ll never forget the first time i went to therapy – it was last summer. it took 27 years and a lot of humility (and pain) to get myself in there. but i am so thankful i did it because it actually helped me change my life in drastic and amazing ways, for the better.

    oh and the pills…eh, that’s nothing to worry about. we’re all “on” something…it might be caffeine, might be alcohol, might be exercise, sex, etc…the point is to be on something that improves the quality of your life.

    sounds like you’re headed in a good direction.

    :) xo

  12. schmutzie March 17, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    This is both powerful and empowering. It’s your strength that got you here. Be well.

  13. andygirl March 17, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

    I am sending you so much love right now. can you feel it? soak it in.

    I am so proud of you for taking this first step, my friend. take that bravery of yours and tuck it in your heart. it’s going to help you. I have so been there and I can tell you that therapy was my saving grace. it healed me. it gave me the strength the dig in and do the hard work to be a whole person. there’s no shame in doing what you need to do to get well. it’s commendable. it won’t be easy, but it will feel so good to do it.

    also? why doesn’t everyone do therapy? it’s an hour a week in which someone is paid to listen to you talk. honestly, I can’t think of anything more brilliant.


  14. flutter March 17, 2011 at 11:59 pm #

    I am beyond proud of you, I am beyond proud to know you. You are taking control and you are showing yourself that you are worth it.

    You are loved, you know that?

  15. Bitchin' Amy March 18, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    I felt so much better when I admitted that I was too sick to continue doing everything I had committed to and that I would just have to slow down and concentrate on getting better. YOU were there for me when I hit that bottom and made it easier just by understanding. I hope the steps you are taking now help ease your mind and let you start getting completely better. –I’m thinking of you constantly and sending you all kinds of positive energy and sneaking in some prayers to unknown higher powers, too. xoxo

  16. Random Girl March 18, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    Love and positive thoughts to you on your journey to wellness. Taking care of you is the best thing you can do for your family. Proud of you for taking these critical steps.

  17. Holmes March 18, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    I been worried about you, homey. Glad to hear from you again, glad to see you’re taking steps to right your ship, as you put it. Depression sucks, but it can be dealt with.

  18. Kerri Anne March 18, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    Thinking of you, new friend, and sending you sucker-punches of hope from here.

  19. Patsy Stone March 19, 2011 at 1:24 am #

    I don’t know what else I can add to all the lovely, supportive comments except to say that it’s nice to know there are wonderful people that care & are here for you!

    Ironically, I’ve been going through pretty much the same thing. I’m glad you were able to express it, I am so shy, I never say what I really want to say and I end up suffering in silence. This week my doctor convinced me that I needed to start taking my medicine again (I play the whole “if I don’t take the pills, it means I’m not sick” game).
    If I don’t take the Prozac I do not function. I suffer from severe anxiety/depression. Not only does my life become unbearable to me, I end up making things difficult on those around me. So, I am going to take my meds again, sleep properly and do what I’m supposed to.
    Thank you for speaking out, it makes me feel not so alone in the world. Nobody understands unless they live it.
    And the medicine does make things SO MUCH BETTER!! I just have to take it. I’m like you, my pride gets in the way, but it’s a serious thing to play the pride game…Please stay on your medication. Give it a chance. You will feel so much better that you can’t believe you didn’t give it a chance.
    I know, who am I to talk? But I will take my meds, you take yours, and we will check back on each other! Deal?

  20. Jules March 19, 2011 at 10:32 am #

    I heart you! I remember a couple of months ago, you worrying about me as much as I’ve been worrying about you lately. Now, we’re both on our way to “righting our ships.” If you need me, call. I’m here.

  21. Abby March 21, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    Been there, doing that.
    It’s a sickness, just like anything else, and if a pill can help you recover and regain some form of balance, then don’t let pride get in the way.
    Big props. You rock.

    • TJ March 21, 2011 at 10:05 am #

      Thank you for the support. I love getting comments like these. They prop me up when I need it the most.

  22. baltimoregal March 21, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    Long time passenger on the Zoloft train, probably for life. admitting you need help is hard but proves your strength.

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