As an addendum to the previous post, I have to say that something happy has resulted from all of the heartache. I talked about it a little bit before, but I could describe it better.
The most important thing to come out of that terrible dark time in my life is that I have accepted myself. I am happy like never before. For the first time believe I have worth as a person, that my opinions are valid, that I have a legitimate place here along with everyone else. Now when I criticize myself, it is not to the tune of "You're so stupid!", but it's more like, "Well, that was not the smartest thing you've ever done. That's okay. Learn from it and move on. And, laugh! It's (probably) funny!!!" A vast, never-before-seen improvement, by any standard.
During 2004, otherwise known as The Dark Abyss of Circular Unending Despair, or TDAOCUD, I was out of touch with most, if not all, of my friends. I didn't have what it took to reach out to call anyone, certainly not to ask for help. It was hard to define what I needed. I needed company, but it was too hard to ask for it. And, it was hard to take anything in and be a decent friend in return. Besides that, I was tired of my own story. Talking to a friend would necessitate talking about my sad life more, after all, they would wonder why I cried so much. All I wanted was to feel better. But, I didn't know how. Depression sucks!
I believe that everything else follows once you accept yourself. You are a happier person because, you just can't help it. The burden of being hard on yourself is lifted, because there is forgiveness and love where the criticism used to be.
Anyway. I am so much stronger now. And I can still get depressed and feel like I want to retreat, but it's different now. I don't feel that terrible despair that I felt during TDAOCUD. The lows aren't quite so low, the highs are enjoyable and I have no resentment or guilt for myself for enjoying them. I am grateful to feel this way, and in large part is is due to my anti-anxiety/anti-depressant medication. I resisted pharmacological help for a long time, but it became clear that there was no other alternative. Oh, that's not entirely true. The truth is, there was an alternative: jumping off a bridge. This was not, however, a viable alternative. When it got down to the choice between taking drugs or finding a high bridge, I knew I was close to something very bad, and could not do this alone anymore.
Enter the competent psychiatric nurse-practitioner, who I love with all the depth of my being! This woman, the first medical professional who listened to me, took the time to really listen. She asked me pointed questions, and got to the heart of what was wrong. She was able to prescribe a medication that stabilized my moods and got my anxiety under control so I could think rationally. It was me, only without the overwhelming anxiety clouding everything, making me depressed and unable to cope.
Now, I can cope and think clearly. When problems arise, I take them on. When many problems arise at once, I take them on one at a time. And, I ask for help if I need it.
I consider myself capable of just about anything, but even if I fail at something, I know I can always get up and try again another day. That's just a cross-stitch country sampler way of saying that if I screw up, I give myself another chance because imperfection is okay with me.
It's nice to be alive, making mistakes and all the rest that comes along with being human. Just like everyone else.