Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Scarlet Letter

Sometimes I feel like my brain is a hand that has no opposable thumb; that it is lacking in the most basic of functions and reasoning.

But other times I wonder if I feel this way because it's easier to just say something is wrong with me.

Every night, for the past 9 months I have listened to various meditations, mantras, motivational speeches. I've used delta waves, repetition, osmosis, you name it.  I even tried praying. I don't even believe in God, and if I did I'm not egotistical enough to think he'd take the time to listen to me with all the other shit happening.

I have exercised.  I have reflected. I have written. I have sang. And I have cried.

Oh, how I have cried.

I went to the psychiatrist today. I made the appointment 3 weeks ago and have waited anxiously for it since. I wanted help.

He prescribed me pills.

They are not high dosage, they are not intense.  We spoke for about 30 minutes, and he never gave me a diagnosis. I had spoken to him of the various ones I'd had.

He prescribed me pills and psychotherapy, because part of my issue was a personality trait.  I have been off and on meds since I was 14, and talking about my extensive history of struggling was strange because it has been a very long time since I had said it all aloud.  It was like a juvenile's rap sheet, and my conviction was on his prescription pad.

I was ecstatic. I was relieved. I thought "Now I've got the magic elixir, and it will all click in my head and I will be normal".  Then I talked to my boyfriend about it.

My boyfriend is the most level headed, pragmatic and emotionally intelligent person I know. He's also a naturalist who prescribes to his own belief that you just "get it" after continuously thinking about how you need to change.

It made me feel like a failure.

The shame is so palpable I can feel its heat vibrating off my chest and now I want to just crawl under a rock  or live like a hermit.

I'm a failure.

He didn't mean to make me feel this way. Not once did he criticize my choice, he even told me he was proud of me. But I know. I know there's a "but" somewhere.  I know, deep down most likely subconsciously he's lost a little respect for me, as does everyone who finds out I am on medication.  There is always the attached "well, she's on meds".  It's hard enough being taken seriously as a woman. It is a bookmark. It is a stamp.

It is what keeps me up at night frantically listening to these recordings until I wake up in the morning with palpitations and terror.  I am afraid of what I will do or say.

I am afraid that what I accomplish or fail will always be shadowed by this aspect of myself. I fear having people give me that look, the look of pity and the look of fear as if you have something contagious.  I have given it to people myself, and I am so, so sorry for it.

Because it is a scar. It is a branding.

It is a scarlet letter.

-Grace #Adulting


  1. Most forms of depression and a lot of mental health issues are chemical imbalances something you literally have no control over. You don't need to feel shame for having a messed up chemical generator in you. He needs to understand this as well as you so that you don't feel hurt or branded even unintentionally.

    1. Thank you Murdock. He is very understanding, he just has his own struggle with mental illness to relate to and how he dealt with it that worked for him. It happened to be a totally natural process, this is mostly me feeling lesser and doubting my trying because I have to do it the non natural way.

  2. OR - it could be that he meant nothing of the sort. It could be that all of those little doubts, fears and feelings of failure are from that little "demon" in your head that you are fighting. It knows what hurts, and how to fight back to try to make you feel helpless. Listen to what your boyfriend actually said, not what the little demon is trying to mangle with mistranslations and lies. Your boyfriend is only sharing what works for HIM, and saying he's proud of you for trying to find what works for YOU. The Rx may or may not work - but it's a step you are actively taking to fight that little demon. Keep fighting it! That's what it fears most.

    1. Thanks Jules. This is a culmination of more than ten years of trying to fight these demons and sometimes I just get so tired.