During Buck’s illness, I called my family doctor to request several medications for myself: one to help me sleep and one for depression, so I could be my best in order to be able to encourage my sweetheart. God provided amazing emotional strength during our journey, but I was weary and not holding up like I needed; desiring to be my Bofren’s cheerleading captain. I continued to use both of these medications until recently. After my weekend stay in the hospital in early December, (due to my strange visual disturbance), I was required to make a follow-up visit to my family doctor. I asked if perhaps we could change my depression medicine, because it didn’t seem to be working as well as it did at first. He thought that Seasonal Affective Disorder might also be playing a part in my condition. He recommended that I double the dosage instead. That made me so jittery, I couldn’t stand it, so I tried one and a half as an alternative. I gave the increased dosage a couple months to do its job, but never experienced any improvement.
I don’t know if it was my own thinking or inspiration from the Lord, but I made a decision to stop taking the depression medicine. I needed to know how I would function med- free and I wanted to know if some of my symptoms, such as fatigue and lack of motivation, were side effects from the drug. About six weeks ago, I called my family doctor for instructions on how to wean myself from the medication. It has been about ten days since I finished the weaning process…and I am an emotional mess, (in my opinion anyway)! I spoke to a counselor friend a few weeks ago, about my decision and she said the depression medications often numb the emotions. I realize now, that I just thought I was dealing with my grief, when in reality, I wasn’t feeling a great portion of it. I had frequent periods of sadness of course, but they were almost always attached to a trigger of some kind; sometimes tangible things and personal belongings… sometimes memories. Photos and music always had the most powerful effect and even more so now after eleven months of Buck’s absence. With no numbness or buffer to shield my heart, the full impact has finally hit home and I feel very sensitive emotionally.
I feel as though I have taken a giant step backwards, because I am finding myself in “pajama days” mode once again, and now my morning devotional time is the most painful, tear-filled part of the day, with daily “ugly cries” and noon finds me drained and emotionally exhausted. My stuffed bear: “Critter”, gets plenty of use on a daily basis as my tear sponge and today I started wearing my towel around my neck again. In my Griefshare support group, we discussed the fact that it often takes six months to a year for our hearts to catch up to our minds, to adjust to the true reality of the loss of a loved one. Intellectually, we know immediately; emotionally, grace cushions our hearts until we can fully take it all in! We also talked about the fact that the second year is often more painful than the first. I was hopeful that I might escape that phenomenon, but it appears I will be no different.