Prompt: Your personal sculptor is carving a person, thing or event from the last year of your life. What’s the statue of and what makes it so significant?
There were some significant things that happened in the last year including our move, but I think there is one thing more important.
I think what I would like sculpted is the word JOY.
In January of 2012 it was the first time that I permanently stopped taking anti-depressants. Probably it would not be an exaggeration to say that off and on (mostly on) for 40 -45 years of my life I took them because of depression that haunted me and had a very negative impact on my life.
I managed to live, work and help raise our family of two sons and a daughter, but there was always lurking in the background the ominous feeling that I would have another episode of this darkness that would seemingly control my thoughts and even actions. I always felt different from other women and mothers. Of course there were times that I felt happiness and could enjoy times with our children and my husband. But those times unfortunately didn’t continue on indefinitely, before I would be hit again with yet another time of confusion and despair.
I sought help for this condition seeing my regular doctor and psychologists and even psychiatrists….and even at one point of even seriously considering suicide was an option, …..had ECT treatments. ….(Electro Convulsive Therapy). It was not decided to do so lightly as one always hears of the detriment of having this form of treatment. But at the point I did so, I could see no other option.
One of the most difficult aspects of all of this, is that I am a Christian and prayed fervently for God to intervene in my life and just make it all go away. But I do also believe that he gives the gift of healing to doctors and so based on this as being part of His answer, I went ahead and took the ECT. I believe that by doing so, my life was saved.
Along with this, I still had to remain on the anti-depressants and after a certain length of time I was removed from them.
However, later on the depression returned once again and I was put back on them, and was off and on them and for at least 10-15 years prior to 2012 was on them continually.
When we moved to a little town in 2000 when my husband retired, I started going to a doctor and a few years after that she started treating me with CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). It took a few years after that but finally I began to feel hopeful that perhaps I was getting better, but even for the next couple of years I remained on the medication. For me this method of CBT was good, but for others suffering from depression or other mental disorders, perhaps another is better.
Then at the end of 2011 the doctor and I decided to wean down the dosage and then by 2012 I had come off of them completely. Having been on them for so long I will admit I was a bit wary of not taking them. And here I would like to interject that I fully intended on staying on them for the rest of my life if I needed to do so. And many people with depression do need to, because the brain has a permanent chemical imbalance that can only be controlled by medication.
Seemingly though between having a Christian doctor who I knew also prayed for me, and a family who supported me also through prayer and of course other ways, and the CBT treatment I was able to say that the darkness that plagued me for most of my adult life, was indeed gone.
I could actually say that I was happy and that I could feel JOY at living again. One of the best things about it was that others noticed the difference in me and would tell my husband and I.
And so the word JOY is what I would like sculpted if something in my life could be immortalized for 2012.