Last week I was prescribed the antidepressant Celexa, and I've been taking it since Saturday—not even a week. The first few days they made me nauseous and somewhat disoriented; the next few days I sensed nothing in particular ... today was different. (Scott claims he noticed a change earlier; I myself did not. I had a good week last week, so I was pretty much all right to begin with, or what passes—passed—for "all right" in my life.) Today was ... good.
I'm not sure how to describe it. It feels as though some weight—not great, but constantly pressing—has lifted off my shoulders. It seems as though some pale grey pall has lifted from the world. I feel good in a way that I haven't felt in so long that I'm honestly frightened.
Don't get me wrong; I haven't had a terrible life, and I've had good times—lots of them. Being with friends, a tremendous amount of time with Lori, the time with Stacey, and of course thousands of other things great and small ... but this is very different. Before, I was occasionally happy about
things, and sure, when I was happy about something I could go on for a bit and be happy in general. But eventually, whether shortly or after a relatively long period of happiness, I would sink down into the bleak state that was usual for me—Stacey explained something about this to me at some point, and I believe the term she used was "baseline happiness". My "baseline" was pretty damn low.
Today is not like that. I'm not happy about some particular thing that's happened—nothing concrete—I'm just happy for no reason (well, obviously there is a reason, and it's fairly concrete and comes in 20 mg capsules, but there's no particularly exciting thing
for me to be happy about—pills don't strike me as that cheerful). It's an entirely different feeling, and right now it feels strange and wonderful. At odd moments during the day I have felt at the verge of laughing, perhaps simply from the novelty of this feeling.
So the pills are good. Why the hell, do you ask, didn't I get on them sooner? Certainly people have advised me to. And if I was in such a bleak state of mild-to-moderate-to-pretty-bad depression for so long (how long?), why didn't I do something about it earlier? Am I completely stupid?I didn't realise I could feel like this.
I have gone so long without this general, non-specific happiness that I had all but forgotten what it feels like. I didn't know, and couldn't believe, that I could go for a day feeling this good without having some very good reason to. Looking back, I can't recall the last time I felt like this. How old must I have been? Twelve years old, perhaps? Slightly younger? Stating it like that, it sounds like I have been in some degree of depression since puberty hit, and that's a damn long time. That's about half my life. Now I understand why people were frustrated with me, why they urged me to do something about it—because really, it doesn't have to be like that, even for me. But I feel no shame about my reluctance, foolish as I now know it to have been, because it's been ten years
, and it's no wonder, I think, if I couldn't easily recall what I may have felt like back then, especially in light of the fact that my psyche has undergone a fair few other changes since then ...
I realise I should take one step at a time—this is how I feel today and I may not feel like this tomorrow. But today I do, and I will remember it. Today I feel as though laughter is on the very verge of bursting out just because of the novelty of being happy without beeing happy about
something—intransitive happiness, if you will. And even if I don't feel this good tomorrow, I will remember that it is possible, and the next time someone tells me to fight for it, I will know that there is something to fight for.
Finally—thank you, Scott
, and Stacey
—listed here deliberately in alphabetical order—because you pushed and you kicked and you dragged me to the counselling office and finally to the doctor, and you made me take this, and so you have shown me what life can be like.
Thank you. I cannot express how grateful I feel to you right now—others as well, all of you
who have supported me through some bad times, but primarily (just now) the tribunal above who pushed me to this decision.
I still have a ton of issues to work on, I have a long way to go, and I need to find a way to be self-sustaining after I eventually stop taking the Celexa. But ... I'll get there.