I am excited to be writing here on OpenDiary again, though the impetus is somewhat unfocused.
I do miss the solidarity of the OD community (circa the early 2000s), but the writing and the reflection that journaling requires is sometimes an emotional terrain that is hard to wade through. I have been thinking that I need it though — the mental exercise of having to express myself and think through my feelings. It brings a sense of mindfulness that I feel I don’t get a chance to work through in my daily life.
Where have all the colorful fonts gone, though? I used to love the personalization one could bring to their OD. Silly me.
Well, fast forward X number of years and I am back on OD. I don’t know anyone who still writes on here but hopefully I will make some new connections. I am now married (sometimes happily – sometimes unhappily), living in New York, and teaching high school in the Bronx. I have adopted a one-eyed cat, and as of a few months ago, a sweet fluffy dog. I have struggled with anxiety and depression for the better part of my life, but only recognized it and took action on it in the past few years.
I have cycled through a number of antidepressant medications. Maybe four years ago, I got on Citalopram, which worked beyond my wildest dreams. It energized me emotionally – I felt uplifted, stable, clear. Of course, shit still happened but I was able to identify and cope with my obstacles in an objective way – without the burgeoning cloud of depression that often made things out to be more than they were. Most importantly, the Citalopram made me like the truest version of myself and who I wanted to be. I felt so lucky, and so grateful, like it was a magic fix for a problem I had assumed was just what I had to live with. I can’t overstate how much it felt like I had come home, like I had finally found a solution. I was so happy.
Then, maybe over a year in, the Citalopram lost its magic. I even went to a different psychiatrist for a second opinion, and was told that sometimes, medications just stop working.
I was panicked, but hopeful in a small way, and wanted to keep trying. I’ve had a taste of what Normal is like, maybe even Good. I know it exists, and I want it back.
I’ve been on about three other medications since, and am currently on 30 mg of Lexapro, which I am told is the closest thing to Citalopram. I’m hoping someone out there has experiences to share, though I know these work very differently for everyone. Lexapro is, well, okay. It’s sort of stabilizing – I’m not plunging into random bouts of depression or crying spells – but I also find it difficult to be motivated or to look forward to anything. My doctor has recommended pairing with Wellbutrin – which is supposed to energize and uplift.
I’m just feeling defeated that it is one more pill I will have to take and why can’t I climb back to where I was before? I’m the Captain of the damn Sunshine Club at my school. Nobody who meets me would even begin to suspect I feel so miserable and defeated on the inside. I would love for my internal existence to match my external one. I feel like the anxiety builds even more anxiety – I woke up last night and randomly yelled, “FUCK YOU!” into the darkness. My husband stirred but did not wake up. My dog trotted over to my pillow and my cat ignored me.
Honestly, even if I don’t find the kind of community here that I did in the early 2000’s, writing this entry alone has helped me clear my head. No doubt there are lots of other things that fill up my headspace on the daily, but at the moment, my mental health journey is at the forefront of my worries. It’s just hard not to feel discouraged. I know what I could be like, I’ve seen it, and I want to find a way back.