I. Hate. The. Holiday. Season. I dread it. And seasonal anxiety or depression does nothing to lessen that sensation. I’m sure I blogged about this last year but it’s too painful to go check so just bear with me. I promise there’s a proactive ending. Call it an early holiday (yes holiday, a non-denominational term of respect) gift.
I hate the holiday season like…like our 6 year old hates every food except peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I hate it like my ADHDog hates pooping outside in the winter (he’s a hairless little specimen). I hate it almost as much as the Westboro Baptist Church hates gays, but only almost because you have to actually cross the threshold of evil to hate anything or anyone that much.
I smartened up this year though…realizing that I both hate the holidays, AND I seem to get a bit glum during the winter, I’ve already had my anti-depressant boosted by a few milligrams.
My memory was triggered about two weeks after the clocks changed for the Fall. I suddenly realized that my ambient anxiety level was almost at pre-meds levels and had been pretty much since the clock change…which reminded me that Fall was here. That winter was approaching. And that Christmas, the most stressful ball of bullshit in the holiday calendar, was bearing down upon me. Last year, I remember I kind of freaked out because I was afraid of becoming as depressed as I had become the winter before. This year is different. I think because I’ve been through this a couple-few times now, I knew what to expect, and I knew what to do. When I called my prescriber to ask for a boost, he looked in my chart and said “oh yeah, we did this last year too”.
Just another 10mg. I was actually worried about making a change, only because despite my anxiety, I was feeling pretty productive. After claiming the re-issue at the pharmacy, however, and taking the new dosage I’m reminded of how AWESOME life is when you don’t have the constant white-noise of anxiety rumbling in the background all day, every day. I’m reminded of how nice it is to want to go to bed at a “normal” time and not have to fight the nails on the chalkboard across the back of your brain. I’m reminded of how pleasant it is to go through a day without worrying about the people you love meeting horrific ends for no goddamn reason but that your brain-organ is high on chemically-manufactured imaginary tragedies.
That one in particular is annoying. One of the reasons I noticed that I wasn’t feeling quite right was that those thoughts had returned for the first time in…geez, I don’t even remember, probably a couple of years. Honestly at this point, when they popped back up I was amused. I’ve lived without them for so long that I’ve redefined my normal and the contrast between the brain I live with now and the anxiety shit-show I lived with for, what, 35 years, was clear. Here again, the odd thoughts exploded like fireworks on the brain and I would actually chuckle at the stark panic – and then manually redirect my brain with some logic. Before I ever sought treatment I had gotten myself into the habit of redirecting in this way, but now that I truly know what it’s like to live without the constant worry, it’s a much quicker, easier process, because I KNOW now, what the land looks like beyond the horizon. I don’t have to guess.
I feel pretty good now. I’m not particularly worried about Christmas (which, by itself, is a minor and gratefully received Christmas miracle). I’m not concocting epic tales of doom. I’m still working through my to-do list. Also noticed it’s making me eat a bit more, and since I accidentally shrunk with the onset of my gluten-free diet that’s also no problem.
I’m glad that I was able to anticipate the need this year instead of suffering and allowing it to impair me before asking for help. It’s not just anxiety and depression that are alleviated but I feel it removes a layer that only distracts my ADHD brain. 10 little milligrams and a whole lot of benefit.