‘It doesn’t mean I’m broken. It means I’m strong enough to ask for help.’

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“I made a phone call today I thought I’d never have to make again.

I called a clinic to get a new doctor so I can get back on Lexapro and Ativan.

Sometime last fall I decided I was fine and didn’t need the meds anymore. My husband had a new job making more money, we moved closer to some friends of ours, and started going back to church on a regular basis.

I was happy. I was living instead of just surviving. I didn’t need to take medications for my depression and anxiety anymore. In fact, I was so ‘cured’ I’d never have to take a pill again. The sky was bluer than blue and life was good.

But slowly over the last several months the high has worn off. The newness of our lives became normalcy and as the excitement of all the change began to wane, so did I.

The crying started. But crying is normal and even healthy so that was okay.

Then the lack of motivation to do much. But, come on, I’m a stay at home to little kids who are learning and growing. Kids are exhausting. Surely I was just tired from motherhood.

But then the hopelessness began creeping in. The ‘why bother?’ thoughts. The going to bed at 8 because there was no point to stay up; no joy in doing something for just me after the kids went to bed.

Tired all the time despite my naturopath saying I’m fine and just need to take this multivitamin and vitamin D.

No desire to go after the big dreams I have for my life.

No confidence that I could actually achieve those dreams because I’m not smart enough, pretty enough, good enough…

And then last week my BFF sent me this in a text after she was recently put back on Wellbutrin.

‘So here’s the thing about depression that also makes it soooo dangerous- sometimes you don’t even realize you have it until the fog clears and you actually want to go places and do things.’

And that’s when it all made sense.

My depression isn’t temporary. That’s why I was on meds for so long. Because it’s a part of me. It’s not something that some sunlight and spa days can fix. It’s embedded in my brain.

So today I called and made an appointment for medications I never thought I’d need again.

It doesn’t mean I’m broken. It means I’m strong enough to ask for help.

It doesn’t mean I failed at being ‘normal.’ It means my brain chemistry needs some assistance. That’s it.

It doesn’t make me less than anyone else. I’m as much a person as everyone who doesn’t need medication. I’m human just like you. I’m worthy of love and respect and joy and peace and I will have it again in a few weeks once my medication kicks in and I can see clearly.

I’m just a girl who needs some medication to help me be the best I can be. And I always will be that girl. And that’s okay. My medication doesn’t define me or my heart or my worth. It’s just something I need to be the real me.

If you need medication to be the best you, don’t feel any shame or guilt. Feel strong because you did the hard thing and reached out and asked for help.

If you think you may need medications, don’t be afraid. Be strong enough to make an appointment. You deserve to be the best you possible. To live, to dream, to laugh again.

Let’s walk together towards a life of light and joy. We deserve it.”

Toni Hammer

This story was written by Toni Hammer. The article originally appeared here. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.

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