Pushing Through

We’ve spent the last couple of days in Grand Teton National Park. We found a little spot in National Forest that backs right up to Teton National Park.   National Forest has different regulations than National Parks. Dogs are allowed on trails, you can shoot guns, have ground fires and the best part is, camping is free!  So we stay in National Forest as much as possible.

We leave tomorrow for Yellowstone and we’re going to get back on the grid and hook up our trailer.  We’ll empty our black and gray water tanks, fill up our fresh water tank and charge our trailer batteries.  We’re only there one night then we’ll find some spot off the grid to set up shop.

We’ve recovered from our intense over 30 mile backpacking trip and have started hiking again.  We spend our afternoons exploring forests, hiking along rivers and playing with Islay.  Then we come home, build a camp fire, cook dinner amd watch the sun set.  It’s a very simple, no frills life and I couldn’t love it more.

My last couple of posts have been a little intense regarding mental health, so I’ll give an update.  I finally realized that I’ve been fighting a little too hard to get through the day.  I felt like every moment was a sludge and I was exhausted by the end of the day.  I’m eating healthy, exercising regularly and not drinking too much, and I was still depressed.  The only time I felt any true joy was when I was on a literal mountain top, and I can’t live up there.  My go to tendency is to buckle down, fight and wait it out.  After the newness of being on the road faded away I realized that I’ve been struggling too much to get through the day.

I felt like it was giving in, in a way but I finally called my psychiatrist.  I’ve been working with this man for ten years and he has literally saved my life.  I truly think I would not be here today if it wasn’t for him.  And Mama… and Hunter Trek.

Anyway, I called my doctor, left a message and he called me right back.  I love that man.  He prescribed me an antidepressant, called it in to the pharmacist here in town and I picked it up yesterday.

Of course, thoughts were surging of, “Way to go Ellen, you can’t do this on your own, why can’t you just be happy dangit,” but I fought them and just popped the dang pill.  I don’t know if it was the sugar pill mentality but I started feeling better by the end of the day.

Medicine truly is so amazing.  It’s always my last resort, I always try the whole healthy lifestyle, give it time, approach first but sometimes I just need a little extra help.  There is a scientific imbalance in my brain and sometimes the only thing that will fix it is medicine.

So that’s my update.  I don’t feel 100% like my true self yet but I do feel better.  When Dr Tankerley asked what’s wrong I said, “I’m living healthy, exercising every day, livin’ my dream and I’m still depressed, fighting to get through the day, something is wrong with that.”

When normal everyday tasks, such as brushing your teeth, seem overwhelming, it’s time to get extra help.

If you or someone you know is struggling with the decision to take medicine, please know that it is completely normal to not want to take medicine.  We live in a very self sufficient, I can conquer anything if I choose, culture.  My councelor growing up always used to say, “Any strength to a point becomes a weakness.”  It’s good to fight, it’s good to try to work through it on your own and with the support of friends and family.  But there also comes a time when you need to recognize the imbalance and get additional help.  This does not make you a failure.  I think it takes even more strength to recognize you need help.  It’s a humbling experience and I don’t know about you, but I could always use a bit more humility.

So friends, thank you for your support, thank you for caring.  If you are struggling as well, know that you are not alone in your battle.  If you ever need to talk it out I would love to chat with you. Yea for pushing through!

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4 thoughts on “Pushing Through

  1. I’m so proud of you! I know the decision is hard to turn to the meds, and made even harder, as you said, when you’re already depressed and down on yourself. So you rock! Praying the antidepressant kicks in for real very quickly and you and Andrew see the real, wonderful Ellen soon.

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