I’ve moved all of my anxiety and depression posts from my personal blog to this new blog that doesn’t exactly have my real name attached to it. At least not obviously.
I know this seems disingenuous in attempting to remove the stigma and shame of identifying yourself and being open about struggling with mental illness, and I am a little ashamed of doing so, but there are a lot of things in flux at the moment, and I’m not exactly comfortable with someone googling my name and finding posting after posting about my battles with mental illness.
Because there is still a huge stigma.
And I know I’m not helping to cure that stigma, but sometimes it’s a better personal decision to not live quite as out loud as I normally do.
Once things settle down, perhaps I will go back to more public postings. For now though, this is just better for me.
I started a free trial of online counseling through betterhelp.com recently. I’m skeptical, but hopeful. I’ve had a few times during the course of correspondence where I feel as though I might be better at figuring out what’s wrong with me than the counselor I’m working with, but she seems helpful so far. She offered to research atypical antidepressants for me since my biggest fear about antidepressant use is the sexual side effects, so that is cool.
I have to be honest here. While I’ve been on meds for my anxiety for nearly four years, and I’ve advocated for many people to talk to their doctors about medications for their own mental issues, I am still scared to death of being on actual antidepressants.
More than anything I’m scared of the sexual side effects.
I was on depo provera for 5 years as a form of birth control and they don’t exactly tell you beforehand that depo is used as a form of chemical castration as well as a form of birth control, which means I spent a lot of time in a state of high anxiety in regards to sex.
Honestly, the lack of desire and general disdain for sex caused by the depo was the biggest issue my relationship has had in the entirety of its 15 years. And a LOT of issues can come up in that amount of time…but that is the one, looking back, that was probably the most difficult to overcome.
Since I came off the the depo and my hormones went back to normal and my husband had a vasectomy, our sex life (and ultimately our marriage) has improved considerably.
I never want to go back to a place where sex is a major cause of my anxiety.
It has been a fragile process– overcoming the societal standards of acceptable female sexuality and truly embracing my desires, as well as exploring those desires with my lover.
The thought of possibly disrupting that process sends me into a tailspin.
Unfortunately, SSRIs have a tendency to have serious sexual side effects, so I struggle with the battle of known sexual satisfaction and the unknown variable of maybe not being depressed.
Though I’m starting to think if I can find the strength to accept happiness, it doesn’t matter what is going on chemically in my brain…the happiness won’t inhibit sexual satisfaction.
I’m great at giving advice. I’m great at advocating for others. I am not great at following my own advice or being my own advocate.
I want to be, though.
I want to be great. I want to feel great…or at least not bad.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll make that call.