By Lisa Huddleston
And … the journey continues. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that I was beginning a trial with my 5th antidepressant and since that time the 6th. I am currently on a self-imposed fast of all medications (with my doctor’s tentative approval and an upcoming appointment). I want to give my brain a chance to settle and see who is the real me. I know that giving up on meds is a common occurrence for many (most?) mental health patients, but I promise that I am not giving up altogether. I will see my doctor in a few days, a counselor soon after that, and then we all will decide where to go next.
In the meanwhile, I want to share some wonderful encouragement I received. You know how people always say God will never give you more than you can handle? Well, I think that may be wrong. I think He gives us more than we can handle all the time so that we are forced to (allowed to) see what He can handle when we get our little selves out of the way.
For example, last Tuesday. This has been the summer of dental appointments, and I once again had a very sore tooth. I was also suffering difficult side effects from med #6—insomnia, crazy dreams, anxiety, and so on. Therefore I was up very early and FINALLY decided to turn to some scripture reading. I read from several different passages, but took the time to write down the words I read in Joshua: “Be strong and very courageous!” That was it. Hours of reading, and that was all I took away.
By the time office hours arrived, I moved one doctor’s appointment so that I could get in to see my dentist, and I left a message at my psychiatrist’s office that I needed to speak with him about the side effects of #6. I was on a steady roll. But when I sat in the exam room at my dental office and my big, burly dentist all dressed in black (can you believe it?) said, “Root canal,” I was not prepared. “Now?” “Yes, now.”
He left the room, and I bolted from the chair. Not to escape but to grab a tissue. I was scared to death! I fought tears (so embarrassing), tried to breathe my way into peace, but it just wasn’t happening. I was as stiff as a Barbie doll in a plastic chair. But literally seconds into the procedure, I noticed a tiny, white cloud begin to materialize in the high windows. Just a tip at first, then its pillowy body following. And I don’t know why, but that cloud brought the words I had read that morning: “Be strong and very courageous!” Yes! Better than breathing. I repeated those words in my shaky brain, and I actually felt the muscles in my entire body just melt. From hard plastic to pliable peace. It was stunning and incredibly faith inspiring.
When we took a break about an hour into the procedure, I was still mellow. I sat up and asked the dentist to talk me through what we’d done so far, and then (totally unlike my normally uptight self) I TOLD HIM ALL ABOUT WHAT I’D READ IN JOSHUA AND HOW THE WORDS OF SCRIPTURE HAD COMFORTED ME.
Okay—awkward silence from him. But WOW! I had faced a huge fear and God had seen me halfway through. I had zero doubt about Him bringing me the rest of the way. Yes. I, Lisa Huddleston, had zero doubt! And I even testified! Take that, Fear!
I survived, thrived, and came out alive. I talked to my psychiatrist that afternoon with novacaine-deadened lips and asked for a breather on the anti-depressants and once again felt the victory of Peace overcome my fear.
And now I wait. I don’t know for sure what my next step will be, but I just wanted to share the last couple with you, because I know that someone else could use the same encouragement I have received. Don’t give up. Not even when you have more than you can handle. It’s not too much for Him.
Peace out, peeps. Don’t harsh my mellow–I hope you find yours.
(P.S. This does not mean that I oppose the use of medications for depression. They most likely have helped to save my life.)
UPDATE (October 12, 2016): I did move on to antidepressant number 7, and it has been very successful thus far. Thankful for prayers, loving friends, and patient health professionals!