Last week started off well and finished well – but the bits in between I could live without repeating. If I’d charted my emotional well-being, my mood, my perspective, I’d have gotten a somewhat erratic line drawing with highs and lows and bits in between. And as the highs and lows were extreme – it was exhausting – and I’m knackered.
Some time ago, when the best of medical minds were wavering about how to treat my MS-like symptoms, given that I don’t have MS, they came up with the bright idea of anti-depressants. Those little white pills would, apparently, make me feel right again. No more pins and needles, no more fatigue, no more legs giving way, no more mind/brain disconnect where my reactions are a second behind my brain’s instruction to the point when I drop stuff and burn myself. Just one pill a day and all this would disappear. Or so they said.
Strangely, I wasn’t at all tempted. I’m not a doctor. I don’t have a medical degree. And I’m not that into a Google-ised self-diagnosis. Many lifetimes ago, however, I did suffer from depression and for two years took those pills and lived in a world that was flat – no highs, no lows. They gave me time to heal, took away the anxiety, the paranoia, the despair. They helped me function. For that period in my life, they worked. And I was grateful for them because I was depressed. Today, I’m not.
The symptoms still come and go and always the recommended treatment stays the same. But I’ve gotten attached to my highs and lows and can’t imagine going back to flatlining where everything was the same. Instead of popping little white pills, I prefer the company of good friends who understand the madness and don’t feel the need to fix me.
Saturday was a case in point. What was to be a quick spin around the Christmas market at Vörösmarty tér turned into dinner at a restaurant I’d not been to before, followed by a turn on the Eye (another thing off my bucket list), followed by some good music and great conversation. Lost in another world on the way home, I missed my stop and ended up in a part of the VIIIth I’d never seen. Walking through the streets of Budapest at daybreak on a cold December morning was all the tonic I needed. To see the world slowly waking and to have the time to pause and reflect on my part in it was therapeutic. To have people in my life who can turn my mood and make me laugh and bring me out of myself when the doubts set in is a blessing. To know myself well enough to be able to avoid the pills and ride the waves – that’s something for which I’m truly grateful.