I’m not suicidal, I’m depressed. Or is it the other way around? Okay, now I’m confused. I always get those mixed up.
Don’t worry, I’m not suicidal; I don’t need a rubber room or padded cell (and, no, the freight elevator doesn’t count). Alas, I have been fighting depression for several years now. Longer, probably, but it’s only been within the past few years that I’ve been taking some medicine for it. Unfortunately, it seems there is a majority of us out there.
I prefer to write about positive and creative things; however, this blog is about my personal journey through life and my “enjoyment” of all the potholes I have traversed. There are times when I feel it necessary to write about troubling issues and aspects of survival that are, well, not too prideful.
This is one of those times.
It has taken me awhile to actually get these words on paper, so to speak. I realize that some folks who know me may be surprised while some may take pity or even be appalled that I’m admitting this type of stuff.
Who knows, maybe this and subsequent posts will help someone get a better perspective on their “Hell.” Maybe this will help them get a better grip, especially when Hope and Faith seem to be all but dried up.
It has also taken me quite a long time to get my head around how I want to approach this topic of depression, and the various meds to help deal with it. The problem is complicated with not just one solution.
Personally, it’s not merely depression; I’m also putting up with back pain I suffered a few years ago when my wife suffered her stroke. I fractured a couple of vertebrae and messed up portions of my lower back. Since then, I’ve been taking pain meds – opioids.
I can easily see how people can and do get hooked on some of this stuff.
I am not, however. I am, though, probably taking more prescription meds than at any time in my life. Can’t be helped, I guess. The pain med, the lone opioid, is hydrocodone or Narco for short. The “anti-depressant/anxiety” med is, currently, Fluoxetine. It’s less expensive than the first one I was prescribed.
The nice thing about Narco, for me, is the overall relaxed state it gives, allowing me to de-stress and be almost pain free. Yet, I’m no longer taking them at present. I’ve run out and don’t know how soon I can get another Rx.
I’ve never liked being dependent on one thing like a drug to get by on a daily basis. As I’ve gotten older and, unfortunately, contracted Leukemia (CLL) several years ago, I am taking a special drug specifically for Leukemia, Venetoclax, every day. However, I’m in complete remission and want to stay that way, so my taking of this miracle drug may continue for some time to come.
Pain meds are another matter and this country, along with others, has its fair share of addicts, not to mention those folks who legitimately need these drugs to help them through their days.
Because of a variety of reasons and personal conflicts this past year, including my wife’s continued but difficult rehabilitation, there have been days that I literally don’t want to get out of bed. I don’t care to do anything.
It scares me when I don’t care or am not interested in some aspect of creativity. That’s what drives me. That’s why I try and keep writing, keep thinking, keep the creative juices flowing. When I would take a Narco in the morning, it would relax me and help me maneuver. It improved my attitude and, yes, lessened my back pain.
There are still days I miss not having any to take. There were days that I thought, “Geez, am I on the way to becoming an addict?” It is so very easy. But, I’m a far cry from an addict looking for his nearby needle for a fix.
Others, however, are not so lucky.
Gut-punching ad campaign
According to an article in a recent issue of AdAge/Creativity, there’s a long-running anti-smoking campaign, Truth, which is now combatting another epidemic of addiction: opioids–and it’s not pulling any punches in a new series of ads that go to painful extremes to illustrate the severity of the problem.
The “Truth About Opioids” campaign doesn’t shy away from scenes of brutality, in these cases self-inflicted.
The campaign features four true stories of young people who fell into opioid abuse. Each of the protagonists find themselves caught in a cycle of addiction to painkillers, and the only way to get more of the prescription drugs is to end up in the hospital. Those who can’t wait for an injury manufacture one instead. There’s Amy and Chris, who are addicted to Vicodin and Kyle, whose weakness is Oxy.
The campaign was created in partnership with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Ad Council, along with creative agency Haymaker. Amazon, Facebook, Google and YouTube, NBCUniversal, Turner and Vice have already agreed to run the spots.
“We understand that opioid misuse is a complex issue that needs to be tackled from many angles,” says Robin Koval, President and CEO of Truth Initiative. “We are deeply grateful to the young men and women featured in the launch effort for sharing their painful and powerful truths about opioids misuse to educate others about the risks.”
Whether or not we want to admit it, we all have demons, within and beyond. The more we can hone up to that, and talk about it, at least to some degree, the better. I’m at a stage in my life where I feel I’m undergoing another transition. As before, this time has its dark sides but with various little sprinklings of hope.
To be continued . . .