This past weekend I went on a trip to visit my mom.
Up until about a year ago, she lived with undiagnosed bipolar disorder and debilitating depression that were the hallmarks of my childhood. I grew up handing her fistfuls of pain killers, hugging her desperately as she cried for hours on end for no reason at all, and mopping up her urine when she’d fall into a stupor and forget to make it to the toilet. She would self-medicate with Oxycontin, trying desperately to make herself feel normal, when all she probably ever needed was a doctor who understood mental illness. The horrible things she said and did because of the depression and bipolar disorder will never leave me, but at least I have learned a lot from them.
Thankfully, my mom is now doing a lot better. She was officially diagnosed with depression and bipolar disorder, and was put on medications that actually help her. In fact, for the first time in my memory, she acts like a normal mom. She wants to talk about planning my wedding, funny things she saw on TV, and celebrity gossip. She’s engaged to a wonderful man, and unlike her relationship with my late father, and it seems like they actually love each other in a genuine, non-destructive way. When she laughs, it’s never a manic laugh anymore. She hugs me and tells me she loves me, and I know that she means it.
My mom is the perfect affirmation for why I need to be on Zoloft. I’ve complained a lot about the side effects of getting back on it (which are still persisting!), but when I think of my mother, I know that this is 100% the right thing to do.