Light at the End of the Tunnel
Depression is something that may take some time to develop... The signs of depression due to grief usually appear when a sense of finality is realized. This is not to be confused with clinical depression, which may be chronic. Depression due to grief is technically episodic, even though it may last for a lengthy period of time. — Julie Axlrod
As I was already dealing with chronic depression during the onset of Transverse Myelitis, it was difficult to recognize the depression stage of grief. I was medication free at the time and hesitant to try anything new. The primary symptoms I displayed were irritability and fatigue which wasn’t depression in my mind. My doctor informed me otherwise.
After numerous conversations concerning my lack of energy and short temper my doctor finally convinced me to try a mild anti-depressant. The results were amazing. Overall, I have a better sense of well-being and find myself processing my emotions in a healthy manner. Rather than defaulting to anxiety and panic attacks in every emotional scenario, I’m now capable of dealing with sorrow, elation, loss, etc. with the appropriate emotional response.
Anti-depressants aren’t for everyone, and I highly recommend one pursues this course of action under the guidance of a trusted physician and trained therapist.
Relying on Faith
Throughout my diagnosis, I relied heavily on my faith. Faith that my Savior knew exactly what I was going through and faith that He was by my side every step of the way. Did that mean I was always filled with hope? Not even close.
Aside from fatigue and irritability, what I remember most were the feelings that cropped up with each doctor’s visit. Frequently I would hope for positive news only to leave the visit feeling extremely deflated. I found that balancing hope with reality was challenging and I often teetered on the brink of hopelessness. It was faith that kept me going during these moments.
The light at the end of the tunnel seemed far away. In my opinion, faith is the light and the light does lead to hope. Hope that my life would somehow become more bearable. Hope that it would somehow be filled with joy again. It was faith that brought me through the tunnel and gave me a glimmer of hope. Faith eventually allowed me to find light in my life again.