See, that’s a trick question. Believe me. Every woman who read that went “HA! There IS no *real* size 16!” I’m not sure about Europe, but I do know that here in the US, there is no sizing that goes across brands. Or even different styles in the same brand. I have tried on two dresses, same size, same style, different color – and had one of the two not fit me. What I’m trying to get at is that I don’t grab six dresses of the same size off the racks and after trying one in, assume the rest will fit me, or *not* fit me, in the same way. I have to take the time to try them all on and see what works. And that’s just size. We aren’t talking about that cute little peach dress you grabbed that looked amazing on the hanger and made you look like you’re someone’s least favorite child and this is what you get to wear, Cinderella. Because that happens too. Just a little too green to go with your skin. That cut of the front makes you look super busty. There are 100 different reasons that dresses and pants and shirts all don’t or do fit. This whole paragraph is a lead in to medication. So, sorry, to all the men who don’t get this analogy.
When you are first diagnosed, or even before that, you will be playing medication roulette. There are a ton of what I refer to as “starter meds” out there for whatever it is that ails you. And these are medications that have been used for better than half a century. I won’t bore you with a history of any medications, but understand that when I say we have hundreds of meds, these are usually all descendants from an original handful. That until recently, we didn’t even understand *how* they worked on the body, we just knew they did.
Then add medical diagnosis parameters that didn’t exist even ten years ago. And that’s when shit really gets fun.
When someone asked me “Ugh – don’t they have you on the right meds YET?!” I wanted to cheerfully punch them in the mouth and say “NOPE! STILL FUCKING CRAZY!!” but then we get into that whole “danger to self or others” and I don’t want to have that conversation. Again.
Imagine for a moment that you need glasses. Some of you already do, so this one is easy for you. Imagine if they guessed at a prescription for you, told you to try them out and if you didn’t see better in six weeks to two months, come back and we will try something different. You still wouldn’t be able to see, but now add headaches and nausea and walking into doorways to it. And trying to explain to people that no, you can’t see yet, but you’re sure hoping that this set of glasses helps. And sorry you can’t make their party, you’re too busy puking from not being able to see right. Now – cross out “being able to see” and put in “being depressed”. But don’t say it too loud because there are still some ugly stigmas attached to depression that aren’t attached to needing glasses.
And now think of this – every six weeks to two months, my medication changed. Trying to find one that worked for me, let alone worked and didn’t have hellacious side effects. If it only takes five meds, that’s about a year’s worth of dicking around with meds.That isn’t even talking about if they want to increase medication A twice, add in medication B, take you back OFF medication A, increase medication B and add C… And so on, with a few “same family, different formulation” variations. Then we are talking two years to find a medication to treat your depression. And is there anxiety that goes with it? Are you trying to crowbar more than one xanax a day out of your doctor? And then there are the REALLY fun medications. The ones that don’t make you feel better, and actually make you feel worse.
I think that is enough to ponder for now. I think I can bring this all together in our next exciting episode. For now I leave you with a photo of Bear really enjoying himself.