It took five more months before I actually started getting help. Because... I don't know. Mainly I just really didn't want to go on prescription medication. I have no moral or philosophical objection to antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications - years ago I was on them a number of times - I just really didn't want to take them this time.
We tried to support me better as a family, tried to make concessions to my mental health, but ultimately, things continued more or less the same as they had been before that post I wrote back in November. And I clung for dear life to my sanity and tried - but largely failed, if I'm being very honest - to keep it from affecting our children. Our darling, beautiful children.
Finally, it was time to commit to healing. But my reticence to visit my family doctor and start prescription medication hadn't changed. Instead, I contacted a local naturopathic clinic - the Ottawa Integrative Health Centre. I filled out a fourteen page intake form which touched on literally every part of my life. I wept through half of my hour and a half long first appointment, describing to my new, lovely naturopathic doctor, who looked on with kind and understanding eyes, the myriad ways my mood turns in the course of a week. The ways it tortures me and my children. The feelings of desperation and utter loss of control and helplessness.
And she listened to me, for a very long time, and she read through my intake form. When she got to the section where I was to list the five "most significant, stressful events" of my life, she was caring and concerned and sympathetic - "You had a housefire?!" And then, when she'd heard and read everything, she said, "Well, I definitely see some things..."
I breathed a sigh of relief because if she sees some things of concern, there might be room to make me well. Truly well.
Food allergies, particularly gluten. So I'm gluten-free again as I mentioned the other day. Hypoglycemia, so I'm eating protein every few hours. More B6. Some breathing exercises.
It's helping. It's far from a magic wand, but it's definitely improved things. I've been mapping my moods along with my diet and the pattern is undeniable: when I go too long without food, I lose my grip on my sanity. My brain just ceases to function properly. So we're all about snacks around here these days. I discovered the loveliness that is Lara Bars, and then proceeded to start making my own. I made two batches of that gummy, delicious, datey goodness... and then I killed my food processor. Truly: there was smoke. Smoke. In my kitchen. I had to finish that batch by hand (ever hand processed upwards of four cups of dates with just a chef's knife? Big fun, let me tell ya). If you have recommendations for food processors that can handle several cups of dates, I'm all ears (or eyes, as it were).
It may still come down to medication. For now, though, this is what we're trying and I am happy and relieved to say that it's helping.
Today was a good day. And, at long last, I can say I am hopeful that tomorrow will be a good day, too.