I've been a member of depressiontribe for over a year and I've never written a blog, never been a real part of the community. In fact, I'd all but forgotten I'd ever signed up for it in the first place, only reminded of it's existence as update messages filled my gmail spambox. I've come back now and I wonder why I never participated in such a community when I certainly needed it when I joined. I'd been severely depressed since middle school and mildly depressed before that. Undiagnosed, my parents often passed off my downcast mood as typical preteen melancholy. It wasn't until my junior year of high school that I expressed a desire to see a psychologist and admit to myself my years of depression and anxiety. It was hard not to admit in the end and I'm amazed at the years I kept myself in denial. In '06 I was put on medication and given strict instructions to fight my anxiety by putting myself out there, exercising , volunteering and the like. I was terrified and reluctant, but I wanted so badly to get out of the mess I'd put myself in, I would have done anything.
I've always been a perfectionist. That was a large contributor to my anxiety, but it helped me in the end. A year and a half after my treatment began I weaned myself off of the medicine without consulting my psychiatrist. Of course, he was rarely available anyway, I'd seen him less then a handful of times in that year and a half. My perfectionist ways led me to learn signals my body sent me while I was on my medicine, and I knew when it was time for me to lessen my medication. Eventually I was able to stop taking them all together. That's where I am now. I haven't taken any medications for my depression since August of '07. It's really hard some days. When things get bad it's hard to think I don't need them anymore, especially because I still have a months supply sitting at the bottom of my junk drawer. I don't need them anymore however. I wouldn't call myself depressed anymore, I've only had a few really bad days/nights since I've stopped taking the medication. I'm proud of myself for this.
Now I'm working on easing my perfectionism and I seem to be doing an okay job of it. The balance is hard though. Balancing between perfectionism with chaos is proving harder than I thought it would be.