I cried at the bad news. I cried when there was no news. And finally, I cried at the good news.
I’ve cried a lot in the last two weeks.
Sometimes I couldn’t stop crying. The tears just poured out. And one day, the particularly bad day, I knew the tears were part of a larger problem.
I learned once again that physically, I have to be on antidepressants and on the right dose of antidepressants. My depression is a medical problem, an illness.
I wasn’t sure if I should share this story. I don’t want to appear weak. It’s not easy for me to admit how dark life can seem sometimes.
But this is a blog about my journey through life with mental illness. That journey sometimes turns dark. Without warning.
Part of what I’m here to say is that if you feel that darkness, you are not alone. You are not alone. And it can get better.
Over two weeks ago, on July 20, I dropped off the prescription for my antidepressant at the pharmacy. I had run out of refills, but my doctor had given me another prescription at my last visit.
The pharmacist tried to fill it but told me that my insurance company wouldn’t authorize payment for the prescription because of the dosage.
This was nothing new. Periodically my insurance company does this. I take a higher dose than the usual, so every so often, my doctor’s office has to talk with the insurance company and get approval. The only problem is I never know when this is going to happen.
The pharmacist said she would fax the doctor’s office the request for authorization. They wouldn’t get it until their office opened on Monday.
I was OK. The pharmacist gave me a few of the pills to last a few days so I wouldn’t go without while waiting.
By Wednesday, I hadn’t heard anything, so I called the doctor’s office. I was told they were waiting on the authorization.
I won’t bore you with all the details of what followed. In summary, the doctor’s office kept telling me the authorization hadn’t come through. The pharmacist gave me all the pills she could without filling the prescription. The price for the prescription without insurance was exorbitant.
I started taking half my dose to save pills.
I did all I could to hold on, to keep fulfilling my responsibilities, to interact with others as normally as possible.
I found out fairly quickly that half the dose of the medication was not doing the job. My anxiety was sky high. I’d become aware that I was clenching my hands in tight fists. I had a hard time focusing. I had trouble sleeping.
I was simultaneously so depressed that all I could think of was how hopeless my life was. I was sure my life was never going to get back on the right track. I didn’t want to live.
Last Friday morning, I had a panic attack.
I sat on the bed and sobbed. My chest and both arms hurt. The pain made me breathless. I remember thinking that perhaps I was having a heart attack. And I didn’t care.
By Monday afternoon, I decided to do something besides wait for others to fix my problem.
I decided to call the insurance company myself.
I talked with a woman named Sharon.
“We can fix this,” she said after hearing my story and looking at my record.
She called the pharmacy while I was on the phone, then came back on the line and told me again that she would fix it so I could get my prescription. She would call me back, hopefully that day.
“If you can take care of this, you will be my angel,” I said.
“Well, I’m going to be because I’m going to call you back today,” she said.
And she did. She fixed it. I picked up the prescription Monday night.
I learned a lot about self-advocacy during this episode. There’s a lot I want to say about that. But I’ll save that for another post.
For today, I’m just thankful for medication that keeps the scary depression and anxiety at bay. And I’m thankful for angels named Sharon.
Have you received help from any angels lately?