It’s the start of a new semester in Ohio. I’m taking a more manageable load this semester, so that I can really focus on my most intense photo class and still have time to breathe. Here are some other changes I’ve implemented to help myself have a fresh start:
-I moved rooms in my co-op.
-I rented a locker in the gym.
-I don’t have any classes that start before 10:30am.
-We are painting a giant zen tangle art therapy mural on the living room ceiling.
-Oh, and I finally took a self portrait today. I haven’t taken one in a while.
This week, I finally began taking antidepressants. I’d been thinking of starting them for the last 6 months, but it took a while to get an appointment with the psychiatrist.
I also kept going back and forth on committing to starting. I would have a few weeks where I felt fine-ish and think, maybe I’m getting better? But then I’d dip again or have a panic attack and think, nope I was wrong.
I waffled back and forth like this for several weeks after returning to the states, before I finally committed to making that first psychiatrist appointment. And then when I finally made a decision, it took another month before my doctor had an opening.
They say that it usually takes several weeks for antidepressants to kick in and up to a few months to figure out the right dose and find the medication that works for you. Some people claim they start working from day one. I’m convinced I’m one of those people.
The first few days after starting I felt somewhat lighter. I caught myself smiling more throughout the day and during conversations. I found myself saying hello to my roommates and classmates just a tad perkier than usual.
But I know depression doesn’t go away completely with one pill. And I still have days where I sleep most of the day, or am unmotivated to do work, or have bouts of crying for seemingly mundane reasons.
On the first day I got my prescription, I had an anxiety attack in class, noticeable enough that my professor checked on me after class to ask if I was ok. The first thing she said to me was, “Everything is fixable.”
I had a chat with her in her office and revealed that I’d been struggling with depression. And she was very supportive. She said not to worry about classes and deadlines. I can always finish assignments later, even if it has to be after the semester is over.
It’s good to know that I won’t fail. That’s one less thing to worry about.
It’s been a while since I posted on here. Since I last wrote, I moved out of my apartment in Korea, mailed 9 boxes to the states by boat, moved back to America, and then moved across the country to start grad school. Now, I’m already 5 weeks into my first semester!
Grad school is exciting. I’m meeting awesome people, I have classes with awesome faculty, and I’m being challenged regularly.
But I still don’t feel settled. I keep having to remind myself that I didn’t just move states, I moved countries. On top of that, I’ve implemented several life style changes recently.
I’m still getting used to everything and it’s simply going to take me awhile until I feel like I’ve fully transitioned my life to being here.
I’m still in the process of purchasing possessions like a car, auto insurance, new camera equipment, furniture, bedding, and SPICES. I don’t think I’ll feel fully at home until my pantry is complete. Looking forward to that day. One bottle of tumeric at a time. #intransition