When I was in middle school and high school, I was highly motivated, crazy so in some cases. I look back and think “Wow. I had such determination.” In 8th grade, I joined the cross-country running team at my mom’s insistence. My mom was training to run the Twin Cities Marathon for the first time and I was an overweight teenager. My mom probably hoped that running would help me lose weight, but that’s really a whole other issue for another completely different post. Anyway, I joined the team, went to every practice. The first meet came and I came in last place, way behind everyone because I was the overweight girl running. I continued to go to practice until the second meet came and the same thing happened; last place, finishing way behind everyone else, but still I trudged on. I went the entire season, always coming in last place at every meet, but I went to every single one of them. I still have the ribbon I earned for participating in the 2 mile race. It’s in a box sitting on my toilet, which is an odd place, I know.
In high school, despite being suicidal during my freshman year, I never let that affect my grades. I was determined to do well in life. I was on the soccer team, still as an overweight teenager, I played clarinet in band, I also did softball and track and field in the spring. I did this throughout high school (except soccer, I gave that up junior year and did marching band instead). I never got a D or an F as a grade (except that one F in calculus senior year because the teacher wouldn’t help me). I refused to allow myself to be average in school. As I said, I was crazy motivated and driven.
When I graduated in 2004, things changed. I went away to school where I would skip classes and sleep most of the day. I had terrible insomnia. I spent most of my time on the computer. I was a completely different person. I had fallen into a numbness; an empty existence where I accomplished little, if anything.
Nine years later, I entered the treatment program, still battling the same depression, that left me unmotivated at UMM, forced me to drop out, and eventually made me feel like I was useless, worthless and basically garbage. While I didn’t get much benefit from the program, other than the nudge to get diagnosed with autism, it was two months later at my psychiatrist’s office where I finally got what I had been asking for; motivation. I didn’t know it at the time, but my psychiatrist asked me if I wanted to switch my antidepressant and I said yes. She put me on Pristiq and I tried it that night. I ended up throwing up all day which I thought was because of the medication, so I decided not to take it anymore because I couldn’t call in sick anymore days at work. Not wanting to give up on it though, I had a week of vacation coming up and decided to try again. This time I didn’t have any problems which made me think I probably just had a serendipitous stomach bug that first day.
Fast forward two months to now. The medication is in my system and I feel amazing…or at least better than I have been in so many years. I feel motivated again. I actually went for a walk today, I decided to change my eating habits and I did well with that today too. I feel back to how I’ve always meant to feel. I feel like me.