author: "One More Day: A powerful true story of suicide, loss, and a woman's newfound faith"

why i stayed on the antidepressants

It had been six months since I'd seen my psychiatrist, who prescribed to me about a year ago some antidepressants to ward off the major clinical depression I had been diagnosed with and the ups and downs that came with it, even in the slightest. And what she prescribed has worked.

"I'm fine," I tell anyone who asks. "I'm good." But I'm only good because of the morning and evening pills I swallow. Without them ... I don't allow myself to think of that.

Without them, I know how dark it can become.

So when I met with my psychiatrist on Monday, and after telling her "I'm good! ... a low here/there, but nothing I'm concerned about," the talk turned to my sister.

I had told my psychiatrist that I had written a book about my sister's suicide and my own depression, and the conversation quickly turned to the pages I had written. About my sister's suicidal thoughts, about my own, about the dark times she faced. About her attempts.

About the act that ended her life.

And I sat there listening to her questions and my responses and knew I couldn't go back to where I was less than a year ago. So when my psychiatrist asked me what I wanted to do, tapping her finger on my prescription form, I said, "I'll stay on them."

Because I was afraid. Because I don't want to return to those dark moments. Because I'm afraid of the unknown. What if I'm better? But, what if I'm not? Those dark roads are not for the weak. What if I'm strong enough to handle them again? But, what if I'm not.

What if those dark roads are gone completely? But, am I ready to find out?

I went into her office steadfast that I would ask her to reduce the dosage of what I'm taking, because "I'm good!" and ended up leaving with enough pills to last me another six months. These are pills that have caused weight gain. I weigh more now than I ever have, and that has been difficult to swallow. The weight came on fast and I never thought I'd see the numbers on the scale stop rising. But I continuously tell myself I'd rather be healthy -- however -- than down a dark hole.

I'll trade almost anything for my happiness.

So on my bathroom counter sit two bottles: on one, I've written "morning" on, and the other sits next to it for the evening.

These are pills, that if not taken for three consecutive days, can leave me crying in my parked car for no reason at all. And pills, if missed for one or two days, can leave me so dizzy it's hard to drive at all, or even run. I understand the pros. I understand the cons.

The depression started less than two years ago -- just over a year after my sister died. The right mix of pills came a while later, after failed prescription attempts left my life darker and darker, and left me wondering how long it would take to die if a car hit me. Or if I were beat to death. I didn't want to die. I simply, and desperately, just wanted the pain to end. The darkness.

Because the light is beautiful. It is filled with memories of time with my family, and even of wanting to get out of bed and off of the couch. The light in my life brings laughter, and the type of happiness you long for in dark days.

The light is filled with plans, travel, with family and with friends. It is filled with joy and hope, and it is filled with a future. Void are the moments you want your life to end. Void, are the roads you know lead to nowhere good or safe.

So in six months, if I'm "good," I might take that chance to see whether I truly am, or whether I want to cling on to the light for one more day.