In October, 2008, I was diagnosed with dysthymia, a type of chronic, low-grade depression, major depression that showed up in bouts off and on, and major anxiety.

Initially, I was thrilled to have a diagnosis. I wasn’t just lazy and stupid and crazy.

After three months of meeting with my physician, who is amazing and rare in her dedication and loyalty, I decided to go on the meds she recommended. Currently I am on 20 mg of Lexapro and 150 mg of Wellbutrin. This cocktail has worked miracles for me. My life is not longer determined by my anxiety, and I feel like the person I remember being 10 years ago. In the course of discovering my condition, I am certain this fog and anxiety descended on me in 2002.

I have also entered into therapy. I am undergoing psychodynamic therapy that includes cognitive behavior therapy for depression and anxiety.

I decided to write about my journey through therapy. Recently, I’ve moved beyond the state of simple relief of having found a therapist that listens to me and reminds me I am not crazy and into the real work of effective therapy. I am digging in and bringing some brutal ogres out of the cold, packed dirt.  I will make these demons look me in the eye and answer for themselves in the bright light of day. Sometimes, I will discover that I need to answer for myself, that I have been my own demon at times.

I am scared.

My name is Artemisia and I want my life back.