Thank you for writing such a clear letter about your experience. I would like to begin by reframing what you have said, then make a suggestion.
With any emotional state we develop a familiarity with it more than anything else. I doubt you miss the actual depression, but the familiarity of it provides you with a sense of comfort. My grandmother made the worst Irish soda bread every Christmas. No one liked it. But the first year she didn’t make it we were disappointed because it had been such a familiar part of the routine.
The suggestion I am making to you is “dare to be happy.” Changes in our emotional makeup can make us feel unregulated because we are losing the familiarity. My strong encouragement is to make your medication an adjunct to individual or group therapy to accelerate your healing process. You can find help at the tab at the top of this page. Study after study shows that the combination of medicine and psychotherapy is the best way to facilitate change.
As for my Christmas story? Eventually we all brought more and better desserts, and once we did, we never missed the Irish soda bread.
Wishing you patience and peace,
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on November 13, 2010.