So, this website was built primarily for information about fighting gout. But, in addition to gout, I am also a sufferer of depression. It’s not something easy to discuss for me, as I find it easier to discuss gout than depression.
A few weeks ago, however, something big changed for me. I mean monumental. Emphasis on the mental.
My loving girlfriend Starr, who always has my best health in mind, was shopping and came across a new product. It was called SAM-e.
SAM-e stands for S-adenosylmethionine. It’s a dietary supplement sold all over the world. Starr found it at the grocery store, and started reading the package. Not only did it say it was good for joint health (primarily targeting arthritis sufferers), but also good for what they call “Mood enhancement”.
Now, this isn’t an intoxicant like alcohol or marijuana. This is a complex chemical found naturally in the body, and with small amounts being processed by ingesting via food. But some people (like me) need more, and that’s where the dietary supplement comes in.
So, Starr comes home, and hands me the package. I hadn’t heard of it before, and she seemed to know a little about it before seeing it in the store and reading the package.
I started with 800mg, two of the 400mg pills. At that level, I had about a month’s supply. I decided if, after a month, nothing seemed different, we wouldn’t have to get a second box.
Less than a week in, i told her I felt different. I found myself reacting to things differently. My joint, also, felt better. My feet didn’t ache as much as before, and my knees felt a little less unstable.
Over the first two weeks, I found myself telling Starr how impressed I was with my response. I didn’t feel the black cloud that normally either hung directly over me, or just behind me, ready to spoil my day.
The chorus of voices in my head (Which Starr and I lovingly refer to as “the Band”…because when they’re in tune, and playing harmoniously, it’s fantastic….when they’re out of tune, and everyone is trying to play their solo at the same time…it’s chaos), was quiet. For the first time in years, I didn’t have that nagging feeling of not doing enough, of not being sufficient.
When I had a fit of depression, it was dark. Like a deep, dark hole, with no way out. Except, a hole means there’s sky above. I always felt like it was a dark circular room, and I was trying to find a light switch that wasn’t there. There was no way out, no hope of finding a way out, and it seemed like it would never, ever, end. There was only the darkness.
Over the years, I learned to live in that darkness, and even thrive sometimes. But the darkness was always ready to spoil my plans. It wasn’t just depression. When the darkness came, it wasn’t just depression. It was anger, and bitterness, and inadequacy. It was a storm of negative emotions, and feelings. Each one with a voice, all vying for attention, and dominance. All of them telling me how I was doing things wrong. How I wasn’t good enough. How this person wronged me, how that person hated me, how another person was out to get me.
When I did the dishes, I was consumed within a vortex of my own thoughts and negativity. If I didn’t have a focus to my anger, Starr became that target in my mind. Everything she did was wrong. She placed my favorite knife at the wrong angle, she put this plate on top of that plate, causing it to be under too much stress, and it MIGHT have broken it. It was one thing after another in my head, getting me angry.
When it wasn’t the dishes, it was something else minor, and inconsequential. The anger kept the depression at bay. It let me focus on something other than me.
And if I was in the middle of a gout attack, and I was in pain, then it was worse. I’ve lost jobs, due to this response. Some amazing, high quality, well paying jobs. I’ve lost a $500,000 contract because of the Band, and my response to long-term pain due to gout putting me at my frayed edge.
But since starting SAM-e, I’ve responded to everything differently. My dog, Dorian, no longer triggers me. His barking, and snarling while playing with Zuri the German Shepherd, no longer put my teeth on edge. His early morning, enthusiastic greeting no longer spoils my mood for the entire day.
I just don’t feel like the cloud is there. I don’t feel the darkness. The Band is quiet, and there’s only one voice in my head…and he doesn’t tell me negative things. He doesn’t treat me like he’s got a grudge against me.
It’s finally quiet.
And it’s SAM-e. I wish I had known about this years ago.