Eddie, your post was simply great...you summed it up so well - when the shit gets the heaviest, believe it or not, we are closest to a peaceful place. It is always darkest before the dawn.
Meds have side effects, some more than others. Different meds also work different ways for different people. Dosage is important. I never want to be on meds my whole life, but the difference in my life is so distinct that I would endure worse side effects than those I suffered (usually in the beginning stages of taking a med) because they were so helpful to me.
Like Eddie, I took Klonipin. FOR ME it made me a little too drowsy, but it sure took the edge off! I now take Ativan as an anti-anxiety and only as needed. Boy, these things really work.
For depression I tried zoloft and others, but, for me, Effexor (at a pretty high dosage) has worked for me.
And let the darkness fear our light.