It’s not just another phase of life. I am just crazy. I’m starting to believe it, anyway.
Depression is not something we keep in the closet anymore, nor are other mental health issues. We seek help. We talk to our friends. There are medications available to help stable us out if we need them.
Yeah….the medications. There are so many, and it’s so hard to find the right one (or combination of meds) that work for each person. In some cases, they work but they have horrible side effects, one wonders if they’re worth it. In other cases, they work for a while, then they stop working completely. Raising the dosage doesn’t help; they just never work again. I’m one of those lucky souls. I can’t tell you how many head meds I’ve been on that suddenly didn’t work anymore. It’s like I build up a resistance to the damn things!
The last two have been Citalopram (generic for Celexa) and Quetiapine (generic for Seroquel). Now, keep in mind, I’ve never been diagnosed as bipolar, schizophrenic, or with other disorders Seroquel addresses. I have chronic insomnia, horrible depression, and anxiety issues. This was to “stablize the mood”.
They both stopped working. At the same time. Lovely.
My head-up-her-a** doctor decided to keep me on Celexa while switching me to the extended release of Quetiapine instead. My thoughts? How the fuck is this going to be any different? Oh, if I only knew… I’ve had the worst reaction. Mania! RAGE!!!
Rage at the slightest goddamn thing! Disagreement with the husband?? Fuck. Him. I won’t talk to him about it like an adult – I can’t!!! I scream, I yell. Jeezus, I wanted to throw things last night!!! Doctor doesn’t return my call? Fuck. Him. I’m looking for a new one. I don’t care if I’ve been seeing that doc forever. I don’t care if that doc might have a valid reason. I didn’t get my callback!
This is not me!!!!!!
I officially stopped taking this gods forsaken med last night. I warned my husband. I can’t seem to get a callback from the head-up-her-a** doctor who prescribed them. Having all the “cold turkey withdrawal” symptoms anyway, so I may as well do it.
I promised I’d continue this update, and, I didn’t want to go 4-5 months with a gap. 🙂
The problem is, a lot of what I dealt with is so personal, because it involves family issues, too. I don’t feel right just throwing it out here online. I’ve gotten better at communication, but there is a matter of someone else’s privacy I have to keep in mind. Sorry, y’all.
2017 was my climb out of that pit, and figuring out where all the good rocks were if I ever ended up there again. On the way out, I had to face a lot of things I’d just pushed to the back of my mind and I started talking about them. I found out what was painful and what I was still angry about, and let myself feel those things.
It wasn’t easy.
At some point along that journey I felt I needed to relocate. Most of my family and all of my close friends were hours away and I never got to see them. I felt isolated and lonely, and felt like I was missing so much. I also had things going on back home, and I needed a break.
When I moved here, I had expectations of spending so much time with them. What I didn’t take into account was that they had their own lives, too. I hardly get to see anyone. Really, there are times I feel as though I may as well be back where I used to live. I suppose the grass is always greener…
More details from here involve the personal info involving another family member… I’m not going to go into further details, suffice to say things are ok. I have another move in front of me now, and this is a good one. 🙂
Moving out was a necessary part of this journey, though. I learned I can’t keep running from my issues. I need to stand where I am and face them. Pushing them down doesn’t work, nor does moving away.
I don’t see this journey of recovery as being over anytime soon. I see it as a journey of growth; and, as we all know, we never stop growing.
Where do I start? Yeah, it’s been a minute or so, but I’m still here, and I’m still alive. It was close there, once, and I’ll write about that. But it’s been so long since I’ve posted, this is probably going to be split up into 2-3 posts.
Let’s see…. Last time you heard from me was January 1st of this year. I suppose, for my writing track record, that’s not such a gap.
Let me start with some serious back story that starts with that pit of depression I’ve always written about, and came to a head in January 2017.
You all know I’ve done a dance with depression for years. Hell, we’ve been familiar with these steps all my life. I’ve been up and down that deep, dark pit so many times, you’d think I’d know where it is by now, and maybe I’d have built a ladder or something to make it easier to get out.
But it’s not that easy.
This last time I fell into the pit was probably the deepest, darkest trip. I remember writing, on Christmas Day of 2016, that year, how I just wasn’t even into the holiday spirit. That was the first year I’d never even decorated. I just didn’t feel it. I didn’t care. I didn’t care about anything.
I felt isolated and alone, and I knew I’d put myself into that position because of my depression. But I felt hopeless, because I felt like there was nothing I could do about it. I was just stuck in the dark pit.
By the beginning of January, 2017, I had my breakdown. I didn’t know when I put the pills in my hand, but thankfully, I realized I had, and I made a phone call.
I spent 3 weeks in the hospital. I won’t go into the details there except to say it was probably the best thing I could have done. It saved my life. If I hadn’t checked in there, I wouldn’t have started my journey out of that goddamned pit.
While I was there, we were all supposed to set a goal for the new year. I wasn’t really into this. I wasn’t into anything – I’d just arrived. So I didn’t write anything. I just drew a wandering line, representing a thread. At first, I thought this was all I was hanging onto, but then I realized that this was my thread back to the “happy”. Eventually, that thread would become a string, and maybe someday, a strong rope.
2017 was a journey back to finding out who I was and finding out what made me happy again. Things changed in my life, my attitude, and I became a little stronger.
This one is dedicated to one too young to have left us. I’m also dedicating it to her family, and anyone else out there who either suffers from depression or knows someone who suffers from depression.
Life is so fresh
And we try to seize every day
But some of us just can’t.
Sometimes it’s just overwhelming.
We’re lost in this … fog and we can’t get through.
We don’t see that pit we’re about to fall into,
Where we tumble into the oh-so-familiar abyss.
But we see a light up there.
We climb out … once more into the fog.
We try again.
Some of us just get tired of trying.
Some kind of thief steals our hope and we no longer see the light.
Everyone has their own thief.
You’ll meet him if you ever fall so far into the abyss
You truly hit bottom.
He gets in your head in that dark place and finds a way
To steal that last bit of hope,
Leaving you no strength to climb out again.
All you have are your choices – the rest of your life at rock bottom,
Or some method your thief left behind to end the pain.
If you’re lucky, you remembered you brought your phone with you.
Most of the time, people don’t remember.
The younger you are, the more vulnerable you feel.
You may have turned your phone off.
Baby girl, you were so young.
I can’t ask you why you never talked. I’ve been there.
I can’t ask the gods “why”, either.
The gods died last night when they let this happen.
Sometimes, we find it difficult to write. Whether it is on our blogs, Facebook, or other means of social media. Some call it “writers block”, but sometimes, it’s just everyday events that just get in the way. Emotional garbage just blocks up the creative flow.
Sometimes, the garbage is so packed in there that it blocks more than creativity… it blocks our need to express ourselves, in general.
Good things happen and we want to say something, but we don’t know how to get past the emotional blockage.
Crappy things happen, and we want to say something, but the words just won’t come.
Horrible events occur, and we try to open our mouths, but we know if we break through that dam of emotional garbage, a river is going to flow and it’s going to be out of control. No one will understand where this raging flood came from.
So it’s just easier to keep things in, keep quiet, and maybe even disappear for a while.
Until you end up here.
The journey out isn’t easy. It’s a long climb. When you realize you’ve isolated yourself, sometimes those voices in your head tell you it’s too late to reach out. It’s a tough battle, fighting those voices, especially when your worst fear is rejection.
It’s a hard climb. Your hands are as raw as your emotions, and the journey up is exhausting. Sometimes you slip, just as you think you’re making so much progress and you think you’re going to get out.
You’ll have moments when you want to let go of that wall and fall all the way back to the bottom, just because you’re having a bad day on your journey and you’re losing hope.
But you keep going. You rest, you breathe, and you start again. It’s a long fucking climb, and that pit is deep. But eventually …. someday….
The pit is always there, but I know where it is now. If I fall in, I know where the good rocks are in the wall. I know how to get out.
I’m wondering if I should just step away from the computer for a few days (or at least, step away from social media). I’ve been in a very …. well, I can’t describe my mood. But for the past few days my filters have been completely gone.
When FilterMode = False, I tend to post and comment whatever is in my head. Yeah, you got it – my crazy, fucked up head.
Now… those of you who are familiar with the cycles of depression will get this. When you’ve fallen into your pit and you’ve been there for a while, you eventually hit a point where you can get up again. But it takes effort, and that first attempt, all you feel is just “numb”.
But you progress to other emotions after that. The first emotion you feel is anger. You go through an entire phase of “angry” at everything, everyone. You’re angry at the world. Everyone is “wrong on the internet” and you have to tell them why. If you do manage to get outside, good gods above, be careful when you drive. Those rat bastard motherfuckers can’t drive for shit! But you’re driving just fine, I’m sure… Road rage is a thing and you are its poster child. Parking lot rage is worse. You might even find yourself ready to get out of the car and choke a bitch over a parking space, for christsake.
But at least you’re feeling something.
I think the anger phase is necessary in the cycle of depression. When you’ve spiraled down to the bottom of your pit and you’ve been there for a while, it’s the anger that gives you the energy to climb out again.
Being that angry takes a lot of energy. You get tired after a while, but you’re still on your climb to get out of the pit. That’s when determination kicks in. You start fighting for your sanity. You look back into the pit and see how far you came and you watch the anger fall into that deep darkness below you. You look above at the climb you have before you and keep looking at the light. The sun is shining outside of your pit. There is hope out there. So you’re determined to keep going because you’ve come this far.
Today, I’m angry. I don’t have a specific reason to be angry – none that comes to mind. It’s more all of the depression weighing down on me and I’m sick and tired of it. I’m angry at the depression. I’m angry at me. I’m angry at the world!
Today, I’m angry. So maybe I do need to step away from the computer. I am typing with my outside voice and I’m probably pissing off a lot of people in the process.
But that’s today. And it’s just something I need to accept. But at least I’m not in a dark room with the covers over my head. I have a list today and I’m working on it. I’m getting things done.
If you aren’t familiar with Spoon Theory, go get a copy of Furiously Happy, by Jenny Lawson, right now. Also, start reading her blog. Gods…. if you haven’t been reading The Bloggess, what rock have you been hiding under all these years?
In Furiously Happy, Jenny Lawson explains “Spoon Theory” in detail. I’m giving her full credit for it here because it makes so much sense and explains the whole “I just can’t…” part of Depression. Let me explain.
First, let’s take a young, perfectly healthy person. This person wakes up in the morning with a full set of spoons. All the things they have to do that day require energy. You have a spoon for everything you need to do. You already got out of bed. That’s a spoon. Eating, caring for people, going places, cleaning house, working…. you get the idea. And at the end of the day, this young healthy person has spoons leftover as he or she goes to bed. When they wake up, the Spoon Fairy has arrived with this fresh supply of spoons for the day. Voila! Infinite spoons!
But if you’re sick, that affects the number of spoons you get that day. If you’re battling mental illness, you start to see those spoons dwindle. There will be days you wake up and the fairy only left you 3 or 4 spoons. That’s all you get for the day and you have to make them last. You have to be selective with your spoons.
You haven’t seen a post from me since … oh …. June of last year, because I haven’t had the spoons to write. Today, I sit and write about Spoon Theory. I’m still in my pajamas. I haven’t had a shower or brushed my teeth. I haven’t eaten. I haven’t brushed my hair. If my husband hadn’t called me to ask me a question, I probably wouldn’t have said one word to anyone. By the time this post is complete, I may be out of spoons; I’m not sure yet. I may have a couple more. I hope I do.
You always seem to get 1 spoon. You woke up. You aren’t dead today. But, yes, that requires a spoon, because the energy that comes pouring in when you wake up…. all the mind chatter and the self-talk you have to fight.
“OMG, can’t I just lay here?”
“No. you have to get out of bed. How can you tell your kid he can’t stay in bed all day if you just stay in bed all day?”
So by the time you guilt trip yourself, you’ve spent a spoon just waking up.
If you only have 3-4 spoons that day, you decide how to spend them. Personal hygiene may have to be put off until the next day. Or the next. Or the next. Some day when you have enough spoons or until you just can’t take it anymore.
You start valuing relationships on a whole new level. Friendships change. Long-term depression will do that to people. But it comes down to talking about what’s wrong and why you don’t feel like this person doesn’t have your back. You tell yourself that this person just has too much going on right now and it isn’t the right time to talk, but in reality, you just don’t have enough spoons to have a conversation.
There are days when I wake up with one spoon and I just want to cry. I know I have to get out of bed anyway and I don’t have the spoons to do it. Those are the days I have to fake it. I have to put up a façade. I become Duch.
Duch is smart, confident, outgoing. She’s anything but depressed. She can damn sure get out of bed in the morning. I put the face on. Oh, and Duch would want to dress up pretty. But, damn… does she have to wear those uncomfortable shoes? So what if they’re pretty? Ok, but she does tell me I look good.
She drags me outside & we go somewhere. Anywhere. Even if it’s to a freakin’ coffee shop. Although, recently, she made the mistake of dragging me to the grocery store (trying to accomplish getting something done while getting me out of the house), but that only resulted in me having a panic attack. Too many people, too crowded. So Duch and I went home with just a few items, got back into the pajamas and drank beer. I was now at negative spoons.
Negative spoons is not a good thing. This doesn’t go away the next day. There is no magickal reset to zero. When the fairy brings your spoons the next day, she subtracts the spoons you “borrowed” against… you know, those spoons that took you into the negative? If you don’t have enough, she leaves you one. She carries the balance over to the following day.
If there is a way to earn spoons, I’d like to know.
But that is Spoon Theory, in a nutshell. Now go read Jenny Lawson’s book. But if you haven’t read her first book, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, go read that first. And, for chrissakes! Get out from under that damned rock!
I didn’t realize just how long it’s been since I’ve posted here. Yes, I’ve been AWOL. Trying to get my head together kinda’ does that. As in any journey through recovery, we always make new discoveries. Yesterday I didn’t just stumble across one; no… it was a brick wall I ran into at full speed – and it wasn’t about me. It was about my kid.
A few days ago, a good friend of mine wrote a post about her own experiences with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, not for attention, but to help others. It took a lot of courage for her to write her post.
Her strength and courage inspired me to do the same with my own issue that arises from long-term depression and anxiety; something I’ve kept to myself for about a month or so. Continue reading “Self-Harm”→