No, I’m just crazy.

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.

Stolen Hope

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.

fog_of_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.

stumbled-into-the-pit

 

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

rock-bottom

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.

national_suicide-300x225

The Long Climb

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.

pit

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.

The Cycle of Depression

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”.

I Feel Nothing
        Artwork by HyperboleAndAHalf.com

 

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.

scream

 

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.

I went for it

Spoon Theory

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!

I Googled "Spoon Fairy" and really found this image.
I Googled “Spoon Fairy” and really found this image. The Spoon Fairy does exist. PROOF!!

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!

SpoonTheory

Self-Harm

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”

The Abyss

abyss-of-depression

You’re all used to my periodic absences around here. I don’t post on a daily basis. I write when I have a rant, or when I feel something needs awareness. Sometimes I go on hiatus when I have nothing good to say. It’s at these times I find myself in The Abyss.

Today, my topic is depression. Continue reading “The Abyss”

Depression

Depression is a world filled with tears and empty of reason.

Depression has swings and slides, and leaves painful scars on those who fall on its playground.

Depression is a world of isolation,
wondering if your friends left…
…or if you pushed them away
…or if they’re still there and it’s only your perception from your downward spiral.

Depression is a world of doubt and second guessing.
A battle to fight daily in an endless war.

 

Wildflower_Colorized

 

3/16/2013
Copyright © 2013 by Menopause Express, all rights reserved

Alright…. I’ve done my laps.

Tomorrow will be three weeks since my stint in the ER. I’ve been moping about ever since because I have to go 6 months without driving and how I have “no control” or I’ve “lost my independence”. The past couple of days I’ve found myself wondering why I bother getting dressed. I mean, really, I’m not going anywhere. Am I putting clothes on for the cat’s benefit? Why don’t I just stay in my pajamas?

It’s an easy trap to fall into, and one I’ve been trying to avoid. But I’ve done my laps in the pity pool, y’all. It’s time to get out.

I was going to write a long post about it today, then I saw an article a friend of mine posted. It was titled, “15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy”, written by Dana Saviuc (a.k.a. The Purpose Fairy). I read the article and saw a few points that were holding me in this depressing cycle (the need for control, self-defeating self-talk, complaining, resistance to change….).

You can easily follow the link I’ve provided to the article, but I’m also posting the 15 things here, too, giving credit where credit is due. From The Purpose Fairy:

 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy

1. Give up your need to always be right. There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?”Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?

2. Give up your need for control. Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel. “By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu

3. Give up on blame. Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.

4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk. Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that. “The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle

5. Give up your limiting beliefs about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly! “A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle

6. Give up complaining. Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

7. Give up the luxury of criticism. Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.

8. Give up your need to impress others. Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take of all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.

9. Give up your resistance to change. Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it. “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” Joseph Campbell

10. Give up labels. Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer

11. Give up on your fears. Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place. “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

12. Give up your excuses. Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.

13. Give up the past. I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.

14. Give up attachment. This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another,  attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.

15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations. Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves.  You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.