Undoing Crazy

“How can you hide from what never goes away?”

The title of this post is also a quote from the book Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel.

I thought that I was done with feeling suicidal, turns out I’m not.  I was struggling with thoughts of wanting to die and not seeing a purpose again Sunday and Monday.  And today, I’m not really sure were I’m at with things. I don’t feel well, but I don’t feel completely hopeless either.

I hung out with my two baby guinea pigs tonight.  I love the two of them to death, they are so funny and my desire to see them grow and to get them to enjoy being held and trust me is probably one of the only things keeping me going these days.  Despite expanding my friend base after the first rough patch of this episode, I’m still struggling with feeling alone.  Maybe it’s because it’s my first day in outpatient treatment and I’m not used to the people yet, I’m not sure.

I had a little talk with my mother tonight and she agreed that she didn’t feel I was at the point in which I needed to go into inpatient treatment, but last Tuesday I could have sworn that was what I needed.  I’m scared I’m never going to get the right meds, because I’m starting to believe that this doesn’t have any reason other than being a true chemical imbalance and that’s why it’s taking so long for me to deal with and get better.  I was talking with my therapist the last time I had a session and she said that inpatient is the fast way to getting the right meds because you are seeing a psychiatrist everyday and being constantly monitored. I’m not sure, I still feel like it’s just a big crap shot and getting the right combo.

My sleep is back to being completely off the wall. I think I’m talking to my assigned psychiatrist tomorrow, I need to make a list of all of these things.  Although sometimes I never really know what to tell the doctors because I keep forgetting things or it’s been so long since I’ve dealt with them.

I’m going on my fourth month of feeling completely crappy and not being able to deal with day to day life, I’m just sick of having to feel this way all the time.

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“That is all I want in life: for this pain to seem purposeful.”

The title of this post is a quote from Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel, my current read.

A week ago today, despite everyone’s advice against it: I decided to stop taking my meds.  In all fairness, I was already feeling horrible and slept through my medication alarm on my phone and when I woke up the next morning (Tuesday, my birthday) I was feeling fine and thought I could handle not taking them.  I went to work all the while telling myself that I could make it without meds, and that I could pretend I was doing just fine even though I was falling apart on the inside.

Work started out fine, then about an hour in I started crying for reasons I can’t explain.  Then, I started to think about the meeting I had the day before about a job I had messed up before I went on leave and thought about the fact that I had delayed pediatric luekemia patients their last chance drug because I didn’t ask questions about the barcode. I also thought about the fact that I am feeling hopeless because I can’t find meds that work for me either.  I’m not a leukemia patient, but at times this thing that lives in my head seems just as bad, like it could kill me at any time.

I left work after my boss saw me crying and suggested I go home to try to deal with whatever was going on with me. (I still can’t tell you why I cried although I have a feeling it may be all the pent up emotions that I should have been feeling that my meds weren’t allowing me to feel.)  I took Wednesday off as well and went to group therapy at night hoping it would have the same empowering effect as it did the week before, sadly it didn’t.

Thursday morning I had an appointment with my psychiatrist at 10:20, at 10:35 I still hadn’t been in to see him and a guy randomly showed up to talk to him about issues he was having with his medication and he pulled him in his office to talk to him.  At that point, I was irrate. I was having issues with my meds too, and I had an appointment!  Finally at 10:45 I went into his office and just went off telling him that I was still mad and that he wasn’t listening to me and that I needed new meds. Sadly, he took me off Effexor and kept me on the antipsychotic for schizophrenics that I feel isn’t doing anything but making me fat.  Now I’m on the antipsychotic twice a day, Cymbalta at night, and Ativan when needed.  I had an appointment with my therapist at 11 so I couldn’t stick around and have the session that I truly needed to have because he has no concept of time.

I made it to my therapy appointment with a little time to relax and try to cool down from yet another terrible psychiatrist session.  When my therapist called me back to her office she asked how I was doing and I just let out a huge sigh.  When I explained to her what was going on and that I had thought about admitting myself to the hospital on my birthday she immediately took me out of work and told me to go back to IOP. Actually, I’ll be starting PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program) tomorrow.  It differs from IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) in that it last longer through the day and you also see a psychiatrist once a week.  She even said that hospitalization could be a good option for me to get my meds straight the quick way.  I decided to save the hospital for when I really feel like I want to jump off a cliff again. (Which, the suicidal ideation came back last night)

My sleep is starting to be completely off and crazy, I was awake at six am today.  And I’m also eating like crazy.  Sadly, I have to go into school today and drop my creative writing class because I can’t kick this stupid guy that lives in my head.  I wish I could let the people at work that are disappointed in me and think I should just come out of this see that I have no control over what my mind does or thinks right now.  Hopefully with more work in CBT I can start to at least get some of it under control.

The guinea pigs are doing great, although Bella still has a hard time being held and they are both too afraid to take advantage of the multilevel aspect of their cage.  I bought them treats yesterday to feed them while they are being held and I also bought them so grass that I’ll grow for them.  They are a couple of spoiled little girls, despite the fact that I’m super broke.

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“I, being depressive, was totally focused on myself.”

The above is another quote from Hide & Seek by Wendy Aron, although I’m currently reading An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison.

Since I’ve started my recovery journey, I started to make an effort to text at least two people a day outside of my main support system as to not have them stuck with all the burden and just as an effort to not isolate myself as much as I have been.  Sadly, last night after writing the post that I did, I went home and went straight to bed because of a dibilitating headache.

I’m starting to see a trend in most of my messages to people, I completely take over the conversation and mostly just talk about what’s going on with me. As much as I try to be there for others, I think I might just be self-absorbed. Although this is nothing new, maybe it has an effect on why I became depressed and why I feel so alone. Or, maybe I was less self-absorbed before and didn’t notice it.

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I wish I knew myself as well as everyone else does.

This isn’t the first time in my life that I’ve felt like this, about a year and a half/two years ago I had a lot of the same feelings that I’ve been feeling lately but they just spontaneously ended, or rather went into remission.  I thought about attending therapy to try to get help, but with my health insurance at the time I needed a referral for them to pay for my visits and I wasn’t about to tell someone outside of the mental health profession that something is wrong and I need help.

At that time in my life I remember taking a couple days off of work and going into Chicago just to walk around and take everything in, I also remember taking a few yoga classes to try to get the benefits people claim. Unfortunately, I don’t have the ability to shut off my mind when I’m doing yoga or any meditative exercise so, I gave up.  (Maybe I can try to get all the things that could come to my mind during yoga out by writing before I start and try it again?)

There a many ways that you can handle and cope with depression, sadly because I’ve had one severe episode the chances of me having another is highly likely. What I can’t get to the root of is why it’s happening in the first place.  Through a lot reading on the subject I have found out that you don’t necessarily have to have a trigger to fall into a depressive state, although so many people I talk to would like to blame a close friend of mine for my moods even though I know he isn’t the single deciding factor in my depression.

Yes, I do like my friend for many obvious reason; he’s great to talk to, doesn’t judge me, and knows when I just need time to vent and get my frustrations out.  Since we decided not to begin a romantic relationship, many people feel that he is to blame for my negative attitude and view toward life.  I know deep in my heart that even if he decided right this second that he wanted to be with me all my pain and sorrow would not disappear.

In fact, Sally Brampton, the author of Shoot the Damn Dog summed it up perfectly; “my mood might have changed. The depression would not. But then you would not expect any other illness to lift according to the person who is standing in front of you, however happy they might make you feel.”  Because people only see the outside pain, they think that we can just snap out of our emotional turmoil.

In my opinion, I think my father traveling to another state for work weeks at a time had a bigger impact on me falling into a deep depression than any of the fights and rejection I’ve experienced with my close friend. If you don’t believe me, then, just find someone else to fix. I’m the only one who can fix me anyway!

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“Depression is the catch-22 of illnesses in that the very things that allow us to recover from it are the things we find hardest to do.”

The title of this post is a quote from the book Hide & Seek by Wendy Aron.

This time last week I was laying in bed without the ability to get up.  When I did get out of bed, (to go to the bathroom mostly) I was in tremendous pain.  That morning my mother suggested I go to the gym with her to get out and get moving, when I woke up that morning it was the last thing I wanted to do.  I only ended up doing a few exercises in the pool for about 15 minutes before I gave up completely and went to the lobby to read and wait for my mother.

When she had finished, she wanted to run errands despite the “get-me-out-of-here-and-into-bed” look I know I had on my face.  After a grueling trip to Wal*Mart we finally made it home where I spent the rest of the weekend in bed, self-loathing.

It seemed the only thing I could do last weekend was read and lay in bed.  My mother (with which I am staying with to be in the presence of others) insisted that I go outside to do my reading, I replied with a quiet “no thanks.”  Although I was in the presence of someone else, I still felt alone and couldn’t shake that feeling.

This weekend, I’m proud to say that although I did start to fall asleep at 6 P.M. last night, it was the product of being exhausted and not the desire to stay in bed and never wake up again.  I had planned to do some reading that night, but my eyes decided they couldn’t stand being open any longer.  I woke up at 8 to take my meds, which I’m also happy to report that other than my hands shaking and random twitching in my body, seem to be working well.  I awoke again from 12:45 to 2:30, when I wrote in my journal and read from the book mentioned above. I’ve found that writing the jumbled mess that’s in my head before reading helps to keep it from wandering while I read.  

Aron also wrote “my mind, as always, became a cauldron of competing thoughts. And there was no way out.”  Aside from my deeply depressive state, the lack of med management, and constant fatigue I felt, this was one of the main reasons I decided to take a leave from work.  When I was at work, I couldn’t concentrate on anything but the pain and whatever hurdle I was trying to get past that day.

My last full day at work, I went out to move the vehicle that I’m driving because mine had broken down a few weeks earlier (which also ended in a nervous breakdown) and found that the tire had gone flat.  At that time, this was just one more thing that I couldn’t handle. I immediately broke down crying, once I thought I had it under control I returned to work.  Apparently, I still had the appearance of tears in my eyes and when asked what happened I broke down once more.  The rest of that night, I continued to walk on eggshells until the tire was fixed.

Today, as I sit in Starbucks writing this blog entry I can say that I’m not exactly happy but optimistic about the future.  I plan to continue writing in will hopefully be taking a class in a few weeks to continue with this newfound passion.  With any luck, I’ll be working on writing a book by fall.  I’ve found out that with all the fun tools on the internet it’s pretty easy to do this and get it self-published.  Don’t worry, I’m still keeping my day job.


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“We’re a feeling-phobic society.”

The title of this post is a quote from the book Hide & Seek by Wendy Aron and it paints the picture of what brought me to the hospital in the first place. (I’m sure you’ll be seeing a few quotes from this book as it’s my current read) I started going to therapy because I was in pain all the time without explanation.

My stomach would bother me and my entire body would ache. I visited my primary care physician thought it was the product of stress. One day I was in so much pain I needed to see a specialist. I visited a gastroenterologist who took a countless number of tests and told me I was completely fine.  With two doctors telling me I was fine I began to evaluate myself and realize that I spend a lot time worrying about things I can’t control.

I seeked out a therapist to try to get this under control and about a month in to my sessions I became more and more withdrawn from people. I started going even further into darkness when she cancelled my session out of the blue. I showed up the next week with textbook signs of depression. She asked me if the cancellation of my appointment made me feel like I was unimportant, and the short answer was “yes.”

Throughout my month or two in individual therapy I was able to talk about the facts but when she asked the deeper questions I would resort to “I don’t know.”  After a couple weeks of feeling depressed I called and changed my appointments from once a week to twice a week in hopes the the combination of therapy and meds would help me recover faster. During my second session of two-a-weeks she mentioned partial hospitalization.

It was hard enough having the secret of going to therapy but to be institutionalized was unheard of.   After much thought and many more “I don’t knows,” I reluctantly agreed to an intensive outpatient program.  For the first week of the sessions I was mostly silent and attentively listening to my peers hearing stories that I knew all to well.  It’s amazing how similar we all are.

After two weeks in outpatient, I can say that I’m feeling okay about the future and although I’m a little scared of the weekend I know that I can keep myself busy. I’ve been pretty good at it this week.


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