Undoing Crazy

“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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“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.

Noodles

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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.

Noodles

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