I read this after seeing the link somewhere in my FB feed. It was a mix of hysterical laughter and thoughtful moments. In all my years I have read just about everything published about depression. From the depths of Stryon’s soul to the searing words of Woolf & Plath and everything in between. I have taken my search seriously and found comfort in re tracing others tracks down the very same path. Usually in far more poignant and eloquent words than I could ever find to assign to my existence. In the most bizzare of Plath poems I could finds pieces that resonanted with me. Within the deepest darkest moments I could drift within Dante’s Inferno to find respite from mine. It was such an escape for me. I have always found books and poetry as a way to run away from reality. Even as a youngster. Books have been my salvation in many ways. As I read this blog, one I had never seen before, it hit so close to home. I truly found myself captivated. I loved the raw straight up honest voice. The illustrations just capped it off. One of the hardest parts of depression is the apathy. People talk about not giving a shit about hating their lives. Talk about the mundanity of life. This is different, completely different. This is the complete utter emptiness that encompasses all life. I felt this blog did such a great job, and in part 1 it talks about the hatred, self hatred that spirals from the get go.
Depression is such a insidous silent awful disease. It is beyond a disease- it is an existence. A ways of being.
(unedited) It is strange being on the outside looking in at something I have spent so much of my life grappling with. When someone says “I don’t want to be here” it resonates for clearly within me, whether suicidal in that moment or not. sadly this dog salivates at that bell. every time. Life hasn’t been great around here. Stress looms and life soars out beyond my control as it often does. Her words ricocheted around my skull. I felt my pulse race off. “ok, then we need to get your meds sorted out”. this calm voice, so very far from the emotional roiling going on within me. “maybe the hospital would be a good spot to do that”. That sent her off. I backed off. went back to the meds. “We’ll sort it out. I promise” I felt I could reassure her. That calm quiet confident voice told her that. Within I envisioned her death, her funeral her end. All while I quietly tried to give her some sense of calm. I saw myself on Virgil’s couch decimated by her ending. Whether natural or not. I saw the reality that she will be gone, just as my father will be. I’ll be alone.
I watched as she walked away. I felt so shaken and anxious. I have seen her like this before and my rational side tells me she isn’t going anywhere. That her thoughts are passive and she isn’t planning. She is okay for today. But am I right? What if I am wrong? I started making phone calls, sending emails. May? what? your first available appointment is May of next year? 6 months from now? I think my jaw hit the counter. I hung up. paced the kitchen. tried to salvage what was left of my rationality in that moment. I walked to the barn and tried to act like the world was normal. That my mother didn’t want to be dead. That the day was like all the others. no better, no worse. I held on for a bit but made a fast retreat for the house. I could not keep myself together. So very much was moving within me. My body ached from the long 14 miles I pushed it into yesterday and a run today was out of the question. I knew it was too stupid to try. I went for the hot bath and a good book. I climbed out of my skull and into the courtroom of Grisham;s creation. Thankful for that. Sadly the world crashed back the moment I walked out the bathroom door. Restless and uneasy I find myself writing because I don’t know what else to do.
I know what it feels like when your meds are all fucked up and your head is a wreck. I know the feeling of physical illness as your body craves a drug it doesn’t have. I fully know that feeling yet there is nothing I can do to fix it. I wish I could reach within her head and shuffle around the serotonin and dopamine. Stop her shakes and anxiety. To allow her to feel better and not so hopeless. Yet part of me understands her desire to walk away. I guess I am far from well.
-unedited- I thought I’d be thrilled with the okay to go off depakote. I really did. Part of me is but part of me can’t help but get anxious and worried. This is what I want. Truly. and have wanted for a long while now. I cannot wrap my head around all that has transpired since the initial discussions to try this route. It has not been a good 7 months. not because I have been depressed, that isn’t it. It is because I have felt so lost and out of control. Whether it be when I get on the scale or when I stand in front of my medicine cabinet. I guess my views are distorted and I see it so very differently than Virgil. The session that I felt so horrified and coerced by seems barely the blip on the radar. I don’t think she remembers it as I do. Not sure she understands how deeply hurt I was by that and how terrified it has kept me for the past months. I wanted nothing more than to return to her and once again speak my mind and refuse the depakote. But what I saw and heard is probably very different from what actually happened. I was indeed very fucked up on the heels of this last hospital visit. Every possible trigger had fired off and every possible button had been pushed. It was a given I walked away as I did. I was angry and upset. Anxious and fearful. It was a perfect environment to have a session come undone. Maybe none of it was said. For all I know it is all in my head, but whatever the case all I walked away with was the imminent threat. It is what I heard. It was take the drugs or you will get sick and you’ll get 2PC’d and it will be a mess. I know in my heart that there is truth in some of that. I cannot just walk away from my handfuls of pills. I know to be non compliant would be a disaster even if it seems very tempting at times. I understand I need these medications. I stand behind my feeling that this was a cross roads for me. There will always be a cost now, as there has always been but the stakes are higher and the drugs seem far worse. We have reached the deep end of the pool and there is no amount of bargaining I can do in my head to convince myself otherwise. This is no kiddy pool, there is no prozac here. We have moved far beyond. When I recoil in my mind as it flashes images of the stereotypical lifer mental patient worn by too may years of hard core drugs and even harder core episodes I want to run. I want to get as far from that medical cabinet as possible. I want to make believe this isn’t my life and this isn’t happening to me. “Your not that sick”, or “you won’t be 200lbs” just don’t stick in the face of the panic I feel. Those are the moments I wish I had never seen all I have seen. If only I didn’t know what sick looked like, or what chronic mental illness can do to a person’s mind and body. To have a firm grasp that what keeps us “stable” is also destroying us from the inside out. There is the trade off. The bargain. Do you accept it in the pursuit of stability in hopes of less episodes, and less hospital visits and keeping yourself alive all the while loathing what you have become. What is okay? acceptable? what is too much? I have no idea where that line is. I know that what depakote did was too much for me. I could not handle it and could not stomach the continued change in my body but did I give up on stability? I won’t know that least not for a while. I can’t just shut up and be happy, no. I have to worry and dread. Damned if you do damned if you don’t.
“Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate”, or “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” Dante
A quote that has stuck to me much these past days, and it seems fitting since I can’t seem to shake the worst that life has had to offer even in the face of such kindness and compassion.
Virgil, you do not deserve my doubt nor my fear. I can only hope it does not drive a wedge between us as I struggle to come to terms with my vulnerability and confusion in the midst of a mine field of triggers, both real and imagined. My gratitude is vast for you have given me the ability to see them and express myself for there was once a time when mute silence was all I could summon in the face of such suffering. There is some hope as now I can put words and feelings together and piece together a mosaic of pieces, strange and sharp as they may be. For that I am blessed and thankful.
Yes I know I have been neglecting the blog. I think I have reached a point where I often wonder if what I am writing I have written before. It has been enough years that I have delved into many a topic. Not to say I’m done blogging. I’m not. I think there is a clear ebb and flow here and there are times when it is good to step away from it. I still can’t quite grasp that I was able to write for this long as it was not something I envisioned when I began. I think there will need to come a point when I do decide it is time to stop. I’m not there yet. To much left to explore and many experiences left to share.
Well life continues along. Just shy of my highest weight in the past 10 years and absolutely batshit. I run, and run. riding the horses. just started back to polo and nothing seems to make a difference. I hate it.
My partner leaves for a week and the anxiety is gnawing hard at the edges. It is always this way when she leaves. All I can think about is the ten million things to do and the 5 million things that can go wrong. Something always seems to go wrong when she is away. I have a half wit idiot barn worker that pretends to not understand anything and I have zero faith in my ability to communicate with him. I just hope I can get through the week without flaying the dipshit. My partner loves to run interference and keeps me from firing him, so the thought of a week alone with his endless crap is nerve creasing. Add to that two horses with major health issues going on right how and I just can’t even fathom the next 10 days. But fathom I must since this is what happens each year. I just need to get through the next week and hold everything together while she is away.
On a positive note the latuda seems to continue its trend. mood holds. thank god.
so one week down. Thinking I kinda like the Latuda. not sure yet. Seem a bit more engaged over the last day or so. Pretty solid shift for me. maybe it is the lights, and the lower seroquel dose. Could be anything. Who knows, could be anything I guess but I’d like to try and be positive. I still hate the depakote. nights are a battle with the never ending effort to stop eating. I can’t stand the stuff. Don’t think I’ll be changing my mind on that anytime soon.
and then there is turning 40. Late september rolls around and I usually look forward to my birthday, and the holidays that mean seeing the family. My birthday tends to fall around Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur if not between them. I have always joined the family to celebrate the new year and to catch up with everyone. My birthday is just an added bonus. So this year as september drew to a close I started to think about 40 and all the various 40th birthdays I have attended. My life now is behind this gate. Friends I have had long since lost, or alienated won’t be coming to any parties for me. Life has become about work and survival not about socializing. I have no life beyond here. It truly hit me quite hard. But it didn’t really end there. There was this deep sense of sadness that I could not even pinpoint. It was a strange feeling. Well outside the normal range of my usual sadness. I didn’t think I’d make it to 40. I thought life would end for me back in my 20’s. It did not. Here I am 20 years later still standing, but is this a life? I honestly wonder. If everything we do is for these animals at the cost of ourselves is that right? I have made my life small and insulated. Guess I did it for a reason. I don’t seem to do well with people. I like the silence and the peace of my existence, yet in this juncture of life I realize I have yearning to find companionship. Quite the catch 22, introvert that hates going anywhere decides she’s lonely. Lovely. Just one more thing to contemplate.
Another day. another drug. The psychopharm consult with my favorite bowtied doctor went well and as usual I left there with some different options. so today is the first day for Latuda. I am hoping this one does something and isn’t too awful.
I just want to feel better and stay better. Lot to expect of the tiny white pill. here goes….
No Day Shall Erase You From the Memory of Time. Virgil