surviving depression 23 June 2006

June 23, 2006

I know what you are going through. Sometimes I think that everyone would be better off without me. The only thing that is keeping me alive these days is my word to my therapist that I won’t go through with my thoughts. The pain of living is just too much to bare right now. My therapist often asks me how I get through this. There is a quote that I keep telling her that I got from one of Kay Redfield Jamison’s book, “Only one option left, to suffer”. She is my inspiration as she has bipolar disorder, tried to die by suicide, and is one of the leading researchers/teachers of the disorder. I know it doesn’t make sense to suffer all the time but millions of people out there do it everyday. We few that are in this group do it every day, though it is most difficult and we come from different backgrounds and sections of the world. I know it sucks, but the trick is to realize when we feel this way, it is NOT our true selves, it is the disorder that is talking. I know we all feel like scum of the earth for no reason other than for being allowed to breathe, to be something called alive that we wish we didn’t have to be. One reason why I have read so much about depression and there are a lot of good books out there, is that you have to know the disorder, understand it, then you can know what to do, sometimes when it isn’t hitting you on the head with a 60 lb hammer. Sometimes knowing the demons is better than not knowing them. I know that it isn’t always easy when our physical bodies wreck our lives and we are no longer feel apart of the human race because our b&b are not functioning and we have physical pain that is driving us insane. But things aren’t always going to be this way. One of the books that I had read said that suicide is complete in 10 minutes and if you wait out those ten mins, you will survive. The same thing goes for depression. Though instead of 10 mins, it’s more like 10 days or more. But it doesn’t last. Eventually it lifts, and we return to “normal” functioning until the next episode. The HARDEST part of this fucking disorder is that we forget that we have survived the worse of it. Every time we are stuck in an episode, we think it is for the first time, that we are NEVER going to feel better, ever. I am telling you that you are. No matter how hopeless you feel right now, tomorrow might be a better day and if it is not, least you survived today. Worry about tomorrow, tomorrow I’ll be here for you. Count on it.

About the mood stabilizers, I suffer from bipolar depression, which is a little different than major depression. I sometimes have periods where I am really hyper, don’t sleep, eat, think I am on top of the world, talk excessively, and can’t stand still. These periods don’t last too long, maybe a week or two, then I either have a period of being normal and/or crash big time. I take Trileptal for it and it has helped some with the Cymbalta. Trileptal is an anti-convulsant that is used a “mood stabilizer”. There are other drugs that are used, but you should be seen by a psychiatrist for evaluation. Most GP’s don’t have a clue about psychotropic meds and it isn’t a good idea for them to play around with it if you don’t have the diagnosis.

back to therapy and other things

Back to therapy and other things

I had a rough night sleeping because of pain. I woke up a few times, which I didn’t like as it took me a while to get back to sleep. My med alarm went off at 0845 and I didn’t want to wake up after I shut the damn thing off. I took my meds and some how the new med didn’t go down. I choked on it and it was nasty. I played with my phone for a bit. It was cold and snowing but it didn’t appear to be sticking, which was good. By the time I decided to make something to eat, the snow had stopped.

My mother was in the kitchen, waiting for the visiting nurse to see her. I made an egg Mcmuffin. After I finished eating, I decided to make coffee as I was feeling out of it. I got up and a wave of dizziness hit me. I had to hold on to the chair to keep myself from falling down. I turned the water on the kettle and sat back down. I broke out in a cold sweat and didn’t feel good at all. The dizziness went away but I was still feeling queasy. I made my coffee and drank it in the kitchen. I used the last of my Hawaiian coffee. It was good, though I spilled coffee again. I think the lid must not be on right or something.

I went upstairs to my room and laid down. I set my alarm so I didn’t go into a deep sleep. It was only for an hour and a half or so. The alarm went off and I didn’t want to get up or move. I felt a little better than I did. I stayed in bed for another half hour and then got dressed. The temp was supposed to get up to 23 but it never did. Think the highest it went up was 19. I left for the bus stop and the bus came within 9 minutes, a record. I was still debating on what to get at Starbucks. I walked in and found a chair. I decided on a mocha and a doughnut. I brought my own mug as I am trying to go green this year. The mocha I had with whole milk as their 2% sometimes upsets my stomach for some reason. I had no problems. I wrote in my journal until around 1500 or so. I had to catch the train to my therapist’s office. Today the trains and buses were on Saturday schedule.

I walked to my therapist’s office and then waited. I had 20 minutes to spare. I washed out my mug and then played with my phone. He called me in and we talked. He said he had to change our schedule to an earlier time. I said that was fine. There were a few Mondays that I had a conflict with but other than that, we were good. I gave him an update as it has been a month since I saw him. I told him about my family’s history of how the fight between my father and my mother’s mother prevented me from knowing my mother’s side till I was 13. I still have resentment that other than a few cousins, no one made an effort to keep in touch other than my mother’s youngest sister. I consider her and her kids my family. I slowly incorporated a few others as I grew to know these family members that suddenly emerged into my life. Trust was something that was hard to do. I had my father telling me they were “bad people”. I would judge for myself who was “bad” and who to trust in time.

After session, the dizziness started again and got worse by the time I reached the train station. I held on to the cold railing as I descended down the stairs. I was scared I was going to collapse on them. I made it and the train was there. Unfortunately, there was a train delay due to fire department activity at the next station. I waited patiently and hoped I wouldn’t pass out. The train got moving and when I got near my stop, I texted my sister to pick me up as I was not sure about the bus schedule. I wasn’t going to take the new med anymore.

After I had dinner and cleaned up a bit, I emailed the neurologist and told him my side effects were too severe and I wasn’t taking the med any more. My therapist had sent me the money I gave him and I got RAM for my laptop. My laptop was slow as shit as I had like 5 tabs open on Exlorer. I had to go to the Dell website to make sure I was buying the right RAM. I wanted to get 8GB but the site I went to had two kinds and I wasn’t sure which one was right. I saved the PDF so I didn’t have to log into Dell again. I will get the RAM by the end of the month as shipping was free.

I went downstairs and turned the heat up. It was freezing in my room. I don’t mind being cold but when my nose is cold, I need the heat. Tomorrow is my uncle’s wake. I don’t have dress or casual clothes that fit me because I gained 10 pounds so I will just wear jeans and a button down shirt. I have no idea what happened to my long sleeved button down shirts are. I just seem to have dress shirts, which are kind of tight on me due to the things on my chest. I can’t wait till I get these suckers off. They are so annoying me.

Ceiling fan replaced, finally!

Ceiling fan is replaced, finally!

My brother in law finally replaced the ceiling fan today. Hoorah! Even though the one my mother had looked the same like mine, it was different. The light fixture on mine had like 3 settings whereas my mother’s only had two, off and on. I like this better. It has 4 lights but I only use 2 as they provide enough light for me to see. I mostly use my desk lamp as sometimes the ceiling fan light is too bright, like it is now. I will change lights when I take my meds in a couple of hours.

I was supposed to get one of my meds refilled last week and forgot so when I was filling my med box for the week, I had to order them. I made it so it would be ready in a couple of hours as I didn’t want to miss a dose. I hate missing meds because my brain forgets things. It’s my hormone pill so I can’t miss one as I don’t want my menses, though I found out in my last admission that I could miss up to 3 days. Fuck that. I probably will have to come off them anyway when I go for testosterone. I won’t find that out until Feb when I meet with the LGBT doc.

I see my psych tomorrow and will need refills on two meds as I don’t have anymore. She had told me that MGH will be having an LGBT clinic soon. Seeing as I don’t get MGH notifications anymore other than what is on twitter, I will ask her to tell me when they are up and running. It will be more convenient than where the LGBT doc is as that is in the heart of Boston. I think I am going to chance taking the later bus. I usually leave an two hours before my appt so I can write and drink espresso at Starbucks. I don’t feel like doing that. I know I might regret it. If I wake up early enough, maybe I will go. It all depends on how I feel.

I cancelled my therapy appt for tomorrow. I am going to talk to my psych about therapy and whether I truly need it. He is the first therapist that allowed me to cancel two weeks in a row without questions. Usually, they say come in to talk about it. Not him. He doesn’t even ask why I am cancelling. I really feel like he doesn’t care, even though he says he does. I never heard from the other two therapists that I emailed. I might call them and leave a message. Some time after the holidays or maybe during, I will somehow google therapists in my area and see who I can find. I wish there were resources for people with my history looking for new therapists. I am still angry that my former therapist left me high and dry without one and then terminated our relationship. The few therapists she wanted me to see were not taking on new clients. It’s so hard finding a good a therapist, and then finding one that fits with you. I thought it might work with the one I am seeing, I really did. But I am tired of feeling like it would be better for me to talk to the wall or my voices than him. Both give the same feedback, none, though talking with my voices is fun sometimes, except when I want to sleep and they want to chat. That drives me crazy.

I can’t believe my birthday is the end of the week. I am dreading it. I really want to spend at least one birthday with my father’s side. It just makes me sad knowing I will be spending it with my mother’s side, who I cannot stand, well, my cousins are okay but I can’t stand one of my mother’s sisters. I feel more loved by my father’s side because I grew up with them. Due to my father’s fight with my mother’s mother, I never knew her side until I was 13. I just knew one of her sisters because she made it a point to keep contact with her despite my grandmother telling her kids not to be in touch with my mother. Just makes me mad that the fight happened and then I was to embrace these people that were my family yet didn’t act like family. They were totally different than my father’s side in a couple of ways that I won’t mention. Now that only one of my father’s sister is surviving and in poor health, I want to spend more time with her. I might get a Zipcar so I can see her in the afternoon one day as a surprise visit. I love my aunt. She is my godmother. Her memory is kind of gone so she doesn’t know who I am most of the time and her hearing is going. It’s also hard for her to understand language as she has Parkinson’s disease. Her son and daughter in law take really good care of her, though it is hard watching her deteriorate. It is taking a toll on them that I cannot imagine. Just kills me that I can’t do anything for them but be there for them.

Last night as I saved my blog (I use a word doc before posting just in case of a website glitch, I don’t lose it), I decided to possibly work on the story that has been running in my head. I wanted to see what I had in the outline. I panicked when I didn’t see it on my laptop or 128 GB thumb drive. That meant it was on the 64 GB that I formatted. Thank goodness I backed it up before erasing the content. I would have lost the paper. I then put the thing on the One drive so I can have it where ever I go. I can access it through my phone. I am glad I back up my files every other month or so, for that reason. Least if I lose one, I have another copy somewhere else. So my message to all of you reading this that write: BACK UP YOUR FILES!!!

brace clinic and other things

Brace clinic and other things

I went to bed late and woke up a few times before 10 am. I wasn’t in as much pain as I thought I would be, which was good. It was rainy and cold out. I went to the post office. A friend of mine wanted my second book so I mailed it to her. I have one copy left .I made oatmeal pancakes for lunch and after I cleaned up, I laid down for about an hour before I had to leave for the brace clinic. The neurologist still hasn’t called in my prescription for the new med. He takes a few days to respond to email so I know he will do it eventually. I’m in no rush.

I went to the brace clinic and they were running behind. They talked about somethings and we tried different braces but didn’t settle on any. The orthotist wants to make some modifications to the AFO I have and then see how that goes. If it doesn’t work, then I will go to the one type of AFO that I liked. I honestly feel like I am wasting my time with them. They don’t want to immobilize me so I guess I will just wear the boot when my ankle flares. The brace that I have and the one that I like don’t do that. But they will help me go up and down stairs better. I am frustrated that this is going to be more than one appointment to sort out.

I went to Walgreens before going home as I needed to pick up my prescription. I came home and my sister had a mutual friend over for dinner. I said hi and then grabbed a dish of pasta before going upstairs. My mother made chicken cutlets. I made a sandwich and at the pasta. I got full quickly and was only able to eat half of my sandwich. Guess it will be lunch tomorrow.

I am seriously questioning whether I should continue going to therapy or not. I was thinking about it until I fell asleep last night. I still haven’t made a decision about it. The thought of calling more therapists isn’t appealing to me. When I see my psychiatrist in two weeks, I will being it up to her again. I honestly don’t feel like I need therapy but that is just me. Still feeling the sting of losing my therapist of 16 yrs. Jan and Feb are going to be difficult months. And I don’t think the turkey brain I am seeing now is going to be helpful to get through it. I thought I was good at moving targets. He is better at it than I am!

Today’s flare up brought to you by taking off a sock

Today’s flare up brought to you by taking off a sock

I was out of the house around 1140. As I was walking to the bus stop, my nephew was coming up the street. He was going to Walgreens. He offered me a ride rather than taking the bus but I said I would wait for the bus. He went and when he came back, I was still waiting for the bus. He really wanted to give me a ride so I took him up on it. It was faster than waiting for the stupid bus.

I went to Starbucks and got an eggnog latte with no nutmeg and a turkey bacon sandwich. The barista added the nutmeg. I was not happy but I drank it anyway. After I was done and wrote for a bit, I decided to go to the bank to make sure my name was right as I had received a letter with my birth name. The said everything was changed over so it might have just been a glitch.

I then went to the Sprint store to change my name. This is the 2nd attempt I made to do this. The first time I called, I was told that I had to change ownership. Then I looked at the website and it said I just needed to bring the legal document to a store and they could change it. I got to the store and the guy was telling me that I needed my changed license to change my name. Are you fucking kidding me?? I was so fucking annoyed. So after I get my name changed at the RMV next week and then get my actual license in about 10 days from then, I will go back to that jerk and have them change my name. What a waste of fucking time.

I had like 3 hours to go before my therapy appt. I rode the trains until it was time for me to get off at the stop to walk to my therapist’s office. It was a good session. I spent a good deal talking about being in the hospital and he wanted to know what was up with my ankle/foot. I explained it best I could and what would happen moving forward, which still looks bleak to me. I was able to move the bone scan to this Thursday. I don’t know how long it takes to interpret the results so I am hoping to have some answers soon or at least know what the treatment is.

Pain wise I was doing okay. On the way home, I stopped at Walgreens to pick up some more Neurontin. Apparently, I still had a bottle from last month that never got used, yet. I’m not worried about it because I am not paying copays at this time so the more I have the better. I plan on getting a refill next month, too, and then I will be set for a few months. I had dinner and then went up to my room. I got undressed to put my PJs on. I took off my socks, and when I took it off on my bad foot, it flared up. So now I am in a LOT of fucking pain because the elastic irritated my foot. I took it off as slow as possible to avoid it but obviously, my ankle/foot didn’t care.

While I was riding the trains, I thought about going back to the hospital, not to torture myself, but to try and see if staying a little longer helps decrease the amount of suicidal feelings I have. I kind of got overloaded last night when I was in a flare and didn’t go to sleep till around 0330. I just wanted to fucking die and started making plans again. Now I am in another damn flare and I want to fucking die. I just used an ice pack on the back of my head and neck to distract me but I am cold so it didn’t stay very long. I got to get up soon to take my night meds. Not looking forward to that.