Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I am Not Alone!

Hard, hard, day.    My family knows my history, but if I talk to them, they may become overly concerned.  My close friends know, but I'm really not wanting to interact.  You, however, are my special friends I can talk & talk and even if you decide not to listen (stop reading) I'll never know or have a hurt feeling :0)

I had a weird night, didn't sleep well, having odd dreams.  Not bad dreams, just odd dreams that kept waking me up.  I sat down to work kind of feeling off, but o.k.  It was one of those days that I was feeling overwhelmed.  One of the days I tell myself, it's o.k. if you don't buy an RV and hit the road, you can stay right here and live as you are.  Pay off your debts and loose some weight and stay right here with your good job, your nice home and your crazy dogs.  It's fine.  I took my first four calls and it hit me....  OMG!  That horrible depression is back! It hit me all of a sudden.  Depression is so hard to describe.  It is the deepest heartbreak, a hole with no light, the biggest feeling of helplessness and just plain hopelessness.  The feeling that everything is SO WRONG and it can NEVER be made right.  It's more than just emotion it is an ache to the depths.  It isn't even panic for me it's just overwhelming sadness and despair. Right down to the tips of my pink little toe nail. 

I've had episodes of depression on & off throughout my life.  3 years ago, I hit the wall and almost committed suicide.  I had been plugging along, fighting it every day, and it just clicked.  My brain said it was time, I was done, I didn't want to play, I didn't want to live that way anymore. 

I was close to suicide one other time.   The phrase that stopped me was this.... "If you could do absolutely ANYTHING ELSE besides kill yourself what would it be?"  That was the day I dropped out of college and tried to join the Air Force because I thought I needed discipline to solve my problems.  Thank the good Lord for a recruiter that let me take the admission test and then gently told me how much the Air Force could really use me but I needed to loose 30 lbs before I could join the military.   I could go work on that and he would contact me in a few months :0)  I continued my melt down at my parents home, that night.  Told them I had dropped out instead of killing myself (how could they argue with that?).  Within 2 months I had found a job and moved out.

3 years ago, my answer to that question that saved me before was... nothing.  There is nothing to be done that can make this better, I'm Done.  I've been to a therapist 2 other times in my life.  Both coincided with situations in my life that were difficult.  I had a goal when I went into therapy.  Get In, Get it Fixed, Get Out, Get On with it!.  This time there was no situation that was wrong, nothing to fix, it was just all HORRIBLE and HOPELESS.   That night I hung on long enough to recognize I could go to the emergency room, without doing damage to myself and I could be safe there.  I decided I could hang on long enough to make an appointment with some sort of shrink.  I couldn't go to the emergency room because I would be there a long time and there wasn't anyone to feed the dogs.  That lead me to realize that I shouldn't kill myself because my dogs would freak out if I left the house and didn't come back.  My crazy dogs saved me :0)  Now who's the crazy one in this house??? 

Needless to say, I found a psychiatrist & a psychologist, got started on a box full of medications.   The psychiatrist walked through my history, showing me each episode of severe clinical depression I've had over the course of my life, and told me I would probably have to be on medication for a long time.  Evidentally, episodic depression get's worse as we age, and once you've had 2 episodes, it's just about guaranteed it will happen again.  I was a good patient and stayed on my pharmacy of meds for > 2 years.  I had irritating side effects that got worse as I stayed on the medications.  I finished my therapy and I tapered off the medications slowly.  I watch closely for signs I'm sliding into the abyss.  I've been doing well. 

I had forgotten that smoking increases seratonin & dopamine in the brain.  That's the reason you will often see schizophrenics chain smoking.  I quit smoking 2 weeks ago.  My brain is not fond of having less of these neuro-transmitters.   How's that for a rationalization??  You like it???  :0) 

So here I sit, smoking, crying, and wallowing in my unbalanced cerebellar mess, with the crazy dogs near by.  I left a message for the Dr. to call me so I can get a Prozac prescription called in.  That's the med, with the least side effects.  Excercise will increase the good brain chemicals too (that's how I got out of the other bad depressive episode).  I'm really going to try to get that started.  Exercise has been a sticking point for me since I started all this life change planning RV thing.  I have NO excuses. I just don't do it. 

Now I get to the Title of my post.  All of those thoughts that come with depression are made worse when I feel very alone.  I can say I know I am not alone.  I may pull back from people in the rest of life, but not blogland.  I mean how much safer interaction is there?  I write what I feel, when I want and I can edit in my time.  I can imagine all the people reading it, or not reading it.  No one can talk back unless I want to hear what they have to say.  Even better, I've made a couple of friends out here in blogland.  I've never met them face to face, but they are friends I like, nice people.  Some of them I know because I follow their blogs, some of them I only hear from occasionally. 

Please send good thoughts my way.  Put me in your prayers if you're into that.  These feelings BITE and clinical depression SUCKS but I know what it is and I know what to do.  The crazy dogs and crazy me will be o.k. 
  • Selective-Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
  • I have a Dr. to call that may call in a prescription without me actually having to go in to the office (fingers crossed)
  • I ALMOST FORGOT...  I have a deposit on the fish tank, I sold it, guy is picking it up on Friday (fingers crossed) 
  • Working from home (having today's melt down at work would have been embarrassing and I would have had to leave work)
  • Blogland friends... I know I'm not alone! (how hokey is that?...  insert eye rolling here)


Sandra said...

Having been there, I can empathize. I have to say I was never suicidal but have gone through clinical depression, been to the psychologist, psychiatrists, been on the medications with prozac being the one that agreed with me best too. However it gave me screaming nightmares. After 5 years I weaned myself off of it and it's now been about 10 years or so since I've been on any meds.

With this recent change in my life I'm often feeling overwhelmed too and get teary and think I'm going to lose it. So far, other than a blog post that I deleted, I haven't.

My original problem was my job which I got out of and it helped tremendously. I hope you can identify what brings on your problems and do something about it. It sounds to me like you spend too much time alone with your dogs, cigarettes and food. You need some people contact. Have you thought of joining Weight Watchers? I have an RVing friend that is a life time member and gets together with WW friends yearly. It might be a good place to meet someone that you have things in common with.

Just a thought.

Judy and Emma said...

Please know that you have my moral support. I'm sending good thoughts your way...

Jennifer said...

I can so relate to what you are writing. My most terrifying depressive episodes were when I couldn't actually point to anything wrong in my life. Not only did that powerlessness frighten me, but then I'd feel guilty that I was so miserable and had no reason to complain.

That is just the illness of depression.

This is going to sound really crazy, but, as a person who has had to hold on through serious suicidal episodes, one of my silly tricks that I do to myself (when I think, I have to do it, right now!) is tell myself, "Okay Jennifer, you CAN kill yourself. You just can't kill yourself TODAY. You can ALWAYS kill yourself, so why do you have to do it right now? Do it later."

That sounds so silly and stupid to most people, but it got me to put down a loaded gun more than once. When I am depressed, I am so irrational. My thinking is so screwed up that I just cannot allow myself to make decisions when I'm sick.

When you are sick you cannot believe you will get better, but you do get better. Your illness just tells you you won't or that you just can't wait until you do.

Please take care of yourself and you can always email me if you are feeling the need to talk.

I relate so much to what you write.

Take care,


Merikay said...

I too have had my battle with depression. I was on Prozac for a number of years.

Keep trying to quit smoking. You may have faltered, but you must quit.

Just think how proud of yourself you will be when you are smoke free.

I'm not inside your head, and would never pretend to be, but when I was there I used the fact that I was dealing with depression as an excuse for not quitting. I also used not quitting as proof of how useless and weak I was.

Get the meds. Get the chemical imbalance under control.

We do care about you and ant to meet you in a park someday.

Katie said...

LOL Jennifer. Believe me, I know how serious this is but your mind trick makes me smile! What a good use of procrastination :0) Why do today what can be put off until tomorrow? The funniest part is, I see how it would work for me too. Something that makes us so frustrated can save out lives! It's like the word trick my psychiatrist used to use... he would never call me stubborn, but he called me persistent a LOT.

Anonymous said...

i look at my mood swings as i do other signals of the body; like being thirsty, tired, etc... moods to me are just another form of inner-communication which can get out of wack for many reasons.

just as there are things that can quench thirst, and wake us up; i found things for the worst of times that just helped pass the time... so far, that has been the best med i have ever found - kind'a similar to Jennifer's comment, wait it out... it will pass.

Debbie Goode said...

You are a strong woman. I hear it in your writings.....just keep pushing through the will pass. Give those goofy dogs big old hugs....that always brings a smile and a light to my life.