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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This is what my depression looks like

trapped in my mind
looking out at my life
not living

I've been suffering from a pretty severe bout of depression these last few months. I know it was set off by the increased pain, new symptoms, lack of mobility, and the improper care of my doctors. I recognized it a few weeks ago and despite knowing that I suffer from depression I still found myself trying to deny it. It still amazes me how denial can be my initial response to a bad depressive period. After all these years, you'd think I wouldn't waste my time and energy trying to deny my feelings. But nope, I still do. I am not sure if that results from a part of me that still wants to believe my depression is temporary, or if there is still a part of me that doesn't' believe I have clinical depression.

I was reading someone's blog. When I find a blog I really like, I will go back to the first post and read the entire thing. I don't usually read "mommy blogs" because my children are much older (only my youngest is still considered a kid at 15, my oldest is 23) so I don't relate to the constant running around with young children. However this blog also included discussing such things as the author's experience with depression and the past experiences in her life that probably caused it. When I found this blog last week I read the last few posts, then went ahead and started from the beginning. Her post entitled "This is difficult to write" really hit home with me. She kept repeating "This is what depression looks like", and I found myself nodding and agreeing with her. Our situations are different but some of our feelings are the same.

Reading that blog entry made me realize that I have been denying the truth for a couple months now. I am struggling once again with depression. My meds are obviously still helping because I have not reached the point of wanting to kill myself or harm myself, but the feeling sad all the time etc. is there. For me my depressive episodes look similar to hers in that I can't find much value in myself or my actions (specially when I am immobilized and stuck in bed, it's more like "What actions?").

There is a lot of blaming myself.

A lot of feeling guilty

A lot of worrying that others can't possibly want to stay with such a horrible person like me.

There is a loss of interest in anything that I normally find enjoyable such as writing or stitching.

There is a lot of feeling alone, even though I am not.

Being isolated, in part by my own withdrawal and in part by not being able to go anywhere or do anything (which is beyond my control).

There is self-doubt and self-loathing.

There is asking myself "why me?" and "What did I do to deserve this?".

There is minimal to no sex drive at all, and even worse no desire to cuddle, talk, or in any other way be intimate with my husband. (This is not his fault at all, it is all inside me and in part stems from the self-loathing, guilt, shame, and anxiety).

There is waiting every day for him to come home and say he wants a divorce. Irrational, I know this mentally, but emotionally the terror is there and no matter what I tell myself I can't make it go away. Even though he is happy to see my when he gets home from work, rather than feel relieved I feel and think "there's always tomorrow. I'm broken. He can't really want to stay with someone who is broken so, he'll do it tomorrow" and the worry starts over again.

There is no desire to go anywhere or do anything. The hopeless feeling that comes with knowing if I even try, a pain crisis is my reward, so why bother?

There is the non-stop pain that just makes everything seem so much worse. Makes me less tolerant of mistakes I have made and so damn tired. Fighting and dealing with the pain all day long leaves no energy for anything else. That lack of energy erases all desire to do anything, and that loss of desire and mobility increases all the negative emotions and self-destructive thoughts. It just goes round and round.

This is what my depression looks like.

It sucks.

I am considering asking for a referral to a psychiatrist, rather than continuing to get depression medication from a general practitioner or my pain doctor. Maybe a psychiatrist will know of a medication that will help more than the one I am on. Also, maybe a psychiatrist can help me find a therapist who deals with chronic pain patients and I can get some help.

I've dealt with depression caused by many things in my past (childhood trauma, divorce, abusive relationships and rape). I remember the tools I learned to help deal with those times, work through them and move on without depression or medication for depression. I've tried those tools with this situation and they don't work. I think it is because my mind knows that this is not a temporary thing. I know this is permanent and will get worse over time just as it has for the last 30 years. Knowing that there isn't an "end" to this situation seems to be sabotaging my ability to pull myself out of depression. Maybe there are other tools for dealing with depression caused by a permanent life change. I hadn't really looked into that before. But I think I have to.

I can't keep living like this.

I can't keep hurting the ones I love the most by making them watch me just scrape by and thus worry if I will eventually say "fuck it" and kill myself.

I want my life back.

I'm scared though. Every day is so hard and I already know that dealing with depression is hard also and I don't feel like I have the energy or the strength to deal with two hard things at the same time anymore. This makes me afraid to try because I might fail and if I fail my loved ones will pay the price.

This is what my depression looks like.

Thank you Melissa for having the courage to post what you did on your blog. You've made it possible for me to, once again, open my eyes to my own condition. You've made it possible for me to find a tiny piece of myself that wants to stop existing this way, so I will use that tiny piece and seek help. Who knows, maybe that piece will grow. So thank you very much!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

WOW a post that doesn't sound like the end of the world

Today is a pretty good day. I'm hurting but not too bad (around a 6 right now). I can actually move a little bit, which is nice, YAY!

I know that when I do write on here it tends to be depressing and very down. Sadly that is usually when I need the write the most, to vent. I probably should get in the habit of writing on days like today that are not too bad. Or at least write during the short periods of time that aren't too bad during any day. But when I feel decent, I am more focused on enjoying that feeling than on babbling into the ether. lol

I may need to have an adjustment made to my medication because the depression hasn't gotten a lot better. It was when I first started the medication but the energy etc. that I felt then is now gone. Maybe my dose is too low? I'm not sure. I will have to look the drug up to find out if my dose was meant to be a starter dose or what.

I just wanted to post that today is a pretty decent day so far and I am happy with it! Now to go start a load of laundry, whoo hoo! I get to do laundry! YAY (weird thing is, I am actually happy to go do something I normally dislike)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Finally some good news

I had my monthly pain management appointment Thursday the 9th. My normal physician's assistant is no longer employed in that office so I had to see the other PA. I had already decided that I would try one last time to explain the situation, the new symptoms, and medication issue and give them that last chance to correct the error they made on my breakthrough meds 2 months ago. If he refused to return them to the appropriate dose then I would insist on seeing my actual doctor himself rather than one of his associates because I know he will fix the error. Luckily I didn't have to cause a scene because the PA agreed that the dose should have been returned to normal when the attempt to change me to a different medication failed.  So....I got my regular dose back!! Woo Hoo!!

He also said that the new symptoms require a cat-scan but in the confusion of my meds he forgot to order it. I forgot too because I was shocked that he gave me back my correct dose. That's ok, I see my primary care doc soon and will ask him to order it. It's not like they'll be able to fix it or anything, I'm just curious to know what is going on.

I still can't fill it until the 30th. My medications ended up with different fill dates because of the failed attempt at a new drug. They had to switch it back mid-month, so now the breakthrough meds 30 day supply runs out two weeks after my maintenance medication. This means I have to be extra careful when I check the prescriptions before leaving the office, to ensure they do not write both meds for that date as it would leave me without maintenance meds for two weeks. This would be very very bad. So far I have had to correct them once. I think on my next visit I will ask them to just write for a two week supply and give me an appointment two weeks out as that would put my meds back on the same fill date. This would be easier for all of us and they'll be less likely to screw it up.

My DFIL is doing better. The doctor had to put in 3 stents during the procedure but when his pulse dropped into the 40's they stopped. So he has been rescheduled for at least 1 (possibly 2) more stents on the 15th. He handled the procedure very well! He did have to spend the night in the hospital but was home the next day. There were no complications! Thank you all for keeping him in your thoughts and prayers, the whole family really appreciates it!

He seemed more himself afterwards too. He had more color, more energy, and was behaving like his usual self. I am so relieved and so happy that he is ok! He has a great sense of humor. Like my DH, that humor is often sarcastic, which is cool because so is mine. He was teasing Marcia (one of my DSIL) and just before he started teasing he'd look at me and smile then get his serious face on and start making "logical" arguments for needing bacon, or biscuits and gravy. DSIL didn't see the smile so she would respond as if he were serious and then we'd all be laughing. We do tend to laugh a lot when we're together and I like that.

While there I pushed myself by sitting at the dining table for longer periods of time than I should have. Every time I had to go lay down for a bit I felt horrible. I felt like I was being rude on top of the guilt. On Friday night I was close to a pain crisis (I did hit a 10 [crisis] that afternoon) and had to use a walker to get to the bathroom or to bed as my legs felt very weak, shaky, and had sciatica symptoms real bad. As a result I did not attend the family reunion on Saturday the 6th because I knew, if I did go, that I would not be able to handle the 12-14 hour return trip that same night. I ended up crying for the first 30 minutes of the trip because I felt so guilty, sad, useless etc etc. DH was not upset with me for not being able to go, but I was.

Despite that I did enjoy seeing my in-laws again. I love them and am glad to be part of their family. :)

Back Row L-R: Ron (DH-light blue shirt), DBIL Jeff (black shirt)
Middle Row L to R: DSIL Marcia (glasses), DSIL Carolyn (Necklace)
Front Row - R: DMIL Sue (Yellow shirt) DFIL Ron Sr. (lighest blue shirt)

Pain, Depression and Guilt..My Triplets

I live every day in varying intensities of pain. Some moments of a day are not too bad, others can have me curled up in a fetal position on my bed crying for mercy that doesn't come. Few people, if any, truly understand the toll this takes on me. Oh some say they understand, and some do. Those who have lived with pain for more than a few days, pain that interferes with their ability to function normally, pain that makes them want to find a hole to crawl into a hide (or die). There is a difference between a temporary pain that lasts a few days or a couple of weeks, to constant pain every single moment that you know will never get better, only worse as time wears on.

Some say that a positive attitude will make it easier. Others say it can't be that bad. Others say I'm making it up,that no one could live with constant non-stop pain every moment of their lives. They're all wrong. Can someone live with constant, non-stop pain? If breathing and having a beating heart is living, yes the human body can continue to function and thus live with such pain.

The mind, heart, and soul of a person however, takes a hell of a beating from that non-ending agony. It brings into the person's life the triplets; pain, depression, and guilt.

The pain is bad enough, but the depression it causes makes it even worse. The feelings of failure, not being good enough, missing out on so many things, sadness, loneliness, being misunderstood, erroneously judged/condemned, treated like a criminal and more. You draw into yourself, hide from others how you truly feel because no one wants to listen to how sad you feel all the time. life partner. All the things I can't do no matter how badly I want to. All the times I am stuck in bed for trying to do something I knew I shouldn't have, but to not have tried (and paid the price, oh the price!) for trying would be worse sometimes so I try and hurt myself for a few seconds or moments of feeling almost normal. Inevitably I fail and guilt consumes me. Family reuinions I can't attend, trips I can't take, meals I can't cook and so much more.

I remember how I used to be and dream of those times now long past. I wish to be that person again, one who could take a simple daily task such as taking a shower standing up for granted, do it without thought or planning. Those days are long gone.

Depression, self-loathing, self-recrimination..."you could have gone if you really wanted to"

I really wanted to!

My body..couldn't.

I'm sorry.