It's different and yet it's also the same. My character is more developed this time which is positive. I still feel the fatigue, sadness and irritability that I have in the past. When I do not want to leave the house, however, it frightens me. I never felt it to this extent during past major depressive episodes. When I am laying on the couch with the TV on and I feel exhausted and a range of emotions that are very uncomfortable, it feels easier to stay put. During my past episodes I pushed myself to go to work, go out with friends and use my fake smile to get me through each day. I am not able to do that anymore, which is positive but it comes with its own burden. I feel guilty for being so idle.
This is such a hard place to be in. I am damned if I do and damned if I don't. What I am thinking now is that I do not want to be a burden and more importantly I do not want to be known as "the sick one." I don't want to have to ask friends (again) for rides to appointments and to take my daughter for a play date for a couple of hours so I can try to relax. And even when I do ask for these things (and they are always granted), I simply want my friends to continue being/doing what they have been doing over the years: talk, gossip, laugh and support me.
As I continue to write this I can see how much I am projecting my own thoughts and fears onto my friends. If the roles were reversed, I would be doing the exact same things for them that they do for me. I see that more clearly now.
The truth is I am sick with a very unforgiving illness. My brain is wired in a way where the circuits are very comfortable re-routing themselves back to its familiar setting of major depression. I am honestly too tired to feel angry about it at this point. The past few years have had tremendous ups and downs yet life continues. I continue. I think that's all I can do right now.
Friday, October 7, 2016
This has been the image in my head for the past several days. I feel offset, tangled, screaming while creating no sound. There are people walking away and I feel a sense of relief while at the same time I feel alone. It's as if my inner and outer world is skewed and simply not right.
It has been coming on for months and it began when I was not feeling well, physically, which went on for months while doctors tried to diagnose the issue. The issue was one of my medications and while it was finally resolved it had already triggered my brain to return to that dark and horrible place it knows so well. This is not like the past couple of depressive episodes I have endured but I am not in a good place. Once again I kept pushing myself to get through it by doing everyday things: going to work with a smile on my face, smiling when seeing people but I did retreat away from friends which is a bit unusual for me. I could not imagine being a burden, again. That kept circling around in my head as did the usual guilt about how this affects my husband and daughter.
One big difference this week was that I asked to go to the hospital. I thought that I needed a break and needed to get away to a safe space. This morning I made the decision not to go to the hospital. After therapy appointments and speaking with my psychiatrist, I will try a new medication and I have already increased another. I will take a few days off from work and I have rallied my friends to be by my side. My husband is in "you are not to worry or think about anything...including cleaning and cooking and everything else you worry about!" He's the best team player I know. He really knows what is best for me.
While I will continue to take it day by day, I do not know if I will be able to stay out of the hospital but as of today I am at home and using my supports and whatever skills I can. My brain is a literal tangled mess and I hope others can appreciate the depth of this illness.