Thursday, October 3, 2013

Medz: The Depression Diaries

It's quite silly the way we as Americans discuss depression. People call it the Blues. Or being Bummed Out.

"Oh no no! I'm fine! Sure of course!! No I was know, like, tired and I think I got a bit over-emotional and ---"

What bullshit. Essentially the depressed individuals spends so much time reassuring others and hiding from the well meaning and kind hearted attempts to understand that s/he builds up a nice solid protective wall just to keep those well wishers away. It's too taxing to be bothered with well wishers when you are suffering from a bout of the Blues. It's physically exhausting. Just go away. That's what you think to yourself, as you smile and reassure the worried inquirers. 

"No no I'm fine! Oh of course I'll say something!! You know I would! I would tell you, yes yes," you say with a smile and pray that the well wisher will finally feel reassured and go away and leave you alone.

It's simply too exhausting to be bothered with anyone else's concerned. Isn't that terrible? That's the other thing about depression (big D or small d? I'm not sure) it's a deeply selfish state of being where you couldn't care less for anyone else's concerns. The depressed individual's most immediate concern at any given moment -- well, my own concerns lately I should say were more along the lines of "Go away so I can go back to bed.''

But those are the things you can't really say to normal people when you're in the worst grip of the disorder. Shame and stigma also are extraordinarily powerful motivators as well. The factors of shame and embarrassment, fear of being looked at askance, worry of being taken for a loon only build yet a second and third tier of powerful walls to isolated depressed individuals. Think of it: in the grip of the disorder it's very much like your skin has been peeled away from the tissue beneath, slowly peeled and you are exposed to the elements. Every touch from the very air is a painful  sensation. Every look you receive from strangers or friend or foe reverberates through you and sets you in a panic. There is a deep sensitivity to your very brain where you feel certain that you can feel the thoughts dragging slowly and painfully across the synapses. Is that why it is so hard to think, you wonder? Is that why I can't think? I don't feel like thinking. Back to bed.

So you see when others kindly inquire regarding one's well-being there's so much that the a depressive must consider, chiefly How much should I tell and will that revelation prevent me from curling up into a ball in bed? Because that need to curl up in a ball becomes a deeply important need that transcends the need or desire for food, companionship or much of anything else.

I hit a small bump. Most of this year I had been having a rather difficult time so I finally went back into therapy. But even after the first hour of the first session I knew that I wouldn't be able to kick the Blues so easily. There was so much to work out. Just too much. So I knew that it was imperative that I get on some medz. 

Ah the medz!! My family doctor and I talked and I explained that I was crashing. Someone hurt my feelings. Someone whom I thought was a friend informed me that  indeed there was no friendship and consigned me to my own devices for the hereafter. It hurt. It was tremendously hurtful. I tried multiple times to repair what was broken but to no avail. While I felt optimistic that we'd work it out I didn't feel too badly.

Once I forced myself to give up hope, then I crashed.

The doctor gave me a prescription for an anti depressant I'd had before. "Take this twice a day. In two weeks you'll feel a lot better. We'll meet up in four weeks to make any adjustments," he said. I left feeling good. Two weeks. I could get through two weeks easy, I thought.

Then I went to the pharmacy to fill the medz and the pharmacist asked me for an amount of money that might as well have been one million dollars. I didn't have one million dollars so I got no medz.  Two weeks of phone calls to the doctor and the pharmacy trying to find something affordable and effective. And the whole time I felt like I was slipping slipping slipping away.

 The tissue around my eyes became sore and irritated from the constant flow of tears. Sometimes I was crying and I didn't even feel sad. I felt no emotion that warranted this tearful flow but it kept coming and coming and coming.

If I never cry again in life it would be too soon. I'm so fucking sick of crying for no damn reason.

And then I had to dodge the well wishers. What is there to say? "I feel shitty. I still feel shitty from the last fucking time you asked me. Chances are I will feel shitty the next time too. Leave me alone!!"

But I don't say that. I don't mean that in my heart. But depression is a disorder that maliciously plays with the brain. And with one's self respect ("I'm such a loser no wonder I got dumped!") With  self esteem ("How did this happen? What am I doing wrong? I do everything wrong!). With one's interest in life ("No I don't want to go out but thanks for asking. Next time. Yeah sounds like fun!! Have a good time!" *hangs up the phone*/*eyeroll*/*thinks to self* "Don't call back!")

It teases you with wicked thoughts and taunts with foreign personalities. A person who is jovial and always smiling can turn into the darkest of wretches in a depressed state. There's even a point where one's despair succeeds in driving off the well wishers. Try hard enough and the disorder can achieve all manner of terrible deeds. Others decide that the depressive friend is simply a self pitying asshole and it's just not worth the effort.

And of course no one wants to be alone. But in the fog of despair it's so very difficult to reach and to talk. It's physically trying and mentally taxing. The sorrow that kicked off the episode itself takes on greater significances and becomes the secret you guard because you convince yourself that no one cares anyway.

I hit a small bump this time. I was fairly good at hiding my secret depression and even better at cloaking it so that no well wishers even had to make those kindly check-ins. I didn't tell anyone really. Beyond my mother only one or two friends knew.

I looked in the mirror and there were dark circles under my eyes. PMS is hitting me hard today and I can feel the tears at the back of my eyes so a crying jag is imminent but who knows if it's from the depression or my period  or general shitty combination of the two.

I hadn't been getting up out of bed and getting much fresh air but I treated myself to McDonald's breakfast this morning. Some old-ish man tried to pick me up. He refused to let me out of his sight and kept asking me my name.

 "I saw you walk in and said to myself "Teddy you got to get this beautiful lady's name!!" He was drunk I think but he offered me a ride home and I had shopping bags from my errands that would have made walking awkward so I let him take me home. I did NOT give him my number.

"You got a man baby?" he said.

"I got several honey." I told him.

I start the new medz tonight. I'm hanging in there for two weeks even though it's already been two weeks since I saw the doctor. I so wanted to be better by now.

All the quotes that come into my Facebook say things like "Wait for the one you want" Or, "You are the one you're looking for." Or, "Love is everywhere." Or, "Happiness is a choice."

I don't know if these things are TRUE or if they are just platitudes that are repeated so often that they earn a certain legitimacy simply by their constant repetitions.

I went through some old love letters that I keep tied in a pink satin ribbon. I have all the letters and emails from all my lovers but finally found the strength to get rid of every single one this past summer. I feel lighter, physically. Extra  baggage? What extra baggage!. I told my therapist that no one -- well no man had ever said "I love you" to me. She was quite shocked. Her mouth fell open "Really?" she said. I had never thought of it before. But as I went through my letters before I threw each one out, shredded it up, I did re-read many of them.

 I saw one particular thing over and over: I would give and give and give, shower a lover with praises and sonnets and tokens of affection....and it seemed that as soon as I did each and every one pulled back further, gave less, until they gave nothing at all.

There's a strange balance one has to walk with meditation. You want to be good and to be a conductor of the Universal Consciousness and that means you have to deny all the negativity that tempts the emotions. However if you deny your emotions you only repress them which in fact allows them to become stronger unless you work to defeat the negativity.  I spent such a long time suppressing my anger that I fell into a depressive episode once the emotional overload became dangerous and harmful. I meditate regularly but I'm still in the baby stages so I've learned a valuable lesson on the interplay of psychology and spiritual development. Well no I haven't precisely learned the lesson but I am aware that there is a lesson there....waiting to be understood...eventually.

For the moment though I'm too tired to deal with spiritual lessons or psychology or anything else. I want a nap just now. I'll watch Scandal before bed. Take my medz.

Wait for two weeks to pass....

So that I can fight myself out of the well of sadness. I've done it before. This is a small bump. It's just the Blues.

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