day too many to count

I never thought anything could make me feel lower than this disease.

Congrats insurance company, you win at making me feel like a literal bug underneath your shoe.

I think they’d rather I die by suicide than continue to pay me my STD. Which is so morbidly hilarious as I’ve paid into my benefits for 10 years now.

So congratulations, faceless beast of industry. Keep celebrating how terrible you are by making sick people feel small when they are trying so desperately to claw their way back.

 

 

Day 49 – “Girl you can’t be fixed, just take this”

Some random month of May highlights I haven’t touched on yet:

Turned 37 on the 24th. Yay. Feeling too old to not have my fucking shit together yet.

My uncle died on the 24th. That’s a mix of guilt, relief (the man was suffering from cancer), more depression and sadness.

Fighting and crying constantly with my other half. He’s really trying and doing the best he can, as he does understand (TBI/post concussion syndrome) but part of me just wants him to bail so I can just be alone.

The new meds causing appetite increase and weight gain, which is probably the worst side effect I could get. I mean, I can’t look in a full length mirror on a good day.

My insurance company caseworker is a terrible human being. Even my doctor was appalled by her inappropriate treatment.

Christ, I don’t have it in me today.

Bebe Rexha gets the title credit.

 

Day 34 – “she’s well acquainted with the touch”

It’s been a rough few weeks. Mostly bad, a lot of numbness and a little spark here and there of happiness.

I’m going to break everything down over a few posts because it’s a lot for me (fuck, for anyone) to process at once.

Lexapro didn’t work for me. If anything, it made me worse. The side effects were so pronounced (food issues, massive insomnia, crying all the time, body and jaw so tight and clenched constantly, small tics – flicking my nails or chattering my teeth and the fucking awful pressure in my head that would not end). Sometimes, I even thought I could feel the drug rewiring my brain. It felt like an alien organism within my body; pulsing and shifting against my skull.

By the time I got back into see my doctor, the suicidal images burned every time I closed my eyes. I could taste the fucking metal of the gun barrel in my mouth. I’ve never been so scared and so resigned at the same time.

Here’s the thing: Death scares me. Terrifies me. Ever since I was a child and understood what dying really meant. I don’t have a faith and was raised (tbh thankfully) in an organized religion free household. I don’t believe anything happens when we die – we just stop. Go dark. Snuffed out like a candle flame.

But for the first time in my life, I was so past the point of exhaustion and just done that the idea of death no longer frightened me. Dying was a viable fucking option rather than feel this way another second longer.

I contacted the crisis centre at my local hospital. Spoke for about 30 min to a guy who listened and made me contract before I got off the phone that I wouldn’t hurt myself.

The doctor’s office was the next day. She changed my meds (mirtazapine) and I agreed to get counseling.

I met the nice man on the phone in person and spent 30 min talking with him in his sad office in the hospital. The crisis centre is located in the old wing where everything is even more depressing than I originally imagined a hospital could be. That and the awful hospital stank. I don’t think it helped much. The phone session was much easier – I could ramble and cry and snot and shake and not have to do it in front of someone else.

(It didn’t help that he was a 60 something Wilford Brimley look-a-like who I swore was minutes away from telling me about his diabeetus.)

I cancelled my next session with him and haven’t been back since.

I’m not supposed to be alone. I should be contacting my EAP for insurance covered phone therapy or try the crisis centre again and maybe ask for a woman. At least someone closer to my age.

But mirtazapine makes me bone tired, all the time, and I just don’t have it in me today.

maybe tomorrow.

title is from the always classic fab four, ‘happiness is a warm gun’.

Day 5 – ‘I’m all lost in the supermarket’

Mom came to see me yesterday.

I’d told her via text that I’d gone to the doctor’s and come home with a depression diagnosis and was planning to take time off work to recover.

That was Friday evening, after my disasterous assumption I could get better and still work full time. I’d gone in for the closing shift and after 4 hours and a breakdown in the office, my ASM had to drive me home since I couldn’t reach my other half and I wasn’t physically or mentally fit to get home by myself.

She was supportive in her reply and asked permission to visit me on Sunday. This may sound rather formal, especially considering we live 20 min from each other but no one in my family likes to express their feelings unless it involves alcohol or years of bottled up emotions erupting, spewing bitterness and regret like black ash darkening the skies.

I didn’t know how to react when she came over. She found me in my new usual position – curled up on couch, legs tucked under, and my right arm under my pillow while I tried to watch something on Netflix.

She asked me why I hadn’t talked to her about how badly I was depressed.  And I couldn’t give her a real reason. We have a strained relationship on a good day. She wanted to know the severity of my despair and if there was a specific incident or a trigger that caused my depression. I told her there wasn’t, that the cloud had been hanging over my head for over a year.

Mom cried when I said I had/wanted to kill myself. That’s part of my struggle in admitting it, I think. The guilt you feel when you say it out loud to someone who loves you. And you see the misery it causes.

She offered to pick up some groceries for us, since my fiancé hadn’t had a chance to run errands and I sure as fuck hadn’t been feeling up to it. I decided to go as I hadn’t left the house in a few days and if I got overwhelmed Mom had my list and I could go wait in the car for her to finish.

I also wanted to go because I wasn’t sure what I was going to be able to eat. It’s been very difficult over the past 2 weeks to find food that is actually appetizing. Or that looked like real food and not squirming bugs.

My doctor said I wasn’t having hallucinations, but that the part of my brain affected by the serotonin imbalance also was the cause of some eating disorders (this actually made so much sense – in highschool, when I first struggled with depression I stopped eating more than 1 meal a day and rice or noodles looked like larvae).

We made it about half way through  Freshco before we got into the soup aisle. And I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t make a decision. Trying to choose between tomato and butternut squash was just too fucking hard in that moment. I felt like everyone was watching me and they thought I was a freak. Then I started crying and hyperventilating.

Mom, thankfully calmed me down. “Just put your sunglasses on, sweetie.” She told me. ” I searched my vest pockets, coming up empty. “They’re on your head.” She added.

I made it another 10 min wandering store with my glasses glued to my red face and then we waited in line to cash out. I bagged, Mom paid (thankfully). She loaded up her SUV and she took me home. She’d purchased enough items to ensure I wouldn’t have to go back anytime soon.

I managed to eat a bowl of soup and some saltines today. Along with a handful of peanut butter m&m’s and dill pickle mini rice cakes.

It’s more than I’ve had in weeks.

Small victories, I guess.

Today’s entry title is from The Clash. You should give them a listen if you haven’t before.

 

Day 3 – ‘Ill thoughts, ill words, ill deeds’

I’m on my third day of escitalopram oxalate.

It’s a drug used to treat depression and anxiety and it works by restoring the balance of serotonin in my brain. My family doctor prescribed me 20mg worth after watching me melt into a pool of snot, tears and ragged breaths in her office. She’s known me long enough to understand what my own mind cannot – that what I’ve been feeling over this past year isn’t really me. That the voices on endless loop in my head whispering bad shit are wrong.

She told me I have a disease which I’m struggling to come to terms with. Disease implies a random mass of cells mutating or a chance encounter with an airborne pathogen. Not, for instance, finding it impossible to eat because your food looks like bugs.

The medication will take weeks before I know if it’s really working. The side effects in the meantime are not the worst thing I’ve ever experienced, but they’re no fucking picnic either:  I’m tense all over, my jaw aches, and I’m fighting back nausea. My stomach twists and gurgles in disgust and I know I should eat something – but the thought of trying to eat anything at this moment makes my mouth sweat.

I hate vomiting more than I hate not sleeping.

Which is the other shitty after effect. I’ve been an insomniac since I was 16 so while lack of sleep is not a new thing for me, waking up every 2 hours in the night with my muscles clenched isn’t a great way to get some rest.

I’m not really sure why I’m writing all this down. My friend G thought recording my reactions to the meds would help when I see the doctor again next week. I write – short stories and fic and I’m hoping to finally write that novel/comic book/script idea that’s been banging around my brain for year(s).

Maybe this will help. Maybe this will just document my fall down the rabbit hole.

The quote’s from Kushiel’s Avatar by Jacqueline Carey. It’s something that’s been on repeat in my head lately.

Seemed like a good place to start.