Wednesday, January 28, 2009

This Time it's Different-A New Hollowness in my Soul

She sits in front of me in a big overstuffed black leather chair, black patent pumps swaying softly while she crosses and uncrosses her legs as a nervous tick.

She is made up and looks like she just stepped out of Vogue for working women. I, on the other hand, look like an unmade bed. It's been a week since my hair was washed, and that long since I showered. I did brush my teeth and floss before I got there, and brushed my long blonde hair, tying it up in a scrunchie. My jeans are clean, but the shirt I threw on, a black turtle from LL Bean, has a white mark from deodorant, and should have gone straight in the laundry pile. No make up , not even a trace of lip gloss. My shoes are brand new and hurt, brownish tan clogs from my parents for Christmas to replace the blue ones the cat destroyed a few months earlier.

We are discussing my current med cocktail. The fact that it appears that my thyroid has shut down or is shutting down because I am constantly tired and sleeping close to 16 hours a day. I cannot eat but am drinking copious amounts of water. I crave sugar. The Dunkin Donuts across the street is singing a Siren Song to me.

Lithium is being raised to 3100 mg, Cymbalta is staying the same at 60 mg. If the lithium doesn't start working soon, I will be weaned off it and go on Lamictal. All I know is it took every ounce of effort to get there this afternoon, to get dressed, brush my teeth and drive the two miles to the therapist's office. Climb the 15 stairs to get to her room in the building. I am winded like I was in my childhood when I had asthma.

All I know is I am in crisis. My brain knows this. My mind and my soul know this. Life hurts and every breath I take makes me feel like a medieval torture devise of being crushed or weighted to death in the Tower or some other gloomy place. I just want to go to sleep and never wake up. But surprisingly, I am not suicidal. I just don't care- I just want to go to sleep and wake up as worm bait.

Raising the lithium, with the Cymbalta, now- it's not passive anymore. it's active. But not active like it was when I was on Remeron and got so suicidal I knew to get to the hospital pronto. It's different this time, but isn't every depression slightly different, like identical twins are never really totally identical?

I find it more violent, the ways I want to go out would give Stephen King a new novel and a literary hard on. It would make Jeffrey Dahmer a new recipe for madness. No OD'ing on pills and slipping gently into that good night. These are painful, horrible, dreamscapes and nightmares from a fevered mind sparked from neurons and gray cells not reacting or over reacting to chemical number 3 on the Periodic Table.

I hover between periods of sanity and insanity- wondering to go into the hospital and make arrangements for the striped baby girl, or just going to Home Depot, buying a few items, and going out one night in the parking lot when everyone is home and asleep and ending it all, the last moment of consciousness dialing 911 and telling the cops to seal off the parking lot.

Right now I can hover. I am scared I might slip. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but hopefully not soon.


soulful sepulcher said...

Keep hovering and doing what you do to get through another day, and remember, you are not alone. The Li level could be doing the thyroid thing--that happened to L. and when she went off the Li her thyroid resolved itself back to normal. Your writing description is very good Susan.

Hang in there!

susan said...

Thank you Stephany.

L is an inspiration to me. As are you. Glad to see you again on the blogosphere. Kitty kisses to blue eyed doggie.

Monica Cassani said...

no words...

Anonymous said...

Oh man, Susan. I really hope this isn't one of those cases where they're drugging you into a stupor. 3100 mg of lithium just sounds scary...

AlisonHymes said...

This could be acute nephrogenic diabetes insipidus with the not eating and the drinking copiously. You may be toxic on the lithium. Mine was diagnosed too late, therefore I have kidney failure. Get your ltihum level tested tomorrow. Please, please, please.

Immi said...

Hang in there Susan. *sending hugs your way* The kitties send purrs too.

susan said...

@Gianna, my friend, I am so sorry- I didn't mean to make you upset.

@Marissa, I have been this high before.... then they had been weaning me down...... now I am back to 3100 again.....

@Suzanne, thank you will do this tomorrow.

@Immi thank you and love to the black kats.

Ana said...

I'm sorry Susan but I cannot help feeling sad.
I hope you get better.
Love, love, love, love and love

amc said...

Sending you any and all support I can offer.

Anonymous said...


Hang in there. You are an inspiration to me. Think of everyone who cares for you. Get yourself checked out. I know that the meds suck but there must be a correct combination for you.

You are a great writer who can describe her illness in ways that I could never do in 5 lifetimes.

Think of those of us who are out there rooting for you.


Pyrs said...

Susan, thank you. Kudos to you for at least sitting up and typing this post when every little thing seems a chore. And also, give yourself credit for getting up & dressed and making it to your doctor's appointment. Thanks for being there.

Anonymous said...

You voice a side of yourself that few people -- even few depressed people -- are willing to admit exists, let alone in public.

It's a cliche to say it's darkest before the dawn. But it's not a cliche to say honesty -- self-honesty -- is essential to recovery.

AlisonHymes said...

Sorry to nag, but did you get your lithium level tested today?

Anonymous said...

Hugs and thinking of you, hoping you are feeling better today.


Mary in Africa

Terra Incognita said...

Hi Susan, this is alittleimpaired on MG. I have a different blog in the blogworld. I'd link to link to you if possible, if you'd come and visit my blog. I miss your kitties over there.


Anonymous said...

I nearly died in a suicide attempt. My depression was clearly caused by hypothyroidism. Had it not been treated I know I would not have made it through another winter. What you're describing sounds very physical. I do hope you got that lithium level checked. I've seen someone go toxic on lithium in a psych hospital, while several psychiatrists (including one nationally known Very Famous Doctor) stood around wondering what was happening. It took them four days to figure it out.

You might want to consider some sort of second opinion here.

Keep hanging in, kid.

Jamie said...

I just found your blog and have cried my way through your posts. It all sounds so familiar. During my relapses into depression I can't even summon the energy to shower or wash my hair either.

I hope things are getting better.

Anonymous said...

Susan -

I'm so sorry to hear about this and apologize for being away for a long time. Your writing is so moving and a great act of strength. I can't think clearly enough to write anything when I'm flattened. Good for you!

Like others I'm spooked by the dose of lithium, though I guess you're used to it. When I took it, very briefly, it was like someone was smothering my mind and turning me inside out. Lamictal has been great in combination with the antidepressant emsam. To each her own - whatever works! I hope you get out of this soon.

All love -- John

Anonymous said...

Hey there...?! My name is Joseph and I feel led to share w/ you awesome ladies (men, too...) a few truths about this fallen world and God's plan for each of us... I've struggled w/ depression too and it usually is worst when I'm U/E'd, like now...! However, it's a battle that must be waged in our hearts and minds, but ONLY w/ the power of the Holy spirit within! He is our strength, remember King David struggled w/ similar thoughts and feelings and he cried out to the LORD our God and was delivered time and again! Our battle is w/ spirits and beings in high positions of (fallen) authority in this world of sin and death... The enemy seeks whom he my devour, but Jesus quoted Holy Scripture back to him and he finally fled... My sincere prayers go out to each and everyone of you, (please, please place your trust in the LORD, put your faith in Him, He will NEVER fail you!!!) you see I lost my birth mom when I was 4+ yrs old and she committed suicide becasue of depression, and that was back in 1964, February 22nd to be exact, I have a copy of her Death Certificate...! Never remember her being in my life, and it left an immense emotional void, but I have that piece of paper and a picture... You know what satan did...?! He came to me on the exact same day that she died, but it was my turn, he wanted me to do the same thing at the exact same age as she had done...?! NO way!!! I stared him down in the power of the Holy Spirit and told him to go straight to _ell!!! Matter-of-fact, if you haven't discovered this truth out yet, he is the prince of the power of the air and he has (temporary) dominion over the air and he uses it to lie and try and control your lives through projections, or thoughts of 'how bad you are,' or whatever lies you were told growing up by those who should have known better and told you those lies... He can't do anything without your permission though and he must flee when you stand up to him in the power of the Holy Spirit and use those Throne WORDS from the Father above on him...! He hates us because we've been forgiven and he hasn't, he's going to _ell very shortly and he wants to take as many humans as he can w/ him... IF you're saved, (by asking Jesus into your heart and believing in Him and that He died for your sins, pray right now if you never have and ask Him in...!) so, if you're saved, satan has no more poweer or authority in your life and you're a Child of the King...! No, it's not a 'perfect answer' to 'life' in the sense that you won't have trials and tribulation here in this world still, -it's because we still live in this wicked and evil world and other's still sin against us, and we still sin against God and others, too, but now we have an Advocate w/ the Father above, Jesus Christ the righteous and perfect Man, who died for us and IF you've prayed to recieve Him, you are totally covered by the Blood, and you are NOW His forever and ever...!!! -WOW!!! Now, go and live in the TRUTH of who He is and not who you were in the flesh, that's all past and it's passing away everyday and you will become NEW again in the Spirit of God, refreshed and renewed, learning to live in the 'finished work' of Jesus Christ at Calvary...!!! Love in Christ Jesus to all, Joseph!

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