Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Winter in my soul

I've noticed one thing that's been happening over the last two years. My agoraphobia is getting  worse and worse. I can get out of my apartment one day a week, the rest- the other six days I am too afraid? fearful? anxious? to leave. It was never like this.

I haven't seen my psychiatrist in a month. I haven't seen the state worker since Thanksgiving. I'm overwhelmed. No energy. It's like a Zombie- I'm walking dead.

A well meaning family member begs me to go back on meds. I have scripts for Prozac and Abilify, drugs the doctor wants me to take. The doctor and my family want me to consider out patient therapy. Anything.

I know something's not right. Two days ago I made myself get dressed, and go to the supermarket because I needed kitty litter. I bought some food for me and lots of cat food for her, little cans of Fancy Feast. Milk, eggs, half and half, cheese, bread, coffee. Some pasta and sauce, a box of clementines. I treated myself to a hot dog at the Sonic across the street. As I was driving into my apartment complex, a well meaning neighbor stopped me for a chat.

"You never leave your apartment anymore", he said, solemnly to me.

"I'm too depressed to", I say, matter of factly.

"I get depressed too. I go out to the gym two hours a day and I feel better".

"I can't do that right now", I say with tears in my eyes. "It's not an option"

"Because you're overweight? Most of the people at the gym are overweight".

He doesn't understand. He wouldn't. I need help, dammit. I can't get out of bed. I will to do the most basic functions now. Use the toilet. Walk into the kitchen, feed the cat. Change the litter box. Crawl back to bed.

I can't cry anymore. I'm cried out. I've cried enough tears in the last month I could start the second Noah's flood. Now my eyes are so dry they are bothering me, I had to purchase eye drops for the first time in my life.

I've had depressions before. I've been noting the older I get, the more severe they have been getting. How I am not manic like I use to be. One day of hypomania, and a week of depression that's so bad it's like I am a walking corpse. A zombie, only instead of eating brains, I eat at the dreams I had, now broken.

I've had years of therapy. Most of my adult life- well- my entire adult life minus  two years. I know the tools I need. I just can't move. If the building was on fire- I wouldn't move. Only if the cat moved me to action would I try to save myself.

Cat. Silly girl, the only lifeline holding me up. Just a little 9 pound ball of fur and purr. And even then, I can't move. I will adjust my arm, so I can pet her blindly. I'll rub her and put my finger up to her purr box and listen. She deserves a better human than I.

A well meaning friend is telling me to start a blog about the cat. I don't have the energy. Another one is telling me to start writing a book- but my mind is blank. I've written 3 novels in my lifetime. I burnt two after spending years on them, simply because I thought they were no good. Kafka told his friend to burn his manuscripts. I made sure mine were burnt. I once told a therapist, it was like I had committed an abortion, burning those manuscripts.

It was more than just burning. It was the act of destroying something I loved. My dreams were all destroyed, I might as well finish them. As I write this, my body is taking care that my last dream is dying, as it happens to women in their 40s and 50s.

When I use to read tarot cards, I would see the reaction in people's eyes when the death card came out. No- I would say- it's not your death- it's a death of something, that will be reborn. It's a good thing. From Winter comes spring- flowers bloom and life starts up again.

I normally like Winter. This year it feels like it's in my viscera, my bones, my soul. I just don't think Spring will come. I'm hoping it will I don't like the alternative.


Sharon Pernes said...

Why did you o off your meds? Are you less depressed now that you are not on your meds? You need to think of it that way.

I know you've been thru alot, and that you know what to do, but knowing will not help you. Only doing will. I encourage you to make yourself do something, anything,even the smallest step is still a step in the right direction. Maybe it's just putting something in the dishwasher or stepping outside for a minute or 2. I know when I went thru my last bout of depression even getting the mail from the mailbox was a struggle. But 1 day I made myself do it and realized that I survived it. Was it hard to do, yes, but I did it and was no worse for the wear. I felt really good about it. Knowing that it was something that I could endure with no harm coming to me, made making excuses to not do it something I could do any more.
Sometimes we need to make ourselves do 1 thing, even when in the darkest part of depression.

You also mentioned outpatient therapy. Have you done that before? I have been 3 times and I can tell you that it saved my life. I encourage you think about that, it might help.

susan said...

Hi Sharon,

I went off my meds in November 2010 when my kidneys failed. Since then I have been off them because of my kidneys. I am afraid to go back on anything because of this.

I've gone through the out patient (IOP) program 6 times. I did glean a lot from it most of the time and prefer that to hospitalization any day.

You are right about the smallest step, I am trying, I really am, for some strange reason I can do it some days but most of the time I need someone to make me do it. I found if I can do something small, like brush teeth, or shower, it motivates me to do the next step, put on clean clothes, clean the apartment, take out trash, etc. But then I just feel overwhelmed and crawl back to bed for days on end. It's like I have one good day- one really good day and then a week of bad ones.

i hate it . I wish it would lift, but I just want to try to explain to someone what it is like to feel like this. I wish to be more uplifting.

upside down rain said...

this made me so sad because i know what you mean . . especially when you speak of your dear kitty. please hang in there. spring is almost here.

Med said...

You are having a really tough time... that is so clear. I can feel that you are doing your best in everything that you do, and I think I know how exhausting it was for you to write this post.

You are being so brave... so much is a source of fear and anxiety but when your strength allows it you face it. And we both know that fear is a tower among emotions, not easily suppressed or challenged. Keep resting and fighting between the rests. You want to win and so you shall. X

susan said...

Upside Down Rain- thank you. I know. I think you can see by today's blog a lot of the depression seems to be lifting. This piece was written yesterday but it's pretty much describes Monday. The depression has been lifting a little since then. I can't wait for Spring.

susan said...

Hi Med, this means a lot to me,. I know you've been going through a bad patch as well.

Southernbelle said...

(((((Susan))))) Just want to say I love you, you are such an important part of my life--and Holly is VERY LUCKY to have you for a mom!!! :-)

Amy said...

I understand the struggle you are going through. I have depression as well and I have found myself struggling to get up in the morning, eating, or even getting dressed in the morning. It can be a very debilitating disorder. The most important thing is to remain positive. I have learned a lot about treating depression at I recommend that anyone who wants to get their depression under control check this site out. I hope this is helpful and I wish you the best of luck!

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