Monday, April 30, 2012

Fear and loathing

I've been remiss in blogging for a bit. This bothers me, concerns me. It's not like me.

I can say things have gotten hectic in the Casa de Susan, but that's not entirely true. The truth - the whole truth and nothing but the truth- I'm not only too depressed to write-I am afraid to write.

I've been writing in my private journal, a nice leather bound book I've had for several years. But to write here- on line where the entire world can see- this scares me.

Here's the back story. Back in January I was assigned another social worker from the state. The old one, the one I really liked isn't working there anymore.  At about the same time I received a knock on my door, and two of my town's finest came by to make sure I was ok. and did I need to be escorted to the hospital?

I asked them what they were doing here and they replied words to the effect someone saw something I posted on line and contacted them.  Ok. I have a FB account, a Twitter feed. On FB i have it set so no one can see what I write. Twitter- I don't hardly use that account. So that leaves this blog, or Facebook. (Susan's note- I found in March who it was that called the police- it was neither from this blog or FB/Twitter).

I'm scared to write. I know about involuntary hospitalizations, I've never experienced one. Every time I've been hospitalized it's voluntary.

I met my new social worker a few days later, at the local Starbucks. I scrounged around the car and the sofa and found enough change to buy a plain cup of coffee, (1.85 with tax) and tip for the Barrista ( 50 cents). I've been a Barrista at my last bookstore job. Everyone is cross trained to run and make coffee when they get in the weeds if you aren't on the register. The tips are really nice but you pool them so it's not a lot of money.

She's a young woman, straight out of Graduate school with a MSW. She's thin, dark and exotic looking too me. Gorgeous thick black hair, and black eyes. An accent that does not sound like a NJ/NY accent. I smile. She sits down with me and starts to talk.

From here it goes downhill. I understand where she's coming from. She's brand spanking new, having been at the job for a fortnight. She's totally playing by the book. I've been there, with every job I had. It's only after you've been there long enough to get tenure, or pass your 3 month eval, can you relax and smile. I got that.

But she's twisting my words, trying to psychoanalyze everything. I'm not playing, not baiting her. I try to correct her, to tell her my education is as good if not better than hers. I've had the psych classes she has. I KNOW what she is trying to do. What she wants me to say. And she's not listening. She's already prejudiced towards me and refuses to listen.

I'm in trouble. Deep deep trouble. She asks me how old I was when I was first diagnosed. "23" I tell her without hesitation. I tell her the first doctor used the DSM III, the second doctor a week later had the DSM III R. How my diagnosis changed a few years later with the DSM IV, and why I think labels are ridiculous. How I've seen over 30 docs in my lifetime, I have all the Axis diagnoses in my head.

She mentions meds. I tell her I am not on meds, I have not been on any psych medication since November 2010 when my kidneys failed. She thinks I should be on them. I tell her I love my kidneys and don't want any drugs that can cause them to fail. I tell her my brain is starting to work again. I don't want to be on any psychiatric drugs.

Then why are you depressed?

I want to laugh. If I was to put myself on the couch, my depression is situational. It's hormonal. You deal with perimenopause and hot flashes and see how you feel! You see how you feel as your reproductive life is starting to end, how you are grieving for it. Making final closure how you will never feel life inside you for nine months. Getting your period twice in one month with such bad cramps you can't stand up, and then waiting ten weeks before it comes again, and the only good thing about it is you aren't sexually active anymore. All your weight goes to your tummy and your breasts are sagging and you look like the Venus of Willendorf. Like that will get you a boyfriend.

How would you like if you are getting mail and invites to your college/university reunion and you are afraid to go because everyone who knew you admired you? When I was an undergraduate I was on the school newspaper staff, editor of the literary magazine for two years, on the board of the SGA and SFB, worked in the writing lab, and was honored in my Junior and Senior years as an outstanding student, getting my photo in the local paper with the Governor. My weight was never more than 105 pounds, I was really really cute.

Look at me now. We all get old. We all are going to age, but some people do it better than other people, and I am not talking about those rich enough to get extra help from a plastic surgeon. I'm not aging well, I don't think. I'm scared of aging. My parents are aging and it's like they are no longer my mom and dad; they have evolved to my grandparents. They don't take care of me, I have to take care of them. I know it's the circle of life, but it feels strange knowing your mom isn't going to make things better, you have to help her be better.

I don't have anyone to make me better. Yes, I have the cat, but it's not the same. I have to depend solely on me. It gets lonely. In the last few years I have been collecting stuffed animals, I place them in bed with me like I did when I was four. I hold them as I go to sleep, it helps. But it's not another human being to hold. It's empty. It sucks.

I want to be able to work. I want to be well enough so I can l be around people for more than an hour or two at a time without being physically ill. I want to go back to the girl I was in my early twenties where I would grab life with both hands, never let it go. I miss that girl. I don't like the woman she became.

Oh hell. I'm stuck in a prison of my mind, or a prison with my body. I don't know what is worse. After writing this and letting it sit for a few weeks, I am pressing the "publish" button. I think a physical prison of my body can't be worse than a prison of my mind. I just want to get out of prison one way or another.

Present and accounted for

Has it been really almost two months since I blogged last? I'm so sorry. It was not my intention. Here's the scoop. After I posted my last piece, I came down with a very bad strep throat. I usually get one strep throat every winter, so it's not a big deal. This one was no different. I saw the doctor, got a dose of antibiotics, and just basically slept for a week straight, having the alarm clock wake me when it was time to take another dose. With every dose, I checked on the cat, fed, watered and changed her box. Then would go back to sleep.

 A week later, my antibiotics had expired and I was still the same. Back to the doctor. Some more tests, and more antibiotics. Same week as before. The antibiotics and the strep made me sleep. And when the antibiotics were finished, my throat was still the same. One more time to the doctor. One more dose of antibiotics, the doctor wondering why my body was so resistant to the medicine. One more week of extreme sleep. When the medicine had run it's course, I finally started to feel a bit better. A bit better.

By this time, it was April. Something happened. I physically started feeling better- then an issue with the family I cannot disclose at the moment, but will in future. I got slammed with a bout of depression that took me straight back to bed. I couldn't leave the bed, not even for the smallest things. I wasn't suicidal, just immobile. I had to make myself move. You can't stay in bed. That took about a week. Then a day or two to figure out what I was going to say on my blog. How is this. While you may love blogging/writing, it must be disciplined. If you don't do it one day, then the next day it's easier not to do it and next thing you know it's been almost two months since your last piece. Well, that is where I am. Brainstorming and jotting down ideas for tomorrow's entry, and the day after that.....
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