Waiting for today...: September 2015

Monday, September 28

Thursday the 17th: Woah!


I’m still in the murky pit of depression.  
I had one of my best days so far last week but now I feel like I’m going backwards.   And today, the ER staff is pissing me the f*** off!  They desperately seek the help of the case management team and then are contentious about the help we give them.  Why the f*** am I here again?
The good news?  Vacation is in about a week.  
Good news?  It’s debatable.  There’s having to pack and unpack, deal with the airport and TSA, with my mom see me in one of my darkest moods and entertain an entire week of activities.  I don’t know if I’m up for it yet.  I mean I threw $100 dollars to the wind Labor Day weekend because I didn’t have the motivation to pack an overnight bag and take a 2 ½ hour drive to Richmond.  
I have yet to make an appointment with my psychiatrist to get the results of my ADHD/ADD testing.  While a part of me is scared of the results and having to be on additional medication, a greater part of me is still pissed off that she shrugged off my need to have intermittent leave from work.
The disdain for my physical appearance rages on.  
I guess my skin is getting clearer.  I’ll continue to get fatter because my diet is s*** and my exercise habits are nonexistent.  And you know what?  I would be okay with that, for now anyways, if I had the right clothes to match my shape… and if I didn’t have acne.   I just don’t know how to put myself together.  I don’t think I ever really knew. I’ve been a poser for so long I can no longer tell.  And frankly, just thinking about how much effort it takes makes me very anxious.
I’ve thought more about death since July.
I haven’t decided whether it’s due to my recently writing about my past suicide ideations or if I really don’t mind the thought of dying.  I am tired of living this way.  At this point my life is a slow and dreadful death anyway.  The only thing I believe that’s keeping me in this world is the promise of eternal life in Jesus Christ, where there will be no pain, no suffering, no tears, no… depression.  I guess I’ve got some hope after all.

Saturday, September 19

Fruitless Ambition

Inspired by “Soon”, Drawing by Rubyetc

I wanna go places
I wanna meet people
I wanna walk into a crowded room and be unafraid to greet people
I wanna try new things
I wanna lend my talents
I wanna expand my senses and become more than a one woman island
I wanna be spontaneous
I wanna go where the wind takes me
Spain, India, Belize… hell the posh new café down the street
It’s open mic night
I wanna be an inspiration
I wanna affect change
Not just in myself but in all… even those who will never come to see my face
Or know my name
I wanna be athletic
I wanna be out-doorsy
Volleyball, hiking, tennis, camping… maybe even run a marathon
Maybe 3
Or am I thinking of a triathlon?
I wanna build
I wanna be a creator
I wanna be and do so much more than my depressed mind can get down on this piece of paper
I wanna detox
Not from drugs or alcohol but from anxiety and fear
I just wanna be healthy… normal
Whatever that is for me
I just wanna live
Just wanna be all that I was meant to be
‘Cause this… this right here?
There has to be more to living than this right here…

Wednesday, September 16

Again & Again: Where I Am, Part 2

con’t from …Part 1

In effort to rid the world of a bit more ignorance, I dejected my emotionalism as best I could and chose to share more facts.  Namely that there is a misconception of what self-esteem is and of course I gave examples of low, healthy and high self-esteem as well as how parents contribute to them all.

What I didn’t expect was a response from my mom.  A response that would immediately make me question, even regret sharing my thoughts in the first place.  But then I said “no”.  Facts are facts no matter how uncomfortable they make people feel.  And I refused to betray myself by recanting my statements.  Wouldn’t I be contributing to mental health illiteracy if I did?  I’m only raising awareness; it’s the least I can do.   

But I did understand her point of view.  When we spoke again, I broached the topic first by avoiding conjecture and then by offering clarification.  And in that moment, I made a decision.  These days, I want to include my mom in everything.  Vulnerability is sign of trust.  Trust moves relationships forward and helps to sustain them.  Yet, if the tradeoff is tearing open her wounds then it’s best that I do not volunteer as much as I have.  And I’m okay with that.

... faith

Some time ago, well before this breakthrough depression, I was feeling so frustrated about my faith walk.  I concluded that it was because it was time for a growth spurt; I needed to draw even closer to God, step up my discipleship.  And I thought that was what I began to do, mainly by throwing myself into deeper study.  But then I fell into darkness and my light was snuffed out.  

What’s worse?  My mal-adaptive coping has me feeling like a hypocrite.

[hip-uh-krit] /ˈhɪp ə krɪt/
1.   a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc.,
    that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie
    stated beliefs.
2.   a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, especially
    one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.

When a person drinks of and is refreshed by the living water that only Jesus Christ can give, they shout from their roof tops for all to come and drink.  There was no pretending. At every moment I was sincere! But the person I become when in the deepest and darkest pit of depression betrays the person I became when I publically chose to follow Christ; when I first drank of that water.     

“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’” ~ Luke 14:28-30

I can't bear to say more right now…

… career

Boss lady recently asked me how my studying for the mandatory certification exam was going.  It took everything for me to not burst into hysterical laughter.   In hopes that she would understand the reality of depression, I admitted that I could barely shower much less even think about studying for anything.  Once my mood stabilizes I’ll get back to it… or I’ll sabotage myself and be forced to seek employment elsewhere in the system.  Typical me.  At this point I couldn’t care less.

Just like going into work each day while I’m depressed… don’t care.  I’ve called out a few times during this episode.  Didn’t care.  I’ve also asked to leave early.  Meh.  These long days feel so much longer and I reach max tolerance for the workflow, the people and the surprise consults in the early afternoon.  In a twelve hour day I probably “work” half of those hours. The rest of the time, I’m shooting the shit: internet surfing, watching videos on my phone, writing… anything else I can do except work.   It’s stealing really.  No thanks to my psychiatrist who refused to complete the paperwork for temporary leave.

On the bright side we finally have three nurse case managers to cover the ER. That means I no longer have to work every other weekend or an additional shift every two weeks.  Doesn’t seem like much but I’ll take whatever I can get at this point.

… conclusion


Sunday, September 13

Community: Hampton Roads Survivors of Suicide Support Group

Determined to beat the heat, I frequently visit my favorite water ice shop.  On my way back one day, I saw a huge sign that read: Out of Darkness, www.sos-walk.org,  September 12th, 2015. This walk is an American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) fundraising event sponsored by The Hampton Roads Survivors of Suicide Support Group.  The funds that are raised goes toward suicide prevention, education programs and research.  Beyond the walk, the goal of the Hampton Roads S.O.S. is to help those who have lost a loved one to suicide cope with and heal from their loss.  This is an excellent resource, a gem to the mental health community in Hampton Roads Virginia as these survivors need just as much support as those living with mental illness and thoughts of suicide.

For more information or to register for services please contact the office of Chris Gilchrist, L.C.S.W. at 757-483-5111.

Saturday, September 5

Again & Again: Where I Am, Part 1

… mood

As of mid-July, I was eight plus months removed from my last acute depressive episode. From time to time during the previous months of normalcy, my energy would get low. I also wouldn’t feel like being bothered and I admit, it would bum me out a bit. But in those moments I tried to remind myself that I’m going to have many of those moments. After all, just because a person with a chronic illness is not acutely ill doesn’t mean they are freed from their illness. For instance, a person does not stop having diabetes just because their blood sugar is well managed.

In those moments, I rode out the storm-watch the best I could. If that meant I slept all day, so be it. If it meant, well… that’s all I can manage to do when I’ve got low energy. I tried to celebrate the small things in effort to keep my mind from slipping into the darkness. I was gentle with myself. I slowed my thoughts keeping in mind that I’ve come a long way although I’ve got much ways to go. Thankfully, I didn’t have many days like that. But here I am again.

… treatment
Correction: I was eight months removed from my last “breakthrough depression”. That’s what my psychiatrist calls it. And apparently it’s normal for symptoms of depression to surface or worsen after a person has started medication. No surprise to me that these symptoms can be caused by stress or nothing at all.  Acute depression, on the other hand, is synonymous with Major Depressive Disorder, which I definitely do not have. Major Depressive Disorder is very serious and often requires hospitalization which terrifies me.  So needless to say, it’s a relief.
My doctor increased my Lamictal from 150mg to 200mg.  I don’t like the idea of having to play around with dosing.  And I dread the day that I have to change medications. Not because I don’t believe in this mode of therapy. I obviously do.  It’s mainly because of the nasty side effects of psychiatric meds.  I still haven’t had any.  Thank God!  My Celexa can’t be increased anymore thanks to the FDA.  I believe the highest dose of Lamictal is 200mg for the treatment of mood swings.  If I continue to have breakthrough depression, what then? A change in medication is inevitable I guess… if I want to approach normal.
I’m still seeing my therapist every couple of months unless I’m having “breakthrough”. My next appointment isn’t until September. I moved that appointment up once I admitted to having had another mood swing.  But then I cancelled it, choosing maladaptive coping instead.  
I don’t know when I’ll see her again.

… relationships and breakthroughs
I’ve had both minor and major breakthroughs since my last update. The minors include:
  • my admitting that I need someone to help me to keep my apartment clean
  • the need to distance myself from my bestest as the way she and her family chooses to handle the behavioral issues of her youngest breaks my heart and is mentally taxing
  • mindfulness coloring is the bomb
The major? it’s pretty darn major!
I always knew I had low self-esteem. I just hadn’t realized how severe it was and how much of an impact it had on my everyday life.  Blaming my lack of knowledge, I did some research and I came to realize that low self-esteem is the bridge between rejection and my many personality defects: awkwardness, fear, insecurity, underachievement, lack of confidence, procrastination, etc., etc. I can go on and on.
It overwhelmed me.  My heart plummeted to the pit of my stomach and it was in torment. But it was also infuriating. Yes, I once again thought about my childhood experiences, as I always do. But I thought more about children today, especially my bestests’ youngest, and how adults take for granted that they’re okay when often they are not as evidenced by the ever increasing rate of teen, and pre-teen, suicide.  And with that I took to social media.

My intention was to share what I learned about the link between self-esteem and mental health both in childhood and adulthood. Having received responses to my posts, my passion turned to frustration. The response that set me off was from a sister in Christ.  She said that she once heard a sermon asserting self-esteem is against the teachings of Christ.  So was not her that set me off.  It is the spreading of that type of faith-mingled illiteracy that perpetuates ignorance and suffering.  Annnnd the rant began.

con't to ...Part 2