Now I’m really alone

Last night I had a counseling appointment.  What could very well be my last one.  Ever.

I was already going to take a month or so break, just to settle in to my new job, my new routine.  But I had every intention of actually setting up another appointment.  I didn’t.  The counselor told me he’d keep my spot open for me, but I’m tempted to email him and tell him not to bother. 

I had written him a letter last time telling him how much I was hurting.  His comment was that my writing is very consistent.  (so, I’m consistently hurting, yes?)  He wondered why I’ve been on so many SSRI’s with no luck.  Or hell any kind of antidepressant or mood stabilizer.  Even better, why I’ve been on so many with no side effects of any kind.  Apparently quitting Effexor at 300 mg with no side effects is unheard of.  "What happens if you’re happy and don’t even know it"

So me, reading between the lines…  "I think you’re faking this"  No he didn’t say it, but that’s where the conversation seemed to go.  That’s what I got out of the hour there.  I don’t think it dawned on me until the drive home, but that’s definitely where I think he was going. 

The last time I saw the psychiatrist she spent less than five minutes with me.  It helped me none.  So I’m not going back there either.

I feel like a sham.  Like no matter what, no one is going to believe me about how much I’m hurting.  But that’s okay, because since my feelings aren’t real, the next time I feel like killing myself or cutting, I don’t have to fight those feelings either, right? 

At a loss…

I had a counseling appointment yesterday. I didn’t get much accomplished in it; and therefore feel like I’m wasting his time. There’s so much I want to say; but the feelings and intensity are hard to describe. Sometimes I just want to sit there quietly crying, knowing there’s some sort of safety there. Don’t ask me to describe that in more detail; I can’t.

My husband reminded me last night that I can talk to him. Yes, I know that, but what am I supposed to say? The feelings are so overwhelming that trying to pin down what’s wrong right at this moment is hard. What am I thinking about? Hell if I know. What can you do to help me? Hell if I know that one either.

And what’s more is I can’t connect the feelings I have when I’m really down, like crisis down, to when I’m “normal” – or as “normal” as I’ll ever be. It’s like I myself can’t even comprehend the pain, the thoughts, unless I’m feeling them right at that second. All I can do is write and hope that someone somewhere down the line can understand me. And when they understand me, let me in on the secret, because I’m at a loss too.

So I’ve made an appointment with the psychiatrist. December 1st at 5 pm. Well at least I won’t have to miss much of work to go. I’m tired of having to take off time just to go to counseling sessions. I feel bad for taking off work, but at the same time, I feel upset that these people won’t work with me. I mean, why can’t I work from 7 to 4? These are the only people that I interviewed with that insisted on an 8-5 schedule. Unfortunately they’re also one of the few that offered me a job.

So, back to the psychiatrist thing. I don’t know why I’m going. Actually, yes I do: because my counselor told me to. That’s the only reason I do believe. I have no faith that the medications will help any more this time than they ever have (which is none). I don’t know if I can keep pushing myself to get better when it seems everything is going against me. How does one keep going after they lose all hope? Or better yet, WHY do I keep going after I’ve lost all hope for peace on Earth? I guess I keep going because of others, but that doesn’t quiet the rage I feel sometimes.

Yesterday’s Session

It was an interesting counseling session yesterday to say the least. I had written him a letter and given it to him the session before last. It was written on a day I was feeling particularly bad, so it was rather um, well, intense (if you scroll down a few weeks in posts, you will find the post where I typed it out here). He started out that he was worried about me. What a coincidence, I’m starting to get worried about me too… But seriously, sometimes the emotions are scary, and very so intense. It’s hard to think about anything besides how deeply depressed I am and concentration, and thus work, are hard. Tears come so easily now, and even being around my husband isn’t cheering me up as much as it used to. If I can stay busy, like really busy, then it makes things a little easier, but I’m still having problems. I’ve gotten through worse, yes, I know, but that doesn’t make the feelings any easier.

So, counselor suggested a psychiatrist. I had every intention of asking him for a referral yesterday, but just the fact that he brought it up first, made it harder. And I wasn’t even surprised that he suggested one. It just seems like defeat in a way. That I can’t beat this by myself, that I have to turn to medicines to help me get through the day alive. It feels like I’m a failure for not being strong enough to pull myself out of this.

I guess it doesn’t matter. Even if I wanted to, I’m not going to be able to go. I would have to miss too much work. I’m guessing about 1.5 to 2 hours every 4-6 weeks. I can’t afford that time. I only get five sick days a year. If I do happen to get sick, well, no more sick leave. And I don’t want to have to go through questioning as to why I’m having to miss so much. I already miss 30 minutes every other week. Given a choice between counseling and going to a psychiatrist, I would rather use what little time I can afford for a counselor over a psychiatrist. I know, a psychiatrist could make all my problems go away with the swallow of one pill. Maybe, or maybe not. I’m not willing to take that chance. I would rather fight this with the help of a counselor than to fight it with a psychiatrist. And I don’t have time to do both.

Meanwhile I’m looking for another job. One with enough flexibility that would allow me to go to these doctors appointments without having to ask for time off. In a way, it’s also not so much about the time I need off, as opposed to actually having to ask my boss for it off. I don’t want questions, and we have to send an email out to everyone every time we leave the office. I just don’t want any questions. I don’t want to have to reveal how much I’m struggling to everyone, to make my boss question whether I’m too much trouble to keep.

Letter to my counselor

I’ve agonized over what to tell you, how to tell you. Expressing my feelings has always been hard for me. And it’s not a trust issue, really it’s not. At least it’s not with you. It’s an issue I have comprehending my own feelings. Trying to figure out what I’m feeling and then put those feelings in to words is hard for me. No matter who I’m talking to (or not talking to).

One thing’s for certain, everything is overwhelmingly intense. I spend so much energy dealing with the intensity of the feelings themselves that I can’t deal with anything else. I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this. If I have, it’s worth repeating, because it describes so well how I feel… just about all the time. I feel like I’m driving on a road, right by a cliff. The road is cracking and not stable. The cliff is a 1000 feet down. At the bottom is frigid cold water. I drive along the road, until I hit an unstable place. I fall into the icy cold water. I see a hand, one that I think is there to save me. I reach for it, but the person just pushes me further in to the water. I’m alone, and I want to die, but something keeps me going. Finally I’m out of the water. I get up, and keep going, until it happens all over again.

Work’s hard. Life’s hard. I have to pretend that everything is ok. Put on my smiley face and fight back the losing battle of tears at work. Smile and say fine when someone asks how I’m doing. Actually answering that question truthfully would scare people off in most cases. At the same time, pretending I’m ok when I’m not is leaving me alone to deal with the feelings.

I used to have an overwhelming sense of fear all the time. Fear not targeted to anything I could put my hands on, at least not that I can figure out. Lately, that fear is lifting. Instead of the absence of fear comforting me, it’s left me unsettled. I know the feeling going away is not because I’m getting better.

I still have issues with wanting to self-injure. Don’t ask me how or why it helps, it just does. I know if I do it though, I will get questions, will get yelled at. So I just have to figure out ways to hurt myself, physically, that no one notices.

I want to die. I close my eyes and can see myself in a coffin, see myself pulling the trigger. Whether or not I would do it is immaterial (though, for your own peace of mind, I would never do it). I still have to deal with the images. Still have to make a conscience decision that today I live. While it seems everyone else in this world seems to have that choice down, I don’t. Every day, I have to remake that choice. Wake up and decide I will get through the day… alive. Why is that so hard for me to do? Why is this something I still struggle with, even after all these years?

Most everything I’ve told you isn’t new. I’ve been dealing with the the thoughts since I was a teenager. I’m supposed to be able to deal with them. To understand them and not let them control me. But I can’t avoid the constant swings; I’m nothing but a failure.

I think one of the things that really makes the feelings hard is I see no reason why I have a right to them. I know other people are going through much worse. I have it made. Yet, just making the choice to live is so hard for me, let alone getting through the rest of my life.

Labor Day Weekend

Well, it’s another week at work. One that I didn’t want to do, but have to in order to make ends meet. Well, I guess. We could sell the house and then I could stay at home and loaf around, but where’s the fairness in that?
This weekend we went to my parent’s place. My husband put up a fan, put in a light over the sink, and fixed another light fixture in the kitchen. We also tried to fix their desktop, which is apparently not cooperating, so it came back home with us for a complete rewrite. Well if I can find a disk in order to rewrite it.
We also went over to my grandfather’s Saturday evening to have dinner. Steaks, fried okra, and potato salad. Just what every 90 year old needs. Apparently he is feeling better, but hadn’t been doing so well lately. He was almost bed-ridden because of weakness. The doctors stopped two of his THREE (yes, 3) diuretics, he’s been getting extra calcium and potassium (which also were very low) and seems to be getting stronger. He was telling us about it, saying he wasn’t sure he was going to live through that time. I’m glad that he did, and he’s still with us today. He made a point to tell me and my sister what wonderful grandchildren we are.
When I was down at my parent’s house also brought back a lot of stuff from my old room. Clothes- like what was going to be my senior prom dress, and my class day dress. And a couple other dresses I’m not sure why I didn’t have up here with me. Also came across my senior class photos, invitations, and my memory book. My husband was jealous, I think, he never got any of that kind of stuff.
Last I heard that stupid doctor I went to on Monday still hasn’t called in my medicine she said she was going to, so I must call during business hours to talk to someone I really don’t want to talk to, so that I can remind them that they are slacking on their job. They also ended up overcharging me for my copay. For some reason that new card that BCBS sent had wrong information on it as far as copay. The card was not even one month old.
I have a counseling appointment tomorrow, so I must ask my boss for time off again. I’m not really looking forward to it since she doesn’t seem to be able to answer to emails as to whether or not it is ok for me to go. If I tell her out loud she will forget. So, I chose to have the evidence in writing. Yes, I know, I’m still waiting and hoping and praying for that other job.
So, tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow. What to talk about? Well, if talking about the doctor’s visit doesn’t take up the whole hour. I’m not looking forward to it, but at the same time, need to talk to someone. I’m still extremely depressed. It’s hard for me to concentrate at work, even at home. It’s hard for me to care about what happens to me. Oh, you say I’m going to die… so what?! Little things like that are hard. How many people take for granted just wanting to live? Most people, from what I can tell, automatically figure on living. But what happens when a person has to make a concerted effort to know that they can’t die, that they must stay alive? What happens when the default goes from wanting to live, to wanting to die? How does a person get through this, how do I get through it? How do I have enough energy to tackle the littler things in life?

yesterday’s counseling appointment

I once was told by a counselor that my depression was faked and was depressed for the mere sake of getting friends.  I’ve come to the conclusion that she’s bloody wrong.  Just about every friend in person I tell ends up dumping me when they find out about the depression, or at least how bad it is.  I have to bite my tongue when a friend asks me how I’m doing.  Reply with a smile I’m fine … or I’m tired.  Everyone’s tired.  Not everyone feels like dying would be for the better.  I have a few friends on the Internet that I guess I could call friends, but they can’t hold me when I cry.  Or listen while I *try* to talk.  I’ve decided I’m in this alone.  

I had a counseling appointment yesterday.  I gave my counselor a letter.  I’ve found the letters are easier to write if I pretend everything happened to someone else, and that I’m telling that person’s story and not my own.  It’s just hard to keep all my pronouns straight sometimes.  It’s when I have to connect events with my own life that things get hard to deal with.  But, as with everything, disconnecting myself from what happened takes energy.  Energy that I don’t have.  But hell, facing it as if it were my own takes energy I don’t have too.
  
It gets so hard to think, to concentrate.  I try to focus, but it’s like I’m in a daze.  I don’t expect any of you to understand.  When things get really bad, it’s like my body goes on and functions without me there.  I’ve typed many a emails to folks or even blog entries, and come back and think, wow… I typed that… I must really be messed up.

Back to the counseling appointment, he wanted to know who else had hurt me.  I couldn’t even bring myself to talk about anything.  Not even simple answers that should have been like walking blindfolded through a flat pasture.  You know things like my dad said repeatedly that he wish I was never born.  How hard is that to say out loud?  I just sat there, frozen in thought, trying to keep myself planted on ground instead of completely getting lost in the fog that is supposed to be my brain.  I trust him alot, how come I can’t focus my thoughts enough to tell him?  To talk about stuff out loud, in person?

It’s so damn hard, dealing with this. Wondering if I’m ever going to find peace.  Wondering if I even want peace.  

Partial letter to counselor

Okay, I realize I’m cheating here.  Of the front and back of a handwritten page, I only feel comfortable posting a quarter of it here.  The rest I don’t dare write in public.

It’s getting increasingly difficult for me to not get triggered by stuff.  Little things, like just about any song, just about anything.  It’s so intense, so hard to control the emotions.  Even at work where I used to be able to be in control, it’s hard to be.  It’s hard to control the tears.  Concentration is bad and it’s nearly impossible to stay with it, to not completely space out. 

I’m so tired.  I’ve been dealing with this for so long.  I’ve given up on getting better, of being happy to be alive.  I’m so tired of feeling this way though.  I’m tired of wasting so much of my energy just to do the normal things everyone takes for granted.  I’m tired of counting down the time until 5 pm (quitting time) as soon as I get up.  I’m tired of being alive, of having to pray for death.  How come everyone else is normal while I have to spend all my energy pretending that I am?

Part of the last letter to my counselor

I feel like crap.  I don’t want to talk to people, don’t feel like writing, don’t even feel like eating.  Everyday is a struggle to get through, a struggle I don’t feel like battling.  I know there isn’t anyone who would care if I left this Earth, well except my husband who would miss my paycheck.  I know I can’t kill myself.  At least when I accepted that as an option, I had hope.  I know as weird as it might sound, I had hope that the pain would stop, and soon, if need be.  Now there is no hope.  I don’t believe that the feelings will ever stop.  Why should I?  I’ve been like this for so long.  I’ve spent so much time in my life battling just to get to the next day.  Half hoping I would, half sad that I did.

I’m tired of being told I’m a bad Christian because I’m so depressed.  Apparently I can’t be a good Christian if I’m depressed. But the same person in the same breath will tell me that depression is a disease, just like diabetes, and that I shouldn’t be ashamed of it.  I don’t understand the reasoning.  But in some ways, it’s easy to accept the fact that I’m a horrible person, and that I deserve the depression.  After all, it has to be someone’s fault, and I’m the easiest target to blame. 

i’m not alright…

What do you do when you decided that dying is the only way out of the pain?  How do you accept that you have to keep going?  That there’s a reason for going through this?  That after living with this for so long, that things WILL get better? I know by every one’s standards it’s my fault for feeling like this.  My fault that I’m depressed.  I’m not strong enough… I’m not a good enough Christian…  I’m not a lot of things I’m supposed to be.  And if I’d just be stronger, a better Christian, everything would be ok. 

I have to wake up every morning and go to work.  At work, most of the time I just feel like crying and sleeping.  But I have to force myself to do work.  I have to force myself to put on a smile.  After all, I can’t be so rude as to say that I don’t want to work, or am ungrateful for the job, because I’m not.  It’s just so hard to make it through the day when I have to be happy.  When I have to interact with people.  When I have to work so hard to hide the tears.

I’m in this alone.  The sooner I realize that the easier this will be.  But I still long for someone to hold me while I cry.  Someone to care whether or not I live or die.  Maybe that would just complicate things though.  Maybe it’s easier to be alone.

And I say I’m alone, but I guess I know I’m not.  So many people tell me that I’m not alone.  But I still feel that way.  It’s so easy for someone to tell some one else that their not alone.  So why should I believe them.  And how does someone feel not alone?  I see no reason why people would want to care about me.  I’m not cute.  I’m depressed.  I have nothing to bring to a relationship.  Nothing.

I quit all my online depression support groups last week.  I’m not joining back.  I’m tempted to quit counseling. 

I’m not going to kill myself… but that doesn’t mean that I want to live. 

no title today

I went to counseling last night.  Final comments were I look much happier.  I’m not.  Oh, God, I’m not.  Holding back tears, even at work, is still really hard for me.  The last two times I’ve gone to counseling (which have been the only two times recently) I’ve been in a decent mood.  Why?  I have no idea.  Maybe because the prospect of someone listening to me for an hour helps to the point where I’m relaxed enough to breathe through the depression.  Or maybe it’s just coincidence.  Or maybe it was the funny joke told on the radio before the session.  At any rate, it’s so frustrating because I don’t want to be in a good mood.  I want to be candid with the counselor.  But at the same time, I’m afraid. 

I just know everyday is a struggle.  I want so bad to talk to my counselor.  To tell him what’s going on.  I’m not going to be normal; not going to be able to get through this.  Anti-depressants don’t work.  I’m not even sure whether counseling works anymore.  It’s so hard just to get through the daily grind.  So many days lately I just want to stay at home.  To sleep all day.  I’m increasingly tired, depressed…  and there’s nothing I can do about it.  I’m defeated.  I’m defeated by an illness that even the lesser intelligent people can beat.  That makes me weak, stupid, and alone. 

I’ve been thinking of maybe trying meds again.  The new drug, Abilify, I’ve wondered about.  But it is so hard for me to think about trying out new meds.  It’s like I get all hopeful about a new drug, and I just have that much farther to fall.  It’s so disheartening and even more depressing realizing that the drug doesn’t work.  That I’m one step closer to not having an answer; to having no hope at all.  To being alone with no way out. 

You know, what’s bad is that supposedly since I don’t want to actually kill myself (as opposed to just dying), people are more relaxed about my condition.  She’ll be ok, there’s no danger of her committing suicide.  But, when I wanted to kill myself, I had hope that things would get better.  That if things got rough, there was some way out.  There was always a glimmer of hope that way.  Now, none.  No hope that things will get better.