Wow. 18 months later and I was about to log onto WordPress to create a new blog, when lo and behold, this one appeared. I had forgotten I had written it. I guess it was tossed to the refuse of all the shrapnel papers, half completed journals, and now perfunctory blogs that I have kept in an, often futile, way of making sense of my life.
I ended up in the hospital again.
A year and change at work, and winter was rearing its melancholic inducing force. I had met up with a new medication prescriber, and described to her the increasing dysthmia I was experiencing. How it was getting harder to motivate; how I felt slow, sluggish, and torpid; how it seemed that I was teetering on the edge of a very dark and dangerous precipice.
She responded by changing the medication that had kept me stable.
A reasonable effort, I suppose, but one that my overly sensitive body could not take. I will share the story at another time, when it seems appropriate and I am not exhausted by it’s familiarity and pungency. All of which to say, I landed in the hospital, twice. Once for a frightening and rare medical side effect of a new medication dosage. Once for the bipolar depression. She took me off several of the medications, and, as night follows day, a few weeks later I became symptomatic again. So besieged by suicidal thoughts that I was tearing at the bed, scared to drive, useless at work, the screen blurring as tears broke through the facade and rolled down my cheeks.
So, I landed in a psychiatric hospital. Eighth time? But who’s counting?
That was mid March. This is the end of April. And after 10 days in lock down, one truly awful stint in Yale’s Intensive Outpatient Program, a bucketful of guilt and anxiety over finances, relationships, my sister’s wedding, and the constant worry: what in god’s name does one DO when one is recovering from depression, and the trauma of an involuntary hospitalization, restraints, and all the other indignities that increase in frequency once one is mentally ill – sleep, mainly – I seem to be recovering.
Today was a good day.
Small victories: driving without nausea and demonic thoughts of hurling myself over the Q Bridge. Actually making it to an appointment = no cavities! Walking and even basking a bit in the sunlight. This is a triumph, as a good portion of the last month or so has consisted of me staring at the sun’s rays – flickering, taunting, distorted through the window – as I sat paralyzed on the couch. Going to the gym, actually completing 35 minutes of cardio. Truth be told, I was watching Ellen as I rode the elliptical, and felt equal parts detached from the world, and disgusted by my place in it. Poor, not famous, not even a college graduate, no discernible skill set that would land me on a show such as Ellen. Repugnant thought stream, I know. Filled with comparisonitis and “black and white thinking”, but hey at least I’m recognizing it as such.
Also, trying to be kind to myself as way of motivating action, instead of my default – which is to insult and berate myself into action, which kind of works, but has the marked disadvantage of leaving me falling down a self-loathing shame spiral. Self-compassion. Self-compassion.
(Hold god I am glad for auto-save!!! My computer just restarted itself and I thought that I had LOST this!! Crimity.)
Back to today’s small victories. I made myself dinner, it was nothing lavish, and really just required a single pot, but is an improvement over the popcorn, microwaved sweet potatoes, and nothing that I have been eating. Or the reliance on Eric to cook. I am guiltily glad that he has been working/sleeping much of the day. It has given me time to actually accomplish things for myself, which is doing wonders for my self-image. Even washing the dishes, and journaling, which Eric, and Susan, my therapist, have been hectoring me to do, but I have not out of a combination of obstinance, apathy, and a vague distrust of any method I may have used in the past to slay the dragons of my mind. But, it’s not JOURNALING’s fault that I slid into depression again; truth be told I stopped keeping a journal/blog/other form of self-referential writing. So, why blame it.
So, today was good. It’s not over yet. I may still peruse the Yale job site, and undoubtedly will surf the internet for a time.
Tomorrow begins another day. New and more dreams to be had. More tasks to be completed. A life to keep fighting for.
And so I end, on a preposition. Of.