Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Friday, October 22, 2010

Looking back

A year ago this week was the most afraid of killing myself I have ever been.  I was spending a great deal of my time curled in a ball on my bed thinking "I want to die.  I just want to die", and most of the rest of my time working and pleading with God to let me die rather than listen to one more person complain.  I remember one patient I seriously thought would drive me to the absolute edge because I couldn't take her whining and I wanted to get away from her so very badly and the only way I could think of to get away from her was to die.  

Last year this week I wrote the following:

I have a call in and an email requesting admission this weekend. For various reasons I want to try to make it a few more days. But that's as much as I can do. Today started the very non-exciting experience of repeatedly finding myself thinking "I want to die". Not "I want to kill myself", just "I want to die". I'm crying far too easily, I can't think, I'm doing crappy therapy, and I just want to stay home and sleep. That part isn't happening, but I also no longer can see even a possibility of staying out of the hospital more than about 4-5 days. I cannot live like this and the longer I taper the medication the longer it goes on.
This was written the day after I told Dr. Mind it was time to go to the hospital, and he was so very glad I said that because he was going to push it that day.  At the very beginning of coming off my antidepressant I told him that while I realize that at all times he can get me in the hospital if he feels it is necessary in the past I had fought every way I could, including ensuring Dr. Brain agreed to let me stay out and it's her final call unless he has me involuntarily admitted and even then I think she could stop it, and he won't do that unless I'm totally out of my mind, that he was in charge on this one.  I do know though from the past that he will make my life pretty miserable if I fight.  And when I'm well I know he is right and I probably should have been hospitalized at least twice in the time I've known him but my strong opposition kept me out.  (I can't count the times I should have been inpatient before that.  Many, I just didn't know that until he and I started our fight about it that lasted for a few years.)  He'd decided it was time to take charge when I walked into his office, burst into tears and said I needed to be in the hospital.  And that session I scared him some because I was so far from myself.  I can't believe now that I did this, but I insisted that if I could possibly do it I wanted to finish the work week because my assistant had quit and the new one hadn't started yet, and also I wanted one more counseling session before I went.

It's so weird to look back at all that and realize it was a year ago.  It seems so close, yet so very far away.  It's hard that I'm not doing well right now; I almost never (more like can't remember ever since being diagnosed with depression) done well in late October and my SAD lamp only helps so much.  And I did everything right this time and got back on high-dose meds as soon as I had symptoms and I am better than the beginning of the week.  A long way from better, and definitely back 3-4 weeks in the recovery process,  but as much as I hate that it's part of this and that I've been struggling to some extent for many months now (sometimes better, sometimes worse) this is not last year.  And I am so grateful for that.

I suspect there will be a lot of posts in the next two weeks with the theme of then versus now.  Now wins.  I'm having a moderate mixed episode, but compared to a very severe one/very severe depression a year ago this is easy.  A year ago this week I was learning what they meant when they taught us that suicide often happens after the worst of the depression lifts because with the severe depression you are too sick to plan, but as you recover you are more of a danger.  Because if I could have followed any plan at all I would have.  In fact this very thing bought me extra time inpatient, because when I felt better and was handed something that could have hurt me with effort I freaked out because I was scared of using it to hurt myself. It's probably still in the heater in room 620....I've never said this before at all, but honestly the only reason I did not use that stupid paperclip to do as much damage as possible between someone being suspicious of my hour in the bathroom while I hacked away was that I knew that would result in a transfer to general psych and probably refusal to admit me to the small unit ever again, and I knew general psych wouldn't have things like a private room, the compromise about my sensory equipment, and that it would be much louder than where I was.

This is just a strange time, knowing that I'm not well, I'm not even really ok at the moment (I refuse to believe that I'm ok if I need 700 mg of Seroquel XR (different dosing) to function and when I feel like I do, but I'm still so far from the person who heard those doors click while someone took my bags and someone else took me to my room and started asking me a thousand questions.  That person couldn't even drive the same route taken monthly to get to the City to see Dr. Brain without getting lost 3 times (and it's a straight shot).  That person couldn't even think a whole thought or get words out.  How I feel now is so odd, because I feel bad and need to acknowledge that, but my perspective is forever different.

And speaking of 700 mg of Seroquel, it's taking over so I should shut up.


WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

If it takes Seroquel to make life as normal as possible I would be saying Bring on the Seroquel!!! Plus the added bene of sleep!

Wow, that is a loooooong way to come in 12 months, and deserves a big WOOHOO!!!!

Michal Ann said...

You know I've been reading your blog steadily for over a year so I clearly remember the things you're reviewing. Yeah, I wondered about your determination to fulfill obligations at work and to have another counseling session before you checked in. It's interesting to hear your perspective today. I have so much respect for you!

I've a learned a lot from watching your experience of self-discovery. I truly thank God that you're growing stronger all the time.

Now to Him who is able to keep you from falling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:24-25

Just Me said...

Funny enough, even though I look back now and think I was out of my mind for staying out as long as I did (which granted might have happened faster if it weren't the week of Dr. Brain's cancer diagnosis), I'm so grateful I did, for one reason. That extra counseling session gave me strength I really needed. It was when I found out the entire agency staff was praying specifically for me, something Dr. Mind knew I would be ok with since most people knew at least who I was as I'm pretty much the longest term pt. they have, if not the longest. (They'd only been open 2-3 years when I started there). I also needed to have him do the assessment showing how low I was functioning because that was what it took to KNOW I was as bad as I felt. And I needed his pointing out how slow and broken my speech and thinking were to be sure. And since I had no counseling at all in the hospital that last session had to last a while. (Next time Dr. Brain is going to try to make it so I can talk to Dr.Mind a few times on the phone and then I'll just pay Dr. Mind for phone sessions. I hate phone sessions but they beat nothing while I'm experiencing zillions of emotions.)

Amazing we've been friends nearly 18 months now. Wonder if April Rose is walking yet?:)