Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I'm feeling better, but I did something difficult today

First of all, I'm feeling much better today.  My chemistry is getting straightened out and my optimism for my mental health has returned. Many thanks for all the encouraging and supportive messages.  :)

Here's the difficult thing I did today:  I said goodbye to two women that I thought were good friends of mine.

Let me tell you the backstory.  I think everyone knows that The Husband and I separated for a few months about a year and a half ago.  After we'd reconciled I had just found a therapist that was a good fit for me.   I was planning on focusing on behaviors I wanted to change and The Husband and I were discussing that when he shared something with me.

He told me that when he'd told some people we were splitting their response was "We're surprised it took this long."  and "I don't know how you put up with that for so long."   The Husband told me somewhat recently that conversations of that flavor had been going on between this group of people and him for some time. 

Here's the thing.  These were a group of people that I'd known for 15 years and I thought were my friends as well.

Two of them were women that I counted among my closest friends.  The three of us were pregnant at the same time and we shared the fear and awe and wonder and exhaustion and elation that was being pregnant. We had each other to talk to about our babies and which diapers worked best for boys or girls and which flavors of baby food were good on ice cream.

We'd all had a shit-ton of fun together. Gotten our nails done.  Taken over the biggest fitting room at Target and dragged in ten thousand items to try on.  Gone for girls' nights.  Gotten drunk.  Laughed until we almost peed our pants.  I thought they loved me.

Apparently, I was wrong about that.

Ever since I was told that the general opinion of me in this social circle was so low, my heart has been bleeding.  Like I said, I thought they loved me.

Many years ago I had an excellent woman friend who turned on me and I mean TURNED on me.  (She had a history of doing that with her women friends, there are enough of us to have a nice sized club.)  One of the things she told me was that no one in our social circle really liked me, they just put up with me because The Husband is great and he was worth putting up with me.   Well, maybe this was the same thing.  I don't know. They haven't talked to me since they learned we might not stay married. 

Finally, today, I decided I needed to let it go.  Which meant I had to let THEM go.

So, I wrote to them both that I'd been doing some very serious therapy over the past year and part of what I had had a difficult time dealing with  was the way they'd reacted to The Husband and I sleeping apart.   Well, here, you read it:

I'm writing to you as part of some intense therapy I've been doing over the last several months. One of the things I have had to deal with is the response Scott got when he told you guys we were splitting up. He's angry that I'm even telling you that he disclosed to me the general opinion was no one knew how he'd put up with me for so long and surprise that he hadn't split with me sooner. I was also told that these conversations had been going on with him for some time.

I'm heartbroken that we're not friends anymore. I really did love you and valued your friendship. So, I'm writing to tell you goodbye and sincerely apologize for anything I did that hurt or angered you.

I cried while I wrote and re-wrote and finally sent my messages.  I'm crying again now. 

Like I said, I thought they loved me.  


Sunday, December 14, 2014

This is completely impossible to describe to anyone that hasn't experienced it

What am I referring to?  Trying to find the correct combination of prescriptions to treat the symptoms of depression.

Treating depression with pharmaceuticals is less than an exact science.   Really, there's a lot of black magic and guess-work involved in finding the combination that will work for the person in question.

The health care professional talks with the person needing treatment, thinks about what needs to be treated and makes an educated, informed guess as to what pill/pills will bring relief.  Sometimes, it works on the first try.  Sometimes, it takes a couple tries.  Each try requires 2 to 4 weeks to complete.  Most medications need 10 to 14 days to begin to show their effectiveness.  In the meantime, the side effects show themselves.  These can range from nausea or loss of appetite to panic attacks and suicidal thoughts.  Yes, drugs that treat depression can make symptoms worse.  And you don't know until you're on the stuff for 2 weeks.

As you're waiting for the effectiveness of the new stuff you're also going through getting off of whatever it was you were taking before.  The withdrawal symptoms can be the same as the side effects of the new pills or they can add a whole different set of excitement to the days.

Once you've been on the new course of treatment for the needed period of time, you make a decision if it's working well enough to stay on said treatment.  If it's not, you start the process of getting off the old stuff and on to the new stuff you hope works all over again.

As this is all happening, you have to keep trying to live your life without crumpling up into a ball to keep from having to deal with all this bullshit.  You still have to parent children, go to work, do laundry and all the other things that are involved in living life.  Again, it's impossible to explain to someone who hasn't been through it that the act of putting gasoline in the car is just not something that can be dealt with at this exact moment in time.  Leaving the house isn't a possibility, let alone trying to drive somewhere and complete a financial transaction.

There are some dark thoughts that go along with this wait and see period of time.  Really, in-patient treatment starts to seem like a completely logical and appealing option.  Being someplace where trained pros will keep an eye on you instead of being allowed to take your crazy self out into the world where it will be expected you'll behave like a normal person.  Normal?  What the hell is that?  I'm not normal I'm crazy.  I'm a boobie and I belong in the boobie hatch.  What a relief it would be to just give in to it.  How liberating to just fall into insanity instead of fighting the undertow every second of every day.

You start to think about what kind of deal you'd have to make with what kind of devil to be free of all this.  The mood swings, the crying jags, the weird dreams, the nightmares,  the side effects, the fear that NOTHING will work this time, the insomnia, the inability to focus, the dizziness, the constant efforts to keep panic attacks at bay, the lack of enjoyment of anything, the never ending fear that this is going to be what it is for the rest of your life.

Crazytown. Welcome, this is where you live.  Come on in so we can close up the borders because there is no way in hell you will ever be leaving. Just accept the fact that you're a lunatic and start to deal with it.  You are never going to be optimistic, happy, find a child-like joy in all that you do because you're a kookoo.

 I would give anything to be free of this.