There is (often) help.

The more depressed I become, the more I blog. The more I blog, the more readers I get. And though I am basically a selfish sad-sack, I feel I should have some Public Service Announcement, so here we go:

Most depression is treatable! And not with hardcore treatment like ECT, either – I mean physical movement (I hate the word exercise as much as I hate doing exercise), counselling/therapy, and/or medication.

My case is an unfortunate exception, where I’ve got a strong family history, a seasonal component, and a history of abuse and trauma, among other things, followed by years of trying to find ways of trying to get on top of depression once and for all. I would really plead with you, if you feel you are depressed, to give yourself an honest and necessary chance to have it properly treated. Resources will depend on where you live, but some Googling or a chat with your family doc might be a good place to start.

To Write Love On Her Arms ( is my favourite website about depression and some of the blog posts are truly beautiful. So please, if depression is new to you, don’t let it end your story without reaching out for help.

thanks for reading this.

Kids. Eugh.

My friend/landlady said she would come to visit today around noon and I was like “oh great!” Then she said she would have her son with her. Why the fuck would you bring a young kid to the psych ward? Now I wish she wasn’t coming but what can I do? He’ll be restless and bored and we won’t be able to chat so what is the point? Annoying.


I feel just… wound up, like I have to get out of here before the rest of my life outside falls apart. The meds aren’t helping (yet), I cry when I go to groups, I’m bored and exhausted and on the verge of tears all at the same time. I’m only allowed to use my iPad after 4 pm (not to use it instead of going to groups) and I haven’t had the energy to blog after what seems like an endlessly long day. I just feel awful, basically.

How is your mood?

I feel like I’m fine, then the nurse comes in and asks me that and I get all teary. My back hurts like a bitch if I move the wrong way, I have this shooting pain right through my butt cheek, so I was on the floor (which badly needs a Swiffer, so, gross) stretching for 40 minutes again, which barely helped. I am sure it’s a “jammed up SI joint” which is what my massage therapist has said in the past so maybe I will have to wait until I can get in for an appointment for a massage or chiro to help.

Anyway, back to the nurse coming in. He is a middle-aged Asian man, and came in to take my vitals and talk to me for a bit. He asked why I was here and “when was the last time I was in the hospital”, which I found interesting – now it’s assumed I’ve been in before, I’m chronic, that I am a Long-Term Mental Case. It is different from the last time I was here ten months ago, and I don’t like it.

So he asked why I was here (what had happened to make the depression worse) and I explained that for one thing I’d been waiting on a pain clinic referral since June and they’d called with an appointment time for next March, so the whole area of Dealing with Migraine is depressing, and then I started crying. Then we briefly went out over the other areas of my life (friends? Work?) and I cried while explaining them, or the lack of them.

I had two friends visit Thursday, then one coming today and one tomorrow, which is good because the weekends here are really dull – everyone is out on passes, there are no groups, etc., so I am actually welcoming the idea of social contact. Being in the hospital is already way more social contact than I ever get at baseline – I get hello and good night from my office mates at work, aaand… I make and am able to follow through on social plans every few months. I went to a movie with one friend in January, and went to another friend’s house in, I’m gonna say, around July? to visit and do some crafts. Otherwise it’s work and migraines. It’s a fucking depressing life.

The hospital only has an ancient migraine medication, which I haven’t taken since the 1990’s, and they keep saying “Maybe someone could bring in some meds from home?” But I don’t want that because all my meds are together in a train case and someone might just bring all of them in instead of picking through them, like I asked for – that’s what happened last time – and then they could take my suicide/overdose stash without my being able to stop them. I don’t want that; if they get me feeling better then fine, but if they don’t I want that option open to me, to be my own choice.

Being transferred.

I’m being transferred back to the hospital where my psychiatrist is… at some point during the next few hours. I’m feeling exhausted right now, I went to craft class which was loud and full of manic people, then when I got back to my room they told me about the transfer. Maybe I’ll try to have a nap.

Some friends call and some friends don’t.

I had emailed Beth last week to say how crappy I was feeling. She responded with what, to me, was an unbelievable email:

I am really troubled that you are letting yourself spiral down again.

I know you can rise above your current feelings of hopelessness because I have seen you do it before, but YOU have to decide that.  There are good things in life if one CHOOSES to look for them, acknowledge them and be thankful for them. There can be joy even in the small and mundane things in life.

I wrote back saying that I couldn’t believe I hadn’t managed to explain to her that depression is not just a choice… and let’s not talk about it anymore… then when I was admitted to hospital I emailed my cell number and said I knew her heart was in the right place, that I wasn’t well so hadn’t responded at my best.

She hasn’t called or emailed, and I sent that yesterday afternoon. So I’m sad and disappointed. And I am not sure how to interpret it — are they busy? They are scared of saying the wrong thing? Be it noted forevermore that just dropping out is the only truly wrong thing you can do with a depressed friend.

On the bright side, one of my long-distance friends called tonight and it made me feel like myself to talk to her. I would actually rather connect more with my long-term long distance friends than have most people visit in person, because then there is a kind of pressure to hold up my end that doesn’t seem worth the trouble.

Some options.

So the psychiatrist came to talk to me today, as happens every day, and I was laying (laying? Lying? Never can remember that one) there crying. Nothing too particular, this was just the fourth day of a migraine and I had self-harmed after asking the nurse for ibuprofen and then she forgot after I waited an hour, and I took a shower but it was exhausting, etc. etc.

Now it’s evening and I haven’t met my nurse for the night shift yet. I have been waiting to go get my dinner tray but there is this annoying old broad across the hall who has been yelling at the top of her smoker’s voice to the aides about how she’s shit herself so I want to make sure they are good and done with her before I have anything to do with food. At lunch they took the trays out and put them on the tables but ha! I grabbed mine and ran back to my room with it. I’m not normally socially anxious but I get really in a mood to hide here.

Anyway, the options. They are thinking of trying a new antidepressant that is an antiinflammatory, I will need to look it up -but I am relieved that we are not going with MAOI’s as a first choice. I was getting antsy about all the dietary restrictions. It’s funny how you can think of being dead soon and think of the future (well, the next few weeks) at the same time and as equally plausible, like you are planning for getting takeout or ordering pizza. Weird, but that is how it is.

Why is it so hard to eat?

i thought, maybe I have a migraine partly because I haven’t eaten. I mean, I’ve had a cup of milk or juice and a little fruit cup and some saltines, at most, at every meal but I realize that probably doesn’t count as Not Skipping a Meal where my migraine is concerned.

So I took the top off the hospital dinner to see if I could try it – chicken with broccoli, and pasta in tomato sauce – and got so nauseous. I got that rush of watery spit you get just before you are going to throw up and everything. I had thought that being in pain was so distasteful that eating might be less so, but nope, I just really can’t do it. I don’t know why – I don’t feel hungry, but that can’t be all of it.

It didn’t bother me when I was in the hospital before, and losing like 15 pounds in two weeks sure didn’t bother me, and tonight’s experience makes me feel like not trying again.

Reading positive choices where there aren’t any.

I called the outpatient mental health nurse, who I see every couple of months, to say I couldn’t make our appointment tomorrow, and why. She left me a nice voicemail but said that even though my psychiatrist walked me down, I went with him, and that shows a sign of hope or of trusting someone, or something like that.

Um, I think that’s nonsense. Once he decided to certify me I really had no choice. If I ran away from him on the way to the ER? They’d get security after me, and if I managed to outrun them they would call the police who would go to my house and legit break the door down. So unless I planned to suddenly go on the lam and not go home again in the next few days, which would mean I couldn’t kill myself the way I wanted because that’s where the pills are, that doesn’t seem like a course of action that would realistically end well for me. That, to my mind, is why I didn’t “choose” to run.