I didn’t take my meds last night. I am thinking about taking them tonight. I just looked up “withdrawal symptoms” for both of the antidepressant meds and neither of them are supposed to have much in the way of symptoms (unlike fucking Effexor.) I don’t know. My energy is okay but I don’t feel like I have any perspective on my mood anymore. It seems OK to me, at least okay enough that I’m considering stopping my meds so it dips low enough for me to go through with suicide. On the other hand I was a weepy mess all night only three days ago. Maybe my mood seems OK when I don’t have to actually do anything, like leave the house or deal with people.
Anyway, I was going to talk about how bad people are at dealing with depression. I went out with a former work friend of mine earlier in December for coffee, and it was painful, like I had to act for the entire time and put on a phony smile and et cetera. I apologized at one point for being poor company but otherwise didn’t say anything about my mood. Afterwards, I sent her an email where I thanked her for the Christmas baking she’d given me, and said that my mood had really gone down and my psychiatrist was thinking maybe we’d have to get me in the hospital for a couple of weeks to get things under control, so if I didn’t get back to her in January she would know I wasn’t just ignoring her. (She had mentioned getting together in the new year when we met.). She responded with an email saying (in part) “Thanks for letting me know of possible future activities. Hope to see you when you’re free.” Possible future activities?! Like being committed to a psych ward because you’re so suicidal you’re ready to die is a “possible future activity”?! I mean, I get that might be an awkward thing to hear but how hard is it to say “Oh, that sucks! Feel better soon!” Or some platitude like that?
So she’s off the list. Next to get crossed off, I think, is the woman who’s been my “adopted mom” since I was a teen. It was her place I went to on Boxing Day for dinner and I basically started weeping as soon as I got in the house (“I’m sorry, I’m going to start crying now”, I said, and then continued with full-on bawling after dinner.) I know she loves me and means well but she just doesn’t understand depression. I was so reminded of the Hyperbole and a Half comic by Allie Brosh, where she is saying “My fish are dead” and everyone around her responds with “I’ll help you look for them!” Or “Do you like bees? What about bees?” And not with anything actually relevant (“I am so sorry that your fish are dead and that you’re in such pain over it right now.”)
Anyway, Beth, we’ll call her, was clearly trying to be encouraging but it was So Not. She tried to say that I should forget about being a Ph.D. (or having a Ph.D. job) and just focus on how well I was doing with my current job! My supervisor was happy with me, after all, wasn’t he? That shows he Really Values Me! Well for fuck’s sake, I’m doing the role of an undergraduate research assistant, so I should think he’s happy to get graduate level work at undergraduate level pay. It’s not like doing well at a job I am overqualified for says something about how special I am or anything!
Beth said that “maybe it was never meant to be” and a bunch of stuff like that and I tried to just let that slide off, because I wasn’t working in my directly-related Ph.D. Role when I became disastrously depressed in 2007(ish), nor when I got depressed enough to think ECT was a reasonable option in 2013. So it’s not that I can’t hack the stress of my career or anything, and there’s never been an issue with the quality of my work in any of my roles. Thanks though Beth, for telling me to give up and settle for a shit entry-level job.
Next it was give up the idea of ever being with anybody, because a bunch of women in her book club are single too, and they all say they’d never want to get together with a guy again. Men take a lot of work to be in a relationship with, and blah blah blah. That’s all well and good but I can’t make myself want to be single because a bunch of women 15-20 years my senior say they like being single. And besides, even if I did want to be single, it would be nice to think it was out of choice and not because no one would date me if I was the last woman on Earth. So strike 2 for that one.
Finally she took on the disastrous decline of my friends, and tried to gently suggest that when I made a friend I needed to make “small talk”, as if I was meeting new people and saying HELLO I AM SUICIDAL AND NEEDY which I have not been. Most of these friends I have lost have been ones I have known for 3-10 years, anyway, and as my psychiatrist said, people just “moved on with their lives.” But thanks, Beth, for the suggestion that I’m a social retard. Strike 3! It sucks because I know she does mean well but I haven’t got the energy to try and argue against someone who is basically saying I am wrong for wanting what I want (a career, a relationship, friends) and should just give up my ambitions to be happy.
On the bright side, I started to clean my home office which has basically gone untouched for months, by the expedient of throwing shit away. I made more progress in an hour than I have done for the last year. I don’t know what to think about doing it – does that mean I feel better? Or does it mean that I’d like to have things tidy in order to be ready to go (which i would, but that wasn’t my explicit motivation for cleaning.). If I did feel better, wouldn’t I know it? I don’t know…