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.
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.
So i cut myself, if you can call it that (it is really more like scratches) when I get really upset. I managed a pretty wide but shallow slice in the emergency room with a broken gel nail and a plastic knife, then when I got back here I had the heavy foil that comes on top of milk and juice, that you can fold into a half-ass cutter.
I have had a migraine for 3 days now, which they are giving me some medication for at least, but most of the drugs I usually take aren’t “in the formulary” so the hospital pharmacy doesn’t have them.
Anyway, I asked for Ensure instead of supper like twice but they brought me a supper tray anyway with, yes, some milk that had my favourite foil topper. So I scratched myself with it a bit, and then was refolding it on my little bedside table with my plastic knife, and my nurse walks in. Shit! Look casual, I think. Ya, right.
Also I have a pair of wrist warmers, to cover the cuts, and had the one on the arm I was cutting pulled up. So I was like “oh hi!” and backed away from the table and sat up on the bed and he said hi and asked how I was doing, and by the way how were my feelings of self harm, had I been thinking of it? So I obviously was not at all successful in my attempts to Act Natural, which made me feel like a stupid asshole.
He said that obviously they couldn’t stop me (you could bite into your wrist with your own teeth if you were motivated enough) but that they hoped I could choose different coping strategies, etc. And I mean, I would hope so too… if deep breathing or colouring books had the instant endorphin rush I’d do them instead, but they don’t!
It is safe, I’ll give them that, but an awful place to spend more than an hour or two. The bed is a “Stryker” cot that absolutely kills my back. The walls are coated in some kind of plastic wallpaper so you can’t gouge out the drywall, the light fixtures and outlets are all smooth cornered with special screws, and of course the door locks from the outside. Oh, and there is a prison style sink and toilet, ew. Right in the room, no lid on the toilet, they could walk in anytime. My appetite disappears when I have depression so I won’t be having to make any number 2’s at least.
The light is always on – they turned off the main fluorescent fixtures to be kind to my migraine, but there is a pot light. It’s very loud – monitors, nurses talking to patients, people walking. Practically impossible to sleep.
I’d had ketamine today and was crying from the minute I got in. The nurse asked me what was going on during the infusion and I sobbed out some garbled explanation – I don’t remember exactly what I said but I know I said I’d stopped taking my meds but my psychiatrist didn’t know, and anyway she got the gist that I was feeling pretty hopeless.
She called my psychiatrist to see if I could get in to see him but wasn’t able to get through, so she asked if I was safe to go home until tomorrow (when I have an appointment scheduled.) I answered that I was “reasonably certain I could make it through one more day”, which probably sounded snarkier than I intended.
They make me fill in a bunch of questionnaires when I go, so why doesn’t someone look at them if they want to know what’s going on?
I took a vacation last week. I actually went somewhere and got a hotel room and did tourist things and everything. It was awesome. People at work are saying how much more rested I look, and I actually feel OK. Like, mood wise. Like I can stand to live and plan fun things in the future, like taking more vacations.
I hope it lasts.
I often listen to movie soundtracks at work and the final theme to Dragonheart came on. So of course I had to like look up the final scene, which actually has a happy ending if you make it that far, but I didn’t. I just started crying at work, boo hoo hoo. I gave myself a nosebleed from crying so hard actually.
It’s basically a redemptive story… good has to die so that evil doesn’t triumph… but I’m just too soft hearted for that shit apparently. I can tell myself that it’s just a movie, and a 20-year-old movie at that, And the dragons aren’t even real anyway, but I’m really crying because there is evil in the world and I know animals are suffering somewhere and I’m afraid to die alone. Couching it that way makes it seem like a much more reasonable response.
When I got home I decided to just pat the cat for as long as he wanted to be patted, which is forever apparently. I feel like such a wuss for not having emotional control.
1. Batiste dry shampoo can help on mornings where you should’ve taken a shower, and your hair is greasy but you can’t actually work up to taking a shower. Even if you have to use what seems like a lot. Don’t mess around with those loose powders; they’re not worth it.
2. Waterproof eyeliner and mascara. This probably goes without saying, but I bought a Tarte clay paint eyeliner and was loving the way it went on and perfecting my wings, until I had a teary moments and realized that even light dabbing with tissue was making me raccoon eyed.
3. Lip colour will make you look more put together than you actually are. Just slap some on in the elevator or something.
4. Use your depressed symptoms to your advantage! I’ve gone to work in interview suits, because I don’t feel well enough to do laundry and none of my regular clothes are clean, and everybody thinks that I am super up when really the opposite is true. Yes, it sounds like putting on a suit is a bunch of work, but when it’s clean and hanging in your closet you just pull on a skirt, pull on some boots, put on a top like usual and you’re good to go.
5. You might be poor like me, but don’t fucking stint on your beauty products when you’re depressed. I’ve got some dollar store purse packs of Kleenex, and they’re thin and rough and release a shit ton of fibres when you pull one out of the pocket. If I’m having a cry away from home, dealing with some shitty ass Kleenex is enough to make things way worse, because how do you feel about saving that dime now?
6. Try wearing natural fibers. I know I feel way better in linen or cotton then if I’m trapped in polyester or nylon.
7. Fluffy is the word when you’re at home. Fluffy bathrobe, fluffy slippers, jersey sheets, fuzzy blankets.
I woke up with a migraine, went for ketamine (cried), went to see my psychiatrist (cried), went to work, and totally burnt out mentally after 4 hours. No use trying to work, so I came home.
I’m feeling kind of stressed. I tried to do some work today and I couldn’t really concentrate. I just really couldn’t focus, there’s no other way to put it. Tomorrow is the memorial service for my friend who died, and I’m meeting a mutual friend before for coffee, so we can go together. So that’s pretty much going to take up the day, then Tuesday is ketamine and the psychiatrist appointment. So now we’re into Wednesday before I really get a chance to take a crack at some work, and I’m feeling worried about it. Knowing that I don’t have any time off, that there’s only EI, it’s making me really really stressed about my ability to keep working just because I know that safety net isn’t there.
I tried talking to Beth, about how I didn’t feel like there been anything worth living for since January, and it seems stupid to live three more months for a concert, and if Chester Bennington killed himself then what hope is there for me? Somehow Beth turned it into “life is hard! Life’s just hard for everyone!” and didn’t seem to hear what I was saying at all. Which shouldn’t surprise me, because I know that’s the kind of thing she says, but she’s also somebody who will lend a listening ear on short notice, so it’s kind of a beggars can’t be choosers thing.
Yes, I know everybody has to get up and go to work every day and pay our bills and do our chores and then a lot of life is a grind. And that everybody else has also done this since January. But not everybody else is in the headspace where they feel like nothing at all has been enjoyable, and it’s all been a waste of time, and they would’ve been better off dying in January. My depression isn’t just the result of some kind of fucked up expectation that I have that life is easy peasy.
I sent her a couple snippets from brochures about depression and ketamine, emphasizing how it’s pretty much reserved for severe depression that’s treatment resistant but I don’t think it will do any good. It’s so frustrating. How can I have failed to get anything across about being depressed for fucksakes?