So tired. Weary.

I missed work Monday because of a migraine then agreed to do a little side project yesterday (I’d like to have some spare dollars so I can get massage therapy and wait to be reimbursed in the insurance company’s sweet time) so that’s two days of work to make up over the weekend. It’s just this horrible cycle of always playing catch-up, and then I’m not balanced and not relaxed, which just makes it harder.

It takes so much time to go to the doctor/ RMT/ therapist/ neurologist/ psychiatrist/ hospital/ pharmacy and work and have migraines. I just don’t see myself as able to keep up a full-time job for much longer because I’m weary on a soul level.

Wednesday I went to work, booked a doctor appointment with my GP for 5:15 to try and get a referral to a dermatologist because my acne is worse than it was when I was a teen. I had to wait around for a half an hour which I spent washing my make up off so he could see the severity of the situation. When he came into the room, he said he was so sorry to hear that I was having such trouble with my depression. It totally dis-combobulated me. I was all ready to play the part of his patient who hadn’t seen him in months, and was coming in for a referral for my hormonal skin, no big deal. I don’t know if he looks up people’s electronic medical records before he sees them or if the receptionist does that as part of the chart or what. And I get that it makes sense, but it just totally changed the tone of things.

So he basically diagnosed me with bad skin due to stress. I’m breaking out on my face, and on my cheeks and joy line instead of my t-zone where I used to. Then I have huge patches of itchy dry eczema of the come and go on my hands and chest. So he prescribed me some kind of antibacterial cream from my face and a stronger steroid for the eczema, and I didn’t really have the presence of mind to push for referrals so I asked him to write me a prescription for migraine drugs, while he was at it, and said I would be back if it didn’t work. Then I went to the drugstore. And waited half an hour for it to be filled. Then the pharmacist said my total was 120 something dollars, and I just about had a heart attack because I just given them my new health benefits information with the card that I just got that day, which was supposed to give me 100% coverage. So the pharmacist figured that the plan wanted me to get generics, and they didn’t have two of the medications so I’m gonna have to go back to get them tomorrow, and so it was like 8 o’clock by the time I got home so I microwaved a bowl of peas and checked my email and went to bed.

Yesterday was the side job, so I had to get up super early so that I could catch the bus to go downtown to be on time, and I did, and I worked all day, and then I tried to finish all the paperwork at the end of the day but I was too burnt out. So I stopped working at 6:30, and went and caught a bus, but the transfer I needed was only running once an hour so I ended up walking most of the way home and didn’t get home until eight, just like the night before.

Today my skin just looks fucking awful, because I put Differin and the antibiotic cream on it which was obviously not a good idea, so I still have the bad complexion I had before, as well as a couple of dry red patches of skin that makeup just wouldn’t stick to. It was just sliding off and pilling and making my face looks super patchy. It’s like the worst make up day I’ve ever had. So then I started getting anxious that I couldn’t get my face into any kind of shape to go to work, which just made me get shaky and sweaty. So I went to work, stopped at the parking office to be told that it was too late to make any changes for this month, and didn’t actually arrive to the office until 10:30.

I had an appointment to see the hospital chaplain at 1, so I only got a couple of hours of work in before I had to leave. I wept at him for an hour and a half. I didn’t think I was that sad, but I started crying practically as soon as I saw it down. I guess it just takes so much energy to hold everything in and put on a good show at work that I’m not really in touch with stuff during the day.

So it was 3 o’clock by the time I got back to work, and I still had five hours to put in. It was just so shitty. I was totally unproductive and I felt just bleary and puffy and teary-eyed and tired. I managed to get a second wind a little bit toward the end, but I didn’t really put in a full days work. So I got home it shortly after 8, opened a can of tuna, and that brings us to now. I’ve been out of the house for basically 12 hours a day for one reason or another, and by the time I drag myself home i’m tired. There’s nothing in the fridge, except ketchup, so I have to go to the bank, then grocery shopping and back to the pharmacy, and I need gas, and I’m going to have to do some laundry before next week, and meanwhile I have to work two days out of this weekend, and probably have a migraine as well. It’s just so fucking exhausting, doing it all myself, and the cried out, wrung out, puffy eyed feeling doesn’t go away with a cup of coffee or even a Dexedrine.

I know in my head that most people that have this level of migraine consistently aren’t holding down a job at all, let alone working full-time, and I know how much time it takes for me to try and manage having a physical and mental illness, but still have this vague feeling that I ought to be able to pull things together somehow, there’s no point just stumbling through the days like this.

Ugh, I made Monday worse.

I was having a hard time getting up and out this morning (with no group in the afternoon to serve as a deadline) and ended up rolling in to work at 11, standing in the coffeeshop buying a scone because I hadn’t even managed a protein shake. I should have showered before I went to work and was in jeans that were too big and a top that was WAY too big and polyester to boot. Anyway my boss came in to the coffeeshop as I was in line; that was fun.

I felt just blechy and sticky and gross the whole day, and wished that I’d had a fucking shower and looked harder for something to wear. You know when you just feel… ugh?

So when I came home I showered and then threw in some laundry so I’d have something to wear tomorrow (I still have no pants that aren’t too big, or too small, but at least they’ll be clean and baggy) and changed the sheets on the bed.

That was fucking gross as I hadn’t changed them since being discharged from the hospital in mid-February. Like beyond college bachelor gross. I just thought, what the fuck difference does it make? And then I couldn’t muster up the effort to do it, so whatever.  Now I have clean sheets AND clean laundry, which I guess is an advantage of having a shorter day (minus group).  So yay me, I guess.

I’m going to buy some greens powder to dump into my shakes because eating is just not going to happen, at least it hasn’t in the past 6 weeks so it’s no use imagining that I’ll suddenly start. I might as well plan as if I am not going to be able to cook a bunch of stuff, and my skin is horrible at the moment – I have forgotten to take my antibiotics, cheated with a face wipe before bed, and basically had protein powder, coffee, and milk exclusively – so maybe eating a more well-rounded smoothie will help.

I feel immensely sad and lonely in a way that I don’t know if I can get anyone who isn’t a professional, or who hasn’t had their own struggle with mental health, to understand. I actually looked up the professional cuddler that I had seen last summer (yes, I know, it sounds super sketch) because I thought the hell if it does cost $90 an hour; I’m going to go insane if I can’t feel close to someone.  And the guy has stopped doing it; he is not on the website anymore. So I can’t get a cuddle for love or money?  Dammit.

I’m resolved not to share as deeply with Beth anymore, and I know I’ve said this before, but I’ve felt resolved for a solid week now. I talked to her last week and she had an instant answer for everything – I shouldn’t focus on myself, I’ll have to let such-and-so go, I should pray harder, there was nothing where she was able to say “I hear that you feel really sad about this. Could I suggest…?”  Which makes me value my training, because I damn well know how to sit with someone in their pain and validate their feelings and help them to feel heard and apparently that does NOT come naturally.

But again, as I don’t have a ton of “outlets”, deciding to cut Beth off means that again I’m largely leaving myself to the realm of professionals and I wonder wtf is wrong with me that I can’t find a partner in real life to walk beside me with this shit? Doesn’t matter. Whatever it is, I can’t change it.  I’m going to suggest at my psychiatrist appointment tomorrow that I just stop taking the antidepressants and we plan to try out MAOIs because I’m crying all the time anyway, how much worse can it get?

I need something to live for.

I’m lonely as fuck. I’m straight up scared that no one will ever love me again. It’s been three years, and I haven’t gotten as much as a second date.  We did an exercise in group a few days ago about how balanced our lives were, and I got all teary because it asked about whether we get hugs or physical affection, and no, I don’t. No.  I could certainly go and pay the professional cuddler to hug me, but…

I don’t understand why when there are people less attractive than me and less healthy than me and they’ve got themselves relationships… why do people tell me that I should be happy being all by myself first and only then do I get a crack at another person? If you had to be perfect by yourself first, I think a lot of the people in relationships would have to be single.

and it’s just loneliness on a really basic simple level that I can’t seem to get across to healthcare providers. It’s chatting about like what looks like it might be good and what looks like marketing bullshit in the grocery store. It’s having someone to text to say that you’re leaving work and on your way home. It’s having someone to give you an ice pack when you have a migraine.   It’s not necessarily the sex with fireworks and the dramatic stuff that you might think of about relationships.

My job isn’t important enouvh, and it doesn’t pay enough, for it to be a reason to live.

So starting tomorrow I’m going to microdose on mushrooms. We’ll see how that goes.

 

 

Flat out, but uplifted.

I’ve had a migraine all day, which fucked over my plans for going into work, to make up for last Monday which I missed due to a migraine. So I’m going to have to go in tomorrow, and I had plans to see a friend in person so that really sucks.

On the bright side, I managed to connect with a long distance friend today and we talked for two hours.  Oh my God, I feel so much better, not awesome, but I connected with somebody and they heard me and I feel validated.

I don’t know how I’m going to manage just my tasks of daily living, because it took me two hours to work up the energy to have a shower and now I’m going to sleep. I need to do laundry, do dishes, change my sheets, and I don’t know how I’ll fit it all in.

I seem sad? I am sad.

I  cried all through yesterday’s outpatient group. The content wasn’t even sad, we were just talking about having balance in our lives, but I just sat there and had tears dripping down my face the entire time. I cried on the bus on the way to work too actually.

I  left a voicemail with the nurse who is my primary therapist last night, asking if I could see her to talk about what would happen when the group ended. She called me back today, and said that she had had a cancellation so I could go see her at 2:30 if I wanted to. So I basically left right then and there and hopped on the bus.

When I got there I pretty much started crying again right away, and she was said that she was glad to be able to see me that day because I seem so sad.  And yes, I am sad. Depeche Mode’s album came out today, and I think I’ve listened to each song about 10 times, and they’re fantastic. But there’s six or seven months before their concerts. I can’t get over thinking how in the hospital I started counting down 31 days to the album release. And now it’s released, and it’s been the longest 31 fucking days ever. I just get up and drag myself to work and back,  and I feel like the tears are right at the top of my throat all the fucking time.

I’m sure my boss thinks everything is dandy. I had a meeting with someone today that I had to cancel on in January, for work, and he asked me if I was going to take a vacation. How the fuck would I pay for vacation? I don’t have any fucking benefits. I get paid a percentage in lieu of vacation time,  but I still haven’t gotten my employment insurance from five fucking weeks ago because I’m waiting for them to process the doctor’s note that I sent them.  Anyway, I’m probably the poorest person at work. Everybody else has a partner, and either has a house or goes on vacations or what have you. So I’m sure people don’t think that I’m living paycheque to paycheque it because it just doesn’t occur to them, because that’s not where they’re at.

I’m most worried about the group ending because I’m pretty much crying every fucking day at work now. By the end of the day I’ve just run out of the ability to hold out, and so I just sit there and work with tears running down my face. Not, like, ragged breath sobbing, just sitting there crying.  And that’s fine for now, when I take off for three hours in the middle of the day to go to group, so the end of my day is after everyone has gone home. I don’t know how I’ll cope with full workdays, if I start heading my limited the middle of the afternoon.

On the way back to work from my appointment with the nurse, it actually occurred to me that I don’t have to wait any fucking six or seven months for a Depeche Mode concert. If I can’t stand to be here anymore, I don’t have to be. I know what I need to do. That thought made me happier than anything else has in weeks. I’m not trapped, and I don’t have to deal with the dread I feel at the thought of living six or seven more months.  Yep, suicide is back on the table. The nurse talked to me about going back into the hospital, and whether I would be able to turn myself in at Emergency instead of being certified, and I know honestly I wouldn’t, because I didn’t want to be saved in January.  She said why not, because I might as well go back into the hospital if I have nothing to lose, which seems like a good argument but I just don’t feel that’s where I will be at.

It’s as if I’m using the Pomodoro method except on my life instead of on chores. Instead of saying the chores are too overwhelming, so I’m just going to do 20 minutes of dishes and then quit. I’m thinking that I’ll just keep going for N number of days, and if I don’t feel better by that time I’m gonna fucking be out of here.

So then I got home tonight. And checked my email. There was one from this guy on Match.  Match, that I signed up for like the last fucking June when I didn’t feel like killing myself. and then my mood was so in the toilet that I totally forgot to cancel the auto renewal. And it renewed for six more months. So I reactivated my profile when I got out of the hospital. What could it hurt?

So, one guy reached out to me. Good looking, older than me but not too old, has a good job, and his saying that he maybe wanted to have kids was the only thing that was at all off-putting on his profile. So he invited me for coffee two weeks ago,  and there wasn’t really any problem with keeping the conversation going or anything. He messaged me right afterward saying  it was nice to meet me, and then he’s been messaging me every day since.  Nothing big, just a hi how are you, here’s what I’m up to kind of thing. So today, with the weekend upon us, I thought I’d see what was what.   So I replied to his latest message and said that I’d like to get together again when he has some free time.

When I got home, there was a message waiting for me saying that he had to be honest that he didn’t think that we were the best match, and he was sorry if that hurt. So I replied saying thanks for letting me know, best of luck, and deactivated my profile.

And now I’m sitting here wondering, why the fuck have you been messaging me every day for two weeks,  if you didn’t fucking like me. And how the fuck can you decide if you like somebody in the course of one or two hours? I’ve had a few first dates now, and I don’t think that I feel I could make up my mind about any of the guys without meeting a few times. Like, they’d have to be a real creep or really ugly  for me to say no, there’s no potential here at all, full stop.

So what the fuck is wrong with me? I haven’t mentioned this to my psychiatrist, or to the nurse, because I knew that they’d be like oh I shouldn’t be thinking about dating, I should wait on that till I’m healthier, etc. etc. And I actually didn’t really think that I was going to get a relationship out of it,  although that was a tiny spark of idiotic hope in the back of my mind. All I hoped was that I could get a fucking second date. Just so that I would know that I could. I’ve been single for more than three years now. I haven’t got a second date, I haven’t even gotten a kiss, for THREE YEARS, and I have no fucking idea why.  Am I a lot uglier than I thought I am? Or a lot less likable? It doesn’t really matter, because whatever it is, I can’t fucking change it now.

So now I’m really hurting. And I feel like a fucking idiot for letting my hopes build up at all, but it seemed to me that when he messaged me saying it was nice to meet me and kept messaging me every day for two weeks, that  “sorry we’re not a good match” was not where it was going. Why don’t you just say nice to meet you, lots of luck in your search, and leave it at that?

Now I’m back to, I could literally die for some cuddling. And I’m too sad and too broke to go pay the professional cuddler just to have some human contact. I can barely even dictate this blog post through the tears. If overdosing was an effective and reliable method, I’d fucking kill myself tonight. But it’s not, and I don’t even think I have a single sleeping pill,  and I don’t think I get to have an actual conversation with any actual person until next Wednesday, when I get 20 minutes with my psychiatrist.  Maybe I should skip the appointment and just speed things up, because this hurts too much. I can’t fucking take it anymore.

 

Before and after “the incident.”

I had an appointment with my psychiatrist this morning. He was trying to find out if I’d had any kind of human contact, and somehow it got onto my relationship with Beth and I made a comment in passing that they had really been there for me ever since That Summer.

“What summer?” he asked. I said I was sure that I would’ve told him about this early on, and he started riffling through my file and saying that he didn’t think so. So I explained my creepy boss and my parents’ orders to not rock the boat and not say anything (really not to lose the job no matter what) and that three weeks later there had been a guy who is in his mid 40s and how the RCMP told me he had a record of 4 other women in Canada, even though he was American. Then I said “so I was a virgin… And then I wasn’t.” My psychiatrist exclaimed “You were raped??” Yes, I said, wondering what else I could have possibly meant.

He flipped through my file some more and then said that I had told him I’ve never been sexually abused. I said that I thought sexual abuse and sexual assault were different (that’s why I would have said no to that specific question), and that I’d thought he had known all along. He said that he was abusive and sexual, so it was sexual abuse. I said that I thought sexual abuse was like being molested by somebody who had access to you but but it’s not like I got this definition from the literature or had a really well-thought-out model in my head.

Anyway he acted like it was some kind of big revelation which I guess to him it was, but to me it’s old news. He kept saying stuff like how he was glad I told him, and how that must’ve been a really violent introduction to sexuality, and I said I’ve done a lot of work with my old (retired) counsellor about it, because I didn’t even used to be able to say the word ‘rape.’ I told him straight up that the worst part was that I now know that the only reason that hasn’t happened again is that I haven’t been near a guy who wants to do it. I fought as hard as I could, and got really bruised up for my troubles, but there’s no way that I, in any kind of shape, can counter the upper body strength of a man.

So then he said oh, he gets how I feel vulnerable, and why being alone is such a big deal to me, and he was all outraged that they didn’t make a big court case out of it. Yeah go look up some statistics on the number of cases that go to trial. Or the number of convictions relative to the number of police reports. Or the number of estimated attacks compared to the number of women that actually report it to the police. The numbers are pretty dismal. Anyway, he said that we have to talk more about it and that he was glad I told him (again) and I just sort of felt like it’s not really even something I can connect with here in the present; I dissociated during the attack, and then started drinking, smoking, cutting, and being bulimic for the rest of the summer and then got into drugs the year after that.

It’s as if he thought that I was too fucked up for the history that I had given him, and now he was like oh the pieces all fit together and it all makes sense now. He suggested that I tell the EAP counsellor about it too, and I sort of said that we were basically just focussing on making it from day to day. I don’t know, I’d already been in his office crying for 15 minutes before it came up so it’s hard to tell if I was upset about talking about that specifically or just the whole thing.

I also told him how Depeche Mode were going on tour again in the fall, and how they’re coming to a city much closer than they had on the previous tour (which I had a ticket for and didn’t go because I was laid off because of depression.) or the tour before, where I made a little trip out of it and stayed a few days to explore the city and met up with some fans from the Depeche Mode message board and have been in touch with the one gal ever since. “We are damaged people, drawn together by subtleties that we are not aware of” as DM lyrics put it. Instant connection.

Anyway, I don’t have anyone to go see them with which made me just fucking bawl. I assumed I was going to have to go somewhere again and now instead of being happy that they’re close by I am upset. I reminded the psychiatrist how I cried and cried in the hospital about missing Leonard Cohen in concert because I didn’t have anyone to go with, and now he’s dead. The psychiatrist said that it was OK to do things alone, and sometimes he went to the movies alone, but either way it was obviously pretty important to me and I better make it happen. I’ve gone to other concerts alone. I don’t fucking like it. So now I might buy tickets for another city just because I know another Depeche Mode fan there and won’t have to go by myself.

I’ve been crying every day at work at the end of the day and really just feeling like crap. Tonight I had a drink and a piece of hash truffle the minute I got in the door, and I’m sure I can make it to the weekend of the 17th when Depeche Mode’s new album is released. The concert, however, is over 200 days away. and I don’t know. I seriously just don’t know if I’ll be able to hang on that long. It’s always seem to me like before a birthday is an ideal time to die, and once my plans were thwarted in January and I was hospitalized till mid February, it seems reasonable to wait till mid-March. But waiting another seven months is something else.

I’ve been crying every day at the end of work, and sometimes on the bus, and then when I get home, and I just don’t think there’s anything here (in the world) for me. I can’t live seven months for one three hour concert. And then when that’s done I can just wait and work for three or four years for another album or another concert. And that’s the only thing that I can control, is buying albums and going to concerts. I can’t control my migraines, I can’t control losing jobs over migraines or depression. I can’t make other people love me or show up when I need them, and this is like when Beth said that her husband had thought they should come up and spend some time with me. In the moment on the phone I responded with how that would be great anytime, and then I sent them an email saying actually asking them to, explaining that would be really awesome and really helpful because it’s going to suck going back to my apartment alone with all the suicide equipment there. And they didn’t come. There was some reason they couldn’t come the week I asked, and then their son came to visit for a week from another province, and they just sort of haven’t mentioned it again.

I realized that I put up with the creepy boss and serving guys at tables beers literally the day after I’d been raped as a young waitress so that I would never be put in that position again. I never wanted to be put in a position where guys were going to do things to my body without my consent because I couldn’t afford to quit, or I didn’t have anywhere safe to go, or whatever. No, I needed to make sure that I was going to be able to make a living. Never have to call on people like my parents.

I went on a bit of a rant in the psychiatrists office, actually, saying I’d really like to know where the line would’ve been for my parents. If I’m getting felt up over my clothes that’s totally acceptable as long as I’m making my five bucks an hour. Plus tips for being friendly and flirty with the tables of guys with their beers. So what if my boss had felt me up under my clothes, would I be allowed to quit then? Or rubbed up on me with his body? It’s not like my parents said that I should quit  if he did anything worse. They said very clearly not to say anything about it and not to rock the boat. So fuck them, for all time. I got felt up for my $5 an hour and got raped for free.

And now, after going through SO MUCH to put myself through school, I’m underemployed, poor, and had to sell myself out for this job yet again. I just… this isn’t fucking sustainable. I’m going to die by suicide. The question is just when. Things have just gone too far to be redeemed. I can’t go back in time to change anything, and where I am represents trying my best. My very best. And if that’s not good enough to satisfy God or anyone else it’s really too bad. But I don’t see any reason to hope for the future when I don’t expect to perform better than my best in the future

An obituary of my friendships.

I wonder if there is something wrong with me? Like, terribly wrong? All the friends (ex-friends) listed are people I liked, who I tried to be a good friend to, who ghosted me for the most part. Off the top of my head, here are the deaths of each friendship (or acquaintanceship that never was friendship):

  1. G: Knew since 2011. Got a boyfriend Christmas 2014, never heard from her again
  2. D: Knew since 1998. Stopped taking initiative in 2014. Texted me in October 2015  if I wanted to go for coffee, I replied I’d love to and let me know where and when; never heard from her again
  3. T: Knew since 2004; went for coffee in June 2016, she said she was booked up until August but could go out again then; never heard from her again
  4. S: Knew since 2000; broke up woth her husband in 2004 and never heard from her again
  5. C: Knew since 1989; messaged in May 2016 saying she was coming to Canada and asking if we could get together; I said I’d love to see her and never heard from her again
  6. K: Knew since 2009; I stopped taking initiative in 2014 and never heard from her again
  7. J: Knew since 2004; I stopped taking initiative in 2014 and never heard from her again
  8. T: Knew sibce 1985; he moved to BC and never heard from him again
  9. E: Knew since 1990; she moved to Vancouver and I never heard from her again
  10. W: Knew since 2004; in 2014 I realized I’d been sending cards and leaving messages for years with no reply. Never heard from her again.
  11. E: Knew since 1997. Saw in 2004 and 2015 on my initiative; never heard from him again

And so on, and so forth…

Sad. Makes me literally wonder if there would be anyone to come to my funeral 😦

I can’t sleep.

i have been trying to sleep for about an hour; no luck. I think it is  partly because I’ve been having nightmares. They aren’t weird or unrealistic dreams, like ones where I accidentally go to work naked or with strange monsters or anything. They’re about things that either have happened to me in the past, or things that could happen.

Last night I dreamed  that I was broke and I had to move, to a shitty cold basement suite where the walls were made out of cinderblocks, and there were mice  everywhere just like in the last place I lived. My old upstairs house mate, that is, the girl who lived in the upstairs suite when I lived on the main floor, told me that the mice are back (for the winter) in my old place. It was truly fucking awful by the end.  I was keeping my dishcloths in Ziploc freezer bags, because if I put them in the cupboards the mice would run around and shit on them during the night. I didn’t move for over two years because I couldn’t find anywhere else  that was affordable. Now there are a lot of places that seem affordable, but since landlords can raise the rent once a year by any amount they please it might not stay that way.  Anyway, I guess where I am is mouse free; it’s just expensive for just me  on my part time research assistant salary.

I am also a little wound up because I know I have to go to the psychiatrist first thing tomorrow morning, and then I have to go to work.  Maybe because I’ve missed the first day back, I won’t get all the “how was your Christmas” type small talk questions.

I sent an email to an acquaintance of mine, also a work friend from a previous job,  who has had depression and gets migraines, but clearly much less severe than mine.  I haven’t seen her since midsummer, when we went out to dinner.  We had tried to make plans for early fall, and then I had to cancel once or twice thanks to migraines. Then I sent her a couple of spontaneous invitations, but she couldn’t come. I think I’m worried that if we get together, she’ll judge me for still being depressed.

Certainly this is been going on for a really long time. Far too long. The thing is though, she’s gone on to have this rich and varied life, and I’ve just kind of had migraines and depression.  She’s taken classes, she’s volunteered, she went to Europe, and I have not.  Really, I could not. I don’t even feel that I can go play in a community orchestra, because  when I did two years ago, I missed rehearsals and didn’t have enough time to practice.  Migraines just make me so fucking unreliable, and the older I get the less able I am to work through them.  It’s like pulling an all nighter when you’re in your 20s versus in your 40s.  The depressing thing about that is that I’m not getting any younger, so it probably isn’t going to get better.

I know I shouldn’t be jealous of other people, and that theoretically  I’m looking at things in a biased way, like how “you compare your blooper reel to everybody else’s highlights” or whatever that saying is.  I just don’t see how my life is paying off, or how it is ever going to change to become better. All of the administrative staff where I work have gone on vacations in the last year, to Europe  or the United States or Mexico. The last time I went anywhere, if memory serves, was in 2009. 2009! Seven going on eight years ago, for Depeche Mode’s Tour of the Universe.  I missed their Delta Machine tour, because I was fucking depressed.  Either I was off work on disability or had been let go after I went back to work, I can’t remember. I had bought tickets to the actual concert and everything.

Now Depeche Mode is touring this year, and they’ll probably be hitting north America this fall, and I probably won’t get to go.  I’m sure the cost to go see them could rapidly approach a thousand dollars.  I need to get a new passport,  passport photos, plane tickets, the concert ticket, somewhere to stay for a night or two, enough saved to cover not working for the time I’m gone if I’m still on contract,  and to have the energy to coordinate all of that.  I’m really not saying that happening. It’s not like I’m going to kill myself because I don’t get to go to a concert, but if my life is such that I can’t even manage to go to a concert, there doesn’t seem to be much point to it.

 

 

Reflecting on conversations.

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…

A circular argument?

The coworker who saw me crying last week asked how I was today, and I was able to answer calmly and without bursting into tears, and I’m able to make it through work for a day (as long as my focus holds out) without crying, and so I suppose by some standards I’m doing “better”, or at least better than I have done in past episodes.

The problem with this? I don’t want to be medicated into a life that isn’t actually worth living, too “ok” to die but too sad to want to live. I really don’t. This is where I come back to stopping my medication right after Christmas, so as my mood slides I can catch that critical moment where mood and energy intersect to make it possible to act.

I suppose I’m feeling stressed out about the psychiatrist appointment next Monday. I respect him, I don’t want to bullshit him. I know that the more specific the plan and greater the preparation, the more risk you are assumed to be at.  The thing is, that I’m tired of trying. I don’t believe my life will get better in the ways that matter to me. If I lived until my grandmother’s age (92) I would have somewhere between 3600 and 5000 migraine days during the rest of my life. That’s a lot of pain to suffer through.

I don’t want to go through life alone, either, and I’ve done my best to meet people. I tried all of the dating sites, I’ve gone to Meetups, I joined clubs and volunteered. Clearly I can’t control whether or not relationships happen.

What I really feel is that I’d rather be assured that I’ll never suffer more pain, and gladly sacrifice the chance that I might experience not-pain in the future. I have done my best and to me that’s the end of the story – that’s all I have, that’s all I can do, so finis, already!

I also read about ketamine on the Ketamine Advocacy Network website, and it sounds like ketamine doesn’t actually improve your mood per se – it improves your functioning and so people notice that now they are able to shower every day, keep up with chores, etc., and so then your mood improves. But my functioning is OK now – I’m still working – so what’s the point?  I’m much more capable of keeping up with dishes than I have been in previous depression episodes, but that isn’t making me feel like life is worth living. So I’m pretty reluctant to bother giving it a try at this point, and am kind of annoyed that my psychiatrist has me on this short leash by prescribing 10 days of medication at a time, so I have to go back and see him to get enough to get through Christmas.

That’s where the Circular Argument comes in… do I think that my life isn’t worth living just because I’m depressed, so if I wasn’t depressed would I change my mind? Could this be an actual rational response to what my life is like? More to the point, could any psychiatrist accept my feelings as a rational response, or would it always seem like “textbook depression”?