Do I have any previous posts named "meds?" I'm guessing there's a good possibility I do. This one-word question is my albatross, my great white whale, and, apparently, the battle I wage when I grow weary of all other battles.
It started, as it always does, with an inkling. An itch somewhere inside I can't quite scratch. Maybe. Maybe things have spiraled a bit out of control. Maybe not quite out of control, maybe just leaning towards out of control and maybe the responsible thing to do is to nip it in the bud before it spirals out of control. Maybe its already out of control and I'm lying to myself. Maybe I can trust my gut. Maybe I can trust my feelings, my perspective on this. Maybe I can't. ... Maybe.
Like any good "oh I sort of worked in Marketing" professional, we go...(insert old batman sound effect)...to the data!
And data we have, good reader, for I am a recorder of raw, unadulterated data (which is filtered through my psyche and shifting moods and is thus less than trustworthy but hey - say it with me now - WE START WHERE WE ARE). I have documented like a mother fucker. Documented my days, my moods, my highs and lows and in-betweens and sorta-feel-alrights and kinda-wanna-sleep-forevers. Written down every last one of those bastards, sobriety allowing of course, like a good little mental patient. And the deal I made with myself - because those are always the easiest deals to keep, right? - was that when the bad days outnumber the good we will call our nice doctor and hit up the CVS drive-thru. Because we cannot fail our children again. We cannot fail our mother, our father, our love and most of all - because those are always the easiest deals to keep, right? - we cannot fail ourselves. Again.
So let us parse the numbers. I have not had more bad days than good. I've dutifully recorded every mood shift for two years - the last one and a half of them med-free (she says with an unhealthy pride) and I can report this: My spirals have decreased in both frequency and duration. (For the uninitiated, this means fewer pajama days on the sofa ignoring my phone) This progress has, admittedly, flat-lined of late...but remains slightly above where it was a few short years ago. My spirals have, however, increased in intensity. And decreased in predictability. (For the uninitiated, this means my moods are erratic and more severe)
These are actually much scarier than the days of "oh I feel not quite myself" followed by "uh-oh I think I feel a bad time coming on" followed by "who needs to get dressed?" followed by "okay I think I can take a walk today." Those days...I miss them. I look back on them fondly. Now its more like "what a beautiful sunrise" followed by "I hate every last mother fucker in the world" followed by "I wonder if anyone wants to go to karaoke tomorrow night?" Predictability...well, let's say I have come to appreciate it.
So why consider meds if, on balance, I have more good days than bad? Well, I feel...incapable. Overwhelmed. Some of this is life - getting laid off left me very bitter, looking for a job left me fairly hopeless. There is no routine to my days, and things seem to be spiraling wildly out of control. I am not entirely certain how I'll pay November's rent, and to spite that fact, I really don't have it in me to look at another job board this week, and it's only Wednesday. My friends who have battled Depression will know what I mean when I say "I really don't have it in me," my friends who have not, probably will not. And frankly I really don't have it in me to explain. Suffice it to say if you have any trust in me at all you will believe when I say I am quite incapable of typing www.indeed.com into the URL board, and then further typing "any fucking thing outside of stripping - 17331" into the search field. I. Really. Don't. Have. It. In. Me.
But I need to. Because, you know, rent and shit. And solitude. And feelings of worthlessness.
It isn't JUST unemployment - I won't kid you or myself by pretending that external factors aren't AS if not MORE to blame than, say, neuro-transmitters - but it is only one part. (please - I NEED that whole neuro-transmitter thing because SCIENCE)
This is very frustrating because my whole goal here is to be able to give voice to this feeling and I am failing even at that.
Its not that I'm unemployed, its that I feel incapable of handling being unemployed. Its not that I'm alone all day with no routine, its that I feel incapable of managing being alone all day with no routine. Its not that there aren't emotional & spiritual rewards attached to how I spend my time, its that I feel incapable of experiencing those rewards emotionally & spiritually.
I've been ALL about the controversy lately, as I am anytime otherwise-uninterested Americans pick up politics. Controversy, in the conversations around Depression, tend to circle around meds and here's my dirty little secret - this feels like a failure. I would never presume under any circumstances that anyone ELSE depending on medication to get them through Depression has anything to feel bad about...but...one and a half years, man! Med-free! I know it shouldn't, but this feels like a white flag of surrender. This feels like defeat.
Am I someone with a broken hip who has every right to use the electric cart to get her shopping done? Or am I just that fat guy we all judge for using the cart, assuming he's lazy? (Don't do that, its horrible)
I think, at the end of the day, it comes down to our ability to cope. I am not coping, not effectively anyway. I know that exercise, routine, time outdoors and avoiding alcohol will help. I have known this all along, reminded myself of it every morning and beat myself up for eschewing it every night. Feel free to pile on with suggestions about yoga - this is not new ground for me. And I know, from decades of experience (I am old and not exaggerating there) that Welbutrin will kick my ambivalence in the ass, and a sidecar of Zoloft will dull the anxiety that Welbutrin invites along for the ride. Objectively, I'm pretty damn sure that if I reunite with this lovely cocktail, a year from now I'll look back on this as lost time that could've been avoided if I'd just stayed on my meds to begin with.
I also know that Matty, and Sam, and Anna, and yes me - because those are always the easiest deals to keep, right? - deserve a woman who is not seeking distraction from every single fucking experience life and family bring her way. And I guess there you have it, really.
Fighting Winter Depression with Light Bulbs
4 days ago