Sunday, January 11, 2009

Trouble in paradise

This weekend has been full of work and friends and family and fun, and a massive struggle to keep myself together. But really, it's not a crisis or anything like that, and I feel like a shit for even bringing it up. I mean, I know there are a lot of people out there who actually have REAL PROBLEMS. And mine seems like nothing. A shadow of what real problems should be. So does that make them less valid ? I think it does......and yet.......but still.

Even with my trusty Prozac, over the past few months daily life has become increasingly difficult for me. I go for days without leaving the house. I avoid answering the phone. I sit at home, online, drinking tea, and thinking. And worrying. If you have recently sent a text or left a voicemail, there is a pretty good chance I haven't checked it. I get my email, but rarely respond - I don't know what to say. I don't have anything really important to say right now. I guess. I don't feel much like talking. I don't know how to respond.

The night sweats are back with a vengeance - one of the first sure, physical signs I have that the medicine is losing it's efficacy.

And more frequently now, I am having panic attacks - with the pounding heart and blurred vision and tight chest and breathlessness that, when I first experienced them, I thought were signs I was having a heart attack. Now, all of these years later, I know I'm not dying, but it's still scary. Especially since I have experienced them so INfrequently the past year or so - theirs is not a welcome return.

But the worst is I am not sleeping - maybe because my bed is soaking wet and I am chilled to the bone from the damn night sweats. Maybe because I lie in bed thinking about Sami and the kids and money and work and the dog and the truck and the house and things that happened that day and people I know and conversations I had......

With that said, it should come as no surprise to hear that I am constantly exhausted. You know, I read that sentence and I think: I feel as though every time I speak to someone, or write something, I mention how exhausted I am. I am starting to think that isn't even an accurate description. I am not exhausted. I am not just tired, or weary, or sleepy, or fatigued, or worn out.

This is more then that. This is having to pull over on the side of the road at 3pm because I am afraid I am going to fall asleep at the wheel. This is struggling to stay awake in the morning to get Max to school, then coming home and climbing back into bed with Lucy and a movie on the laptop, and sleeping for another few hours. This is having to drink an espresso to go out to dinner. It's not every day, but it is frequent, and frustrating. I have a lot to do, a lot to get done, a lot of things I want to accomplish - not just in my day, but in my LIFE. And this struggle is keeping me from doing too many things.

I hate to be on a prescription. I hate to take a pill every day. I have tried Paxil, and also tried a higher dose of the Prozac, but both left me feeling like a zombie. Since I am already barely awake as it IS, that option is not very appealing. I always hoped I would take the Prozac for 6 months or a year, and then stop, and be magically better. But as I have gotten older, and progressed through menopause, then had the hysterectomy, then dealt with the emotions and hormones relating to all of has been a hard couple of years, and instead of getting easier, it just seems to be getting harder.

This shouldn't be so hard.

This doesn't feel like me.

That is the weird thing about depression - it's not as though I am sitting around feeling SAD all the time. I'm not ill, I am still dressed and functioning. I'm still ME, everything still WORKS, but I feel like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, with a heart 3 sizes too small. I'm living life wrapped in a comforter, muffled and confused and a little off balance. I can't feel things the same way. Reaching out is almost impossible. I cannot touch, or be touched. I can barely lift my arms sometimes. But inside, I am fully aware that I am wrapped up like a mummy, and I WANT to get out, shed the weight, the constrictions of all of these layers......I just don't have the energy. Maybe tomorrow, I think. Maybe later.

I have been here before. Depression is cyclical for me - damn long cycles, but cycles nonetheless. Crippling sadness, followed by outrageous, manic behavior, followed by a period of calm - where I can give advice ad nauseum, and take my own advice to heart. And then, something happens, a switch is flipped, and suddenly everything that was do-able is now undone. Sometimes, a stage lasts for months - but it always evolves. Or at least, it has before. I am sure it will again, sooner rather then later since it has been a while now......

So, this post is really just to say "Hey. I am still struggling. I am here, but it feels very far away. Hang in there with me."

I am fine, and yet I am not fine - all at the same time. Not a scary "not fine" - they're not going to admit me to the Molokini ward or anything for God's sake - this is just a muddled version of the real me, right now. I have all sorts of thoughts and feelings in here - and I am trying to find a way to let them out, share them with you, show them to everyone and say "HERE. THIS is what I think. THIS is how I feel."

It should be VERY interesting, hm ?

1 comment:

Robin said...

Hang in there V. I wish I had something more constructive to say, but at least I can say I'm thinking about you. And I am.