Boomerang Child

{February 12, 2013}   Depression lies

So I haven’t posted here in several months. It’s been hard to write about my depression, knowing I post links to my blogs on Facebook where my friends can read them. What if they judge me for being an idiot? What if they look down upon me for my life choices? What if, what if, what if?

Logically, I know my real friends won’t judge me or look down on me for having a mental illness. But it’s still hard to truly believe that. Depression lies. But the lies are so believable.

Winter, I think, is the hardest for me to deal with. It’s cold, often wet and I hate being confined… in sweaters, coats, socks or indoors. Not that I go outdoors much when it’s warmer, but it’s not god-awful cold if I choose to.

Mom thinks Christmas is my worst time. Perhaps she’s right, though I could not for the life of me tell you why the Christmas season puts me in a funk. But Christmas is over now and I still haven’t “snapped out of it.”

It’s been a year now since my big break down where I confessed to my parents that I sometimes thought it would be easier if I weren’t here anymore. That’s what scared them into forcing me to seek help, and I’m grateful they did, but I’m not sure that help is working. I’m not as bad off as I was last year though, so maybe it’s working a little.

I have been on the verge of panic attacks twice this week, but have managed to quash them before they became full blown attacks. Go me. I should be celebrating these accomplishments, instead of wondering when the next attack will come.

Depression lies. I just wish I wasn’t so gullible.

{November 6, 2012}   Mixing it up

So I went back to the doctor yesterday to discuss my medication, as one of them had jumped in price from $25 to $75 the last time I refilled it. We discussed my lack of energy and weight gain, and she explained to me that going off Med A, which was a weight negative drug, and going on Med B, which was weight positive, was probably the culprit. I’m nervous putting this out where everyone can read it, but I’ve gained about 40 pounds since I switched drugs. Unfortunately for me, they seemed to be working, mental health wise anyway.

So, I’m going to wean off the $75 drug and see what happens. I’m also going to be mixing it up a bit by taking a half-dose of Med A, which should keep me calm and help me sleep at night, and a half-dose of Med B, which should also keep me calm and give me energy in the morning.

We shall see.

*big fat sigh*

*pun intended*

{October 24, 2012}   Medicinal weaning

When it became apparent that my anti-depressant drugs weren’t quite working like my doctor hoped, she added Abilify to the mix. I’ve been taking it about four months now and I have noticed a slight change in mood. I still feel down, but it doesn’t feel like the bottomless black hole I’m used to. I was beginning to hope it might be helping, especially since you have to give it about three months to fully get into your system.

Unfortunately, I’m going to have to research how to safely come off it. For the first three months, a monthly supply of Abilify cost me $25. Then last month, it shot up to $75. And I just can’t afford $75 per month for another medication. I already pay $75 for my inhaler which I need to breathe and $55 for Nexium which I need to not have crippling stomach pain. So I’m going to have to sacrifice something. Since I like breathing and eating/being pain-free, I’ll have to give up my mental health.

I’ll talk to my doctor, to see if there’s anything cheaper I can take, but in a country such as ours, people shouldn’t have to pick and choose which medications they can afford to take. If I weren’t living at home I wouldn’t be able to afford the ones I take now. I just don’t make enough money to live on, and jobs that I can do that offer insurance are scarce where I live.

I dread the return of the days where it takes everything I have just to get out of bed. But I can’t afford the one medication that has made the days seem just a little bit brighter.

{October 3, 2012}   The forest for the trees

Last night, when I got home from work, my mother asked me if I remembered the combination to her luggage lock. Seems after our last trip to Australia two years ago, she locked the suitcase before putting it back in the attic. And of course, she couldn’t remember the combination. I couldn’t either, so I dragged the thing into the living room and went to work, trying every combination of everyone’s birthday I could thing of. Nothing worked. And we needed to get the suitcase open, since the second suitcase was inside it.

So I though to myself, “Self, there’s only three numbers on this lock. That’s 1000 combinations. I can do this, one number at a time.”

Fortunately for both my sanity and my fingers, it only took me about 20 minutes to find the right combination, 196. My mother has no idea why we chose that as her combination. But here’s the kicker: when the lock came off, it swung around and I saw that the number “196” had been taped to the back of the lock.

When you *headdesk* and *facepalm* at the same time, would you call that a *headpalm*?

At any rate, we are now ready to pack. Dolly con, here we come!


{October 1, 2012}   Running the gauntlet

Among my many problems is a sort of generalized people phobia. I’m sure there’s some technical name for it. Whatever it is sure does make  getting out in public a chore of epic proportions for me. The fact is I just don’t like to be around people I don’t know. Whenever I go out, I am usually staring straight ahead or at the ground. Do not make eye contact. Do not speak except to whisper a quiet, “Excuse me.” Go around people instead of having them go around you. Pretend to be as invisible as possible because anyone who sees you is judging you by how you look and somehow knows all your dirty little secrets. See, told you I was nuts.

This coming weekend, however, I will have to face my people fears, as I am dragging my mother to the Wilde Imagination doll convention in Louisville, KY. I’m actually going to have to push aside nervousness and talk to strangers. Shocking, I know. But I think it helps to know that everyone who is attending is just as fanatical about dolls as I am and we’re all coming together in that common cause. I even joined a group of people who will be visiting the museum there to visit the Princess Diana exhibit. I took initiative!

But I can’t say that I’m not nervous about the upcoming trip. We’ve never been to Louisville before, so I have this terrifying fear we’ll get lost somehow. I’ll feel better once we get to the hotel, of course. I just hate how these little problems and fears threaten to overwhelm me sometimes. So wish us luck. May we travel safely to our destination and may all the strangers with candy pretty dollies be friendly.

Writing used to be an outlet for me. Of course, back in the day, all I wrote was homo-erotic anime fanfiction. But still. I could let my emotions spill out onto the page (or computer screen, as it were), and I would feel better. Less stressed. Accomplished. And then, I stopped writing.

I didn’t know it then, but I was suffering from moderate to severe depression. Looking back, I feel like it came over me slowly… little grey clouds telling me I was just too tired to write that day or I could put off going to the store or seeing friends until some other time when I was in the mood. But the clouds got darker and every day became a struggle just to go on, let alone do anything productive.

I stopped writing. I stopped hanging out with friends. I stopped going to the movies. I stopped doing things I had previously enjoyed. I just… stopped.

I would look at my life and tell myself how useless and pointless it was. I was in my mid-30s and still lived at home with my parents because I didn’t make enough money from my job to live on my own. I had numerous health problems, including asthma and GERD. I was in a job that sometimes took all my energy just to make it through the day. And though I had traveled to both Japan and Australia in recent years, I never did anything exciting. (I did not yet realize depression lies.)

Then I would beat myself up for feeling so down. I didn’t have real problems, I would tell myself. I have a roof over my head, food on the table, and I’m able to pay my bills. Stop being “depressed.” Stop being “emo.” Stop over-dramatizing your silly little problems. Just stop it!

But it didn’t stop. It got worse. My breaking point was Christmas 2011. My little chinchilla, whom I love almost more than anything, seemed to be sick. I lost it. I couldn’t stop crying. And when I admitted to my mother that sometimes I thought it would be easier if I wasn’t here anymore, she freaked out (rightfully so) and dragged me to the doctor, where I finally got my diagnosis.

My name is Caroline. I’m 36. I live with my parents. I have moderate to severe depression and generalized anxiety disorder, among other things. I still cry a lot. I’m still trying different medications. But I know it’s not my fault for how I feel and that though I see my problems as tiny compared to what other people face, they are not tiny to me and I shouldn’t feel guilty. I am working on getting better. And I am starting to write again.

et cetera