It was a year ago today that I underwent my first electroconvulsive therapy.Though I don’t remember everything, I can still recall the nervousness I felt throughout my body as I was first led to the ECT room. It was supposed to be a six-to-twelve time event, but it somehow stretched to fifteen, and now, to twenty-five. A year ago I was really scared about how things were going change after these treatments. What I find now is that it’s not so much that things have changed as much as the fact that I can now realize that things are okay as they are.
So, where am I now? I’m currently in school studying sociology and have a part-time job. I haven’t spent too many days hidden under the covers, and I’ve been pretty good about taking care of my body, whether by bathing or otherwise. All these little things matter, but the biggest change from last year is that I’m actually alive. I mean, last January, my body may not have been dead but I had stopped living a life and had planned on really dying by the following month. For months, that was my only plan. Though I do not have concrete goals and plans at the moment, I don’t find myself considering suicide as a logical option.
I do give much credit to ECT for getting me to where I am today, but I must acknowledge that without support from my family, I would have never been able to go through this procedure. (My mother left the country, with my father left at home, and stayed with me for three months so that she can take me every other day to these treatments.) Also, I thank everyone, whom I know and don’t know, who sent me notes of encouragement throughout the year. It is so easy to think that only you exist in your journey, but I am constantly reminded that I am not alone. And then, there’s my “Dr. Melfi.” She is the one who advised that I give ECT a try, and without her guidance, I doubt I would be alive.
I am thankful, but am I no longer depressed? I don’t know. I am not sure at what point I am declared “normal.” I still have my ups and downs, though they occur as fleeting moments rather than debilitating crises. I am often in a state of self-reflection, and I wonder to what extent such is connected to an illness and what’s just who I am. What I can say for myself is that I think I’m doing okay, which doesn’t sound all that great, but to me, it’s a huge accomplishment. I still don’t know what it means to be ‘happy,’ but perhaps I’m on that road to find out.
I suppose there’s more to say, but I can save it for later entries because I plan on being around to write them.
My house is still messy, but I guess that’s just me being me. Maybe I’ll learn to clean as I learn to live one day at a time.