July 20, 2009
It’s been about two weeks since my last ‘little spark.’ And today, right before work, I wished that tomorrow was my date with ECT so that I can go back to feeling like I did two weeks ago. Though it was originally scheduled for tomorrow, I must wait until Thursday since my sister’s not home to take me to and from the hospital.
It’s felt like a slow descent these past 14 days. Was the buoyant mood right after the ECT because of the ECT? Is this dip I’m experiencing only going to be fixed only by a shock to the head? Could this just be my being a bit moody? I don’t really know. What I do know is that today I really wanted to take Xanax, something that I haven’t had the need to take since I started back on maintenance ECT.
Nevertheless, something has caught up with me, and I’m feeling a bit lonely and overwhelmed. Speaking with my mother this evening, she expressed her concern for having to go through this on a constant basis. First, does she understand that she’ll probably have a dead daughter without it? Second, I honestly think that ECT is a quick and somewhat simple procedure. It’s my own fault for not explaining maintenance ECT to my parents, but regardless of how much talking I do, I gather that they will never quite feel comfortable with my choice to have ECT, or my choice to have any sort of psychiatric treatment at all.
Tears are now welling up for first time in weeks. I’m not sure why I’m crying, but I think I just want to let go. My tightly-wound facade that I’ve created for myself has got to come down in order for everything to be built back up again.
It’s a good thing my therapy with Dr. A is in two days.
April 6, 2009
I take it back. I have no confidence in rain. In fact, this cold, rainy weather makes me feel even worse than I already do today.
I tried to get at least one room of my house cleaned today, but I just couldn’t get it together. I did make it to the fitness room, but that didn’t make me feel any better. This is starting to sound so whiny, but if I’m not honest about how I really felt today, I feel like I can and will deny that the following ever happened. And the next time this happens, I wouldn’t know how to handle it any better.
As time went by, I just felt more uneasy. I usually enjoy watching March Madness, but tonight I just wasn’t interested. I didn’t even feel like reading some news or watching Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow. Just so I could accomplish something of value, I stepped into the shower before the second half of the Michigan State/UNC game. A shower would make me feel better, I thought.
I stood under that warm water as it poured over me. I waited to feel just a little bit better. But instead (and this is so, so hard for me to write out because if I wish I didn’t have to admit this), I realized that I still had that mindset left in me to harm myself. Not now, but I knew I could still do it.
I stood there terrified. I don’t know how these thoughts crept in. This insidious force just cannot pull me in. All I wanted to do was to drown these dark thoughts away, but I just couldn’t get it out of my head.
Okay. I got out of the shower, turned back on that game, and took a deep breath. I reminded myself that everyone has an emotionally bad day, though these thoughts may not be all too common. But tomorrow is another day, and it’s almost here. Michigan State will have to wait til next March to try to win the national championship, but I get a chance to start over the very next day. It’s been how I dealt with these emotions that got me in trouble in the past. I know now I don’t have to take that same route. And I’m not going to. I better not.
March 16, 2009
I don’t doubt ECT as a procedure. But I get afraid that it’s not going to hold for me when any single aberrant feeling seems to come over me. I’m well aware of the relapse rate, and I know that ECT is only a treatment, not a cure. So, when I felt this emotional distance, detached from everything and everyone around me, take over today and the day before, I began to count down those days against the number of consecutive days that you would have to have those sort of feelings in order to be considered clinically depressed, according to DSM-IV.
When you’ve been depressed/hypomanic (or whatever people consider as mentally-ill thought process) for most of your life, you don’t really have a gauge of what it’s like to be of normal mental state. I mean, what’s a normal emotional pattern? Just how up is too up, and how down is too down when you’re ‘normal’?
Various shades of gray have been the familiar scenery for the last four days in the sky. And that’s clearly not helped. I was so ready to just whine in the journal this afternoon. Then, that gray faded away and the sun showed up out of nowhere. Later, I begrudgingly followed my sister to the fitness room. She watched “Cash Cab” while she did her routine, as I caught up on TIME magazine as I trotted on that elliptical. I admit the column I read was about the Real Housewives of New York City (but the author does use words like schadenfreude). As my feet went round-and-round on those pedals, I actually began to feel a little calmer, as if some sun finally showed up in that gray mindset of mine.
On a side note, I am a bit annoyed with my six-year-old laptop. Maybe it’s not good for the plastic cover to start showing cracks…