The Letter

Years ago, when I was going through a fairly deep depression, a friend wrote me a letter.  It consisted of things that I would never have to go through and how much better off I had it than others.  It told me that I should appreciate what I had.  Now, I know this letter came with the best intentions because you could tell it was written with concern.  I never even got mad at this person about it, but I found myself replying to it with an apology because, well, it made me feel worse.

And that’s the thing, right?  Telling someone who is going through depression of any sort that they have it good and they shouldn’t be so depressed just makes the depression more all-consuming.  They feel like they’re letting people down with their sadness, and it pushes them down even deeper, and that’s what happened to me.

I was careful not to mention my sadness or loneliness around this person as much as I could.  Suppressing my depression, though, was excruciating and almost impossible for me.  I mean, it was “easy” to do it around co-workers, etc., but they weren’t a friend.  I counted myself quite lucky that I didn’t live with this person and that I had people I DID live with that I could legitimately talk to about it.  I also didn’t see this person as much as I could have, so I could breathe more often than not.  But those times I couldn’t breathe were horrible.

It was an unintentional side effect of the letter.  The person who wrote it actually suffered from a form of situational depression at times, so that’s why they didn’t understand being sad when a person is in a good situation.  They didn’t understand being sad for “no reason” or how all-consuming this type of depression could be.  I forgave them for writing it because of this.  Because they didn’t understand.  The thing is, most people DON’T understand.  I, personally, don’t understand the depression that comes with MDD.  I suffer from bipolar depression and that’s completely different, even if it’s just the knowledge that it might end… that I might feel better at some point… remembering the happy times.  But that means it feels like my happiness was ripped away from me, which is crippling.

In the end, this person never knew how their letter affected me.  I didn’t feel as though I could explain how and why I felt the way I did, so I “became happy” and waited until I was away from them to fall apart.  Now, I don’t see them all that much, if ever.  But that’s pretty much true of most of my friends.  I don’t have to hide if I’m depressed or manic (which is pretty impossible to hide) or hallucinating (another hard to hide thing), or having a panic attack.  In a way it’s a relief, but I do miss seeing people.  In the end, though, the only thing I’d like anyone to take away from this is to think carefully what you say to someone with a mental health condition… it could affect them in ways you never even know.

Posted in mental health | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

When Your Physical Health Messes with Your Mental Health

SO… since I’ve last been on here, I’ve gone to my primary doctor and had some blood tests done.  Technically I have diabetes and my vitamin D level was so low that she was surprised I was standing.  So after getting on some medication for both of them, I’ve noticed that the “foggy brain” I was having and trying to treat with psychotropic meds was lifting… especially with taking a ridiculous amount of Vitamin D.  So I stopped taking my one med and I’m feeling much better.  It had been so long since I had gone to the regular doctor that I was assuming everything that was going on was mental.

This is a great danger to us with mental health disorders.  If we, like me, just assume every bad symptom we experience is because of our mental disorder we could be ignoring something very bad physically.  So from now on I’m going to be viligent not just with my mental health, but with my physical health as well.  I need to be able to rule out physical reasons before I go and treat something with new medication.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

That One Good Day

I had it yesterday… that elusive good day.  The one where I didn’t feel like I was going to collapse from exhaustion and needed to take a nap.  The one where my brain didn’t feel like it was racing around itself.  The one where I didn’t feel a cloud of dread above my head everywhere I went.  The one where I didn’t have to pretend everything was fine.

And damn it felt good.

You see, I live in a perpetual mixed state from day to day.  I’m often torn between depressed exhaustion and an almost violent race of thoughts.  I go to nap because all I want to do is get away from the world, but my mind won’t let me have a moment of peace.  This is when I resort to melatonin in the middle of the day and pain pills that are supposed to knock you out.  I’m lucky if it works.

And then there are the days when I’m in a constant rage.  Nothing will satiate it.  I will put my earphones in and flip out when people want to talk to me.  My thoughts race so violently… causing my brain to have whiplash.  I don’t want to be online.  I can’t journal.  I cant do anything but stew in my own hatred of myself and the world.

So it’s hard… waiting for those good days.

Oddly enough, today seems to be shaping up pretty well just like yesterday did.  Perhaps I’ll have the rare two day in a row glow of happiness.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I Hate Therapy

I never want to go to therapy.  In fact, I think if I didn’t have to, I wouldn’t.  Now, it wasn’t always this way with me, but in the past couple of years it has been.  I go around every two months.  I have absolutely nothing to talk about.  TWO MONTHS and nothing to talk about.  Things happen, they get resolved, and I forget about them.  Nothing is ever pressing when I have an appointment (but wouldn’t it be nice if there was?), and I find myself rambling about random shit.

Now, like I said, it wasn’t always like this.  I used to go every week.  I used to need it to survive.  I was either depressed or manic or hearing things, or more than one (and sometimes all three… THAT was fun).  She gave me great coping techniques, etc.  Then I had to switch insurances because I made too much on disability to qualify for Medicaid anymore and also had to switch therapists.  Appointments went from being free to being $40 a pop and I stopped going as much.  My new therapist wasn’t as good and I started using the coping mechanisms that I had been taught.  Which brings us to today when I have NOTHING to talk about because I deal with everything on my own.  And I’m finally on the right meds.

Which brings me to this.  Why do I HAVE to go to therapy?  It’s mandatory that we go at least once every 2 months if we’re seeing the psychiatrist for meds.  Regardless if we need it or not.  My therapist is so available that I can make an appt and have it right away.  And I can just text her about it.  So, like, maybe make it so if we NEED to see him/her that that’s the only time we have to see them.  It’s annoying an expensive.

That said, I have an appointment next Wednesday.  Joy of joys.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

When Fine Doesn’t Mean Fine

“I’m fine.”  I say these words more than a normal person would.  I’d bet on it.  Unfortunately, most of the time I say them, I’m really not fine.  Things aren’t going well, and something is probably eating me from the inside out.  Mostly because this is my constant state of being.  Thing is, most people don’t know.  They can’t… I’m very good at disguise.  And so are the many other people in this world with mental illness who don’t want to burden their friends or loved ones with everything that is going on inside them.

There are a few that can see behind the curtains, though, and I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m kinda terrified of them.  It’s like being naked.  And while part of me always wants people to know what I’m going through, I don’t at the same time.  It’s a part of me that I want to hide.

I can write about different mental health things that I’ve experienced or exist too.  That’s impersonal.  I’m not talking to you about the things my mind is experiencing in real time.  It’s an edited version of what happened.  My mind isn’t like SNL.  And when I do bring up things that are going on in real time, even THAT is edited.

So the next time a friend or family member of yours with a mental illness says “I’m fine,” they probably aren’t.  BUT… they’re good enough to fake it for your sake.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment