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Kitchen Sink

Am I Alone Here

February 2nd, 2009

I’ve pretty much resisted writing what I’m about to post, because I don’t want to bring anyone down, but I’ve got to tell you, I’m having a very difficult time. Maybe as some of you know, when you are low, it’s not so easy to blog because you worry about your readers’ reactions or that of your friends and family who read, OR you just don’t want to come across as unstable and crazy.

 

But I absolutely need to keep it honest and give you me here and frankly, not worry so much about you’ll take it. Hiding (more like downplaying) this part of myself is keeping me from this blog, and when this little form of expression suffers, I die a little. So here it is.

 

Forever, but especially the last two years or so, my emotions and state of mind have fluctuated nearly daily. I go up and down so much that my adrenals are drained and my body is exhausted. Last night, I could barely see fit to stand for more than 10 minutes at a time, and today, I cried until I’d drunk a gallon of tears. You might find yourself wondering what is so horrible with my life, and I’d have to answer everything and nothing. I’m out of balance, as I wrote before, and frustrated, and worried, and anxious, and angry, and moody, and flat out of energy. All states I’ve alluded to in previous posts. But what I haven’t written, is how often I feel that way.

 

I’m sure some of it is hormonal, and thus cyclic; some of it is that I’m overly sensitive to real and imagined hurts, another part is that there is a source of ongoing conflict in my life, which I haven’t been able to resolve, and that is especially hitting me hard as I see no end to the conflict, and meanwhile, life whizzes by.

 

During the worst of these downtimes, I hold on with fingernails. With friends, I fake it, and wonder when or how I can address the heap of scars that builds in my gut. Maybe if I talked about it. But those kind of friends are gone now. They live too far away, whether on this plane or another, and it seems I’m alone now.

 

I know it seems like depression, and I think it is, sometimes. But it doesn’t persist, so when I’ve felt like everything sucks for a week or so, I’m suddenly back in the pink, making last Thursday’s depression irrelevant. Also, I know I’m not doing all I can to beat this thing (medication comes to mind), but I want to see if I can first change my thinking, or my diet, or my supplements, or my conflict management, or my expectations, or my lifestyle, or my neediness, or my something, my anything, to change depression’s course on my own.

 

I’ve always had hope — a little gift from my dad. As a child, he gave me the idea that if you try, if you move, if you keep at it, life would progress, work out its kinks. So I’ve kept at it. Even when I wanted to give up. But yesterday, as I sat by the bay in Coronado, looking across to downtown San Diego, watching the currents peak as little waves, I imagined for a brief second saying goodbye to my family and just slipping into the water, Not to kill myself, Lord no, I’m too much of a hypochondriac for that, but to just go away for awhile. I saw myself wading past the rocks and the shallow part, and just swimming with the current, parallel to shore, until the riptide gently deposited me on the opposite side. Because I don’t see how I can get there on my own. Hope doesn’t seem like the buoy it once was.

 

I’m no dummy, just wounded, so I know my daydream was a metaphor. In a nutshell, I’d like to stop fighting so much. Go with the flow. I’ve got so much inner conflict that the external conflict I mentioned above makes everything so much worse. And then when I try and I try and I try and I find myself no closer to the shore, well, I don’t know where to go next.

 

Or, do I stay still?

 

Somehow that seems worse.

 

p.s. Turns out I’ve written this before.How predictable. Another thing to depress me. Except this post has 85% less dry skin flakes, which is a bright side. I guess.

 

p.p.s. And although the depression comes and goes, I’m confident it’s not bi-polar disorder. You need mania for that, right? Although I’d relish the extra energy, I blessedly don’t suffer from mania. More likely is an extreme case of turbo PMS with a rocket fuel chaser.

 

On February 2nd, 2009, Kizz said:

I know this is going to be a horrible sounding suggestion but I figure any avenue is worth exploring, right? Perimenopause, maybe? Perhaps there’s some natural way to help you find a balance here.

xoxo

On February 2nd, 2009, Karelle said:

Oh, how I know exactly what you mean.
Me, I see a therapist AND I’m on meds. I sincerely hope you can find your way out of this on your own, but don’t be afraid to ask for help. Help doesn’t have to mean drugs. Just talking to a professional works wonders…

And a dear friend advised me once to keep writing, even if it sucks, even when it hurts, even if you never publish it. Keep writing. I think that’s the only way I didn’t slip completely under.

Hugs sweetie… I’ll be thinking about you…

On February 2nd, 2009, merrymamaof3 said:

You need medication. I can say this confidently, because you’ve just described myself and I’m on meds. The meds will help you to just feel normal. Don’t stop them once you do feel normal. Sure, maybe it is temporary or you could “fix” yourself with diet, exercise and meditation, but why not just take the medication. And do all those things too. Hang in there!

On February 2nd, 2009, Kristi said:

I’ve felt this way before as well and I went on medication for about a year. Felt so much better. I would definitely go see a doctor and get some help ASAP and as merrymamaof3 said, you do all of the self-fixing PLUS medication. It will help.

I always thought that depression was something that would not happen to me, I was stronger, etc. etc. But I was not. It really is something in your brain freaking out, and medication can help. My problem was my brother dying and it took me a year to figure out, holy cow, it’s not normal to want to go bury my head in the covers and not come out!

Anyway, I’m SO sorry to hear that – your posts are so interesting, you seem like a wonderful person. Don’t be afraid to tell us what’s going on, everyone needs a little help!

On February 2nd, 2009, jeanie said:

Meds do help get you out of the spiral – but finding a good therapist (and there are others – shop around until you find the one that fits YOU) with some cognitive methods of dealing with anxiety is also a blessing.

You described me in my 20s.

On February 2nd, 2009, Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said:

I get you.

On February 2nd, 2009, Twenty Four At Heart said:

Oh …. we really, really need to get together in real life and chat. I so mean it. I’ve been really out of control pain-wise lately so I’ve been very absent from commenting, etc. Going thru some tough stuff of my own. I think I need to make a trip down to SD soon – it’s only an hour. Or maybe we could meet half way for lunch one day?

On February 2nd, 2009, the mama bird diaries said:

I am so sorry for everything you are going through.

On February 2nd, 2009, matteroffactmommy said:

i am right there with you this time, deb. i’ve planned a 3 day getaway in march by myself (AND IT CAN’T COME SOON ENOUGH) to jacksonville, fl. wanna come? because i know how much you LOVE the idea of flying. especially across the country!
i’m not going to suggest meds because i don’t like the idea of them, but plenty of people find a cure with them.
my MIL is manic, but i won’t get into that in this forum…

On February 2nd, 2009, Da Goddess said:

You need to see your doctor and tell her/him all of this. Then you need to get into counseling. With or without medication, you need that outlet — that safe place where you can express everything that pulls and tears at you.

As for bi-polar, the mania doesn’t have to be severe, but based on what you’ve written now and in the past, I don’t think that’s you anyway.

I’m saying a prayer that you’ll find your answer soon. You need to get in and get started with the doc so you can get on with life. You owe it to yourself. You owe it to the kids. And you owe it to The Rock. But mostly, you owe it to yourself.

Signed,
She who has been there

On February 2nd, 2009, Blognut said:

Hang in there – I get you – wish I was close enough to give you a hug.

Tried therapy lately? I’m not being sarcastic, it can help if you can find the right one.

On February 2nd, 2009, Diane said:

Oh, honey, you’re so not alone. I’m not a fan of meds (I do know they can work, but, like you, I felt I wanted to manage my ‘issues’ by myself first). Have you talked to a therapist? I know it sounds cliche but I swear it helps. I’ve been feeling much like you feel right now and I’ve considered finding someone here (I had a great one but she’s now 5 hours away).

Keep us posted. And don’t worry about how people will take what you have to say… you’re cared about, you know, and that means the crap as well as the funny.

On February 2nd, 2009, foradifferentkindofgirl said:

I wish I had words to say that made things shiny and bright for you, but all I can really say is thank you for saying exactly what I’ve been feeling lately. Every day, sometimes every hour, I feel like I’m spinning into something different, and sometimes I’m taking the innocent bystanders with me. I hate to say “Ophrah says…” because seriously, Oprah just really annoys me and may be responsible for some of my more manic moments, but anyway, I watched her show on hormones and perimenopause because, when I heard about it, I thought “This sounds like me…but maybe a little less so…but still…”

Anyway, I’m thinking I’m close to checking into getting a full work up and check where my levels are, and see if it’s time to “look at our options.”

I don’t know, you know?

On February 2nd, 2009, Me said:

Is there anything I can do to help? Have you had therapy? Before or currently?

On February 2nd, 2009, Me said:

I really want to help.

On February 2nd, 2009, Jenn @ Juggling Life said:

I’m sorry you’re feeling this way Deb.

I know how you feel about medication–I have those feelings myself. My younger son was on anti-depressants for a while–the psychiatrist put it to me him this way–you’re trying to do everything everyone else is doing, except you’re trying to do it while carrying a backpack full of rocks. It’s exhausting. This will help take the rocks out of the backpack.

It’s something to think about.

On February 2nd, 2009, jessica said:

You are not alone. A therapist is a great idea. It works wonders for me.

On February 2nd, 2009, jessica said:

I want to write you offline. what is your email?

On February 3rd, 2009, Steph said:

Deb, please feel free to e-mail me or call me whenever you like. Being an insomniac, I’m available nearly 24/7.

{{{{Deb}}}}

On February 3rd, 2009, stoneskin said:

I can relate a lot, I hope you have a better day today.

On February 3rd, 2009, Eden said:

I get what you mean about withdrawing from the world. It’s like sensory overload and you just need some quiet and stillness.

I agree with what you said about bipolar. You have to have the mania. It also doesn’t sound like BPD, which is what my (adoptive) mother has. It could be garden-variety depression along with the hypersensitivity, like you said.

The only advice I have is this: Hawk sees more people for depression than for anything else. most of them say they’re coming in for one thing (usually something physical, like back pain) and then they start asking questions about depression or they drop hints that they want him to diagnose them. If it were me, I’d make an appointment with my plain old doctor and say that I want to find out if I’m depressed. You don’t have to be depressed *about* something, which I think a lot of people believe. Medication is great for a lot of people. So is talk therapy, exercise, etc.

Could also be generalized anxiety disorder (8raise hand*). There are some lovely meds for that ;). You don’t realize how good you can feel until you get treated for what’s wrong. And you might just need a temporary fix to get over a hump.

Think of it this way: it’s material for stories ;)

On February 3rd, 2009, Chris said:

I hope you can tell from all these lovely comments that you are not alone. You have the courage to express what many, many of us experience.

I once thought about giving my knee a good whack with a hammer – something that wouldn’t cripple me for life, (or leave a mark on my face), but might hospitalize me for a week or two… just so I could have some rest. I didn’t do it. But I thought about it, and other ways to “accidentally” injure myself so I could again, get some rest, attention, and help.

You are not alone, and you’re doing a fine job of holding your shit together. There’s no shame in seeking help – counseling, friends, medication… no shame.

On February 3rd, 2009, Mary said:

I am going to agree with everyone else. Please go see a doctor. It could be peri-menopause, or some sort of PMS related thing… Or just depression. Depression doesn’t have to be ‘every’ day. But either way, a doctor will point you in the direction of recovery.

Love ya!!

On February 3rd, 2009, San Diego Momma said:

Kizz: I’ve long suspected perimenopause. And! I went to a homeopath yesterday. I can’t wait to tell you about it.

Karelle: Thanks. I think writing does save me. And I suppose a good therapist WILL help. :)

Merrymamaof3: Thanks for sharing your experience,

Kristi: Thx too for your kind comments and sharing what you went through yourself. I’m sensing a “medication can help” theme. :)

Jeanie: I’ve been very interested in the cognitive approach, and should seek a therapist who specializes in it.

Cheri: Me too.

Twenty Four At Heart: I’d love to do lunch someday! We’ll make it happen.

Mama bird: Thx. I pretty much put myself through it.

Matteroffactmommy: Yes! I want to go to Jacksonville, MOFM!
But yeah right, the flying thing…

Da Goddess: I know, I know. Sigh McSigh Sigh.

Blognut: I know, I know. :)

Diane: I am glad that you will stick around for the crap. That means a lot :)

Foradifferentkindofgirl: What? Your words always make things shiny and bright! I think perimenopause is a possibility, right? Like I told Kizz, I went to a homeopath and will let you know how it goes with the supplements he gave me to “rebalance.”

Me: I can feel your concern and support. I really really thank you for that.

Jenn: I really like that rocks in the backpack analogy. It’s so right on.

Jessica: Knowing I’m not alone is a huge feel-better pill. Thank you. And I’m at debawriter@yahoo.com

Steph: Only a stuffed octopus can help me now. :)

Stoneskin: I’m sorry you can relate…but at the same time, it makes me feel better…!

Eden: All good thoughts! The material for stories…yes! That is a plus. Also, generalized anxiety? Probably.

Chris: I think if you lived closer and told me your knee whack stories all day, I’d be cured.

Mary: Again I say, I know, I know. So why don’t I do anything about it, you might say? I know, I know. Love you too.

On February 3rd, 2009, Lori said:

Hugs!

On February 3rd, 2009, Myra said:

Not to sound all Oprah or anything, but perimenopause does come to mind, only because I’ve been starting to feel what you’re describing. I cried myself to sleep the other night. I really understand what you’re talking about. Is it a 40 thing? Sending you a hug. xoxoxo

On February 3rd, 2009, g said:

Hey, Deb,

I read this just before getting on a plane and flying to the east coast, and I didn’t know what to say that could be said quickly.

I can’t comment on the hormone/menopausal thing, especially because I’m going thru it myself. It’s weird shit.

But all I can say is – you are such a great, creative, wonderful person, and a fantastic writer. I cannot thank you enough for the fun I’ve had – and still have – writing from your prompts and hoping you’ll read what I post. I guess I can only say – please don’t feel that no one values you. You are valued – more than you know.

On February 4th, 2009, tinsenpup said:

I don’t know, but I did cry uncontrollably over something for three hours on Monday. Now I’m over it. I’m either moody or I just developed extraordinary resilience. I’m with you on the meds. Do all the other stuff first.

On February 4th, 2009, we_be_toys said:

Forgive me for chiming in so late, but you’re talking my language here.
There are a lot of freaky variations that begin in peri-menopause, and hormone swings can certainly make any situation seem that much more stark, but I’m hearing in your words that something deeper is going on. The on-going conflict you spoke of, the lack of deep friends to vent to, the feeling of hopelessness. I’m worried about you. I’m not a big fan of meds – they’re only supposed to be for short term use – and they don’t deal with the underlying issues. Talking to a psychologist, someone who can’t prescribe meds, would be a good call, as would seeing a gynecologist.
Be well sweetie!

On February 4th, 2009, MommyTime said:

I’ll preface by saying I’m not a doctor, and there are several good explanations up there in the comments already about what this could be. But here’s what I do know: I had HORRIBLE post-partum depression, and while I was in the midst of it, I would have told anyone who asked that I was not depressed. I seriously could not recognize in myself the very obvious signs that anyone who knew anything about PPD or about depression generally could have seen in two minutes. I say this only to suggest to you that sometimes we are not able to see ourselves as clearly as we may think, and that there is no shame in asking for help. I lamented for years that I did not know to ask for help sooner. Help doesn’t necessarily mean meds, but it does mean professionals. You can’t imagine what a difference that can make. I say this out of love. And of hope that no one ever go through what I did without help again.

On February 4th, 2009, sandiegomomma.com » Blog Archive » What Came Next said:

[…] interesting is because I am happy about it. Happy. Happy! Do you know what that means? My dark descent into depression is reversed. Why, I feel positively alive. And in particular, no longer desirous of wading into the […]

On February 5th, 2009, Kate said:

It sounds like it could also be general anxiety disorder? I did some searching and found these results:
http://www.sweetsearch.com/search.html?q=general+anxiety+disorder

Hopefully, they will help.

Good luck!

On February 27th, 2009, San Diego Momma » Blog Archive » Melodiusness said:

[…] [Note: Wait. Could these songs explain this?] […]

On June 18th, 2010, San Diego Momma » Blog Archive » A Post of Labyrinth-like Proportions said:

[…] that I’m not depressed anymore, just amped, and I think maybe the Celexa is doing it to me or maybe now I’ve veered into […]

On February 4th, 2011, San Diego Momma » Blog Archive » Melodiusnessessness (Which is more than one melodious) said:

[…] [Note: Wait. Could these songs explain this?] […]

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