It’s been 8 or 9 months now, I think, and my medication hasn’t failed on me. YAY! Before I couldn’t get past 6 months without my doctor having to change my meds and I would go into this period of depression every time. I didn’t even notice it until my last doctor appointment. I had to look up when my doctor originally prescribed the last change and it was May of 2018. Why am I ranting about this? Well because my doctor finally found the right medication for me and I’m no longer a guinea pig. Things are always looking up nowadays and it feels good. My last post I said I don’t remember what it feels like when things were really bad, that is still true. I try to read my old journals during those days and I wince and cringe at the thought of ever feeling that way again. Anyway, things are good, have been good and seem to be looking good. No complaints here.
I have this friend who was going through deep depression the same time I was. We would sulk in our misery together. Somehow our level of depression seemed to always be the same every time we saw each other. When we were at our lowest point, I remember us saying how we didn’t remember what it felt like to be happy. That we haven’t smiled in such a long time. All we felt all the time was emptiness. We didn’t want to live another day. We just wanted to end it all, right then and there. I don’t remember when we said those things or felt them. Sometime last year I think. We met up about every six months or so and would text each other every once in a while after that.
It has been over six months since the last time we met and that last time, we were already both doing okay. We met again this past weekend and let me tell you. Someway, somehow, we both are happy and loving life. She did what she needed to get better and I have written about mine. We sat in front of each other scratching our heads and laughing and saying “remember when we said we don’t know what it feels like to be happy?” Now we are saying we don’t know what it feels like to be where we were when we were depressed. We laugh and we smile. Life is good for both of us.
Never did I imagine that things could be like this. I thought I wasn’t going to make it to the end of the year. I didn’t think I could be happy again. To be able to look past tomorrow and the next day and next week and even next month. Heck, maybe even the next year. All I know is that my medicine is working and things couldn’t be any better. I still have that fear that my medicine will stop working at some point because I get immune to them, but I just got to remember that I am happy right here right now and I can always come back to this point, if not, even better.
Things were already falling apart. I couldn’t tell you when it began, I just remember my therapist telling me at some point that I needed to see a psychiatrist. Why, because everything that I had buried so deep inside and chose to forget and other things that I didn’t know were there started pouring out of me and I couldn’t hold it together anymore. For a long time I refused to see a psychiatrist, I refused medication, I convinced myself that I was fine and that I could handle anything. Boy was I completely wrong. This was the second time it was happening but this time was a lot worse than the first.
The first time this happened, I remember in 2012, I sought out professional help because the things that I had buried deep inside and had chosen to forget had started to surface and I didn’t know what to do about it. I found a therapist and we started working through my issues. I had a boyfriend at the time. He knew what I was dealing with and I think we became closer because the more he knew, the more I felt comfortable around him. My therapist at that time suggested that I see a psychiatrist and get on meds to help with the depression. I refused for a while. Then I said I’d give it a try. Not too long after, I ended up in the ER. I don’t know if it was because of the meds or just a really bad anxiety attack. I stopped the meds and I stopped going to the psychiatrist. At some point I thought things were getting better and I was healed, so I stopped therapy and now we end up to the beginning of this blog.
Fast forward a couple years later, obviously I found a new therapist because I was really really really depressed. No one had to tell me. I don’t remember when I started seeing her but since the beginning she had been suggesting meds. I remember complaining to my therapist saying that I would be in a perfectly good mood and be with good company and all of a sudden a wave of depression would hit me. So that’s what clinical depression is. I still refused the meds. My depression was getting worse, things from my past were resurfacing and there was no stopping them. At some point the suicidal thoughts became apparent. They’ve been there before but the urge was a lot stronger now.
Things just got worse from that point on. I started hearing voices and seeing things, seeing ghosts. I felt like someone was following me. I was always on edge. The suicidal urges were constantly knocking on my door. I’d have episodes where I would be talking to someone in person and the voices in my head would start to talk and say that they would harm the person that was with me. I was scared for the other person’s safety and I would cry and cry and try to run away but that person would tell me that there is no one there. I would continue to argue with them telling them to leave, but they never did. In the end, they calmed me down and I would snap back into reality. I had several episodes of that. I remember when I felt like the voices in my head were plotting against me, plotting my death. I remember telling my friend that I wouldn’t make it to my next birthday that year. I remember saying that many times. I remember having a dream where I was dead. I felt like I was already dead. The voices in my head told me to give all my account information to someone. They told me to write goodbye letters to certain people. They would tell me exactly how it would happen, the only thing left is for me to do it. One day I remember them saying, you know where the xacto knife is. I told my friend I wasn’t going to be at church that night. I went home. I starred at where my xacto knife was. I sat there for a while. I eventually got up and ran to my room crying and digging my fingers into the palms of my hands so that they wouldn’t do anything. My pastor and friend found me and took me to my pastor’s house that evening. That was only one incident. I didn’t tell my therapist about that.
In the middle of all this, I gave into my therapists’ wishes and started looking for a psychiatrist. I didn’t realize how hard it was to find one until I started looking. Some said they were not taking any new patients. Some said I wasn’t sick enough. Some asked why my family wasn’t driving me to my appointments? One said they couldn’t treat me and didn’t tell me why. Looking for a psychiatrist and the constant rejection drove my suicidal urges into overdrive. Being told that you are not sick enough according to text book? Just because I still have a job and live on my own, I’m not sick enough?!? I’m on the verge of ending my own life! Is that not sick enough for you?!?
Eventually I found a psychiatrist that would treat me. Eventually I told my family what was going on with me. It wasn’t until September 2016 that I was officially diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder and started treatment. It’s been two years and many changes in medication since then. I think my psychiatrist has finally found what they call the “cocktail” of medication so that I could function normally. It’s been working well the past few months, I hope it keeps going and not have to change again. Things have gotten a lot better. I don’t have hallucinations anymore. I don’t see things any more. I don’t hear voices anymore. I’ve fought to stay alive for this long and now am making plans for the future. I went through hell and back and now I get to live my life to it’s full potential. I’m alive and well and am really glad that the meds are working. All I can do now is look towards the future.
So my meds are working, so it seems. I’ve gone a little over two months without a depressive episode. I have to wait a few more months to make sure they are really working, but for right now, they are. I have yet to pass the 6 month mark on changing my meds, then I know they REALLY are working. I do feel the difference. I’ve mentioned it several times before.
With my meds working and me getting better, I notice something else… my mind isn’t as active, there are no thoughts that are constantly running through my mind, my imagination isn’t running a muck and my creativity is just dead. I find it harder to write, to put thoughts into words and I get writer’s block all the time! It seems like when I’m down in the dumps, everything just comes pouring out of me and there is no way to stop it and when I’m better, not even a drop of imagination comes out. I’m not saying that I want to be down in the dumps so I could write and do other stuff, it’s just an observation that I’ve noticed with all of this stuff going on with me. At the same time, I wait for life events to happen to spark any emotion out of me. I guess it has to do with the meds leveling out my moods. Not that I blame them, they are helping me handle my depression and other stuff. Maybe the real me is finally coming out after all these years, buried under this facade that I’ve created to hide from the world or maybe it really is the meds. I know that without the meds, I am this quirky, clumsy, somewhat nerdy, adventurous, sometimes careless girl that skips around life making it as simple as possible but attempting to make it fun at the same time. And right now I’m just on an even playing field with no mountains to climb or planes to jump out of and nothing to write about, really.
But that is the challenge, right? To pull something out of nothing. To be creative without your fuel source to bring things to light. That’s when real creativity comes in. When you are your true self and you can create something wonderful. I would like to be able to write and be creative without being down in the dumps or some sort of life event happening. I don’t want to rely on my emotions to get my gears working. Is it the same thing as finding inspiration in anything that comes your way? Whatever it is, I want to be able to keep going no matter what mood I’m in. At the same time, I have to find that me again. The one that likes to go out on adventures and explore life to its full extent and not let anything stop me, including my meds. First it was a battle with my emotions and getting a handle on them, now it’s a battle with what moods my meds get me into. Will I ever be happy? (Rhetorical question).
Hawaii is a less than a week away and I am excited! I’ll probly have lots to write about considering all the adventures we’re going to have from riding ATV’s, zip lining, snorkeling and jumping off a 40′ cliff into the ocean. But then what happens after that? Life goes back to normal. Back to the same daily routine day after day until the next adventure I guess? That’s the thing, how can we make everyday life more interesting? I know there are so many things that I could do but, and I’m not making this an excuse but she is one of my priorities, I gotta take Mochi to the park everyday and let her mingle with her doggie friends. I want to do that for her. So with that being said, that makes my schedule a little more difficult to navigate. I can’t do anything til after 7pm. I’m not trying to put a downer on life, like everyone else, I just have to find a healthy balance. I’m sure there are plenty of things that I could do after 7pm, I just have to find them.
Well I’m off to Hawaii on Friday… maybe I’ll write while I’m there, maybe I won’t. So if anything, I’ll write when I get back. Aloha!