Friday, March 30, 2007

Am I Going Crazy Yet?

I haven't been posting a lot recently. Oh, you noticed, huh? Damn. Well, to be honest about it, it's because my posts are supposed to be witty and full of funny sayings and conversations had. There hasn't been a lot of that and I didn't want this to become a chronicle of my depression but sometimes ya just gotta share even if nobody really wants it. This is gonna be one of those posts where I sit here at my desk and cry and make typos because of the tears so if ya wanna skip it, please do and we'll see you on a better day.

I'm tired, folks. So fucking tired. Depression for me is like hanging off the edge of a crumbling cliff face and someone has a tight grip on my wrists. Some days I'm gripping their wrists as hard as I can and digging into anything I think my feet can find purchase on because I want up So. Damn. Badly. Other days I'm kicking and screaming because I want them to let go. For the love of God, please let go. Just let me fall. I don't wanna do this anymore. I don't want to fight. I don't want to be here. I don't want to live this life anymore. There's nothing good left in it. Then there are days I'm not even holding on. I'm just hanging there. I don't really care if they hold on or let go. I don't even want that decision.

I'm still not taking care of myself like I should. I'm definitely not taking care of my house like I should. I used to be so anal about my bathroom and kitchen floors. I'm not quite sure what's on my kitchen floor right now. I just quit looking at it. I'm diabetic but there are days I don't eat at all. It's not worth the effort. I don't know when I last did laundry. I guess you don't have to do laundry if you never leave the house. I occassionally look around and think to myself, "Damn. When did I get so lazy?" I spend all day at the computer watching TV shows online or playing puzzle games and smoking way too much. That's not like me. I don't knit, crochet, paint, go to the movies or anything I used to love doing. I don't stalk knitters and my husband is nearly having to drag me into Guild Wars to play with him. I still play World of Warcraft (a lot) but most of the time because it's just habit to sign in.

I sometimes wonder if I'm using the depression as an excuse to be lazy or if the depression really is that bad. How do you know? I'm no longer denying that I have depression but I don't think there's a 12 step program for it so admitting it doesn't really help so much. Is there a clue to where if your thought processes go in a certain direction you can tell yourself, "Yep. You're THAT depressed. Congrats. Now get the fuck out of it"? Is there a chart somewhere? Why does everything seem to take so much effort anymore? I'm not sure I have a clean spoon in the house. Don't ask me why that popped into my head but there it is. I don't think I have any clean spoons. Not sure about plates either. I know T went and bought paper plates last week. That might be a clue. Also, I think my scrunchie may be tangled into my hair. I don't know. I do know my hair is out of my face and that's a good thing.

I feel like I'm on auto-pilot. I feed the cat and clean his litter box. I make sure the dogs have water since T feeds them. I check the mail and pay the bills. BUT I don't have any sort of schedule. If I did would that help? I stay awake until my eyes go blurry. Sometimes that takes a day or so. Then I fall into bed and my mind goes 10,000 miles per hour with thoughts of stupid things like "Do we have any clean spoons and will I have to cut the scrunchie out of my head?" and then I finally fall asleep and I sleep an entire day away and I wake up and it's dark outside so I check the dogs water and check the mail and feed the cat and clean his litter box. Otherwise I am sitting right here. I've had a full tank of gas in my car for 2 weeks now. The same tank of gas.

When I do sleep I'm sleeping on top of my comforter. I don't remember the last time I slept IN my bed. One night I just grabbed a sheet from the hall closet and threw it on top of me as I collapsed into bed. I've been sleeping like that for weeks now. I'm just so tired. Am I going crazy yet?

31 comments:

PICAdrienne said...

Hi Angie, I am Adrienne. Please forgive the somewhat stupid question, but for guild wars, do you get to dress in period costumes? If you do, do you make your own? (you may have answered those questions a dozen times, but I am new to your blog, and didn't search, you can yell at me if you like.)cav3

I knit, and I like to go to our 'local' ren faire. Generally, I make the costumes for me and my kids, and for a friend and her kids, and her sister, and her kids. Can be a bit of a production at times.

erin/pinkerbell said...

Have you talked to your doctor about this? I imagine you have but sometimes we make light of things we should really take seriously. Get thee on a schedule. nothing too rigid but something. The day is less overwhelming when you break it into parts. Get some sun, take a walk. It does help. Honestly. Take care of yourself. Neglecting yourself will in no way help. I speak from experience.

Norma said...

Angie. Why the fuck are you not in my pinoak stalking me? I will have none of this! Get up and get in the fucking pinoak. Blogging's no fun without a serious stalker. Fuck this shit!

*hugs*

Christina said...

Seconding what erin said.

You need a semi-schedule and you need to get out of the house.

Here's what I do: every afternoon, whether I feel like it or not, whether I've showered or not, I put on some shoes and take myself to an espresso stand to get a coffee. It's not much, but it gets me out of the house, and talking to other real people.

Also, I try to be in bed by 2 am. Whether I'm tired or not. If I'm not tired, I have a soothing playlist for my iPod and a teddy bear with a speaker in it.

Lastly, I eat dinner every day. Whether I'm hungry or not. Breakfast I usually skip, lunch depends on how I feel, but I always make myself have something for dinner. Frozen stuff is great for this - pull it out of the freezer, heat up and eat.

Ok, one more thing and then I'll shut up (for now). Don't try so hard to push away your friends. We do care. And we are stubborn enough to push back. So you might as well give in and let us be all supportive and stuff.

Nanc said...

I want to give you a big ol' hug and tell you to "buck up, camper", but I don't feel that's what you need anymore. And honestly, I don't know what you need (or anyone else for that matter, so don't feel special). I'm not good at the fixing, but I am good at being a friend. So you've got that in me. Nope, you can't even ignore that away!

So what's it gonna take? Do Chris and I need to take a trip, drag you out of your house, and clean it while your at the salon? Not that that stuff is all important, but its "doing" and I'm a do-er.

So start grabbing those hands and holding on. The calvary is coming and we want you back in this war! Hell - we *need* you.

Susan said...

Hold on. No matter what don't give depression the satisfaction of you being it's bitch. Talk to your doctor. Change your meds...force yourself to get out of the house. It will hurt and be hard but you have that strength. I know you do. I've been where you are and you can and will come through it.

Julie said...

Awww sweetie, I'm so sorry you're having a rough go of it. Screw the cutlery...finger food always did taste better :-D
Hang in there, don't give in and take it one day at a time. I've lurked you for a while and can see that you're a strong lady and I know you'll come through.

*Hugs*

catsmum said...

Dr
meds if necessary
schedule
and keep talking to us
...even towers of strength need propping up occasionally girlie

paulanancy said...

Clean one spoon, just one. Then, if you feel like it clean one more. That's enuf for now. Hey, it's a start. Get on meds, if you are on them, tweaking time is here and adjustments are necessary. It's hard to see in the complete darkness that is surrounding you right now, but there are good things for you in this life, but to get there, you have to somehow slog thru this to get to the good again. Stop struggling and float instead. Good luck.

Virginia said...

I'm a complete stranger who clicked over from the Yarn Harlot's blog, so take this as you will, but:

Dude. Go to the doctor. Depression is so awful, but if it's a matter of messed-up brain chemistry, the best schedule in the world is not going to help you beat it. It's beyond your control, and there is medicine for it.

It's not worth it to continue to suffer alone: get help. There is help available to you. Please. I have been where you are. Please go to the doctor. Please get help.

Carol said...

Angie, I'm gonna repeat what so many others have already said. Get thee to a doctor and have your meds adjusted. Get some sort of a schedule, and try to stick to it. Take a walk EVERY DAY! Even if it's only 10 steps outside. Do it. Little things help alot, and these are all little things. Your friends, whether they are IRL (in real life) or not, care about you and are gonna keep pushing. This too will pass--it takes time, the right meds and lots of friends. I've been where you are now, and I know it's not a nice place. We want you back!

Annalea said...

I'm also a first-timer to your blog, over from the Harlot's report on her Pittsburgh signing. I've been where you are--but I have little kids, so I had to keep a few more spoons clean. ;o) I've done the meds thing, but I'm going to tell you a little of what worked for me.

1) Go to bed at the same time each night, and get up at the same time each morning. Right now your mind races when you try to sleep because you're running on adrenaline by the time you finally drop. If you go to bed before that, you'll have a much easier time. There is a hormonal see-saw that happens between day and night, and if that gets out of kilter, it really contributes to the serious I'm-so-tired-all-I-can-do-is-breathe fatigue. If you don't get on a regular sleeping schedule, your body is going to stay seriously confused, and actively work against you as you try to pull yourself out of the pit.

2) Take Nanc up on her offer to visit & help. Let her bring some serious "get-it-done" energy into your home. Go get your hair cut, and do the full deal--wash, cut & style. Let her jumpstart things. Oh, how I would love to have a friend that would do that for me!!!

3) Shower every day--but with a twist. Go get yourself a "dry skin brush" from the health food store and use it daily, following with a light oil massage. (Olive oil, apricot kernel oil, avocado oil, take your pick, then smooth a little over your skin. Ahhhhh . . . sooo nice.) I don't know why it works, but after I started with this (and provided I get enough sleep at night), I have almost no symptoms left. Maybe it's just enough exercise in the morning to get me going--maybe it actually does something that counteracts depression. Whichever it is, I'm hooked. And my skin has NEVER been so soft.

4) Babysteps. Just go wash that one spoon. (But make sure you've showered first! ;o) Or just decide to make your bed each morning (don't do it the way your grandmother showed you was the "Right Way To Make A Bed". Just pull up & smooth out the covers and put some pretty pillows on top that you bought when Nanc came.) Pick one spot to keep neat & peaceful. It makes a termendous difference. If you haven't tried FlyLady, go check out FlyLady.com. She can be a strong voice at a time when it's useful to have someone tell you what needs to be done so you don't have to think about it, or set priorities, or even worry about all the other stuff you're supposed to have done. You just go do the task listed in an email for 15 minutes (or 10, or 5--whatever you can do), and then you stop.

5) Eliminate as many chemicals as you can from your home. (Long story--if you're interested, I can tell you lots and lots more. I'll hit the basics here.) Depression isn't just emotions; those who have commented earlier are right--it's chemical. The chemical state of depression is magnified when additional stress is placed on your system. That stress can come from all kinds of places--but chemicals and sugar are the biggest two. One of the liver's main jobs is to break down the hormones that your body produces, including the hormones that are triggered by the emotions you feel. When your liver is so busy breaking down chemicals (from cosmetics, perfumes, laundry detergent, preservatives, food coloring, artificial flavors, car exhaust, etc.) it doesn't ever get to the emotion hormones. They're just socked away in liver tissue until your liver gets a new batch of chemicals that are higher risk for your system than what it has in the queue. Then those hormones are dumped back into your bloodstream. Then, once the stuff that scared your liver is taken care of, it goes back to socking away as much as it can, and breaking it down a little at a time. Until something else scary shows up in your blood . . . then it's dumping time again. That's where some of the depressed feelings come from, and the crazy mood swings. I personally think that's why we can have "good" days and "bad" days and swing back and forth so much.

Okay, this is probably too much information already. If you're having one of those days when you're not holding on, and you don't care if they let go or not, just put this away until you're a little more in the mood for new information. For most of my life, I struggled with health problems that doctors just couldn't help (or wouldn't, but that's another story). So, I started reading. I'm not selling anything, and I'm happy to email back and forth and answer questions if you've got 'em. I just know how much better I feel . . . and how good it is to be present and emotionally available for my kids again.

And just think . . . instead of sitting at home, feeling worse than any basically decent human being should ever feel, you could be pampering yourself with hot showers and delicious after shower massages (oooo . . . and do get some Magic Mint Foot Cream from BlueHouseSoaps.com and rub that on your feet just before you put on your socks & shoes in the morning. Divine.), & seeing the Springtime bring the world back to life.

And now, I'll stop. Just remember . . . I would be happy to email, if you'd like.

Take care . . .

Annalea

Eclair said...

Hi Angie, you might have guessed from all the other comments, but just in case you need it shouted out loud - YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

And we know how crappy this feeling is and how it paralyses everything and even when you care enough to want to move you can't because the force just doesn't seem to be with you. I get depression too - you hang off a cliff. I live down a well.

All the others have given you good advice, I'd repeat it but you're probably already tired of reading but, if you manage nothing else, try just sitting by an open window and just breathe. That's all. Just breathe. In and out.

Tomorrow you can pick a spoon and wash it. Or phone a friend. Or find the scrunchie. But today?

Today, just breathe. You're not alone. We're breathing with you.

Dene said...

Hey Angie - Dene here. Just wanted to give you a cyber *hug* and tell you that I care. I'm looking forward to stalking you again so do hang in there!! I've been in a deep hole before - just know that there is light at the top. Let me know if you need anything, even if it is just to talk.
Dene

kmkat said...

Angie, re: depression. Some good advice above about medical treatment, here's mine. Been there, done that, almost didn't make it. Dude, you need medical help. The advances that have been made in psychopharmocology in the last <20 years are phenomenal. Depression is chemical imbalance, the treatment is chemical -- Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, whatever. You'll still need to do some work -- the schedule thing, returning to a productive rather than self-destructive daily life style -- but the chemicals will allow you to do that.
They won't make you, they will enable you.

One word of caution, though -- your regular doctor is probably not trained for this. Get a referral to a good shrink. And if the two of you don't click, get another referral to different one.

If this is beyond your capacities right now -- and it very well could be -- get T involved. Have him make the call. Life shouldn't be this hard.

E me if you want to talk kmkatt@NOSPAMyahoo,com

Patrick said...

About 3 years ago I dropped into a black hole – four months of absolute terror. I wanted to end my life, but somehow [Holy Spirit], I reached out to a friend who took me to hospital. I had three visits [hospital] in four months – I actually thought I was in hell. I imagine I was going through some sort of metamorphosis [mental, physical & spiritual]. I had been seeing a therapist [1994] on a regular basis, up until this point in time. I actually thought I would be locked away – but the hospital staff was very supportive [I had no control over my process]. I was released from hospital 16th September 1994, but my fear, pain & shame had only subsided a little. I remember this particular morning waking up [home] & my process would start up again [fear, pain, & shame]. No one could help me, not even my therapist [I was terrified]. I asked Jesus Christ to have mercy on me & forgive me my sins. Slowly, all my fear has dissipated & I believe Jesus delivered me from my “psychological prison.” I am a practicing Catholic & the Holy Spirit is my friend & strength; every day since then has been a joy & blessing. I deserve to go to hell for the life I have led, but Jesus through His sacrifice on the cross, delivered me from my inequities. John 3: 8, John 15: 26, are verses I can relate to, organically. He’s a real person who is with me all the time. I have so much joy & peace in my life, today, after a childhood spent in orphanages [England & Australia]. Fear, pain, & shame, are no longer my constant companions. I just wanted to share my experience with you [Luke 8: 16 – 17].

Peace Be With You
Patrick

Mr Mentor said...

In the UK at least, Depression is now the third biggest reason to visit a GP and yet, outside of the medical field, very few people understand what Depression is all about.

Please forgive the 'sales pitch' but you might just be interested in a brand new DVD just released by my company called EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT DEPRESSION and presented by a friend of mine, UK Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Darryl Britto, who made the DVD especially for Depression patients and those training in the medical field. He discusses the myths about Depression, as well as its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, the various treatment including antidepressants, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, and Social Intervention, and then goes on to discuss prognosis (outcomes of treatment.) MORE INFO AT: www.TimeTrappers.co.uk

Cheers, John Edmonds, CEO, TimeTrappers

LoriAngela said...

Hi Angie,
You have identified the problem, so you're already seeing yourself getting through it. If it's not worth it, you need more life in your life. What pleases you? What brings in the sunshine? How can you capture what feeds you?
I take my dog for a walk and knit and eat whole foods and try to not measure everything I eat or do.
You have reached out which shows you are smart and strong. We're reaching back to make this one moment "worth it". Let's get to the next moment and find the good in that.

Carol said...

You poor baby...Please, please, please get some professional help! And there's no 12 steps for you. You have nothing to be sorry for. You're in there, somwhere, really. I've been there and it kills me to "see" you this way. You are worth everything on earth, you are more important than you can imagine, you are cared for deeply and anyone who gets multiple mentions on the Harlot's blog has got to be pretty damned special, don't you think? Please, please reach out for that help. I promise you'll have more clean spoons than you'll need. oxoxo

anne in wy said...

I second the vote for FlyLady.net It's a free website and helps me keep the essential things done even when life is nuts.

Also, see if your doctor will order a thyroid blood test.

Knitting Granny said...

Angiedear - I keep checking to see if you are still with us - just wanted you to know I think about you every day! You don't need to be funny or cute - we all love you just the way you are whenever you are! Sending loving and positive thoughts your direction, as always!

Jo Ann said...

Make that the third vote for the flylady.net. Like they say in AA, keep what you like and leave the rest. But really, her stuff works.

Also, you are diabetic, and you need to eat. Even if it is a depression that requires pharmacological intervention, I promise nothing will get better if you are not managing the diabetes.

Start with the little things. Brush your hair. Sleep in pjs under the covers. Make the bed. Take a small walk. Each nutritious snacks (at least) on a regular schedule. It will help.

I've battled depression for eight years (I'm now 33) and know exactly what you are going through. It's hard, because each time you feel like you've made alittle progress, something else (bigger and meaner) beats you back. You have to have patience and wait it out. If you do the little things consistently, the big things will eventually follow.

When I first started therapy, every day I had to write my three goals: Get out of bed. Make bed. Get dressed. And it was all supposed to be done by 1pm. And yes, most days I didn't do it, but bit by bit that situation improved. Eight years later, I was unemployed for four months and low and behold I was back at the same spot. But what I learned then (and later, heard from the flylady again) is still true. Baby steps. Take care of yourself. Be patient with setbacks. It will get better.

{{hugs}}

Annalea said...

Feeling a little silly here . . . forgot to leave an email addreee for you. RealLearningATgmailDOTcom.

You've got lots of good ideas, from all over the map. I admire Patrick for having the courage to share his experience. It reminded me of Matt 9:2-7. With the scorn and derision that Christians often receive for sharing their devotion, it takes a lot of guts to reach out in that way to others who are suffering. There is a great deal of peace in the Gospel of Jesus Christ which cannot be found anywhere else.

Whatever you choose to do, please do something. Even if it means just sleeping in pj's under the covers. (Doesn't that just sound wonderful?)

And open a window and breathe in some fresh air. . . .

Sending positive vibes your way . . .

Leeny said...

I can't say anything more than what everyone else already said but you know we are here for you. Get help, please, we are worried about you! Good thoughts and prayers streaming your way!

Krista M said...

When coming out of my depression I would set the stove timer for 15 minutes and clean whatever I could, promising that I could sit and have a smoke when the timer went off. Sometimes I would only clean for that 15 min, sometimes I'd clean all afternoon because I got in the mood. There is no point when you say, "Wow. I'm so depressed. I think I'll get better today." This is a disease and it can last a lifetime. Three years after successful medicine and therapy I still have to watch for patterns that indicate I am about to go back down. You must get sunlight and Omega-3 fatty acids whether you like it or not. Imagine yourself when you were a litle 3 year old girlie. Hold that little girl to yourself and ask if you would ever treat that little girl the way you are treating yourself right now. This is do-able. You can do it. Email me whenever you want and we can talk. knitdelawareATyahooDOTcom

Linda "K" said...

Angie - Linda "K" here, a sporadic Dear Reader. Diabetes and depression are very serious. When you're feeling depressed you tend to discount that fact. You have many eloquent commenters who have said it all well. Probably because they have been there in spades. Me too - over and over again. I'm old enough that everytime I went down the slippery slope of depression in my youth, nobody knew from meds and I had to just gradually claw my way out just to make enough money to keep on living. Meds are the way to go. If they don't work immediately or you have to switch a couple times to get the right mix, do not give up. You will be working on it and that's what there is to do. The cycle is you feel physically bad and get depressed and you can't tell which is the cause/result of the other - you can only work on it with your doc. If your doc isn't taking you seriously, get another doc. Google up on the signs and symptoms of clinical depression - you have them all. And of all that good advice you've already gotten - it's SO important to do just ONE little thing every day - clean for 2 minutes, take one shower, whatever it is. It leads to other good things. Each one is a victory. And write down the things that helped you most this time because it won't be the last time - but you'll have good things in your arsenal from now on. You really CAN do this and come out the other side - and best of all you may be able to help someone else next time.

Eclair said...

Still with you.

daisy said...

Dear Stalker Angie, another sporadic reader letting you know we care. As many of the others have said, get to a doctor, two or three if necessary, and get meds that work.

GET A THERAPIST (even if you hate the person at times, which I did mine). Someone once said that therapy is great because you get to talk about yourself without interruption for an entire hour, just like a guy on the first date. The therapist can also help you work with the doctor to get your body stabilized.

I second the suggestion to float with it. My therapist taught me to ride on top of the feelings and watch what happens and that the depression would come and go. You have to have faith that it'll start going more than coming. Doing a little bit each day as the others have suggested gets it moving.

I had two dogs so I had to go for a walk each day - probably saved my life, even though there were days when I sat on the sidewalk curb and wondered how I would ever be able to walk the two blocks home.

The thing that helped me most was going out to places where there were people. Libraries are especially nice because you can sit there for hours and don't have to interact with anybody unless you want to. But you hear and see others, so it's company of a sort.

Love the idea of the oil massage in the shower. I took long, long soaks in the tub with a book on tape to keep me company (Cat Who mysteries are soothing).

Diabetes makes your body fragile. Take care of yourself. It was very hard for me to believe at the time, but total strangers can and DO care about you. (((Hugs)))

Krista M said...

De-lurking twice in one post to check up on you! We love you sweetie. Take your time and read a litle zen wisdom. Check out www.dailyzen.com.

Karen said...

Angie

I'm glad to see that you are back and blogging at the same time I've been worried about you.

Depression is not fun, I know, I've been there, or should I say I'm there. All I know is my life is so not what I expected it to be and I know from what you write, neither is yours. We are, however the only ones that can change that. I hope you read and do some of what others are saying on here. We all care about you.

Just take it one day at a time, one step at a time. I will cross my fingers and pray that you get that job. It will do you a world of good.

Keep blogging, we're here for you :-)

Eclair said...

Still here!