Oh look, here I am posting. I guess I just felt like doing it all of a sudden. Actually, I don’t feel like doing it, I feel like crying and/or sleeping a lot, but what better time to write about your feelings publically than when you really wouldn’t mind if you got hit by a bus? Oh don’t be so dramatic! I’m not suicidal, I just wouldn’t be too terribly upset if I died. I’ve been here before, it’s easily remedied, and trust me I’ve taken steps. Here’s what’s going on in Anjeanetteland of late: after stopping my medication, partially to see what would happen and partially because I wanted to get knocked up I got knocked up – and there was much rejoicing. Then, tragically, I miscarried, and there was much gnashing of teeth and renting of garments. Honestly folks, it affected me more than I thought it would, therefore adding that tiny straw to this camel’s already loaded back and pushing me over the edge into I Can’t Take This Anymore. It’s hard to describe living with depression to those who don’t, but I have what is called dysthymia – it’s a low level of chronic depression, not like major depressive disorder or bipolar where everything is overly dramatic and highly dangerous. It’s just always there, this… less-than-normal feeling, but for the most part it’s not anything you can’t live through. Sometimes there’s some lower lows, but usually it’s easy enough to be highly functional. In fact, you can float through life not knowing you have a problem until you find out that you do. Confused? Sorry. I’ll try to be more clear. I thought that the way I felt was normal for most of my life. And then one day I was talking to my mom and happened to mention the way I felt – helpless, hopeless, useless, angry, frustrated, constantly wishing that I was somebody else or that my life was completely different and she said to me “you know that’s not normal, right?” – well, it was a bit of a wake-up call and started my search for something to make it better – counseling, medication, meditation, religion, candy, what have you. It took roughly a decade, a few counselors, a psychiatrist, lots of alcohol and more than one SSRI before I found Wellbutrin. Ahhhh… Wellbutrin… giver of life, elixir of happiness. It took a few weeks to kick in but then one day, suddenly and magically, I woke up and thought to myself “I bet THIS is what normal people feel like all of the time!” and there was much rejoicing. I had energy, I wanted to do things like shower and brush my teeth, put on real clothes (as opposed to dirty pajamas) and go outside of my apartment, I lost the desire to binge eat and obsess about my weight and my body and food food food (and subsequently lost 70lbs effortlessly), I felt like I had a future and that I wanted to live to see it – I tell you, it was a beautiful thing. Which is why I stayed on the medication for so long despite the fact that my idiot doctor thought I should only be on it for a few months and then go off to see how I’d function. I got a new doctor and kept taking it for years and then… well, then this happened. Oh, and this. So I stopped. And sloooowly but suuuurely everything went back to the way it was before. But I thought I’d stick it out, not for me but for the unborn baby I was planning to carry for 9 months. But now there isn’t one and I feel so low that I don’t really want one anymore. Honestly, just between you and me, dear internet? I’m back on the birth control and back off the baby bandwagon. So. I said to myself “this is no way to live” and went to the doctor. That was roughly a month ago. And I started on the Cymbalta because it supposedly helps with back pain along with it’s anti-depressive effects. I suffer from mysterious, inveterate, obstinate back pain so I thought to myself “two birds, one stone and BOOM – you have yummy dead birds (okay, if you’re not a Buffy fan you’re probably on the phone to PETA right now, reporting me and plotting my demise, please believe me when I tell you that I love birds – lovely, live ones that chirp and fly, and I would never throw stones at them or try to kill them in any fashion. I don’t even kill spiders, and I hate spiders)” – so I tried it. And hated it. Not only did it do nothing for my back pain, it did little for the depression, and the side effects were really not worth it – total loss of what little libido I have left, pathological hunger and weight gain, the drowsiness (I’m talking sitting at my desk trying to stay awake, drooling and nearly snoring kind of drowsiness) and the dreams – my god the dreams! Vivid, ridiculous, convoluted, crazy dreams about the end of the world or World War III or floating in a giant, flooded lake in a VW Vanagon! I had a follow up with my doctor last week – so long, Cymbalta, welcome back Wellbutrin. In the interim I’m having withdrawals. If you’ve never experienced withdrawals from anti-depressants then you’re a lucky person, if you have then you might be familiar with the brain zaps as I’ve heard people call them. To me it feels like lightning is striking in my head on and off throughout the day, sometimes more frequently than others. Walking, blinking and turning my head from side to side seem to make it worse – luckily those are activities that I only do hmm… constantly. All day long. GEEZ. Plus there’s the whole depression thing which is still there. And getting worse. Anyway, I’m not trying to belabor the point, just resurfacing to say sorry I haven’t posted in an eon, sorry that I went private for a while and considered closing my shit down permanently, just… sorry. My new prescription is on it’s way to the mail order pharmacy (because even in the throes of depression I’m still interested enough in saving money that I’ll wait the extra few days it takes to receive it rather than fill it locally – see what I mean about being highly functional?), hopefully a 90 day supply of delicious, beautiful Wellbutrin will arrive in my mailbox in the next week and I’ll turn back into my normal self shortly thereafter. And stop eating compulsively. And start sleeping nightmare-free. And clean my goddamn toilets.
RayRay is upset with me because I haven’t written anything for a while. I just don’t really feel like it. Oh, and I was on vacation. There really wasn’t a good internet connection and I didn’t think blogging on my iphone was realistic, so I didn’t write while I was away. I still don’t feel like writing. Or leaving my house much at all. Or being awake. But, here I am, doing all of those things. I’ve been taking Cymbalta for a little over a week. I went to my doctor and requested that specific drug because supposedly it has shown promise at helping with low back pain, something which I have been fighting a losing battle with for a few years now. Chronic pain. Daily pain. All day. And most of the night, for that matter. For over 2 years. That might contribute to my depression, you think?
I was in Utah, visiting family, since you asked. It was gorgeous there, as I expected it to be. Kind of chilly, and slightly snowy at times, but in between those tiny, insignificant flurries there was a whole lot of sunshine. I love the sunshine. I miss Utah. I miss my family, I miss the sun, I miss knowing where I was all the time and knowing how to get somewhere else that I wanted to be, I miss the safety and security of being completely familiar with my surroundings. I’ve lived in Portland for almost 10 years now, and I still don’t feel like I’m home.
Man I’m depressed. If you hadn’t picked up on it yet, that’s the gist of this entry. I’m depressed. And it sucks. And I hate it. And I wish it wasn’t a part of my life. Cross your fingers that the meds kick in, because so far? Nada.