Let it go

It’s pretty crazy how far I’ve come from where I was when I first started therapy. I would obsess over everything, from school to boys, boyfriends, what everyone was thinking and if I was the burden I believed myself to be. Now I’m in probably one of the most stressful positions I could be in and I’m ok. I don’t have a job and bills are coming in I can’t pay. I’m repeating phase 1 which adds another three weeks to my schooling which means an extra three weeks until I can start looking for a job and be able to pay the debt that’s piling up.

I found out someone doesn’t like me here. I had an idea there was something weird happening because it felt like there was some awkward tension between the two of us. I felt like we were on ice, and too far in or pressure would crack it. We were assigned into the same group which meant we would have to pair together at some point that week. I instantly dreaded it but at the same time thought maybe it would be a good thing. So that day came and I made the first move. She said a person in our group who hadn’t made it in yet was on their way and she had already agreed to pair with him. But if he took a while then she would pair with me.
So I was standing around, doing nothing when someone asked if I was pairing today. I said “To be determined.” She was sitting right there so I know she heard. I went to the bathroom and when I came back she was talking to another guy in our phase who happened to have the same name as the guy in our group who was supposedly coming. You can guess what happened right? She paired with him, a guy not in our group rather than pair with me. She gets along with my aunt great, by the way. They paired and the two of them get along perfectly. I definitely felt the snub and confirmation that I was not liked.
We had this empathy session though and it just so happened we were randomly in the same group. And wouldn’t you know the talk was about boundaries and why we have them, what it takes to move between them, etc. It turns out she’s very particular about who she befriends and once she feels you’re not acceptable then that’s just it. I tend to wait until someone does something… And apparently she’s having some serious stuff happening right now and what not and after hearing that and getting out some info about myself I felt better.
It’s totally fine if she doesn’t like me. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. I’m more wondering, am I the only one who feels it? Or do others found unworthy feel the same thing?

I’m trying to let it go and I’m better off now than I was because she’s moving forward while I’m behind. We’ll be in two different phases and will be less together than we were… which wasn’t much, but she’ll be on the other side of the room. I really need to let this go.

Maybe I haven’t come as far as I was…

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Another Reality

I’m currently taking classes training me how to be a computer programmer. Basically, they’re just teaching me how to code. Anyway, I told my psychiatrist and she upped my dosage to deal with the added pressure. Well, that made my hands start shaking so I couldn’t do anything that took precision like, holding my phone steady to take pictures, install a water-softener… On top of that, and the main reason I went back and complained, my boyfriend informed me I was waking repeatedly from nightmares which I couldn’t remember. He’s a very light sleeper so this was a big deal to me because that’s really when we see each other the most. I’ll come over after work, have dinner, sleep over, have breakfast together and that’s it but because of the nightmares I wasn’t seeing him much at all. So much has been happening lately with my mom visiting multiple times in a month classes starting and my sister moving in, I haven’t had time to see him on the weekends so I think it was a couple weeks….? We usually see each other once during the week and on weekends so it wasn’t ‘much at all’ to us.

Sorry, I go off into details a lot.

My psychiatrist told me to start only taking half of my Bupropion (Wellbutrin) because one of their side effects was nightmares and maybe hands shaking. She also told me to start taking my Venlafaxine (Effexor) in the morning instead of before bed since that could also be the reason behind the nightmares and my waking up in the middle of the night. If both of those didn’t work, I needed to stop taking the extra 75 mg of the Venlafaxine she had given me and if THAT didn’t work, we would need to change my meds. I hate the idea of changing my meds because that’s what lost me my job, as far as I’m concerned. So I started taking all of my meds in the morning and only half of the Bupropion.

Wow.

Well, the hand shaking stopped… as did me forgetting I was having nightmares… and the ability to fight my anxiety..!

Yeah, I fell so hard… and nobody got it. My aunt’s upset with me because I’m not walking the dogs at night like I’m supposed to and not vacuuming. Hell, I’m barely eating and I’m certainly not leaving my room much..! Jerry, my boyfriend, says “Haha, sheesh..” via text because when someone tells you their meds aren’t working and they’re low that’s how you respond. I was literally in my own little horror of panic and hopelessness. I even starting typing into my phone’s notes app stuff and, I don’t exactly remember it, but I remember it was sheer fear… and panic about what that fear was doing to me… I haven’t read it because I’m a little afraid to see how scary and ‘psychotic’ I sound. Anyway, after that hell of a night (never has that saying fit so perfectly), I stopped taking the extra dosage of Venlafaxine and I settled back to normal. Thank god. Really the worst of it was that one night but the fall and rise took the better part of two weeks of my life. Which is why I am repeating three weeks of my training classes. I couldn’t shower let alone do school work. Thankfully my teacher understood and allowed me to repeat without paying the fine or it counting against me.

Sometimes I really wish I could explain what the suffering is like… that was probably the most upsetting part because I couldn’t ask for help any where. And of course I’m in between therapists, AGAIN, because my insurance changed and she’s not covered. What perfect timing to fall, am I right?

There was one time though I seemed to get through to Jerry. I’ve always been a journal keeper but I’m not nearly as dedicated as I was in school when I had so much… free time(?? I should never be a school mentor… or tutor.. or school anything..).

Anywho.

I had it out the weekend he and I got back together and there were a few entries of my logic behind all of my thoughts and decisions and I let him read. He’s reading it over and we’re commenting about how I could write so much on one topic. Then it was his amazement at what my mind used to be like. I was just sitting there going “yup.. that’s what it was like.. all the time..” and he’s going “It’s insane… but totally logical..!” (I provided evidence to my reasoning), then after a couple seconds he goes “You know I love you, right?” The entries were basically me over-thinking and questioning every word, phrase, and body language movement he was doing at the time. I think that has to be the one time he had an inkling of an understanding what living with a screwed up mind was like… Maybe I should make him read my phone notes…

So that was my… month… how’s yours been?

Madness

I love Thanksgiving. I hear all the time how people hate it because there’s so much drama or something. There are movies where that is the entire premise of the movie. However, I love Thanksgiving because of the madness. My relatives in Chicago drive their way down to Paducah, Kentucky while my mom and sisters (and once upon a time me as well) would drive up from Atlanta. We would meet at the Drury Inn (one time La Quinta) in the middle of nowhere Kentucky to celebrate Thanksgiving and(!!) Christmas because handing all the presents out in person is far cheaper than mailing them. Eventually November through January birthdays were included as well. We would all have rooms next to each other, one year even having two rooms connected by a door inside the rooms. We’d run back and forth between the rooms trying to find people to play cards, go to Walmart, go to the mall, watch a movie, see who’s ready for insert anything you need pants on for, etc. Having to search the dining area in the lobby when you couldn’t find someone in the rooms… It was madness and I loved it.

Then my grandma, who brought the tiny Christmas tree, who brought homemade chocolate chip cookies that were so flat the chips actually stood up like mounds in them, inside whose room we opened presents… died. She was diagnosed in February the year before with Alzheimer’s to the shock of everyone. This was someone who skipped two grades in school and had been living on her own, taking care of herself since her husband’s death twenty-five years prior. And she was so fit! She had always been athletic- track as a kid and roller-skating while ballroom dancing as a senior- we thought she had so many more years… but by February of the next year she was in a home, so upset, so mad we took away her car, then her condo, and finally her independence.

For a few months you could tell she didn’t belong. She was so bored just walking around like whatever. The staff certainly had their hands full because she kept trying to help or do something and kept doing it wrong. She had trouble coming up with words, something I’m guilty of now, but never my embarrassingly, vocal grandmother. (She was talking about a guy’s ears as we stood right behind him in the movie ticket line. It was awful. I swear he heard- her whispering might as well have been softly speaking.) Then she had trouble walking. Then she fell down and we were informed she absolutely could not walk and must use a wheelchair. She didn’t like that much to the chagrin of whoever visited, but she eventually accepted it as long as she had full control of it. No pushing. Then she was having trouble swallowing.. And then it finally happened.

We were outside because it was a gorgeous day. We had walked around the building to the seating area and she wasn’t able to talk much at all at this point so we just tried to decode the grunts to see if she was happy. We were sitting and talking when grandma wanted to move again. She was heading to a side door and we were trying to get her because that’s an emergency door. And that’s when she started fighting. She was having what I guess everyone calls an episode. We ran to the door which was locked. The nurses could see us but it seems no one had a key. but there was a keypad. No one knew the code. I ran around the building to get help because that’s all I could do in that situation. When I got inside I saw they got the door open but Grandma was trying to bite Aunt Joy’s hands. Aunt Joy started saying over and over again “It’s me Mom, it’s Joy.” And suddenly she.. woke up, I guess. She was so confused. From the little bit I could distinguish it seems like she remembered all that just happened but it was like someone else’s memory. She looked up at me and very clearly asked “What happened?” …. I wonder if it calmed or scared her more when I answered ‘You just forgot Grandma. It’s all okay now.” She just looked so confused, as I suppose someone who just regained control of their body would be. I have the show Supernatural running through my head now.

The last time I saw her, she was overwhelmed. She was trying to tell us something or get something across and was “upsetting herself” as they would say. I interrupted to try and distract her by saying “Grandma, I love you!” She looked at me and said “I love you too” but her eyes weren’t energetic or passionate. They were weary and defeated.

Confessing You Have Depression

So here’s what happened:

My body became used to the anti-depressants I had been on for a couple years and they stopped working. I started having days where I felt absolutely exhausted. My body felt heavy. I felt like a horrible person. I couldn’t keep a thought for very long. I started taking sick days. My psychiatrist and I talked and she prescribed one that was similar but “reverse.” It takes four to six weeks to fully understand how an anti-depressant will affect you, so if the first and second drugs don’t work, you’ll have been going two to three months at half potential.

While trying out new medications, I started to have more lapses. I would have arguments in my head: how many days did I have left? What did I have to complete today? Did I have a meeting? However, even those days where it was out of the question I needed to go to work, I didn’t care. I didn’t care about me, my life, how I screwed it up, nothing. Then the next day I would feel guilty. I would feel like a horrible employee asking myself why on earth would I do that? Why would I ruin my own life? Realizing I won’t be able to go home for Christmas if I keep this up. The shame and guilt would be so bad, I would end up staying home a second day because I didn’t want to show my face. Eventually, I ran out of days and about a month after trying the first drug and adding on a second, I had to come clean to my boss.

This is my most recent experience having to confess I have Depression. With more exposure, advertisements, and education, telling someone I have Depression isn’t so scary. The first time I confessed to my friends I was seeing a therapist, I was a senior in high school and I waited two months. The only reason I told them was because I had recently learned a friend of mine had gone to the hospital, had surgery, and left the hospital, all without me knowing. If I had known, I would have visited and been, well, a friend. Since I was so upset over it, I wanted to make sure my friends knew what was going on.

Things didn’t go as well as I thought they would. The stigma of seeing a therapist was still too strong. Even with the commercial about supporting friends with depression running all the time. The one where it would show a door and you heard constant knocking. Then the person whose point of view we were following would walk closer to the door and by the end you realized the person was avoiding their friend who had admitted to having a problem sought treatment. I still had two friends who did this. Some were very supportive right from the start. A few didn’t talk to me for a couple weeks, trying to process. My mom always describes me as a “happy child.” I laughed, goofed, smiled. Those who have problems work very hard to hide them. Unfortunately this only gives people more of a shock when they find out.

With roommates and boyfriends I have been upfront with my struggles. These people are choosing to be very close to me so I feel I should give them all the information before totaling committing. Those I’m not so close to, co-workers and so forth, I don’t go out of my way to inform. Thus, my boss didn’t know what I was going to say and it showed on her face.

There are still people who don’t understand how being sad can be a disease. Depression is considered a synonym for sad after all. There are others who accept it’s a disease and admit they don’t understand. There are those who are understanding and glad to hear you are getting the help you feel you need. Finally there are those who are completely supportive and it rings in every word they say.

I have personally found the best way to handle having Depression is to not treat it like it’s a big deal. Some people hear depression and automatically jump to drugs, self-harm, or suicide. By just passively mentioning I’m on medication or see a therapist, when it fits in a conversation, it becomes more of a part of who I am, not the only thing I am.