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How am I doing? Not well - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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How am I doing? Not well [Jun. 15th, 2011|03:03 pm]
Zoethe
What I would love would be to write an entry wherein I talk about how improved and awesome everything is. I want the TV show cure, the instant better.

I'm not getting that.

On the one hand, my working life is more in order and I'm managing that better.

But on the other hand, my emotional interior is probably the biggest mess it's been in the better part of forever.

I've never really done the "deeply sad" kind of depressed. I've either had the anxious side or the numb side. This time, though, I'm going through the really painful side.

This might be a good thing. This might be me opening up to another aspect of myself and really getting to the core of lots of things and finally becoming the person I want to be.

But what it feels like is standing on a cliff and stepping out into nothingness. I'm terrified of the black. I want to bargain my way back to numb. What if there's no upside, no recovery, no better? Isn't it safer to live halfway than to risk the abyss?

The problem is, the halfway isn't working anymore. I am feeling distanced from my life, emotionally unavailable to everyone and everything. The things I love to do have become a chore, the people I love I can barely find the energy to communicate with. I am continually fighting tears.

And hating myself for not being perfect, for being this weak and needy.

I don't know the path through this. I don't know what's on the other side. I don't even know, really, what it's supposed to look like.

I liked myself better when I was happy. Now my life is great, but I'm not happy. I want to smack myself and demand to know what the hell is wrong with me and why can't I snap out of it.

I want there to be a lesson for here: how I realized and what I got out of it and how it's all okay. But I don't have that yet. I still have excavation and unpleasant surprises and trying to function when all I want to do is quit.

Right now I don't know how much more swimming I have in me.
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Comments:
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[User Picture]From: hollyqueen
2011-06-15 07:08 pm (UTC)
Have you talked to a professional at all? I am a big believer in both drug and talk therapy.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-06-15 07:18 pm (UTC)
I am working with a counselor, yes. It's only been three sessions, and we've focused more on the ADD side of things, because I was suppressing the sad side. There will be sad side work now.
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[User Picture]From: sapphirescarlet
2011-06-15 07:12 pm (UTC)
I hear you. And I've been where you are. Granted, where I am right now isn't awesome, but it's nothing compared to where you are.

Please forgive me, but I can't remember if you're in therapy. I suspect you are, and for that I must commend you. If by some chance you aren't, please please consider it. You CAN get thru this, but you will need help. Very few make it thru this sort of thing alone.

Even when it feels like the therapy is useless, and you don't want to talk any more - keep talking. There is light at the other end, and you WILL step into it one day.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-06-15 07:19 pm (UTC)
I am, yes. Only three weeks so far. Still a lot of work to do.

Thanks for the encouragement.
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[User Picture]From: aiela
2011-06-15 07:16 pm (UTC)
It's never easy to REALLY look at what's wrong, and deal with it. Every time I've gone to therapy I've found that things get worse before they get better, because you're uncovering things that have been background noise for so long and REALLY looking at it for maybe the first time.

Hang in there. Give your meds a month or two - if it's not working, try something else. I can't count the number of antidepressants I tried before I found one that not only worked, but didn't make some other aspect of my life bad.

And know that I love you, and I'm here to listen if you need me, although I know sometimes the quiet is what's needed. But I'm here no matter what. *kisses*
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-06-15 07:21 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's definitely where I am, and Ferrett is really good at pointing out where I am, which helps to uncover those things. It's SO not fun. But I love you and I appreciate you being there, dear. Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: stripedsocks
2011-06-15 07:39 pm (UTC)
You can do it, but it's going to be hard.

I'm definitely in the numb part. Apathetic about some things even. It's hard to get through. But you can do it!!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-06-15 09:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I manage to pull myself out of it for a while when interacting with people, but then there is the drop back in. The contrast is painful.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2011-06-15 07:39 pm (UTC)
I support you. Really, that's all I can say except I do understand. What everyone else says here - it does get worse before it gets better, it DOES get better, and the first drug isn't always the right one.

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-06-15 09:27 pm (UTC)
I'm only three weeks into the drug, so it's too soon to judge, but sometimes even getting a little better means feeling worse. Which blows.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-06-15 09:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks. It's good to be reminded that there is through.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-06-15 09:33 pm (UTC)
Wow, that's interesting. I have to reread it this evening and digest it. Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: roniliquidity
2011-06-15 07:55 pm (UTC)
Your description of being on a cliff and being terrified of the black triggered "Take me out to the black, tell them I ain't coming back." in my head over and over. Which I thought you might appreciate, it could be a mantra. Mantras are cool.

As I have had terrible luck with counselors so I've had to learn to self care, and as I've already said to Ferrett, I can't recommend meditation enough for depression. It helped me to give myself the space to simply exist without thinking, without being sad for a while. I think it might be particularly good for you, to have permission to rest and not be fighting to move past everything and regain how you feel you should be.

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-06-15 09:35 pm (UTC)
That's an interesting mantra. And meditation is probably a really good idea.
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[User Picture]From: anderyn
2011-06-15 07:59 pm (UTC)
It takes time. That's the hardest truth about depression -- it can get better, but there's no miracle cure. I found the best thing about taking anti-depressants (for me) was that I could find the better bits in my life, and take some joy in them. It wasn't a cure-all but it allowed me to find my own way. I do hope that you, too, find the small shards of joy that can lead you, like little bread-crumbs, out of the slough of despond. I'll be hoping and watching your journal.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-06-15 10:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks. This means a lot to me.
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[User Picture]From: forestmaster
2011-06-15 08:00 pm (UTC)
Hang in there. A friend recently wrote this about hard work and a follow-up today about reasonable expectations for things to change. Maybe this experience is to help you understand what theferrett goes through with his SAD, maybe this has been a long time coming and now you've had enough experience to be ready and able to deal with previous experiences.

Baby steps. It's good that your working life is going better so you have the opportunity to focus on aspects of your personal life. No one is perfect. If you/they think they are, you probably don't know them that well, or they're good at hiding/deceiving themselves. Not knowing what the other path is supposed to be means you can craft your own path of where and what you want to be. Sometimes the journey is more important than the destination. Keep on swimming or as the other link said, plugging away, one day at a time. Not all days will be progress forward, but sometimes the new path takes you to places even better than what was imagined or wished for in the past. [hugs]

Edited at 2011-06-15 08:01 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-06-15 10:20 pm (UTC)
Those are both good entries, thank you. It's hard to be uncomfortable like this, but it's work that has to be done.
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[User Picture]From: cinema_babe
2011-06-15 08:05 pm (UTC)
Good luck to you, I know first hand how hard this can be. It is a roller coaster but it can (and almost certainly will) get better, it just takes time. The hardest thing I find is to be as kind and loving towards myself as the other people in my life are towards me.

It's a bit like hacking your way through a dense forest with a steak knife and a flashlight. It's a bitch but it can be done and you can do it for longer and harder than you feel that you can.


Hang in there!
[Insert picture of cute kitty
hanging onto a tree branch]
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-06-15 10:24 pm (UTC)
Being good to myself is definitely hard. I don't like not being perfect.

I like the image of dense forest and steak knife. It's absolutely true.
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[User Picture]From: ba1126
2011-06-15 08:09 pm (UTC)
You've built a house. But the plumbing leaks, not all the outlets have power and the windows don't open and close properly. You could just put buckets under the leaks and use extension cords to get power where you need it and put masking tape to help seal the drafty windows. But you know what REALLY should be done. You need to get somebody in who can help you undo what's wrong, square up the windows, open some walls to find the electrical problems, etc. That's where you're at. Therapy requires some "taking apart" to get to what's 'broken' and fix it so it all works better. Construction is a messy process, but the result is worth it.

You're in my thoughts and prayers and I know the inner strength that got you your law degree can get you through this tough process. Allow yourself to feel whatever you feel without judging yourself or your feelings. Peace.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-06-15 10:27 pm (UTC)
It's terrifying to feel what I feel. I spent my childhood being scoffed at for feelings, being told that any feeling that was negative was me being overly dramatic, etc. It makes it hard to trust myself.

The construction image is very appropriate, considering we're still in the middle of remodeling the kitchen. I have to remember the mess it takes to get to beautiful.
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[User Picture]From: phillipalden
2011-06-15 08:11 pm (UTC)
This is a stressful time in this country, and there's a lot of fear going around, (piled on by our mass-media.) The so-called "TV News" doesn't inform, but merely fear-mongers for ratings. (As I'm sure an intelligent person like yourself already knows.)

That's why I stopped watching TV years ago. (DVD only for me.) And according to a number of polls, TV viewership has been steadily declining. I think Americans are tired of a media that either lies to them, patronizes them, or sells a right-wing corporate agenda.

When I feel the way you do, (which I have often since 2007,) I focus on my partner, our animal companions, our family and friends, and our local community. I don't even listen to NPR anymore, and I used to be an NPR "junkie."

It is too bad that feelings have nothing to do with logic or reason.

But I hope you're back in tune with the Universe soon.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-06-15 10:32 pm (UTC)
I don't watch TV news - Jon Stewart is it. We do watch TV, but mostly food shows and sitcoms at this point.

But I think I need to be up and out and away from the couch. And I need to get myself feeling better to do that. Balance is the issue, decidedly.

Thanks.
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[User Picture]From: hooloovooo
2011-06-15 08:13 pm (UTC)
Many hugs, and here if you need me whenever you feel able or up to it. Please let me know if ever there is anything I can do to help.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-06-15 10:35 pm (UTC)
You are there and a good friend; that's a lot. We should do more walking and hiking - you've introduced me to parts of the parks I had no idea existed!
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From: anonymousalex
2011-06-15 08:18 pm (UTC)
I have no advice that hasn't been said and, in large measure, followed. Given that, I feel like I'm wasting your time, but I can't bring myself to remain silent because my heart hurts a little from reading this.

Like many, I am familiar with the place you are describing, and it hurts me that you (or, frankly, anyone) must go through it. That doesn't mean it can't be gotten through; it can. But it still sucks being there, I know.

Remember you are human, and humans don't snap out of depression instantaneously. Expecting otherwise is expecting yourself to be superhuman, and that isn't fair.

It also sucks that it takes so long to get through, and feels worse before it feels better. But perhaps there is some small comfort in knowing that others have been there.

-Alex
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From: anonymousalex
2011-06-15 08:48 pm (UTC)
I do have one thing to add, come to think of it:

Thank you for the status update. Even if it's not always good news, it's good to hear what's going on.

-Alex
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