Friday, March 25, 2011

confessions of a depressed person

I rip up mail that I think is junk. I almost ripped up my new debit card's letter, thinking it was advertising for another credit card. And e-mail? If I don't know you, or if it is too long, sorry, I probably am not going to read the whole thing. Actually, being sorry sounds like too much effort, so maybe it's just a fact. But don't feel bad if I don't read your whole letter; you aren't the only one to have an e-mail skipped over - it doesn't even reflect how close you are to me.

I went to work this morning to have my boss ask me part way through the day, "What's wrong? You don't seem right today." How should I answer that? One ear is plugged up and not hearing well? (But that's been all week.) So-and-so is crying? (Okay, that was probably legitamit except that so-and-so hadn't been crying all day.) But she keeps asking, "What's wrong?" So I'm trying to figure out what is different today than yesterday that should upset me. I missed counseling yesterday because my counselor took a week off? (A fact, but would she be satisfied?) "Oh, so it's just depression." She stated/asked. Yes.

If "just depression" even exists. I was depressed - leaving work and being free for the weekend sure let me know that (oh, my wandering thoughts - or maybe they don't wander quite enough, instead repeating depressing thoughts). But "just depressed?" To be really really specific, I wasn't just depressed. There was probably some anxiety thrown in, maybe a bit of lack of sleep, add some loneliness because I was the only toddler teacher today, due to low numbers, and don't forget a little grumpiness. Oh, forget it; let's call it "just depression." Surely most of it fits under that. But why didn't I feel so much different from the day before? (My feelings were waiting to talk to me until I was off work. Once off work, I concluded that maybe the depression answer was true-er than I knew.)

So now I'm avoiding my home, like a good little depressed person (cardinal rule number... I'm not sure what number... Don't spend all your time in your house; go out somewhere).

I went to one store. Overpriced by 50 cents or a dollar on lots of items, in my oppinion. Except for their guinnea pig food. It's price ties with the best I've found without crossing into another state.

I think I'll go to another store. I need hand cream and tuna, so my hands don't get too dry and so that I can eat tuna next time I really don't want to eat anything at all. Oh, that would be today, and I just had tuna yesterday, so I should come up with something else.

But in a few hours, I get to see my sister. And then I think I will watch a movie that I plan on "wasting" 53 cents to rent.

Mr. Psychiatrist said, he didn't like driving in front of a police car either. So then I thought, oh, I'm over-reacting to a normal anxiety, too much of a wimp to handle it. However, I thought this morning, Mr. Psychiatrist probably doesn't feel the need to check that the car behind him isn't a police car seveeral times during a drive even when driving 5 or 10 miles below the speed limmit. I think I check that about as often as I check to make sure I didn't drive over something besides a bump in the road. And so, I think that my anxiety is not exactly normal. I guess that means I should stop checking to make sure the car behind me isn't a police car. But what if it is? What if he pulls me over? What if the anxiety of being pulled over is so great that I have a heart attack? What if one of my back lights is out; I don't see them while I drive... If a light is out, he might pull me over, and the anxiety will be too much.

Exactly why the anxiety would be too much, I don't know. It's kind of like my great fear of a belt braking in the vaccuum cleaner we had when I was a kid; all that would happen is there would be a bad smell and a loud noise that would startle and scare me. Hence my delaying of vaccuuming while I cried about the possibility. - I don't miss that part of my childhood.

I realize that my blog post is of such a length that if it was sent me in an e-mail that was sent to multiple people, I probably would glance over it and not read it. But I'm not making anybody read my blog, so it's your choice how much you read and my choice how much I write. I like writing, if you couldn't tell, as long as it's not a report or something in which I might have accidentally plaigerized and I remember that OCD fear at the time. Oh, actually any assigned writing just isn't so fun. Poetry and stories that I can write when I want to and have an idea and potentially have an audience; now that is more enjoyable.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

anemic

I spent a copay that would have paid for gas for a week to see Dr. Allergy Specialist. Only to be given a prescription for a different nasal spray, get more details on the fact that I'm actually not allergic to dust or pets or mold (you know what that means? I don't have to clean my house any more!). And he told me that the one thing off from my blood work was that I was mildly anemic. "I don't know why that would be..." he said. And I'm thinking, I've had that off and on my whole life; I'm not surprised, except that in July, I was fine. So now I can dream of how much energy I might have if I wasn't a bit anemic. "You mean I might stop wanting to sleep 12 hours a day?" Yes, that was what he meant.

So now I can search for suplements that don't cost a million dollars. But really, I've had it off and on, and I don't see so much difference between me with enough red blood cells versus me with less than the standard. I would blame the 12 hour sleep thing, or the light-headed thing. But both of those came after the flu, and my blood test came before the flu.

I could blame my depression on it. Hmmm, maybe a bit of my depression.

Back to the light-headed thing. It's really weird. Like a wave of weakness coming over my head and face. Once it was bad enough I felt I should sit down so as to ensure not fainting. But mostly it's just annoying and scarey. I was supposed to call Mr. Psychiatrist about it today (that's what my mom thought would be best when I talked to her last night). But I've hardly had it at all today. Maybe it's passed. Besides, how am I supposed to describe that over the phone? If it doesn't drive me crazy or convince me it is a significant danger to my health, I want to wait until I see Mr. Psychiatrist next week.

My cold-flu-pink eye is pretty much over, except for one plugged up ear. Silly thing (and that is another explaination for the light headed feeling - dizzyness from the balance thing in my ear. Who knows?).

Saturday, March 19, 2011

meds and pink eye and ocd therapy

I'm not quite complient in my counseling sessions. I'll write down my exposure assignment, sure, but I'll also call it "intentional torture". I actually got my therapist to ask if I'd written down "intentional torture"! Which I hadn't, nor had I intended to get her to ask me that. Just the concept of ERP seems like intentionally giving myself a bad time. I know, it's supposed to result in a better future, but for the moment, it sounds like intentionally making myself miserable.

But actually, the exposures weren't near as hard as I expected. I haven't re-checked the stove/oven after leaving it (okay, so I made sure twice that the burner was off before leaving the first time). I've been able to look the other way! When I left today, I told myself, the stove is probably on, and I didn't really believe myself, but I went on my merry way and didn't feel to anxious. I guess I could work up the anxiety by writing about it. "Oh, no, what did I do? Will my appartment still be there when I get back? Oh, let's worry about this, and while we're at it, get really depressed. Because depression is so intriguingly tough to deal with."

Or, I could talk about my other exposure - not rechecking my alarms every night that I have work or church the next day. I know, I did this before in the summer, but I let it slide and started repeat checking again. So that makes me anxious for a minute or two, then my brain moves on. About the same as my nose hurts after using my prescription nasal spray for just a little bit and then I've forgotten about it.

Maybe... the medication is working! Or maybe I'm sick (cold remnants) and living in a fog and my brain is just too tired to mentally ritualize and worry. Who knows? But I did graduate to only having to see Mr. Psychiatrist every other week! Okay, that's because my depression was better and had little to do with the OCD.

I understand not looking at the stove because it takes too much time and the risks really probably aren't that great. But telling myself that the stove was on and that my appartment burned down? Why that? Okay, that's not too bad, but what if my compulsion is to protect others? Like handwashing (because I wouldn't care to post my greatest fears on the internet, so I'll choose what for me is a smaller example). Suppose I stop washing early/ use too cold water/ don't use enough soap / commit some other handwashing crime known only to me and a few other people with ocd and a nice fraction of medical profesionals. What might happen? I might spread the germ that makes Joey sick and he ends up with being seriously sick and it's all my fault... Okay, this still isn't working. Because my thinking it doesn't make it true or reasonable.
It's the hard ones that I forget that. I think, well if I think that this terrible thing happened, I won't know if it has or not, and maybe I will actually cause it to happen by thinking of it happening when I'm in a situation where it could happen. Okay, so that's long sentence. But maybe as I write, I'm starting to understand; my thinking the negative thoughts isn't making the negative event happen. Funny how after a year of OCD research I suddenly understand it anew. ERP wouldn't be such intentional torment the more I understood that thinking something doesn't make it happen.

Oh, I forgot to tell about my case of pink eye. It's pretty boring, but it got me an extra day to rest before returning to work after being sick with a flu. And it is temporarily helping me not touch my eyes during the day. There might be some ocd in there, or maybe just a germ-spreading habbit.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My plans got altered after my test Wednesday night. Because I wasn't feeling good. No support group meetings this week, and two days of work missed, and counseling missed, thanks to a stomach flu and a cold (the cold came first and seems to be leaving last). This is actually my first venture back into the outside world, away from my home. And my stomach and I still aren't getting along, but we seem to have a hard time making up with each other after the flu. I get scared of eating. As if I didn't have enough reasons not to eat and to feel scared. Oh, well.

On a possitive note, I had a pretty good week, depression-wise. If I could have immagined what meds working would feel like, it would feel like this (only I'd like a tad more help with depression and a lot more help with anxiety, but this is a great start). My suicidal ideation misteriously and suddenly decreased very significantly, making life much more bearable. The sicknesses have set me back a bit, and I knew I needed to get out of the house today, but all things considered, I'm feeling a lot better.

And with the depression not so overwhelming, I can start to think about fighting the OCD again with ERP. Praise God.

Meanwhile, one of my ears is plugged up and hurting. If I went to Urgent Care today, it would be my third Saturday in an every-other-Saturday pattern for going in for an ear infection. So I'm not going in, because really? that's too much. If it hurts terribly, maybe I'll go tomorrow, or next week.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Somebody else wrote on their blog about motivation. I'm having trouble there. And with lots of other things. Like a dry mouth. I mean really dry. I mean, stop reading several times in the middle of the end of the book to drink more water so your throat doesn't dry out - type dry. It's dry even now during the day! And I'm tired of drinking water. So there.

Then there's the new worry about side effects since I'm fairly new on dosages of two medications (hence, the irritating dry mouth). I wonder, do I have "side effects" because I'm afraid of them, or do I really have a problem? Like my hands slightly shaking sometimes. And at night, I twitch sometimes. Maybe I did that before medications, but I'm not sure. Last evening, I was pretty positive I'd forgotten my morning meds for the past two days, but when I counted out the antibiotic, I hadn't forgotten it. And one of those mornings, I had actually recorded the fact that I took the medication, and then totally forgot it. I don't like having a less reliable memory. And I stopped taking lorazepam because a.) I could still have decent trouble sleeping while I took it, and b.) I had previously experienced memory trouble when taking that. But I'm not taking it any more and my memory isn't being nice. And my hands are slightly shaking. And my mouth is dry. Okay, so now I'm starting to sound like a sad, repetetive song.

Lets add another verse! What if!... (famous first words - of ocd) What if last night, I had hallucinations. What if! That would be scarey. If it's true, let me go ahead and have an anxiety attack about it since that would surely help (yes, I'm being sarcastic). I would dream/think at the almost dreaming state, and then suddenly be moving my hand as if I was cleaning the child's face off as I was in my thought/dream (common occurance in my job), or reaching for the hook I clearly saw in my dream, only to wake up and see the blank wall. This is not normal for me! But is it that different from sleepwalking, which is not hallucinating? I could research. :) That's like an open invitation to ocd. No, I think I'll finish my post and go shopping for a sensory/stress reducing goofy looking ball or animal with flimsy rubbery spikes/extensions all over. My therapist recommended it over shaking my foot throughout my 2.5 hour class (except when I intentionally stopped and tried something else). (But this helped me understand why I was SOOO tired by the end of class; my foot would have gone far if it had been walking.)

Oh, speaking of which, what about this restless leg syndrome (or whatever it's called) side affect? Do I have it because I get anxious and try to get the energy out by shaking my foot? I could research that, too. Or wait until my psychiatrist appointment that's coming up really soon.

Soooo, I'm anxious with energy, having wierd dreams/actions, having tremors or whatever those little tiny shakingnesses are called, my mouth is dry, and I have neither a partridge nor a pear tree.

But, I am taking two college classes and not failing either of them.

And I am sleeping most of the night.

And I am eating three meals a day (even if one of them sometimes looks more like a snack).

And I am listing good things about myself and trying for that "positive thinking" goal.

And I am enjoying shopping for that toy.

And I like this pattern, but I think I'll stop now.