I am depressed. Not in a blue-mood, nothing smells good, kind of depressed, but clinically, medicated depressed. With the help of Lexipro (or at least the generic equivalent) and Buspar (same generic blah-blah), I am functional. Un-medicated I devolve into a torrent of anger, rage and hate towards family and the world.
As much as I like my medication and the tempering I need to be a “normal” human, I have decided I want more for myself. I thought I could hold tight until my mother passes and then I could figure things out, but not to be too crass, she isn’t passing fast enough. In fact, she’s gaining ground. (I’m not disappointed, I assure you).
This is the second time around for me and the big D. The first time I almost drove myself off a cliff, literally, before I sought help. Zoloft and therapy with a Jungian therapist. I kept the drugs, dropped the therapy. I worked through my ‘issues’ of identity and anger in my journal, reading the New Testament and a very helpful book by a fellow writer called The Noonday Deamon by Andrew Solomon. This episode I’ve refered to as a “break”, and though I was able to pick up the pieces again and glue the back together with some accuracy, I’ve never been completely whole. I’m easily overwhelmed and unable to keep a hectic schedule that I had before. Which, I believe is a good thing. I *have* to deal with what is going on inside instead of hoping to hide in good works.
A few Christmas’ ago, my mother and sister were the focus of my rage, and I broke again. Having recently gained the holy grail in a single woman’s life, medical insurance, I drove myself to the, uhm, open doors of the psyche-ward at our community hospital. I was determined to get help, even if I had to pick up a scalpal and slice through my wrists if it meant getting the treatment I needed to make the rage go away. The nurse that greeted me was kind, explained that I didn’t want to go into the ward, it was scary, and seriously, I wasn’t sick enough. She convinced me to go to a movie and come back in the morning when the out-patient subacute section of the loony bin to get help. She made sense.
I since went on Lexipro and entered into therapy. We focused on the obvious. I’m the sole care taker of an elderly woman. The anger was a symptom of feeling oppressed and trapped in a situation I didn’t want to be, but committed to be, and couldn’t come to terms with the whirlpool of conflicting emotions. My therapist recommended that I read a book called When Anger Hurts. I started it but it wanted me to keep a journal and I didn’t have the wherewithal to keep track of yet another journal so I set it aside. The other book that I found helpful was How To Cope with Your Difficult Older Parent. That was the the life preserver I needed, and I jumped out of therapy and went on with my life.
That brings us to now. Now the doctor has added an anti-anxiety med to go with my anti-depressant, it takes everything I have to get out of bed and take care of what needs to be done on a daily basis and the idea of leaving the house for any length of time is troublesome. I’ve always considered myself as functionally depressed, meaning that I can still stay calm and carry on no matter how dark and alone I am in my irrational anger; the void. I can’t just be alone in the void any more, I can’t just keep buggering on any more. I realize I need more, no, I WANT more for my life. I want out of the void.
Writing is the one thing that has never left me. I’m a writer, good, bad or otherwise, I’m a writer. It is the one thing that I do that takes me to my core and validates me as a human. I am a writer. Between journaling in my paper journal and blogging I hope to build the bridge out of the void. And just maybe, I can help others too.