Saturday, September 22, 2012

The road to hell

Sweet Christ, will it never end? Therapy day yesterday turned into a shit storm of epic proportions. I had a nice conversation with my psychiatrist about how I'm fighting my depression the hard way. With fists and teeth and kicks and claws instead of with the drugs, which were causing my anxiety to get worse.

Three years of agoraphobia and I have gotten used to coddling myself. Anything to keep my head above water, one day at a time, one foot in front of the other etc. etc. I worked my ass off in Prolonged Exposure Therapy to get a grip on my panic attacks. I endured the worst torments of hell to gain some measure of control. I still HAVE panic attacks, but they don't have me if you follow me.

Since then I've been sort of, adrift. Letting shit slide, if you feel me. I nosh on comfort food, and read and read and read until reality is far enough away that it can't quite get me in its grip. I suppose I may have grown a bit complacent, leaving a way for the depression to sneak in and get its hooks in deep. I have a hard time focusing on what is real and right in front of me. I digress.

Enter the fucking social worker, my actual therapist. She jumped my shit about missing appointments (as if the meaning of "agoraphobia" had temporarily escaped her), and then insinuated that I didn't really want to get better. She suggested that I try a residential treatment program out of state, which instantly triggered a grand mal panic attack. Then she wouldn't let me leave her office, while I was busy freaking out. She made snide comments and was generally a pain in my ass. Her posture, tone of voice, and turn of phrase all suggested some hostility. At any rate when I was finally home and sedated, my boyfriend called, and the wretch said I must have misunderstood her. She ought to know better than to fuck with the crazy people.

At any rate, I called my dad freaking out, and he slammed my ass about going into the treatment program, and I just wasn't ready to hear it. He worries about me being stuck at home all the time alone. It isn't good for me, I know that, but what the hell else can I do? Then my dad called my fucking brother who wanted to talk to me about the program, so I had another panic attack, and thanks dad for making shit harder on me than it already is. I asked dad to back off and give me time to think about it, but now half the family knows the VA wants to lock me up out of state for three months and everybody is "concerned" and wants to talk to me about it. So I spent half of today sedated as well, and I'm stressed and have a headache from clenching my teeth all the time.

It pissed me off that the social worker so easily dismissed the efforts I have been making to get the depression under control. It pisses me off that she suggested that I didn't want to get better. It pisses me off that my dad thinks the VA will or ought to take away my disability if I don't go to the damn treatment program. In the words of the wordslinger Stephen King "Every hand is against me now."

God save me from good intentions. Everybody just wants to help, and I just want to throttle them all. The insidious whispers of depression beckon me to hide in bed and cuddle my teddy bear and let the world go to hell in its own way. I want to scream and scream and scream and never stop til I'm dead.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Keep marching along

I'm so damn tired. The finest depression has to offer. Fatigue. Someone foolish asked me if I saw myself getting better one day. What they meant to ask was, did I want to get better. A silly question. If I try to picture the future I draw a horrible blank. My brain just stops. It's hard enough trying to get through right this moment, without worrying about later. Of course I want to get better, but I don't know what "better" will mean for me. I'm stingy with my wishes lately, because it's best to save them for the next big crisis. "Jam tomorrow, jam yesterday, but never ever jam today."

One foot in front of the other. Today is horrible, and it takes everything I have to survive it. Tomorrow will take care of itself. It's insulting to me that someone suggests even indirectly that I can somehow "will" myself better. People say that I used to be so strong. Yes I remember that too. Young and convinced of my own immortality. I'm not even thirty yet and I feel old. It's hard for me to conceive of another thirty years or more on this planet. Strength is an elastic sort of term. I seem to have lost that core of steel that I used to have buried deep. What I have now is more stubbornness than anything else. I've been kicked in the face too many times by fate to be willing to give up now. I know I can take a damn hard kick and keep my feet. Maybe just barely, and not at all gracefully, but I'm still here. I don't worry too much about the next kick (and as long as I'm still standing there will be another one without question), because I know the depth and breadth of what can be survived, what must be endured. I'm just beating this metaphor to death aren't I? I'm tired. One foot in front of the other and don't worry too much about what comes next. If it kills me, well then I won't have anything left to worry about. If it doesn't kill me, it may not make me stronger, but there are benefits to mortality. Take two pills and call me tomorrow. And don't worry about me, when I can't walk anymore, I'll crawl. I've done it before.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Robert Heinlen wrote in Stranger in a Strange Land, that in learning something new you drink it. You take it into yourself, absorb it, allow it to become a part of you, and in doing so, let it change you. He also suggested that you should try to cherish the new information in order to truly understand it.

Therapy has taken a turn for the strange and painful. I'm being forced to try and make changes. I need the change, desperately need it, but I don't cherish it. These last few years have worn a rut into my being. I'm trying to climb out, but it's frustrating and I am strangely resentful of the effort it takes. It would be so much easier to allow that rut to wear itself deeper and deeper into me, until change becomes impossible.

I wake up angry in the morning, and I remain angry until sheer weariness calms me down. Or I take a pill to calm myself down. When all of this began, when I had my breakdown from denying all the trauma for years, I was fiercely determined that I would get better quickly. I had my life planned out, and damned if anything was going to keep me from it. After years of this purgatory of therapy, I no longer have any idea what my life is going to be. I have no plan. I've been distracting myself from the fear, depression, anger, and despair maniacally for these past years. Anything to keep from being overwhelmed by the vastness of my troubles. I feel curiously blank. All my wants are pro forma. I have learned not to hope, not to expect, and to only deal with the most immediate events. Most discussions of the future are a pretense on my part, because I cannot relate to any sense of the future. It's as though the future doesn't apply to me. This behavior is all a defense mechanism of course. Survival is my singular concern.

Making changes is tough. I have to try to care, instead of merely pretending. I feel like I need some sort of spiritual quest or task or some such nonsense, to kick start my motivation. A vision quest maybe? A glimpse of the future to assure myself that such a thing exists. I am skeptical. If I had some secret true name, it would be something like "cynic" or "skeptic".

I'm tired.