Friday was my first full day on meds, thanks to winter finally arriving Thursday and trapping me at home. Remembering to take this drug twice a day, that drug once a day, plus an iron supplement at some point, and my Zyrtec somewhere in there, too, is a tad…much. So I am currently utilizing the app the helpful pharmacist showed me at CVS. It pops up a reminder when I’m supposed to take something and tells me which things to take. Yay, technology.
It’s supposed to take a few weeks of ramping up dosage for everything to start taking effect, but I noticed pretty quickly that I wasn’t freaking out as much. Was feeling slower. Flatter. The anxiety appears to have been providing me with the energy to keep trudging along and now that its veil is being lifted, what’s underneath is, sure enough, the depression my doc thought was there. Fuck.
Depression is nothing new to me. I’ve written about it on here a couple times before. We’re old chums, going back to my middle school years, when I first was forced to talk with the school counselor on the regular. I hated it. I was already weird enough without having to go to the counselor’s office, which was a red flag that you had problems. Why give them ammo? They already had enough.
I cope. In my ways. And at my last physical (before my recent physical-turned-not-physical), I assured my doctor I had my own methods for keeping it under control. Recognizing the symptoms. Giving myself permission to sleep, if I felt I needed to, and staying away from people, too, if that was necessary. But not giving in entirely to it. Laying low and waiting for the beast to pass. It always does.
What I’m realizing now is that, in these past few months, it’s been tricking me.
And now that I’m feeling flat and tired and worn out–which could just be a side effect of the anti-anxiety meds–it could just be me. I don’t want to talk. The words come to me much more slowly.
I did follow through on my promise to my PCP though. It took me all weekend to work up to this. Then I made the call to get connected with a psychiatrist.
The first group I tried (her preferred) said they currently have nobody in their network with the ability to write prescriptions. Since that was a must, I had to go for her second choice (and my not-so-thrilled choice), the local hospital’s Behavioral Health Department. The same people I went to for help in 2004 after my miscarriage and, while I had hopes of finding some relief, ultimately, it was only my getting pregnant with Mags that helped-fortuitous since I couldn’t afford the therapy anyway.
Breathe in. Breathe out. Dial. Voicemail. Double check the phone number. Call the main line. Get voicemail again. Not a great start. At least they tell you to call 911 if it’s an emergency. Since I’m not at that point, I left a message. And had to wait 3 1/2 hours for a return call.
Conducting a call about your mental health in an open floor plan office is torturous. You hope nobody is listening in, but, of course, they can’t help themselves. You’re broadcasting your life, intruding on their work spaces, your words arriving without them requesting. And so, I answered the intake questions as best I could out there in the open, naked….exposed. It’s a good thing I already told them this was coming. Why not? It’s not like I could hide it.
And now, I wait. Because the earliest they could get me in is March 9th. 3 1/2 weeks. And that was with saying I will take the very first appointment you can give me. There appear to be far more people in need of mental health care than providers available to offer it. And that explains a lot.
I almost cried when I hung up the phone. Had I not been at work, I would have. Because I had been holding on to this hope that there would be some relief provided with this appointment. That I wouldn’t have to keep holding together everything I have for so long. That I could put that burden down, now finally having permission to do so, and take care of myself for once. And now, I have to wait even longer.
Everything is one day at a time.
The new day meds for anxiety seem to be helping, but my muscle spasms are back in my leg. Lorazepam (what I’m now taking at night) does not work as well as diazepam in controlling them. After having several days of nearly pain-free existence, today was a Charlie-horse-all-day level 5, sometimes 6, on the happy-to-sad face pain scale. 6s are usually my worst. I reserve 8-10 for childbirth and being stitched up after. Also for that time I fell down a flight of stairs. So walking around with a 5 or 6 all day is draining. And it makes me bitchy. And tired. So very tired.
This is my resistance right now. To not let the system get to me. To hold it together until the reinforcements arrive. To do whatever I can in the meantime to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I baked cookies and even got some work done over the weekend. I slept nearly 9 hours last night. I will do what it takes. I will not let this destroy me.
Thank you to everyone who has commented, reached out to me, shown me love. I may not be in a place to respond to everyone personally, but I have noticed and I do appreciate it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
HUGS! And working in the field of mental health, only in a fundraising capacity, you are spot on about there not being enough people, resources, peers, funds, places, etc. to serve those with mental health concerns. I won’t even talk about the insurance struggle. While our waiting lists are short, we still have them as more people are breaking their silence. Love you with everything I got – you are strong, an inspiration, and an all-around bad ass!
Baby steps! You are a very strong person and you will get better bc of your determination! Your cookies look good. Hugs and prayers to you!
Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic
Hi Carrie, I haven’t visited your blog in a while, and I’m glad I did today. Thanks for sharing your journey. I wish you the best <3