Is ECT working? This is the question on almost everyone’s lips or tweets, especially after hearing about some bad reactions I had this week.
And then I heard from my therapist today that not only has ECT lifted my mood, it has made a huge difference in my understanding of, and decision-making ability regarding, my illness. She said it’s like ECT has made a difference in my orientation to reality. No rose-colored glasses anymore, no glossing over problems. Instead, doing ECT has made my illness more real to me because I have to take care of myself more than merely popping a pill everyday and then going about my old business. And I realize how extensive the illness is and how far-reaching in my life it goes when I see how drugs and ECT affect my everyday life and long-term plans.
Truly my reality has changed.
When I wake each morning, my first thought is still that I’m not going to work – because of the illness. As I go through each day, without having to think too hard, my illness limits my activities for me. While I talk with friends and family or as I try to complete a task, the illness interrupts, creating a new normal where my thoughts are disjointed, my feelings muddled, and my body weak.
Sometimes this reality triggers feelings of mourning the old and feeling sorry for myself. But other times this new normal triggers hope for the future that is unfolding. What if I was able to work in my field without hurting myself? To have energy for myself and my family at the end of the day? Took into account my health to a greater degree than I ever did? Wow! That would be such a gift, I can’t even explain how great.
Maybe being oriented to reality won’t be so bad.