As you may have figured, I was hospitalized after that last post. I couldn’t deal with the desperation anymore and went to the hospital. I was there for 17 days. And when medications no longer offered help, I tried ECT again, 4 1/2 years after trying it and having long-term memory problems. I had 3 treatments and the whole situation weirded me out. The nervousness, the going to sleep, the waking up, the memory problems. And I stopped treatments. I couldn’t live with the side effects.
So, I’m back to hoping meds will reduce my depression, along with making some lifestyle changes – additional volunteering and in more social situations, getting involved with more social groups through MeetUp.com and doing some online dating. All of these are sanctioned and encouraged by my care team.
The reality, however, is that I am profoundly depressed and only being with other people seems to help a little bit, though I burst into tears for no reason. Sorry, friend. It’s not you, I swear.
I’ve also been still feeling the effects of ECT, I think. I’m afraid to be in my apartment. It doesn’t feel like home and especially going to bed and to sleep brings on anxiety. I’m out of sorts and off-kilter. It’s not so much anxiety I feel as fear and I don’t know what I’m afraid of. Perhaps being alone, or just that it doesn’t feel right yet, because I don’t feel right after ECT yet? More side effects I couldn’t anticipate and that I can’t live with. The feeling of my life being strange to me. Spending time with friends and going to church felt weird too – I’m not myself yet. I’ve been through something that changed me and it’s hard to be the same with people. I’m different and my experience of the world is different, including how I feel around others. More weirdness around friends. Sorry.
I don’t know how long I can continue being depressed and out of the hospital. What will it be that triggers desperation again? Meanwhile, I’m just trying to ride the wave of the feelings and do opposite actions to my emotions (watch funny things though I feel sad, for instance). These are Dialectical Behavioral Therapy techniques that work really well for me. It’s hard to think I have only a few things that keep me from feeling so desperate in the depression that I want to kill myself. But I’m holding on as tight as I can to anything that is working. And I’m working closely with my care team. And I’m adding meaningful activities to my life so that hopefully soon I feel more joy again. It’s been a long time. And the summer was full of loss and depression.
Perhaps I’ll be able to last using these skills and meds until I get delusional in December when Advent and Christmas take over my consciousness. Which can lead to a hospitalization too. Grrr. August through December is my hardest time with my illness. Just one day at a time is the best I can do. Sometimes just an hour at a time. An hour when I convince myself that life is worth living and I’m not pond scum for feeling so depressed.