I am trying to get help, it just takes so long

  May 7th, 2008 by plantfood

The light blue on white letters make it very hard to even read the page you land on. I have a very low tolerance for frustration right now.

I have been trying to get help. Really, I have been trying so hard, trying to stay alive. Intellectually, I know my family loves me, my friends care, life can be good. But I’ve been in emotional pain so long and every where I turn there’s another road block, something else beating me down. I can’t work right now, I’m on social assistance, and I’m trying to get my meds changed so I can get my life back. I want to work, I want to be happy, but I just find it hard to remember what that was like.

I was happy for 10 years thanks to Prozac. It worked, it helped, I was alive and happy. Then I went off the meds for a medical test (don’t EVER go off your meds without something else lined up) which was ridiculous: they wanted to measure my “normal” sleep state. If I’m always on meds, then that IS my normal sleep state. When I went back on the meds they no longer worked.

Now I’ve spent the past 5 years up and down, meds working for awhile, then not. Trying something new, then losing it all. I’ve lost everything: I was making $75,000 in a fabulous career, I had lots of friends, a fiance, guardianship of a little girl I love as my own, a wonderful house I owned and four beautiful dogs. I gave at least10 hours a week to help those less fortunate than myself. I believed I was a good person, and although I was far from perfect, I believed in my future. I was told I was a great parent to a very difficult little girl.

Now, I am in a home I “rent” from my parents, my fiance left me for a girl literally half his age, I can’t work, I’ve used up all my savings, my 401k, my IRA, my health, I’ve gained so much weight I can’t even mention it and three of my dogs have died. Oh, and my 14 year old daughter keeps running away to be a drug-addicted prostitute. I have no idea where she is or if she’s even alive. My sister is on the other side of the planet and I’ve never seen my nephew. I’ve distanced myself from all my friends because I’m so ashamed of what I’ve become. I’m in a catch-22, I cope with my depression by eating crappy and hiding away and that just makes me physically feel bad and makes the depression worse.

Anyway, I know my meds are off and that is my main problem. All the self-help in the world won’t work when the chemicals are this wonky. I’ve been without the resources to get to a doctor. I went through a huge process, with social services including a psych review (where she diagnosed me after a few minutes with something I’ve never been diagnosed with in 25 years of depression). But I finally qualified for health care in February. I had to wait for the documention to go to a doctor. I got a referral and had to wait to hear back. When I heard back, I found out that I needed to go to a new medical doctor because, although the first one took med coupons, they didn’t take *my* med coupons.

So on to the second doctor who referred me to their behavioral health person. She evaluated me and determined I had a completely different diagnosis which was beyond absurd (I have been in the mental health arena with these difficult kids for many years and the friends I’m still in contact with who are therapists laughed hysterically when I told them what she thought.) She had to discuss it with the psychiatrist and would get back to me in two weeks. Two weeks later I sat in her office and she still hadn’t been able to talk to the psych. A few days later she called me to say they both felt I could better be treated at ANOTHER facility.

Ok, another week to finally get the referral through, then they had two weeks to respond. They got me in 3 weeks later. Except, they called me that morning as I was on my way out the door to say the intake person was sick. Ok, that happens, I understand, but they said they would call me back to reschedule. That afternoon I called and left a message begging them to fit me in as soon as possible. That was May 1. They called me the next day and left a very nice message saying the earliest they could fit me in was the 23rd or the 27th. And yes, it will be an intake and then I’ll be referred to the psychiatrist and then put on meds. So maybe by the end of June the meds will start so perhaps by August they’ll take affect?

I take it day by day, holding it together, waiting to get new meds. Doing all the self-help things I can think of, keeping my mind off things, allowing myself to eat to cope since it’s better than drugs or death, forcing myself to leave the house, going to sleep when I can’t face anything else.

But I just can’t bear it anymore, I can’t wait until August for this pain to go away. I can’t cope with the smallest thing. Today my young, insecure dog fought with the old lady dog and got her ear and she bled. Ear wounds on dogs are like scalp wounds on humans: they bleed profusely and look more serious than they are. But I just lost it, I broke down sobbing hysterically, thinking I have to get rid of my boy, I can’t cope with him.

I called my friend in tears who tried to point out they were just being dogs but I couldn’t even see that. Hours later I can now, but the embarrassment of calling hysterical to my therapist friend, knowing she’s thinking how badly my meds need adjusting, how off my rocker I am right now, it’s so horrible.

I want to apply for a part time job at an agency for whom I’ve done contract work. I was there today trying to make a good impression but I feel so big and awkward and socially inept right now. I felt like everything I did and said was wrong and so I’d try to fix it and it would just make it worse. I don’t have any faith in my ability to get the job. But I have to start paying real rent soon and without proper meds.

I know it’s a package deal: therapy and meds together. But I also know myself and when I’m on meds I need minimal therapy. I’m easy-going and good at talking things through, being gentle with myself. Without meds, nothing is clear, I can’t see myself objectively, I can’t be sure I’m coming across the way I want to come across. I feel like I’m a puppeteer trying to make this awkward shape convey itself clearly to the audience using only strings.

I’m tired. I’m so tired. My sleep apnea machine broke and I’ve been getting the run around trying to get a replacement part. Without it I can’t get a decent night’s sleep which just exacerbates my problems. I let it go to long, it’s my fault I waited until it was broken before replacing the parts that were wearing out, but again, I’m running into so many hurdles. The place I got the sleep study done can’t find it, don’t believe I had it done there, and won’t return my calls. I have a bill, proof it was done there but I can’t even get it to them!

I’m a reasonable person, I’m not a hot head who yells at people and turns them away. I’m diplomatic and kind and gentle. I probably am not being assertive enough. I don’t know. It’s all so hard.

And then there’s my daughter. Everyone tells me I was a good parent to her. No one else could keep her more than a few months either before or after and she was with me for seven years but now I can’t get her to stay anywhere for more than a few days. I don’t know how to get her to stop putting herself at risk and I’m so scared for her. And I question myself: could I have done better? No, she is mentally ill, far more so than I am, but that connection is how we survived those years. I understand her in ways no one else does. But now even I can’t relate to who she’s become.

At 13 I played boggle with my MIT-bound best friend and giggled and drank ice tea and ate pretzels and made up silly word games. She was sleeping with older boys and adult men to have a place to stay for the night, even though she had a home where she was loved and had clear boundaries and limits but everything she needed if not everything she wanted. At 14 I tried to take my life for the first time but even then I didn’t do drugs, I didn’t sleep around. I knew that was not a life. Perhaps that’s why I tried suicide: the options other girls see weren’t options. I wanted to go to college, to have a career and I was in too much pain but I knew drugs wouldn’t help. In many ways I’ve never been a child.

Do here I sit, fretful for my daughter, unable to even help myself. How can I save her if I can’t even cope with a stupid dog fight? I yelled at my dogs tonight. I never yell at my dogs but I have been lately. How will I get through tonight let alone the next few weeks and months until I get the help I so desperately need?

I think that was the catalyst. When I am suicidal I try to remember my dogs. What would happen to them if I died? Who would care for them? Two are old and would be put down, the third is insecure and doesn’t do well with change. He gets into fights when he’s threatened. People would see it as aggression and he would be euthanized, too. So my death would result in the death of three additional sentient beings.

But if I can’t control them, if I can’t keep them safe, if they can’t stay with me, then what will keep me alive? If I’m not needed then what is the point?

I’m exhausted now. I’m sure that’s one of the main aims of this forum: make people write it out, it’s like journaling, like therapy, it eases some of the tension and maybe we can survive another day. It doesn’t necessarily matter if someone reads it, verbalizing helps… usually.

I will go to bed now and tomorrow I will feel a little better and I will make it through another 18 or 20 hours before the next crisis. I am so afraid of death and yet I am so close to it. I am afraid of a lack of control, of the world taking me without my permission. Yet I am not afraid of taking it myself, I come so close at times. How twisted is that? No wonder so many religions see suicide as a sin. How else do you stop someone from doing it? You can’t, the person is his/her own worst enemy. I’m my own worst enemy.

It’s weird to know that. It’s odd that at times when I’m doing fine I can matter-of-factly admit that there is always a strong likelihood that I will die of this disease as from any other, even when I’m happy. This is never far from me. But I take it like AA: one day at a time. Today I am happy and today I will not succumb.

Today that mantra didn’t even occur to me, let alone work. But now, now, I can go to sleep I think. I hope. I will take Benedryl so I fall asleep fast and don’t think. No thinking. My brain, my greatest gift, is also my greatest burden. No more thinking tonight, no more thinking.

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