Saturday, March 26, 2005

A picture is worth a thousand words

I felt depressed thursday.

On wednesday I went to dinner with my "sister" Linda (I can't all her my friend, her parents are my god-parents, I picked them to make her my god-sister- "sister" just feels right) She gave me some old doubles she had of us at different periods in our life.

I felt all sorts of feelings. One was nostalgia, these were pictures of us in elementary school, at Disneyworld, in Denmark, and fishing last summer. Another feeling was mourning. Both of the person I was before I was suicidal, and for the person I could have been if I wasn't depressed.

In 2002 I was suicidal. In 2001 I went back up north to the small college I went to out of high school, hoping to graduate. I looked the same age as everyone else, but I was older. I was taking a short-acting benzodiazapine daily, with a prescription, nothing illegal. It was an awesome feeling, I was relaxed enough to be able to study (this has never happened before- even though I have an above average IQ.) I didn't feel nervous around people. I felt like I would have my dream! I would graduate and be a Physical Therapist! Well I went to a nurse practitioner to have my prescriptions updated/monitored, and in the middle of the semester she told me this benzodiazapene was too controversial and would put me on something safer.

I had made a lot of mistakes in dealing with her. I had stayed up all night because I had moved stuff up from the city the night before, and had to get it unloaded to get the truck back on time. So I must have looked like a druggie. All I said was how great I was doing, I just assumed she would refill my perscription and we would be done with it. I should have told her more of my depression/anxiety history, that I never was able to study, that I used to be too anxious to go to class. I should have told her when she raised my antidepressant dosage that I had already tried that, so please could she suggest something more anxiety oriented. I didn't speak up. I just trusted her as an "authority" and assumed she could read my mind.

My anxiety came back. I couldn't study anymore. The benzodiazapene had made me care so little about people liking me (not to mention they genuinely seemed so young and shallow to me) so I was stuck-up and I didn't make any friends! (I had friends in the city already, who needs them right? I did. The anxiety coming back wasn't the problem, the problem was my dream was within my reach, and then snatched away, like it was all a cruel joke.

I was taking a class at the time and I had to write a paper about something about college. I could not write that paper. I knew I couldn't graduate and resented peoples expecting that of me. I had never even ENTERTAINED the idea of not graduating. I was a fish out of water. I couldn't be a waitress my whole life, I was a shitty waitress. I thought I was doomed. I couldn't study, the social anxiety was too strong, I couldn't go to class. I was so lonely, I called no-one. I spent most of my time online, terribly on "pro-anorexia" websites. A pro-anorexia website is like a pro-suicide website. Its so twisted, it gives suggestions on how to be sicker! For some reason I felt comfort in reading other sick people's thoughts. Problem is, this made me even sicker.

I had a suicide plan. It was a rediculously stupid plan, but I couldn't tell. My brain moved too slowly. For some reason, before making this plan I called my counseler to cancel my classes (why would you do that if you are about to die?) he could tell something was wrong and asked me to come see him. I can't remember the details but I ended up going to a psychiatric emergency room. I was referred to an outpatient hospitalization, I knew that if I went to an inpatient hospital I wouldn't have left, I felt like I would have stayed sick so someone would take care of me. The insurance would only cover a few days of outpatient treatment so I didn't do that. This emergency room is where they diagnosed the "personality disorder" WTF? I thought they were calling me a "Borderline" they said no, that meant I had been taught some unhealthy thinking styles, and needed to learn healthy ones. I am hoping to address this with the new therapist (2 more days- YES!)

I had sort of made a deal with myself. I said I would promise to not kill myself if I wouldn't beat myself up anymore (I gave myself an ultimatum -be nice or I kill you LOL) It worked! I stopped bullying myself (you are so messy- you HAVE to clean this house, NOW! You are so fat- you HAVE to exercise HARD!) and very slowly, I got better and better. It took 3 years, but with medical assistance and the willingness to fix things I was doing wrong, I am, according to the depression test (see resources), I am not depressed!

Looking at those pictures of myself I could see my pain. I could feel how tight and cramped I was. I was 21 years old, at Disneyland, and I wanted nothing more than to get back to the hotel room. I self-medicated this anxiety with food and I can see my awkwardness in posing my large body. I know now how it feels to love myself, I wished I would have started sooner. My life is so good now, and that is the only difference between me now, and me then.

I also can see, that I did die, and come back to life. I am crying now. When I look at those pictures of myself I am looking at a different person. THAT is what "born-again" means! It doesn't mean you have to blow off all of your non-christian friends and insert "Jesus" into as many sentences as possible. It means, you can't truly understand what God is all about until you let go of all of the "false idols"- money, prestige, power. And start over, competely humbled, valuing the things that are in tune with God: love, charity, peace, etc. (Please feel free to insert in lieu of the word "God": the Universe, The Creator, Mother Earth, Allah, Jah, Love, whatever you call it.)


OG said...


SpiderSolitaire said...

I'm so happy you found this too!
That sucks about the changing of the meds, but you are doing so well now. A lot to be proud of ;)

The Prissy Patriot said...

You have overcome many challenges and are now giving back. That is a blessing to others, my dear. You certainly deserve full and wonderful health to attain your potential.
A bumper sticker seen today "Mental Health Matters"... it certainly does. Look at the nuts running the it any wonder depression and anxiety are epidemic?
Come visit Prissy sometime, if you ever wish to look at a political blog with a woman's touch.