It’s been a long time since I’ve updated on my personal mental health journey. After jumping through some hoops in regards to my former work place and finding out how get my legal papers in order to be able to apply for unemployment benefits, I found some rest in my head.
Some rest but not enough. While going through the process as described above I felt myself getting worse and worse. The anhedonia walked with me wherever I went, so I stopped walking. The thoughts in my head became more and more intrusive. They seem to start of slowly, just one here and there. Not to harmful. And then they kick in at full speed, like a merry-go-round. Not being able to distract myself due to anhedonia and some good old rumination, the intrusive thoughts have my whole brain to play with.
All I could try is to make it stop, just stop. It didn’t work, it took my energy and gave me hopelessness in return. I was a feather in the wind, going where it would blew me. I managed to walk to my therapist, just holding on to that appointment. I realized that things have become more grey and panicky again but she was going to help me right? Wrong, she wasn’t there as she mixed up the hour of our appointment. I told her I needed to do something. I called the psychiatrist, he upped the dose of the antidepressants. I went to see my therapist later that evening. I was so tired by walking there for the second time! We couldn’t do much in the session because of my mental state. I was exhausted, couldn’t focus.
To be able to work with a therapist I need some energy to be present, articulate my thoughts and feelings. When the merry-go-round in my head stops, it leaves a big giant hole. Normal thinking doesn’t thrive well in those conditions. She told me clearly that my depression was fairly worse that the last time I’ve seen her. We worked on preserving the good things that I had at the moment, which wasn’t that much. She told me to focus on my small space in the world and to try to hold on to the things I could do. Reading wasn’t possible due to problems with concentration, but I could knit. The knitting is the first thing I can do when anhedonia pulls away for just an inch. I fight it with my knitting needle!
Finally I could see the doctor. I suspect the therapist spoke with my psychiatrist, though I’m not sure about that. I told him about the intrusive thought, the feeling a being stuck, not seeing a possibility to improve the situation. I hit a wall again. Sleeping was ok. It was close to Pierre’s birthday, the festive season was upon us. I wondered how to manage all that. I was sad when realizing I wasn’t going to be able to attend the Birthday party. All days were grey, just grey, not even different shades of grey. In the last two months I had 2 half days that were better. That is the thing, when things change for the better, even for 2 hours, you remember because it is such a huge difference.
Due to the presence of two times a few hours when I felt better, I was left with a choice. Option a would be to wait till the upped dose of antidepressants would start to work. Option b was additional medication. He proposed a medication that was used to counter manic episodes but was also used as an antianxiety medication. Again I asked what he would expect that the effect would be. Listen to this, I couldn’t believe my ears! This medication was going to work very fast, within the week (!) I would feel a significant difference. I would gain motivation and I could do things more ‘naturally’ as opposed to the ‘pulling’ I needed to do to get anything done. He promised a quick onset of the meds and no more pulling, a more natural ‘flow’ was within my reach.
Immediately after the appointment I went to the apothecary. Took the first dose the same day (I needed to take 1 pill in the morning and one at midday) and hoped for change. The first pill I took was Thursday afternoon and Sunday I met up with Pierre. I was casually doing dishes when he came in, I was showered, relax and happy to see him. ‘You’re better’, he said. ‘I see it in your face, you’ve changed’.
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