Monday, November 10, 2008

My Cross Pollination Post

I cross-posted with Sam yesterday; just wanted to put what I wrote here so I have it on my post list.

“Hi, I’m on Drugs.” Not generally the statement that we use about ourselves, but in the IF community, we’re used to it. Pictures of packages, syringes, and sharps containers abound. Concerns about PIO injections and the extent of bruising thereof.

Well, we’re not there yet. We can’t begin to cross that magical bridge until I reach the proper BMI. You see, though we are only facing male-factor infertility, my fertility clinic won’t do any procedures on women they judge are too fat. We’re in a holding pattern.

So, I’m on drugs. Don’t get me wrong, my use of drugs is not solely hanging on infertility, oh no. Drugs have been present in my life since I was 15. Two suicide attempts and numerous scares and an inability of your neurons to stop gobbling up all the serotonin in your system wins you a probable lifetime on drugs.

Currently, I am clawing my way out of a severe depressive episode. Yes, with the help of drugs. Not that I wasn’t taking the drugs during this whole thing, just that they weren’t getting the job done. So now, I’ve added another one into the cocktail. This one is supposed to help me focus and stop the obsessing about food, about death, about the organization of my house, about my marriage, about children, about the unfolded laundry, about the fact that we MUST get a china cabinet, about the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy, about my husband’s mental state, about my own mental state, about everything. Um, can you tell obsessing is a bit of an issue for me?

Though we’ve been together for 5 years, this is the first time that my husband, John Dear, is seeing me in one of my “bad times.” I’m not trying to keep the knowledge from him, just these big ones don’t come around very often. Sure, there’ll be little blips here and there. A day or two of overwhelming sadness or fatigue. I’ll start crying at a Kodak commercial or start raging against a button that won’t do up right. But it fades. I come out of it and get back to life.

What’s going on now isn’t so easy. There was the usual slide into the black — infinite sadness and fatigue, listening to my depression music that makes me feel more depressed. This time, however, I kept spiraling down, faster and faster. Monday morning found me in a parking lot hating myself, hysterically sobbing and screaming and shaking, terrified that I would drive off the bridge between work and my house. Oblivion seemed welcome, because it would be the only thing that would stop these feelings.

John Dear was unprepared for this onslaught. Sure, he’s had his own battles against what Churchill called, “the black dog,” but nothing to this extent. He started to panic. Suddenly, everything in our lives was a potential danger. Our beautiful apartment on the 8th floor with stunning views was now a death trap, providing two balconies from which I could fling myself. The piles of pills that we both take were available for me to use in an overdose. My car could be driven off a bridge or rammed into a telephone pole. The kitchen knives, the nearby highway, the scissors I used to cut wrapping paper the other day.

His response was understandable, though not altogether too helpful. After fretting about all the methods I could use to kill myself, JD sought to find the perfect remedy, something that would make me snap out of it. Tea, warm blanket, clean kitchen, cooked dinner, JD even yielded control of the remote. But I was still barely responsive.

So, JD now tries bossy and demanding, maybe hoping that anger will force me out of melancholy (or maybe, as I sometimes uncharitably think, because he’s a giant douche). Course, then he feels guilty for being mean to me, like he’s kicking a dog while he’s down, and he starts being super accommodating again. The problem is, major depressions don’t respond to these methods. There really is no quick fix.

A psychiatrist once told me that quick bursts of action from depressives are a danger sign. Depressives who suddenly gain energy often use it to complete a suicide attempt. I tell my mother not to worry that I will attempt this time; I’m too unmotivated, I’m a procrastinator even at ending my life.

Some gentle prodding from my mother gets me to call my psychiatrist, who is alarmed enough that I warrant an early appointment the next morning. With firm instructions that I am not to do anything to myself and if I want to, I should tell JD who can bring me to the emergency room, we channel surf until I fall into an exhausted sleep.

My psychiatrist adds to my cocktail, hoping that this new temporary mix, (perhaps it’s the Holiday REmix? Now with pumpkin!) will get me back onto a level playing field enough that I can go off of it in six weeks. “Hi, I’m on Drugs.”


barrenisthenewblack said...

I'm sorry. I'm here. Let me know if there's anything I can do

Jen said...

This is extremely well written and really gives good insight into what you are feeling lately.

VA Blondie said...

I am sorry you are in such a dark place right now. I hope it gets better for you.

In the meantime, I will hold you in the light.

Io said...

Oh lady, I hope these latest drugs help some. You know I'm here if you need anything.

Kymberli said...

I'm glad that you have such a solid support system around you. It can truly make a difference in how depression is handled. Holding you up and thinking of you.

theclam said...

I read this as my cross pollination post and my heart throbbed for you. I'm SO sorry taht you're going through this tough time right now Jen. BUT I do know that you've got the markers of a fighter. I know that you're a hard worker. And you can and *will* get through this.

Cos you've also got us. We love you and we'll help you get through.


whataboutmyeggs said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you're so down. (HUGS)

Princess Jo said...

I think everyone has been there at some's a scary, dark place to isn't nice.

Keeping fighting sweetie....You will find a way to beat it!


(from the Creme

Kymberli said...

I commented on this post when you first posted it. I'm posting again via the Creme. I want you to know that this post helped me so very much. For a couple of months, I barely wanted to get out of bed and felt consumed with overwhelming and undeserved guilt and sadness. I couldn't verbalize it and felt lost within the unfamiliar assault of emotions. I honestly didn't know to call the sum of those emotions "depression" until reading this post and clicking through to the link. At first I was shocked. Then it felt "right." And I forced myself to talk it out and to cry it out (which crying is also NOT like me AT ALL). It felt foreign, but I got it down, out, and away from me. You helped me, Jen. You should know that.

WaterBishop said...

I hope you feel better.

This posy really struck home for me.My DH is reacting like JD and I think he is tired of babying me and vacillating between anger and fear.

battynurse said...

You describe this so well. I've been there before and have been terrified to stop taking even the maintenance meds. I don't ever want to go back. I'm sorry you had to deal with that, I hope the meds have or are working.

annacyclopedia said...

I'm so glad you shared this again in the Creme - this is one of those posts that deserves to be read far and wide. Hoping that much of this darkness has lifted for you, and that it never visits you again.

Emily said...

Hoping the darkness has lifted...

Thank you for sharing with Creme.

Best wishes for 2009.

JamieD said...

Thank you for sharing your story. Your honesty and the rawness of this post brings tears to my eyes.

So well written . . .

A n T said...

Here from the Creme: (((Hugs)))

JuliaS said...

Sending you good wishes.

Coming from a family with its share of addictions and disorders - I appreciate your honesty, openness and courage in sharing this.

Creme de la creme 2008

Noelle said...

Thank you for posting this. It feels good to hear someone else describe the pain that I go through. It was a great post. Thank you.