Posts Tagged ‘emotions’

And they play it on my radio station all the time. That’s a lot of crazy hair.

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Every time I hear that “Tick Tock” song on the radio, I mishear one of the lyrics in the chorus as “party on top.”  …And it makes me think of a reverse mullet every time.

And no, that statement has no bearing on the rest of this post whatsoever.

Trying to pin down and compare emotional responses and perspectives is a difficult thing.  Am I better on the Wellbutrin than I was before I started trying medications?  Hard to say.  It is better than the Prozac.  Better than the Luvox.  More consistent than the Ritalin.  Much better than the Cipralex, and eons ahead of the Effexor.  But down to subtle details?  That’s tough.

Because in the moment, things always seem to make perfect sense to me.  When I’m having terrible PMS, I often recognize that I am overreacting to something.  When I’m having a sudden and intense emotional period because of a change in medications, I can tell that isn’t really me.  But in the day to day?  The “normal” state of things at any given time?  It all seems to make sense given the circumstances.  I am sad because my relationship is more distant.  I am not doing much because everything is boring.  I don’t want to make phone calls because the thought of them gives me a headache.  And nothing seems “so bad,” or like a concern that’s really valid enough that I need help.

And then after the fact, my medication changes, and my world takes on a different set of complications, and I have a What the Hell Was I Thinking moment or two.   And I boggle at how I could have found things to be normal, or that I didn’t fully recognize just how bad things had been.  It’s amazing what can seem perfectly natural and justified at the time.

So I’ve been trying to keep track, in those moments, of the things that I realize are a vivid sign of being unwell.  So that when the meds change again and I’m back in that place I will know without doubt that if that feature is present there is still something wrong.  So I don’t have to wonder if a particular medication is working or not, or if I should be feeling guilty for not being back at work. I’m sure that the list is woefully incomplete, but I can only identify the ones that have at least temporarily cleared up, or that were medication-induced in the first place.  There are a lot of features in the description of depression that I have never yet had a break from (Do some people truly not feel guilty or inferior all the time?), so for now, they remain just an unremarkable and stable part of me.

Features I now use to identify when I am having problems:

1) Lying on the floor out of a lack of seemingly better options as an activity.

2) Frequent thoughts of death, or heightened awareness of all the ways in which I could end my life (swerving into traffic, turning on the gas, etc.).

3) Finding picturing my own suicide “comforting,” even if the thought is not accompanied by any actual desire to act on the image.

4) Arriving at every appointment 45 – 60 minutes early, because I “wanted to make absolutely sure I wasn’t late.” (this was a part of my Prozac Anxiety phase)

5) Finding the duty of changing my cat’s water bowl every morning an overwhelming responsibility, and one that I sometimes need to build up to.

6) Sobbing.  Not crying, but sobbing.  Over something that is itself totally inconsequential.

At least 2, 3, and 6 I had before I started all this, to varying degrees.  Number 5 was not an issue, and number 1 was totally a new one on me.  With the Wellbutrin, I am doing better with these (though I still register highly on the other features of depression).  I still cry a lot, and rarely for justified reasons, but I can feed my cats without needing any elaborate self-talk.

Of course, rather than making me feel hopeful, the improvement just makes me feel like I must be cured now then, and guilty about being off work.  Because feeding my cats for one minute every morning equates somehow to being able to face down a stressful ten hour day.  Because I am depressed still.  And I feel guilty about things like that.

What’s so funny?

Friday, March 19th, 2010

So the need for coffee in my life has clearly won out over the desire to change medications during the withdrawal process.  Unfortunately the new quarter dose of Luvox is starting to make me sleepy again.  The brain-zapping seems to have mostly petered out for the moment, though, so I can start weaning off again.  I think this time I’m going to crush the pills and do the dissolving-in-juice thing so that I can taper off in extra minuscule amounts.

Not feeling especially inspired to write at the moment.  I’ve been doing better.  My therapist has had me working on tending to and eliminating ANY feeling of sadness/anxiety/upset that comes up.  In trying to cope for so long on my own, I’ve become a master of distraction, and shoving things down, and ignoring them until they fade away a little.  If I don’t actually resolve them, they stick around forever, though.  Just in subtle, insidious ways.  They wear away at my self-image, or provide ammunition for internal voices that I don’t want getting any stronger.  It just always seemed like there were SO many little upsets in the course of each day that I couldn’t possibly be expected to take the time to get myself feeling peachy about them all.  Apparently I could.  And I am.  So I’ll try.

Seriously though, fully identifying and resolving every little tight feeling in my stomach is a bit of a tall order.  Sometimes a disproportionately lengthy process too.  Worth it, though, if it’s actually possible to live without daily feelings of anxiety or worry or sadness that are anything more than brief or transient.

And of course, like everything else that’s tasked to me, I feel compelled to fully master this as quickly as possible, and come back next week an entirely new person able to instantly identify and eliminate any potentially unpleasant emotions.  Because I’m like that.  This is why my therapist laughs at me.

It’s almost like we’re the same person.

Monday, March 15th, 2010

I’ve been thinking a lot about dreams lately.  Not just because of my relief at finding out where my subconscious has been storing its gay, but just in general.  The more I reflect on it, the more it seems like my dreams are just the amalgamation of every thought that crossed my mind even very briefly during daylight hours, assembled with a loose and often very strange plot line.  I’m not a big believer in dream interpretation in the classic sense (and by “not a big believer” I mean that I think it’s total bs).  I do not believe that the presence of a yak in my dreams portents any special thought into my uniqueness and dependability, or that I talk too much (which, I kid you not is apparently what this is supposed to mean).  It probably means that I like yaks.  Which I kind of do.  Sometimes.

I have found, though, that the emotions experienced in my dreams can say a LOT about what I’m feeling in my real life.  Completely ignoring the circumstances and discarding whatever crazy plot generates them in my dreaming head, the pure emotions themselves seem to be extremely representative of things I’ve felt that day.  Sometimes in a more refined way that makes it easier for me to identify them accurately, and pick out the specific cause.  I try to be aware of my emotions in general, and have been actively trying to pin down every emotion I can since starting my journey of depression recovery.  Every now and then I notice that “ungh” feeling in my stomach, though, and am unable to identify precisely what it is that’s causing it.  Sometimes the dreams can help with that.

This morning in that state between defining myself as formally “awake” and actually regaining consciousness for a long enough period that I could, you know, open my eyes or move about or such, I drifted into a dream in which I realized that all of our financial worries were actually okay, since we could just live off my blog income (which probably involved a lot of creative budgeting, since the income from my personal depression blog is a grand total of ZERO DOLLARS).  What were we ever worried about??

But in my dream state, it was irrelevant that I am nowhere near even three digit hits per day, and that a very large portion of those want to see hugging animals.  I was an internet success, and just like Dooce was now blogging my way to financial security.

So I was thinking.  Maybe I really am like Dooce.  Maybe my subconscious is seeing connections here that I am not.  I mean, I figure that I already have a leg up because I SOMETIMES USE ALL CAPS.  Except MAYBE NOT ALWAYS AS EFFECTIVELY AS HER.

Dooce puts items on her pet’s head I could put items on my pet’s head!

Cat With Duck On Head (lets see you search specifically for that one, internet!)

…briefly.

Folding under the pressure of potential fame

Dooce has a gorgeous baby who likes to gnaw on apples.  I have apples!  If I had a baby, she could be chewing on this one as we speak.  Hoo-boy, would my baby be chewing on that but good!

This may be the nicest fruit-related photograph that I have ever taken.

Dooce is fond of special finds of beautiful creative items that people have made.  Behold the handmade laundry statuette that is currently displayed in my bedroom!  We were going to go with the dining area, but I figured I would want it close while I sleep.  Creates that safe and inviting atmosphere.  The kind that says “You can rest easy here.  Throw caution to the wind.  Heck, throw some clothing while you’re at it.”  Not actually purchased on etsy, but I’m a sucker for a handsome one-of-a-kind art piece whatever the source.

Notice how the light plays off its various angles

The list goes on.

Dooce had a crappy Maytag.  I had a crappy Maytag!
Dooce has a website that is read by around 300,000 people per day.  I have a website!
Dooce was raised Mormon through her youth.    I…am aware that religion exists.

Yes, the similarities are endless.

Dooce writes well thought-out and entertaining posts… I wake up and blog my dream state delusions because I don’t feel like being particularly deep today.

What?  I did say that it was important to ignore the context…  Can’t get too picky with details when you’re working with dreams.  We both blog.  That’s all I’m sayin’.

That, and that I need to stop thinking about yaks.