Sunday, June 10, 2007

Just when you think you are headed in the right direction

I do not even know where to begin. A few months ago I took a big leap and began volunteering at an art Clubhouse for people with severe and persistent mental illnesses. I have been a member there for a few years and have taken classes, but then an assistant instructor position came up for a class so I decided, despite STILL being severely depressed, to apply.

The application process was stressful. I needed a resume and had to go in for an interview, but it was also good , because I now have a resume. I got the position and am in the middle of co-teaching my second class. Since then I have begun helping in another class and, because it is a member run studio, attending instructors meeting and studio monthly meetings.
Last Sunday I began volunteering for my city's Shakespeare festival too.

Now, for the last four or 5 weeks I have been so depressed I feel like I'm hanging on by an itsy, bitsy thread. I feel like commiting suicide everyday. I am so overwhelmed with everything I have commited to. On top of that my Grandma passed away a few weeks ago and my dog (who was my mom's until my mom passed away 1.5 yrs ago) is really sick with cancer (lung cancer and 3 other types of of which became so large it broke open and every day 2-3 time a day I need to disinfect, medicate and wrap the tumour...I think I feel even more sad because he remind me of my Mom so much...I AM SO STRESSED AND DEPRESSED.

I started all the volunteer work because my pdoc and I had been in long discussions about my creating a community for myself, somewhere where I felt I belonged. The studio is just that place for me. I have met so many amazing people and the studio is open with materials and space to do your own art (Drawing, painting, pottery...tons of things) and I love the creative aspect of it. Also. the staff (Occupational Therapists, treat us like we are one of them. They have given me so many opportunities outside the teaching...attending different workshops etc.

The problem: I feel so overwhelmed and depressed that I can barely get out of bed. When I do for my volunteering I immediately come home and go back to bed. I have an exceedingly difficult time, if not impossible time cooking. I cannot seem to get motivated to clean the house, wash my hair, get dressed, or do anything that requires any effort. I feel sick I am so fatigued.

Several times in the last 4-5 pdoc sessions my pdoc has talked with me about entering the hospital for ECT (electroconvulsive therapy). I have had it before, so I am not afraid of it, but I am loathe to let down anyone I have made a commitment to. I am afraid the community I have worked so hard to build will think I am unreliable if I go in and say I cannot keep this up.

This is like my two year attempt to leave work to save myself all over again. What is it about me that makes me put everyone else's need above my own?

Basically I have decided to try to get through the summer and go in for ECT in September. I'm not sure how I'm going to keep going until then. WHY CAN"T I FIND A MEDICINE THAT HELPS ME. Why can't my depression just leave me alone. It is and has destroyed my fucking life....I feel so angry about that.

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