Thursday, June 26, 2008

Stream of Consciousness

Jazz over at "In Pieces" has a great blog where she provides us with a writing prompt each day. Today I was stuck for something to say and her prompt sounds like an interesting exercise:

"Writing Prompt: Set aside twenty minutes or so and do a brain dump. Just write whatever is on your mind no matter how mundane or boring. Even if you have nothing to say, write that. The trick is to just keep your hand moving the pen across the page for twenty minutes. When you have finished, sit in silence for a few moments and ask yourself how you feel. Do you feel more collected? Less scattered? Consider whether or not a morning brain-dump might be a helpful thing to add to your arsenal of wellness tools."

Here goes:

I am really worried about Dr. X. His office called to say he was away sick this week. He is never away, for any reason. He hasn't seemed well the past couple weeks, in fact the past couple months he's seemed a bit distracted. Now I am really worried. Worried he is sick like my Mom was sick. What if he were. I couldn't bear to lose him. How would I deal with that? I know my mind is taking me down that negative road, and for all I know he could just have the flu, but it seems like he has been worried about something lately. I even brought up my attachment to him, and how much he means to me in our sessions a couple times, because I felt something was wrong.

My mood is dropping again. Part of it is that worry about Dr. X and his well being, and part of it is the letter from my insurance company. I now feel like I am being watched (once again). At the bottom of the request for detailed minitue (sp?) of my day and any work or volunteer work I do they are making me sign the form saying I understand all my statements will be investigated and that they will contact the people I volunteer for etc. They don't get it. The more they put the fear of being spied on into me, the more I believe i am being watched, and the more I am afraid to do anything that might indicate to the non-psychiatrist eye that I am well and ready to return to work.

I am one of those people who is able to put a face on when I have to, so the studio I volunteer at, and even when i was working, my workmates and bosses, never had any idea I was sick. I can hide behind a type of false boisterousness for short periods of time, but the price I pay is exhaustion and an intense need to be alone. I believe I am working really hard at getting well, but I know I am no where near well. I need more "safe" time more time to slowly build my stamina. 5-6 hours a week volunteering in a supportive environment, where I can call in sick anytime I need to, where I have complete backup, in no way resembles a fast paced and highly stressful workplace where I am in fear of losing my job all the time.

Last week I wanted to commit suicide so badly. It isn't even that I feel as bad as I did before. I just feel like I will never get WELL...the capitals are intentional and represent the well that is me when I feel empowered, completely not depressed, powerful and excited about life, social and extremely outgoing.

All I want now, even though I feel better than I did, is to hide away at home, not answer the door, keep the curtains closed (so no one can watch me).. I have the means and opportunity to commit suicide. Last week I didn't because all my nieces have birthdays in these two/three weeks. I do not in any way want my death associated with such joyous occasions. I just want to go, and i feel like the time is getting closer and closer.

I wish my family could understand that my going would be a blessing. My pain would end. I do not know if they understand how painful it is to feel depressed all the time. Even I did not "get" what depression really could become until these last 6-7 years. Before I was depressed, but nothing I went through came even close to the length and intensity of this major depressive episode.

I have to teach today. I feel stressed out and angry that i have made that commitment. All I want to do is crawl into bed and stay there. Hide form the world, hide from myself, avoid life...this in itself is a "little death". Maybe if I do this long enough I will disappear.

20 minutes is harder than I thought. I don't know if any of you get what I mean when I see death as an intense relief. I think anyone who has not been depressed has a difficult time getting it. Even my pdoc. I think he gets it on an intellectual level, but I think he believes the desire to die will end with the relief of symptoms. I don't think that is true for me, because for me...I KNOW the symptoms will return, They never go away for ever, and every time they return they are worse. What kind of existence is that. I wish we were allowed to be put to sleep. My biggest fear is surviving suicide. I am so afraid I will miscalculate my plan and end up both severely depressed and lose my brain, or be completely physically trapped in a body that won't work. I would choose euthanasia if it were available.

I still have one more minute. I guess there is an upside to my depression. I met my pdoc and he has enhanced the life I have. I also met lots of people online who have also enhanced my life. I am grateful for that. Thanks for listening.
(20 minutes are up)

I feel exhausted. This might not be a good idea for me when depressed. It was why I stopped writing in my journals...I became too negative and focused on my depression. When well I can see how it might help me get ideas out on paper. Thanks Jazz for the idea.


The Silent Voices in my Mind said...

As a writer-at-heart (ie - love to write but not very good at it) I have both done this excercise and recommended it to others. It can really take a lot out of me. Congrats on sticking with it for the whole 20 minutes.

I understand the desire to just not exist and the despair that comes with realizing that no one who hasn't been there can possibly understand. You are not alone. And I know that feels like the only way to escape the cycles that never seem to end.

Be strong. The world needs you more than you realize.

Does it help you to talk to someone when you hit rock bottom? If it does, do you have someone to talk to?

Jazz said...

Hey, Aqua, I'm so sorry you're feeling so rough...and I'm sorry the writing prompt didn't help. I find that writing isn't always helpful for me, either, especially when I'm in a negative, ruminating mood.

You know, the work you're doing at the Art Clubhouse sounds really important to me. All those people you are teaching to express themselves through their art...and the joy you've gotten from watching their faces as they realize that they really can create something...those people need you, Aqua. Who else is going to teach them to find what's inside of themselves?

I'm not going to tell you I know how you feel, because we are all different, and your rock-bottom is surely different than mine...I just want you to know that you are important, your voice is important, the things you have to teach your students are important, and this world would be a darker, colder place without you in it.

*hugs* to you, dear Aqua.

jcat said...

I love you, A. But at the same time, I would completely understand suicide now, when you are feeling halfway out the swamp, but when everything else is chasing you back into it.

I would hate to know that you did it because one of my dreams is that in a totally awesome life you and me would be lying on that beach drinking cranberry vodka whatever they are called cocktails. ....

All I can really say? I would understand why, and I would never assign blame. It would be good if you could stay away from significant to other people dates, but hey...if it gets to that, every day is fucking significant to someone. Even so, I'd really appreciate if you could say goodbye. Knowing that I am so far away and so anonymous that it would never impact on RL?

But whatever happens, please know that I love and value you. And that it's a friendship and a caring that is based on knowing only the really brutal low bits of you that you share via this blog.

And that in turn, you have given me love and support and friendship based only on what I have written.

I love you Aqua, because you are a special, caring, concerned and questioning person. I'd like to know you for longer here and now, but if I don't? I believe that we'll connect again. And I love you anyway...


Aqua said...

Your post made me cry (read "bawl"). I love you too. I am so glad to hear how well you are doing (computer job crap aside;>)

Not very many people tell me they love me. When my Mom was alive she told me all the time, but otherwise I am usually the one initiating I love you's, sometimes (like with my Dad, and my husband) I get no reciprocity.

It just gets so hard trying, and trying to get better, and then falling backwards all the time.

I really would like to sit in the sun by the ocean and drink crantini's with you one day. I'll hang on for that. If I do need to go before then I will say goodbye. You are a good friend,

SV: Thank you for your support. I don't really have anyone to talk to, that's part of the problem. Outside my pdoc and one friend my family and other people I know either aren't close enough to talk with, or think this is all my fault.

Jazz: I almost erased this post, because after I wrote it I felt it wasn't in keeping with the powerful essence of your writing prompt.

I recognize that your writing exercise was supposed to be creative and help people investigate ideas we might not have thought of otherwise. I left it up because for me I need to see me in all my sadness, and blackness and in all my good moments. Both sides are me. I love your writing exercises.

deepblue said...

Thanks for sharing your "brain dump." I really really do hope you start to feel better soon. I do understand the hopelessness of not feeling like it will ever go away. That is so hard.

We, here in the blogosphere, are listening. So, if you can't talk to anyone else, there is still someone there.
Hang in there. Just please hang in there.

The Silent Voices in my Mind said...

On having someone to talk to..... I am online a huge amount of the time and would be more than happy to email/IM/chat or talk with you any time. Like my grandma always said: Anyone who's been there understands, any one who hasn't probably never will. And I have...

I can give you my email addy if you'd like. I DON'T want to be pushy or intrusive!! It's just an offer, if you are interested.

myalterego said...

Hi, I just found the blog, really like its honesty. But I'm dying to know - does Dr. X know about it/read it?

I think you should share. Doctors, and psychiatrists especially, are so underappreciated. Especially if he is having trouble now.

Jazz said...

Glad you responded...I kept checking back here yesterday because I was worried about you!

Don't ever worry about what the "spirit" of the writing prompts is...they are for you to take and use in whatever way you need to use them...sometimes the things that come out of my mind and onto the paper surprise me a lot.

My thoughts are with you, Aqua, and I hope things ease up for you soon. Sending love and hugs and positive energy your way.


Annie said...

Aqua, I commend you for dong this post. I know your reservations about doing it when you are depressed but it seemed like you expressed a significant amount of feelings. I hope it ends up being a positive for you. Take care. Annie