Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I know there are people who are depressed who are depressed around everyone; people who are melancholic, or outwardly irritable. I am generally not one of those people. When around others I usually can either fake it and be sociable and pleasant, or my mood actually does lift for the time
I am interacting.

I suppose many would see this as a gift...the ability to pretend, or actually become "normal", i.e. my pleasant self, when I need to. It may seem something like a superhero's ability to become an ordinary human when walking amongst the general public.

There are costs to this way of being. When I am severely depressed the energy it takes to be what I think others need me to be is exhausting. I often leave a social function feeling so much fatigue I want to throw up. The second I walk out the door intense depression sets back in, and I feel exhausted; even more so than my general day to day exhaustion.

The other difficulty I encounter, and this one I find so frustrating I want to scream, is that people don't believe I am sick, or depressed. If I reach out, or open up and bring up how depressed I am, I often (more often than not, hear so many stories about how friends, relatives, family members of the person I am talking with suffer from a depression much worse than mine.

Sometimes I just let the comments go, because it is not a contest...if they think that is the case who am I to argue. So often though I feel like my pain is being dismissed as mild, or not worth worrying about, or even worse, that I am being told I am not depressed at all.

This happened last night. I managed to open up to someone about my mood disorder and they immediately told me their sister had a depression "...much worse than {mine}". The sister had had a breakdown, ended up in care and during one episode became catatonic and had to be hospitalized.

That sounds like a very severe depression to me. It is very sad. How though is it worse than mine...years and years of cycling, no medications that consistently help, or if medications help side effects that impact my life, isolation from most of the people I know, loss of my job, paranoia, fear suicidal ideation loss of pleasure, fatigue, inability to motivate myself...and an increasing sense that I want to die all the time?

Last night every time I would express what my struggle was like this person would interrupt half way through to explain how I wasn't that depressed. Eventually I just became quiet and listened. I felt really dismissed and vulnerable for opening up myself only to be told others are far more depressed, and that I really had not experienced a "real" depression, not like other people have.

I am sure some others are far more depressed, though I do not understand how a person would manage to stay on this earth much more depressed than I feel sometimes. It is a brutally difficult battle at this severity.

I am sitting here right now, just trying to hang on. I feel so isolated and scared. I cancelled a volunteer luncheon I was supposed to go to because I am so depressed I feel physically ill. I know I will be in trouble for cancelling, because I have missed so many meetings recently, but I just don't have it in me to be fake, or for my mood to increase to please others, only to make me more intensely depressed and tired later.

I know it is weird that I care that others see how depressed I am. It is not that I want others to see how depressed I am, or to say yes you are severely depressed, or even to empathize or sympathize. I just want others to know I am not slacking, or lazy, or using the system, or getting disability for something that isn't that difficult to manage. I want others to know I am struggling against an illness just as severe and real as any physical illness. I want others to know I am trying as hard as I can, but my enemy is vengeful and strong. Maybe too, I am reaching out for help.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This needs to End...NOW.

I am scared of what is happening to me. My mood is cycling all over the place and the switches are shifting suddenly into either my behaving in weird ways, or I suddenly become so intensely and severely depressed I fear I might hurt myself.

I woke at 7am this morning. The second I woke I felt that black pit of hell in my stomach. I was so depressed I felt physically ill...and it got worse. At 7:30 I was trying to make a coffee, and I picked up a knife (the only thing close) to stir the water and coffee in my french press, and suddenly I had an intense urge to end it all; to stab myself over and over 'til it was all over and finally I was at peace.

It felt so urgent; as though stabbing myself was my destiny. I stood there frozen, helpless to stop myself, and the urge kept getting stronger and stronger. I felt compelled to do it.

I don't know what happened because one minute I was feeling compelled, and the next I was crying. I sat down and stared at the wall, unable to manage even a thought. I sat there so tired/fatigued I couldn't move. I sat there dazed and empty, in some kind of void...maybe in a dissociative state??

Even at 8:00 am it was so hot and humid. I wasn't feeling safe at home, but I had no one I could call. It was too early in the morning. I pulled myself out of the chair about a half hour/hour later, dragged myself and the dog out the door, and went to the ocean for both of us to cool off. It took every single ounce of my energy to get up and leave the house.

I sat on a log and cried. I felt, and feel, so lost; so completely and utterly confused, hopeless and unsure about what is happening to me.

Just the day before I was feeling pretty okay. Maybe a bit better than okay. All day the day prior, I was extremely sexually charged. To the point where I just could not get enough. When my boyfriend left for home I started looking at porn on the internet...and did so for hours, until 1:00 pm.

I know I have expressed my having watched porn before, but, but then, as was the case yesterday, this both is not "typical", or "normal" behaviour for me. Also, I have never watched 7-8 hours of porn before. It's just lately I have this insatiable sex drive and I can barely manage it. There is more to this behaviour, but I am too embarrassed to write about it. Surprisingly I do have a modicum of modesty left in me.

So last night I am okay, and this a.m. I sank so low I didn't think I could make. This has been the type of cycling that is happening, and I can't handle it anymore. I don't know what to do, because at this point, 8 years into this episode, it really does look like here lies my be completely out of control of my mood for the rest of my life. I can't handle that.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Wide Awake

It's 3:40 and I have been wide awake since 1:00am. I am (sort of) trying out the sleep/wake system some indigenous people in the world use: If I am awake and cannot sleep, get up, do something relaxing and go to be when I am tired again. I say "sort of", because I did lay in bed for 2 1/2 hours fruitlessly trying to get back to sleep.

I do not understand why I cannot sleep when I take so much medication, some of which, 1000 mg of Tegretol (a mood stabilizer) and 300 mg Trazadone (an older, sleep inducing antidepressant), is meant to help me sleep.

They do help me get to sleep. Within 1/ hr of taking it I can barely stay awake. These medications also, sometimes, seem to help me stay asleep, but like my shapeshifting (read:cycling) mood, there effect seems random.

Dr. X. has spoken with me about my alcohol usage. He's never judging, or paternalistic, but it is clear he is attempting to sway my beliefs, that alcohol helps me, away from the "darkside. He says alcohol may lower anxiety initially, but that there is a rebound effect, a withdrawal of sorts, later on. So if I drink to much I will initially fall asleep, but when the alcohol wears of I will be wide awake. It makes sense. Often I experience exactly this effect, but not always; which makes it difficult for me to think this may be the problem sometimes.

The trouble now, and often when I have these random sleepless nights, is I have not been drinking more than one drink (measured as 1 1/2 oz. vodka, or a small glass of wine, or a bottle of cider) a night all week. I am still not sleeping.

I also have wondered if my insomnia is mood associated. On some level it is. When my mood gets too high I sleep much less. I often sleep much less (at night) when I am depressed though too, due to ruminations, worries, anxiety etc. When depressed I usually sleep more in the daytime due to perhaps the daytime sleep affects my nightime sleep, but again this is not consistently the case. Not being able to sleep is so frustrating.

Now I am feeling sleepy again, so I think I will pop back to bed. Sweet dreams everyone.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Random Shapeshifting

I have been trying hard to figure out what happened to me on Thursday (and the few days prior). Thursday though seemed to be the day I was pretty sure I couldn't go on. Why then, did I wake at 3am on Friday in a completely different mood state?

Throughout the day on Thursday I made myself crawl into bed both to protect myself and to relieve the intense fatigue and anxiety (is it possible to feel both???) I was feeling. By the evening I was spiraling into such brutal suicidal thoughts that I didn't think I was going to manage to survive them.

Nothing happened between 11pm Thursday and 3am Friday. I had not read my blog and the supportive comments on there. I simply had switched into an okay mood; not high, but okay.

I do not get it. How am I supposed to work on changing myself to help my mood, when it really appears "I" have no say in the mood I have any given day? If I have no control over what affects my mood, why even bother with therapy, or trying to change, or doing any of the things to help myself change?

For me, mood changes appear to be random. Is that strange? Do other's moods switch in a similar manner? Am I the only one who has this experience? It is disconcerting to have such little control over one's self.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Power of Virtual Friends

I've been awake since 3am at 5am I decided sleep was not going to show up and got out of bed. I rose to support and caring from some Internet friends... Thank you.

I think people underestimate the power of communication found among people connecting via the Internet. My blog has always created a sense of belonging for me, a sense, and often instantaneous feedback, that I am not the only one struggling with mental illness. I know that should be obvious, but when depression grabs hold of me my first reaction is both to isolate, and to feel alone. My blog provides me with a connection to others that I find invaluable.

I have been really struggling this past week. This morning I woke and found cookies on my virtual doorstep from Eliza Jane, a new?, or previously silent? (forgive me if my memory is mistaken) blog visitor, and another reason to live and cyber hugs, from Valerie, another Internet connection. Harriet sent me words of encouragement yesterday, and a couple days prior EJA, HBW, xthedestroyer and Harriet showed up to provide support and kind words.

This is a constant for me; "strangers", or rather cyber friends, showing up when I need a helping hand. These gifts provided me with a different perspective this morning (and do anytime friends comment). Thank you.

Throughout the past few years I have felt an incredible and truly powerful connection with many people who comment on my blog. These are people I would love to meet: People I can see are full of love and caring for their fellow human beings. I feel blessed to be a small part of each of their lives. I would jump at the opportunity to meet almost any of the people commenting on my blog.

Thanks for the support. I really appreciate it.

On another note:
...I looked up "dialectics"...just in case I was jumping to conclusions about Dr. X's use of the word...(Moi? Jump to conclusions? I am an idiot. It simply refers to an "argument"

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I'm Tired

I sat in front of Dr. X today, so sad and lost and empty. I felt like I was going to crumble into a pile of nothingness. I told him I have had thoughts of suicide. I want so badly to be able to speak this truth out loud to someone without fear of hurting them, or their rejecting me for my intensity of pain and depth of failure to become "well".

I try hard to believe this person is Dr. X. He's trained to deal with this stuff. Something inside me make me hold back the details with him too. I am scared my thoughts/plans/ideas/visions will hurt him, in the way just having the thoughts seems to hurt others.

While we are talking he says something using the word "dialectics" and alarm bells go off in my head. I think he is referring to helping someone with Borderline Personality Disorder. One of the treatments for which is DBT...and I immediately think he is mistaking my having these thoughts for borderline behaviour. I feel scared; completely misunderstood and misread.

I can't speak the entire truth to anyone.

The thoughts are intense, powerful and detailed. I suspect they will disappear only when they have been successful. I want the detailed plans and visions out of my head. I want the thoughts to disappear.

My sister calls and asks how I am. Usually, I can feign a, "fine". When she calls I am so depressed I have no energy to outright I say; "I am so depressed right now, I can't take this anymore". She is silent on the other end of the phone. The silence feels cold and it draws a clear line: "do not tell me anymore!" I was about to say, "I want to die", but instead say, "I'm okay".

Then the niceties begin...both of us knowing what I did not say. An invitation to visit her place is forthcoming, but I have no energy to cook, or eat, or stay out of bed, let alone drive for 5 hours. What I really want is her come to me, like my Mom might have. The empty space, between small talk, on the phone only proves to heighten my sense of loneliness and despair.

Dr.X asked me to find reasons to live. I thought of three:
  • My dog...he needs me.
  • My sisters would be hurt if I died
  • I don't want to hurt Dr. X

But, I could provide for my dog to be taken care of, I could write notes to my family and Dr. X assuring them I know they tried so hard to help me. letting them know I love them, but I can't manage anymore. On some level I am certain it would be a relief for my sisters to see my pain end.

That is what I want. I want this pain to end.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Rivers Run Through Me

I'm just tired, depressed and worn out. I used to believe I would get well again; I mean almost completely well like I have after my other depressive episodes. I don't believe that anymore, and even Dr. X. has told me it is likely I will always have to manage some cycling up and down.

I know he is right. I see others having to manage cycling, even when it appears their illness is being well managed with medication

I have been having intense thoughts of suicide off and on all weekend. I envision myself hanging myself: how I will hang, where and what it will feel like. Most of all I daydream about all the relief I will feel as I slip into unconsciousness. I watch myself lift up a gun, arifle and shoot myself in the head. The violence of both ideas points to how anxious I have been all weekends. The more anxiety I feel, the more violent the methods of suicide I imagine.

My boyfriend told me to stop worrying the other day. He asked me why I worry so much. I don't know. I cannot remember a time when I did not worry. I remember, even when I was 5 or 6, worrying about all kinds of things. It seems like I was born worrying.

I told him, for me, worrying is a symptom of my illness. I think it is a material structure in my brain that makes me worry. Some kind of negative feedback loop in my brain has worn a path so deep into the forest of neurons and dendrites, the chemicals flow like a river down these worn paths; rapidly exchanging negative thoughts, beliefs and ideas down this canal. It is difficult for any positive ideas to cross the deep riverbed created by years and years of bad thoughts.

I feel like I do not want to keep trying; like trying so much takes all my energy. This past week I have slept, and slept and slept. I have slept in, slept late, napped in the afternoon, in the evening and then gone to bed early and slept in late. I want so badly to just disappear, for it to end, for my life to go away.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

All and Nothing

Today was one of those therapy sessions that was all over the map, covering everything and nothing at the same time:
  • How much I am drinking,
  • Why I am drinking more,
  • My mood is lifting
  • My mood is down
  • I am detached
  • I am tired all the time
  • I am having trouble doing things
  • My attempts to catch at reverse my feelings of being watched and judged,
  • My feelings of paranoia about my landlord
  • My inability to successfully stop my paranoid thoughts
  • My extreme worry (read major anxiety attacks) about my application for separation and divorce from my husband; my husband wants a detailed ironclad agreement between us, meaning I have to provide statements, tax info, asset info ( the list is 3 pages long)...This kind of scrutiny and information gathering is intensely disturbing and difficult for me to manage,
  • That I had unprotected (no birth control) sex twice this week despite having had a birth control failure the week before last and knowing exactly how stressed out I get about the chances of getting pregnant,
  • Why I had unprotected sex despite having had...blah, blah, blah,
  • How I am making poor judgements
  • How only the birth control write off an example of poor judgement
  • I had two dreams,
  • What I thought the dreams meant,

And then finally..about 7 minutes before I have to leave Dr. X's office, what is really bothering me comes up: Am I going to be able to work again?

Shoot me now, but I cannot manage my life with the uncertainty of not knowing what I am or am not going to be capable of . On one level I recognize Dr. X is not a "mind reader" ha, ha...but on another level I want to know, at the very least, the odds of my being employable again.

What got me thinking about this again is my boyfriend. He has a M.I. too and has been chronically ill since he was very young. I asked him if he ever thought he would ever be well enough to be off disability. He just, matter of factly said , '"No".

I then asked him if it bothered him and he said, "No", I have accepted that I can only do what I can. I work when I can and don't when I can't.

In many ways I see how his knowledge of the incapacitating nature of his illness protects him from the type of feverish get back to work type schemes I come up volunteering even if I am really sick, and being unable to say no to teaching, panicing about not working/not being able tpo work etc.

On the other hand I worry that if I were like that it would be a kind of complacency that would make me give up life all together. What am I if I am not a worker? My whole life (until I got so sick) I was a worker.

Dr. X enthusiastically explained (once again) that I am working...but he knows, and I know it is not the way I mean. I mean getting off disability contributing to the social well being of our country and fending for myself.

He says I am contributing to the country and community. He says all the people I teach art to are benefiting from my volunteer work. He says if he was working for the insurance company he would be proud to see someone the company is helping, do as much for the community as I was.

I just sat there protesting and bawling. I feel so much like I have failed; like I am a failure. Like I will never get better, never get well enough. I left his office sobbing and went into the washroom and cried. I just want to know what to expect for my future.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sleep tonight,
And may your dreams,
Be realised,

If the thundercloud,
Passes rain,
So let it rain,
Rain down on me,

Mmm mmm, mmm,
So let it be,
Mmm, mmm, mmm,
So let it be..."
(U2 MLK)

I know I wrote of early morning wakings only 5 days ago, but since then I have become Sleeping Beauty. I spent the weekend with 'I'"(my boyfriend). He has a very different sleep schedule than I do. His regular bedtime is 3 or 4am and he wakes around 2 or 3pm.

His schedule works for me, because it allows me to keep up with my other friendships. This is super important to me both because I love my other friends, but also because in the past I have had a tendency to isolate myself from my friends when I have a boyfriend/husband. It always seemed too much to manage both friends and lover if that makes sense.

This weekend, unlike any other, I found myself getting out of bed around 11am (unheard of for me). At 2ish pm I was crawling back into bed until 4pm. As I lay there I knew at least one of the reasons I stayed in bed so late and climbed into bed later. 'I' wraps himself around me when he sleeps.

As we lay together spooning he is so close to me it almost feels like we are one. I am surprised that I enjoy cuddling like this so much, because before, when I was with my husband, I hated it.

In fact, for years we slept in separate rooms because I couldn't sleep with him in the bed. I thought it was because my husband snored and moved around too much, but 'I' snores and it does not bother me at all. Instead, I find it comforting.

I think in part this difference is bred by how ,'I's actions are always warm , loving and caring. He is always supportive, never yells at me, and lets me know he values all I do, or try to do. He kisses me frequently and passionately. He hugs me and and reaches out to hold my hand. His hands wander over my face and body as we talk. He doesn't pull away when we become close.

In short he acts like he cares deeply for me. I need to remember this about him, because I have a tendency to doubt people; to doubt there positive intentions and feelings towards me.

Last week I was in my session worrying about how maybe 'I' didn't really care for me the way it seemed, or the way I did for him. Dr. X reminded me of the possibility of phenomenon called projective identification if I continued worrying this way/or acting like I was worried about all this.

If I doubt 'I's feelings towards me and keep projecting that kind of worry in my conversations/actions with him, it may very well happen or become like I believe: Not because I believe it, but because my actions may begin to reflect my fears causing the other person to react accordingly.

This past weekend I opened up and loved, and kissed and hugged and made love like I knew 'I' was as madly in love with me as I am with him. It was so beautifully perfect.

You know that feeling when you kiss a lover and your whole body reacts and a lustful wave of passion flushes over your whole body? Or when you make love and you want to cry it feels so good? That was how being with 'I' felt to me.

It seems like he feels the same way too...and that felt so good; so good to each of us that he stayed over an extra day.

Monday, July 13, 2009 it Possibble I Have Been Mistaken?

In my appointment on Thursday I talked with Dr X. about how I think people think bad things about me all the time. One example of this is when I am walking my dog I always feel other people are judging me as a dog owner, and my dog as a dog breed.

My dog is not that common. he is a white boxer and you don't see very many of them. Because of his odd colour and his very square jaw people often mistake him for either a pitbull or an american bulldog. They seem scared of him and avoid us if we are walking.

Given I spend almost every waking minute with my dog by my side I feel, by association, avoided and repugnant.

In my appt Dr. X. asked me if I could challenge some of my thoughts about people thinking bad things about me; challenge them in the moment. So this morning, when an opportunity came up I tried it.

I was walking my dog in my neighbourhood. I know I looked both a bit disheveled and maybe a bit unapproachable ( I was almost completely inside my head thinking about how much amorous fun I had last night;.)) I looked up and saw an older Sikh woman (maybe 65-75) staring at my dog and I.

The woman kept looking furtively at us, and then away from us like she was dismayed to see such a person, and such a dog on her street. I could feel myself suddenly becoming extremely self conscious and defensive. I suddenly wished I had taken the time to put a bra on, to wear more modest clothing, and to look a bit more conservative. I became annoyed that she was looking at me and my dog the way she was.

Feeling defensive I decided to show her I was a nice person...and I said hello. As I did, she smiled brightly and said, "He is so gorgeous, your dog".

When she said that I remembered Dr. X. telling me to challenge my beliefs and thoughts in the moment. I had challenged them, but not consciously...I was flabbergasted at the words that came out of the woman's mouth. She wasn't judging my dog. She was admiring him.

I felt very humbled by what was really happening. I believe some of my perception was coloured by my own prejudicial beliefs about how "conservative" thinking, and/or judgemental of me an older Sikh woman might be. I like to think I am more open-minded than this, but I think at times we all make assumptions based on not necessarily correctly held beliefs about others, other cultures etc.

So based on my experience today I have challenged two possibly wrongly held cultural and one very personal. I can see how my judgements about others, and how others perceive me might reflect back in how I expect them to perceive me, and in fact how my expectations might actually influence their perception of me.

For example, maybe I act standoffish if I feel I will be judged.
I get stressed out that people are judged, maybe they misread my fear and stress as danger, or threatening and act accordingly. A while ago Dr. X. spoke to me of something called, (I think) "projective identification". It is where how you expect others to treat you actually becomes how they treat you...not magically, but because you send out signals to others about what you feel and they interpret/misinterpret how you are. I think this happens to me.

I will address this phenomenon in my next post.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Early Morning Wakings

It is 7:07am and I have been out of bed since 5:00am; wide awake since 4:12am. Usually I would stay in bed when I wake that early, but Dr X. was telling me about a book he read. Part of the book...unfortunately I cannot remember the name...talked about how different cultures sleep, view sleep and manage waking earlier than expected/needed.

The author explained that in some indigenous cultures, when people woke in the middle of the night they did not stay in bed and wait impatiently for sleep to come, but instead got out of bed, made some tea, talked with others, and when sleepy, went back to bed

I know for many of us with mood disorders sleep regulation is an important component to working towards a healthy, or healthier, mood. So talk with your pdoc before trying this...but I have been trying this the past few

Normally, if I woke before I wanted to get up, I would lay in bed, get annoyed and frustrated I couldn't sleep, and then, of course, fall asleep right before I needed to get up. The past few days I have been getting out of bed much, much earlier than normal. I have then been crawling back into bed for a nap around 11 or 12 am; and trying really hard to just let that be okay.

I love the early morning. The light is beautiful as the sun creeps into the sky. The sun creates a light that heightens the red tones and brightens the green in anything that crosses its path. The natural world looks and feels more vibrant, even more miraculously glorious than it usually appears.

Yesterday morning I got out of bed and went out to the university where my pdoc appointment is an hour early and I walked my dog for about 45 minutes around the campus. It was gorgeous and there were few people about.

This morning, when I woke around 4am I was going to get out of bed, but my boyfriend, sound asleep wrapped his arms around me instead. To be held and silently and subconsciously loved by someone I care so deeply for felt too good to interrupt. So I pulled closer to him and lay quietly in his arms. At 5am though I was so wide awake I clambered out of his arms, got up and made some coffee.

It was then I had the brilliant idea to take my dog to the park for a run. During the day there are too many people around and I risk the city by-law officer 's wrath if I have my dog off-leash in the park. This morning at 5:30 hardly anyone was around and I let my dog run free. It was so great to watch him so free and funny

I am going to try this wake up idea for the next few weeks and see how it goes. I can see problems with the theory in a country like mine, where if I want to work, napping at 11am isn't going to work. Right now though, my schedule is such that most days I can manage a nap in the late morning or early afternoon. So why not try it.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

A Brain Tornado

Yesterday (and for the past few days) I have felt so wound up and wired that I cannot slow my brain down. It is racing all over the place from thought to thought to thought to thought...etc. The thoughts aren't good, they are angry, sad, irritable and downright annoying. I really would like my brain to just stop once in a while and be. Do "normal" people's brains take a break once in a while?

My brain goes from, "I am never going to be well" to "maybe this is normal", to "I cannot take this anymore", to, visualizing myself hanging from my bookshelf, to being afraid I wouldn't die (just end up brain damage) to, feeling like "no one can help me (least of all myself)", to "maybe I am making things not work", to, I am overwhelmed", to, "God I overwhelm others, to, " I think I am overwhelming my new boyfriend", to, I am scared I will scare him away", to, "I am scaring him with my wierdness", to, how do I stop this? to, "maybe it would be best for others that I disappeared", to, I focus too much on myself", to "if I focused less maybe I'd get better", to "how the fuck can I not focus when I feel so bad" to, "no one who is not me can truly get what this is like", to "I am selfish", to, "I am bad", to "I am wasting Dr. X's time" to, maybe I should stop my medicine, it doesn't seem to help anyways", to, "nothing helps", to "others need help too I should leave therapy and give others the opportunity to try to get well", to, Why am I stuck here?" etc., etc.

...and that was just the past few minutes. My brain does that over and over all day long.

So yesterday I thought I'd try smoking some pot slow my brain down. It was not a good experience.

I got so high that all I could do was climb into bed. As I was lying there I began to here all the minute components of "white noise". I could hear every little sound that made up the background noise in my air. It was so loud; all the noises were so loud that they were hurting my ears. I couldn't grasp how I could hear anything else while all this noise was going on. The noise became more and more overwhelming. I became so scared that I began panicking. The noise wouldn't stop and I began to hear someone knocking on my window over and over. It scared me so much.

When I looked no one was there. I looked at my dog too and he gave no indication that anyone had knocked or was nearby. I pulled the covers over my head and listened, my heart pounding. Eventually I fell asleep. Three hours later I woke up. I don't think this is my drug of choice. Sure it slowed my thoughts down (at least I focused on one thing)...but I felt terrified almost the whole time.

Monday, July 06, 2009


I have been absolutely insane these past few days. I do not understand what was going on, but here goes...

This weekend, since Thursday I have been on a sex, drugs and rock and roll bender. Thursday night I decided to try to stick to my plan of having one drink that evening. I had one, then another and another and another. I began feeling like my old My boyfriend and I cranked the tunes and sat back and talked until 2 or 3 in the morning. It was great and felt so good: until the next morning.

I woke up at 9am with the worst hangover I have had in a long time. I managed to walk the dog and visit with a friend, but then disappeared under the covers, beside my sleeping boyfriend, until 2 or 3pm.

I know I spoke of my difficulties with antidepressant induced anorgasmia a couple days ago. This in no way means I have lost my sex drive. I woke feeling insatiable. I worked to satiate the both of us then got out of bed around 5 or 6pm.

I decided not to drink that night (again)...given how awful I had felt after the previous night. I managed to stick to that, except as we went for a walk around 10pm I asked my friend for a puff of some pot he was smoking (something I rarely do because it makes me crazy). I haven't smoked pot in years and I bet I have only tried it 2-3 times in the past 20 years. It is not something I have enjoyed in the past.

There is something about my new boyfriend that makes me feel safe to try new things, safe to experiment. So, with that feeling I smoked some more, then more, then more again. By the time we got home I was so stoned , but it felt so good. The only other time I remember pot feeling that way was with my best friend when I was 23 or 24.

When we returned home, the second I walked in the door I pulled out a canvas I have been working on, turned up the music and painted and painted and painted until 1 or 2 am. It felt so good to be lost in my art and to be swallowed up by music again.

The next day I wanted to get high again, so I went and got more pot...I cannot believe I did this, Honestly, I have not done this since high school. I am not sure what was/is happening to me.

On Saturday I got high, then I got high again, and again. I spent most of the day high, painting and having sex. It was great. I felt like my old wild self was appearing again. I have not seen her for a while.

Yesterday morning Sunday) I woke up around 9am and all I could think about was having sex. I started looking at our magazines, looking up porn on the Internet (there is a really good woman friendly site called "I Feel Myself"). By 1pm I was dying to have sex so I went into the bedroom and began slowly waking my boyfriend with some loving touch.

He didn't want sex..and something happened to me. I had a bit of a weird meltdown. I guess I felt rejected or something, but it was really out of character for me.

I felt, and I feel today this intense love for him. So intense that it scares me that I desire someone so much. I am afraid by how intense my love feels. I am afraid I will let myself, and have allowed myself to become t0o close to someone. I feel intensely vulnerable. It is at this stage when people always leave me because I overwhelm them or scare them. How do I stop this?

Anyways, today I feel insatiable still and I feel vulnerable too, but I can see I was a bit crazy this weekend...I slept until 11am this morning (pretty unheard of for me) yet I feel an intense speediness in my thinking that is becoming really uncomfortable. I feel crazy out of control, while at the same time feeling my depression intensely too. God...when will this crap end.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Narcissistic Nightmare

This is a post about being conspicuous, standing out in a crowd, feeling like you are always being stared at and judged. It is how I feel when I go anywhere outside my house. It is different from my sense I am being spied on.

When I leave the relative safety of my house I always feel this sense of being stared at. I say relative because even in my home I feel I am being watched, and take precautions to help people not see me (online, window coverings, sit in certain places in my house etc.). Outside my home I begin feeling like I am being watched and judged by everyone who sees me; and everyone does see is an awful, stifling and suffocating feeling.

I feel embarrassed to have this feeling because it shows others how self-centred and narcissistic I am. My belief people actually spend their time watching me feels bad. I say "bad" because it reeks of my being the kind of person who feels worthy of being looked at all the time; a vanity that doesn't sit well with my Judeo-Christian upbringing's beliefs about ensuring one is not "self-important", or egotistical; ensuring one remains humble about one's self worth and importance.

My sense of being watched or stared at is not a feeling that others are staring at me because I may be special, or beautiful. It is a feeling like everyone is trying to catch me doing something wrong, or strange, or embarrassing.

Unless my mood is extremely high; in which case I feel stared at because I am on, attractive and desirable, anytime I am out o my house I feel people are just waiting and watching for me to make a mistake or a fool of myself. They are watching to see me trip or fall, or laugh at the wrong time, or make a stupid comment. They are disgusted with how I look; my weight, my height, my face, and my attire. I look out of place, like I don't belong. They are waiting and watching to see me embarrass or demean myself.

It is an awful feeling being stared at, being judged all the time. What makes it even more so is the shame I feel for thinking these thoughts. This shame makes the fear of embarrassment and judgement even worse than it could be without it. Why is life so hard to manage and go through? Why can't I just "be"?

Saturday, July 04, 2009


(may be a bit explicit)...)

The reasons for this post are threefold: To share my experiences both with anorgasmia (the inability to achieve orgasm/climax) and intercourse before I began taking antidepressants, and to express my current experience with SSRI induced anorgasmia. I want others to see and understand they are not alone, to encourage others to not give up on the chance for a great sex life.

I am sure others have difficulty with not being able to orgasm, or help their partners orgasm, during sex and/or intercourse. These difficulties may be caused by you or your partner taking antidepressants, or maybe you never learned, or are uncomfortable talking about, how to help your partner or yourself achieve orgasm during intercourse, it may also be that you have some kind of medical condition that contributes to your difficulty, or maybe inability to orgasm. I hope some of my disclosures can show you it is possible to get help, or help yourself, if you approach your difficulties orgasming with an open mind.

What is an orgasm? It's hard to believe, in a world where sex is promoted and flaunted everywhere 24/7 that some people have never experienced an orgasm. Wikipedia says, "About 15% of women report difficulties with orgasm, and as many as 10% of women in the United States have never climaxed. Even women who orgasm regularly only climax about 50-70% of the time." What is with that?

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines an orgasm the following way:

The crisis of sexual excitement in either humans or animals".

Those of you who have never had is much more enjoyable than what MW makes it sound like. I had to laugh when I read the definition of orgasm in the dictionary. My entire life I have never considered an orgasm a "crisis". In fact I experienced orgasms as what I thought was the opposite, as an intensely pleasurable release, or often a relief from external crisises. It feels like for a few moments everything is beyond perfect; as though the body has achieved momentary Nirvana.

Curious at the MW definition I looked up crisis in the dictionary...thinking a crisis was something unsettling. I was sort of right, but so was my dictionary...

an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending..." Yes, I suppose an orgasm is that, or at least this definition describes a state of being seconds before an orgasm.

There was more to the Merriam-Webster's definition of orgasm, a sentence that made my current experiences with orgasms, (or rather my NOT having any orgasms) SSRI induced anorgasmia, fit more with the definition:

an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending;
especially : one with the distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome".

I have have never had difficulty with orgasming with masturbation/mutual masturbation/oral sex/toys etc. Orgasming during intercourse has been a different story. I did not have an orgasm during intercourse until I was in my mid-thirties. It was then I recognized I needed love and trust to reach climax during intercourse. I needed to let go, feel safe and free, and feel it was okay to focus on me and my needs. Most times, on top of this I also needed to use a vibrator to help me along.

No one ever told me this little secret. In my mid-thirties, 8 or 9 years into my relationship, was also a time when I felt okay about using vibrators and other toys during intercourse as opposed to using them only during foreplay. Toys can be a girl's (or boy's) best friend if you have difficulty orgasming during sex.

Sure I had sex ed, but sex education in school falls down in a huge way. The educators always describe male sex organs as the penis, and female sex organs as the vagina and leave out the fact that the clitoris is our primary sex organ when it come to pleasure.

Some men never learn that lesson. Sadly some women never do either. Why is that? I have a friend who, in their forties asked me, "Why is it women don't have orgasms, or have difficulty orgasming during sex (intercourse). I was baffled that at 40 they did not know why. It wasn't because they did not want to know. It wasn't because they weren't very sexually active. It was because no one had ever explained how the clitoris and vagina work. In all those years of having both and they couldn't explain why they were having difficulty orgasming. Strange, but I am sure, not uncommon.

For myself, and I understand many women, most positions during intercourse do not allow for both penetration and the direct stimulation of the clitoris. Vibrators and various other sex toys can allow and facilitate both experiences in almost any position. While for some people there are strong taboos, or beliefs about the use of "toys". If you are having difficulty achieving orgasm during sex (intercourse or otherwise) toys really can help.

Besides the strange location of the body's clitoris (why the hell is it way out there, so far away from the vagina?), something that frequently interrupts our body's ability to orgasm is some of our medications. This is what I am trying to deal with right now.

It is very annoying and depressing to go from very easily achieving orgasm, to either not being able to climax at all, to being able to climax a tiny bit if I use toys and focus only on achieving climax for a very excruciatingly long, drawn out period of time with intense direct stimulation; most often leaving me still anorgasmic and "overstimulated" . Even with direct stimulation I'd say I orgasm (maybe) 10% of the time.

I am really struggling with this problem, because while Prozac seemed to help my mood somewhat, and sometimes, it made it next to impossible to orgasm. I spoke openly with Dr. X about this and went of Prozac and am now trying Cymbalta, which is supposed to be less prone to blocking orgasms than some other antidepressants.

The problem is that for me, (remember this may not happen to you if you try this med), the Cymbalta is neither helping my mood, or any better at allowing my body to orgasm. I struggle with the idea that I have to choose between an increase in mood, or an ability to orgasm. Are orgasms worth being depressed over? Am I crazy for wanting to both heal and orgasm? I don't think so. For me a healthy and robust sex life is part of a meaningful life. For me a meaningful life is my only hope for long term wellness. So I guess for me orgasms are a must.

If you are struggling with this issue there are things that can help. Some antidepressants do not seem to cause this anorgasmia problem (Wellbutrin and Remeron are two I have read about). Unfortunately, I have tried both. I am trying to let go and enjoy sex without orgasms right now until I can get back on track.

Contrary to what many might think or experience, intercourse without an orgasm, is a highly enjoyable experience if you are with the right partner. I am taking this time to learn new ways to become stimulated with the hopes I will be able to increase my odds of orgasming. My boyfriend and I have been sharing late nights in bed looking at sex magazines together. The pictures stimulate both of us and it almost always leads to sex. I have been dressing sexy for my boyfriend. It makes me feel sexy and contributes to my eagerness to have sex, and to enjoy it regardless of the outcome. I have spoken in depth with my boyfriend about why I am having difficulties orgasming,so he doesn't think it's him, or think that because I don't orgasm I don't want sex, or that I will never orgasm.

This last point, talking to the belle or beau, is probably the most important thing I have done and you can do to help your sex life. Nothing kills a sex life faster than miscommunication, or no communication, about sex.

Get out there and work to enjoy the experience of sex with or without the orgasmic outcome. This is not to suggest you and your pdoc and your partner shouldn't work towards helping you discover, uncover, or recover your ability to orgasm...that is an important part of being a sexual being; of being human. Please talk openly about this with your psychiatrist, there are things they may be able to help you with. They know this happens.

Rather I am suggesting, for now, you work with and enhance what you do have available to you. What you can do. The more you put yourself out there, (no pun intended) the more you have sex, talk openly about sex, get involved in sex with your partner/s the more you will enjoy it regardless of the orgasm

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


I haven't talked about this much; both because I feel scared it is true, and because if it is true I want to stay under the radar. I have strange thoughts beyond my depressive thoughts much of the time.

The most consistent, and the most limiting/difficult to deal with strange thoughts are thoughts and beliefs that I am being followed, spied upon, watched, photographed etc.

These beliefs are very powerful and real, yet I do recognize on some level they may be symptoms of my depression. Thinking that however, does not stop me from believing them to be real most of the time.

When they are at their worst I see people following me, or taking my picture, or watching me. I get scared they are spies from work, or from the insurance company trying to prove I am not sick, and that I should lose my job/insurance. I shut myself in my house and don't go out because I feel scared I will do something wrong.

I sometimes write less openly on my blog because I feel their are two people from an employee investigation company following my blog on a daily basis. I discovered their organization has done investigative work for my insurance company. They freak me out. I have labeled them spies on my Sitemeter. They read every single day. This reinforces my fear.

My landlord works for an insurance company. I have seen him with a giant lensed camera in his car. We share Wifi. He seems really nice, but he scares me. I am afraid he reads what I write, watches what I read, spies on me; is on to me.

On to me for what I am not sure. I am depressed. I do need help. I am not doing anything wrong. I always feel like I am bad though. Like I AM doing something wrong. Like no one is sick for this long. Like I must be taking advantage of my work and insurance company, because no one stays depressed for years do they? No one has so many medicine treatments and therapy and stays sick do they?