Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Will This Pain Ever Really End?

(William Blake, "Pity" 1795, Tate Gallery)

Like in Blake's painting...I feel like a woman who has had her child, albeit in my case, her inner child, ripped from inside her. Is it wrong to feel angry...even enraged, about my situation? Today I felt like walking into the hospital screaming, "HELP ME!...SOMEBODY FUCKING HELP ME!" I cannot take it anymore. I don't know how to get better.

Of course, I fucking "know" how to get better. Do all the goddamn things everyone tells me to do to get better. Get some exercise, see my friends, make more friends, call the friends I have, call old friends, smile more, look straight ahead, not at the ground, quit shuffling your feet, clean your house, challenge my negative thinking, stop thinking in black and white, go to church, read, go to school, take art classes, connect with my family, eat less, eat better, cook better, draw, paint, teach, take better care of myself, bathe more, dress better, tidy my house, get back to work, budget my money, breathe properly, let go, stop thinking about myself, stop crying, stop being self absorbed, do more, think less, drink more water, take vitamins, take supplements, go to sleep early, get up earlier, stop coffee, drink no alcohol, canoe, ski, hike, camp, work sing, paint, create, love people, stop being angry...STOP BEING ANGRY! STOP BEING DEPRESSED...you have everything you need. So many people have so much less than you and they are happy. Stop thinking about suicide. Participate in therapy, Do what you are supposed to do. Take your medication/s. Depression is treatable. You are just not trying hard enough.

So they say...but how do these things if I am so depressed I cannot do these things. How do I do these things if nothing I try, including medications, ever helps for any length of time?

I love Dr. X. I love him as a therapist, a clinician, and on some level, as a valued friend and family member. I trust him, his knowledge, his ability to help others, his ability to help people manage their mental illnesses. I know he cares about me and my welfare. He wants to see me well. I know he tries so hard to help me...but I think I am "unhelpable".

When I met him I felt so relieved that finally someone was helping me who knew how to help me. I felt so lucky to have met such a patient, compassionate and caring psychiatrist. Finally, I felt I was in good hands. ...and I was, and I am.

I still think I am in good hands. I still think Dr. X is extremely intelligent and knowledgeable about Major Depression and Bipolar Disorder, other Mental Illnesses and their treatments. I still believe he is a great psychiatrist. I even think that for many with a "treatment resistant" depression he is likely able to help them.

I think the problem is that my depression is not "treatment resistant", rather it is "absolutely unresponsive". I feel angry because if I had a physical illness that caused this much pain I would be given something to at the very least stop the pain. If my illness was physical, I could get some relief. I have no idea what a similar "pain medication" would look like for severe depression...maybe morphine to knock me out, to not allow me to feel, or some kind of heavy duty tranquillizer combined with an extended stay in some kind of long term care place...like what a sanitarium was supposed to be.

I completely understand why some people with mental illnesses, especially chronic ones, turn to hard drugs. Last night even I was thinking...maybe if I got some heroin, and just injected enough to relieve some of this pain...even for a while, it might be worth it.

If there is nothing out there that helps me...how will I keep going? Better question is WHY would I keep going. I do not understand what I did to make this be happening to me. I always tried to be a good person. I feel like I must have done something really bad in my past life, or in this life, to be left feeling like this for so long. I feel like I am in Hell.


cbtish said...

It's a sandwich! On the top, three paragraphs about how bad you feel. On the bottom, three paragraphs about how bad you feel. What do you put in the middle three paragraphs? What's at the heart of your problem? Do you really need someone to spell it out, to read back to you what you wrote?

justjuliebean said...

I suffer from depression as well, usually mild and low level, but occasionally nothing good is happening and I'm more isolated than usual, and it starts to overwhelm. I exercise and eat well, but it still doesn't get me to smile, talk to people, feel like bothering when nobody cares anyway. Sometimes I force myself out anyway, figuring that at least if I'm out amongst people, it's got to be better than sitting home alone, but occasionally that just makes me feel worse. Hiking sometimes helps to clear my head, and moderately intense aerobics will often get those feel good chemicals going, which is pretty much all that keeps me sane. Barely

Friend of the Bear said...

Dear Aqua, I used to feel like you do now very often. The fact that you are still yearning, wanting health and wanting to reach out for help shows that you have not given up. You are still striving even if you don't feel up to doing all the things you're supposed to do to feel better.

Your great anger and frustration over your situation means that there is still plenty of fighting spirit left in you. You still have hope. You can still see what feeling better would be like.

The place I have reached is beyond that. I have been through all the anger and frustration over my illness and the fact that I will never get better. Now, after many years, I have come out the other side - dull acceptance of severe incapacitating depression (plus a range of other mental health problems on the side).

How do I live with zero hope? In a kind of limbo, waiting for the time when I kill myself. I'm not trying to be dramatic here. It is just the natural ending to my illness.

This at least allows me some calmness these days.

I think it's really cool that you love your psychiatrist - I can't ever imagine loving anyone who has treated me. Perhaps your capacity to love other people is your way forward.

If you can turn your anger and frustration into action then there is still hope for health and a way of living that would be acceptable to you. Make use of this mental "energy" while you have it.

Best wishes,
Bearfriend xx

Boopsy said...

Hi, I don't know you, but I wish you weren't suffering like this. You really paint a vivid picture of what it's like to experience depression. It's everything I've experienced myself but better explained. You should think about creative writing.

I wish I had an answer for you. Once I'm in the depths of depression, all that will help is medication. I'm rarely able to "pull myself" out of it.

Aqua said...

JJB, FOB and Boopsy...((((hugs)))

cbtish...get lost. Your pompous, patronizing, and self aggrandizing comments are not now, nor were they aver, appreciated, or wanted. Go bug someone else.