Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Becoming Me Again...and then losing myself all over again...

These beginning statments were written Jan. 28, 2010:
I cannot think of any other way to describe the transformation of my "self" that has taken place over the past 7 weeks. Over the past two or three weeks I have witnessed my rebirth.

Until the past three weeks I believed I was gone forever. I believed my depression had taken me over, taken me away, destroyed my self. I was giving up. My hope had disappeared. I never believed I would find hope again. I was wrong. There is hope. It is possible for me to feel better. There is a chance I will become well again. Thank God!!!!

I have been gone for a long while. I went to the hospital the first week of January, because I could not manage my depression anymore. I asked to have Electroconvulsive therapy again (ECT) to try to lift my mood a bit. I was hospitalized for it, because I did not have anyone to help me do it as an outpatient. I really believe I needed to be in the hospital, and that the stay helped me too.

First, in the hospital I met so many wonderful people. My first two roommates were sent to me by God, I am sure. They helped me find so much hope in such a difficult circumstances. It is really incredible what the love and care of another human being can do for another person's soul. Second, in the hospital I could let go of my responsibilities and just do things for me. I have a hard time taking care of "me" in the outside world. I don't know how to just be. I am always so worried about everything. I can't seem to just let go anymore, and just be. Something about being in the hospital gave me the "permission" I needed to just be. That seemed to help me.

The afternoon I wrote the above, for the first time in years I actually felt like the real me, the happy me, the enthusiastic, happy to be alive me, for more than 2 or 3 days at a time. As I wrote about my "rebirth, I felt I was truly at the beginning of my rebirth. Then the last few days happened....I have not felt like that at all.

I feel myself sinking again. Even after ECT (maintenance ECT) yesterday a.m. I did not seem to feel any better. Today I feel so depressed again, I am afraid I am slipping back into my old patterns. I feel no hope. I feel alone. I feel like a burden. I feel hard to be around. I feel overwhelmed and overwhelming. I feel like I am sinking back into the black pit and sinkhole from which, only a few days ago, I believed I had escaped.

I am so scared my "rebirth", was just a blip; scared I am returning from whence I came. I cannot manage that idea.


Friend of the Bear said...

Hi Aqua. A couple of thoughts. Do you really think it is the ECT that has helped when you felt better? It could be that it was actually the stay in hospital that really made you feel better. I am not denying that ECT can help improve mood, but it is not helping now that you are out of hospital.

Being surrounded by other people to care for you 24 hours a day, not having any responsibilities etc. I remember that once before you went to the hospital and said you felt so much better just being there, and you actually felt worried about whether that was because you just wanted the attention. But I would say it is about support, not attention seeking.

Clearly you do not have this support in your normal life outside hospital.

To say: It is really incredible what the love and care of another human being can do for another person's soul - somewhat implies that you do not get this loving and caring in your normal life. Ie your boyfriend and family are not providing this for you.

I'm sure you want to defend your boyfriend, and say he can't help it because he is ill, which is probably true (although those room mates in hospital were very ill too), but in the end it doesn't matter for what reason he is unable to give you what you need. I know that you have also previously vigorously defended your family even whilst at the same time complaining about their lack of support. They don't care enough to inform themselves etc.

So maybe the answer is to find a way of living that WILL give you some support whilst in the community. I know nothing of the services and housing in your area, but I am thinking of something like supported housing where there is a manager or project worker on site or on call the whole time. Or a shared house with allocated personal support for a certain number of hours per week. Or possibly a private house sharing arrangement with like minded people.

Just some ideas. And NO I am not saying at all that ECT doesn't work. I know that it can affect mood. But with EVERY treatment there are also placebo effects and confounding variables which could also account for the effect.

Clearly the ECT is not having a lasting effect for you. So finding a way of living where you get the psychological support you so clearly lack would seem to be the way forward here. The fact that you felt better in hospital points to the solution.

Bearfriend xx

Aqua said...

Thank you for taking the time to mreally think and write about my situation. I just took my dog for a long walk and thought of some of these ideas too. The idea of supported housing crossed my mind...though I probably wouldn't qualify...I will print the ideas you wrote about and think further. Thanks.