I have to be honest with you: times are tough.
I have not known what to write over the last while, because I have been in alternating cycles of depression and anxiety that have pretty much crippled my creativity and ability to perform even simple tasks. I have been here before but not to this extent in a few years, and, to be honest, I am both shocked and not in the least surprised to be here again.
I am shocked, because I have been able to push through some truly trying times over the past few years with little more than my strong will to survive and the occasional use of pharmaceuticals from different doctors at as many different walk-in clinics when I found myself falling into old patterns of paranoia and circular thinking. I am not the kind of person who finds it at all easy to ask for help, and I have done my best to avoid it and won.
Won what, though? I've won more of the same with ever increasing regularity, which is also why I am not in the least surprised. I look back at the last ten years of my life, and I see a person who has never been able to stop struggling. I have never found truly stable ground. I have been able to hang on, push through, manage a regular working life to some extent, be more or less functional, but I have never had an entire week in which I did not have to talk myself out of bed or force myself into social situations just to get out of the house.
I have become used to a barely functional existence. It has become my norm. I have actually convinced myself that I am doing well despite the amount of time I spend curled up in a chair paralyzed against constructive action. It is so wrong that my barometer for measuring my psychological wellness is based on whether or not I have joined the shuffling herd of people from the local psych ward who yell I am the Easter Bunny! at me when I go to buy toothpaste.
I have spent the last week-and-a-half basically immobile but for when I get up to refill my coffee mug or go to the bathroom. Bathing happens only when absolutely necessary and eating only when my hands start shaking. Part of this is due to the fact that my medication was upped last week, and so I have not only had to deal with my original depression and anxiety but also a powerful round of nervous jitters, an electrified feeling that numbs my fingertips, insomnia, nausea, headaches, and excessive sweating.
If anything, I am learning the great reaches of the Palinode's patience. He has been nothing but supportive, and it is because of him that I have been able to do as well as I have.
Tomorrow afternoon, I have an appointment with a family doctor who will refer me to a psychiatrist. I have not taken the steps toward psychiatric help since fifteen years ago when three different psychiatrists diagnosed me with three different psychological conditions and fed me as many drugs that did more to complicate than ease my problems.
Making this appointment was fucking hard to do. When I walked into the clinic three days ago to make the appointment, I could barely force my voice above a whisper.
What doctor would you like to see? the receptionist asked.
Dr. P, I choked out.
What? she asked.
Dr. P. I want to see Dr. P, I repeated, my voice barely carrying over the counter.
I am crossing my fingers that my experience with psychiatry all those years ago was just a bad run, because I have to stop spending so much of my day in bed, and soon. When you spend twelve to sixteen hours a day in bed, you end up having to launder your bedding a lot more frequently, and I really hate doing laundry.