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Blog Entries posted by Saros

  1. Saros
    The past four weeks have been worse than usual. Medication seems to be doing nothing and I'm resentful having to take them every night. My mood has been very low and every time I try and think about improving things I have suicidal thoughts. Still umemployed and have a few months of solvency left. Too tired to do anything, everyday is just bed or sofa or floor. My psychiatrist just lowered her rates for me. She admits some feelings of hopelessness. I think she might want me to get a new psychiatrist. Going to try and sort out thyroid issues with a GP later this week. If that does not drastically improve things my psych wants me to finally commit to ECT and has offered to drive me to and from the appointments. I just don't know how to survive passing time until then. I don't know what to do.
    Hope everyone else is doing well.
  2. Saros
    Been a while since I logged in and posted, not been feeling the best. Had a failed trial with zoloft. For now just upping risperdal. Planning to add something new in two weeks.
    Obamacare - i now have insurance, relatively affordable and a comparitively good plan, and it's finally active. I could not have gotten it without the insurance exchange. My psychiatrist had wanted to help me apply for disability. I bought wellbutrin and risperdal yesterday and it was such a relief to only have to cover the copay. Please don't take it away. I can afford to try some newer medication. It's a big win for me.
    ECT is now a definite possibility, again thanks to new insurance. My pdoc is pushing it again, harder than before, because she wants to see improvement. I think she feels guilty over the unbroken status quo. A few meds left to try, then I'll put things into motion. Abilify is next, then maybe switch out for geodon, and maybe an MAOI. Maybe three more months. Really anxious about it. I can't remember being scared of something in a long time. Forced seizures and memory loss aside, I hate needing so many little helpers to get through the day. What went wrong that I need so much help to survive.
    i can't get anything done these past years. I feel like stone, frozen and buried in the dark. Non-functioning is my old new black, except it's the color of grey ice water.
    I still occasionally dream a song, and I recorded a new one this morning. I wonder if I'm teasing myself. I'm too tired to breathe life into them so the ideas are stillborn, and maybe I'm just putting down mile markers for failure on my trip to nowhere.
    I feel guilty that some of you have it worse and are still managing to make a go of it. How do you do it?
    Thanks to all who have been supportive, I hope you're doing well. Best of luck to everyone.
  3. Saros
    Tired physically and so tired of trying meds. Currently taking haloperidol to treat potential 'thought disorder', and maybe it will help me with the episodes I've had during trial of an SSRI. I just want to quit taking them. Not feeling any better. Cancelled therapy session this week. Frustrated and tired and haven't known what to do with myself. I don't think my psychiatrist knows what to do anymore. We've started avoiding avenues because they're cost-prohibitive because I don't have health insurance. Just a couple of really low weeks and I don't know what to do besides sit and wait for tomorrow, rinse and repeat. I feel like I'm being ground to dust.
  4. Saros
    Risperidone seems to have just stopped working overnight and I feel worse than I did before starting. At a loss and desperate. Considering calling my psychiatrist and asking her what my options are. 6PM and so far today I've managed to drink a gatordade (prescribed by doctor to reduce seizure risk) and sit with my head on the kitchen table. Tried calling an old friend but couldn't reach her. Now on DF trying to distract myself. I wish I could argue with someone about something. I feel like either evaporating or "going through streets with a green knife until I die of the cold", or maybe just lying down and waiting for more nothing to happen again and again. i feel like any moment my skin and bones will collapse like a hollowed-out building. I feel like I can't put the pieces of my life back together.
    I know it sounds melodramatic and overly-sentimental, but my heart breaks over what time has done to Sappho. Maybe because it does the same to everyone. But with Sappho what we have left is such an elegant example.
    “]sing to us
    the one with violets in her lap
    ]goes astray”
    If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho
  5. Saros
    While trying an SSRI several months ago, I lost a measure of control, became self-destructive, took myself to the edge of something, and today bear some physical marks from the event.
    I believed for weeks afterwards it was just a bad med-fueled bender, that I never really intended to do anything (in candor, I perhaps felt otherwise at the time), and that it won't happen again so long as I avoid that particular medication.
    I have recently learned a professional opinion is that it probably wasn't a per se "bad reaction", but medication unveiling something hitherto hidden. The opinion in part supported by similar, but smaller, reactions to comparable drugs. The opinion in part supported by a visceral nexus of confusion and agitation I apparently have tolerated to the point I've forgotten about it.
    The event has been categorized as a suicide attempt.
    I am incredibly uncomfortable with that. I had a neatly tied bow on the event and considered it just some static, done, and life goes on. Now I feel confused and a little bit raw. Distrust of psychiatry and psychology grows.
    The Conqueror Worm
    -Edgar Allen Poe
    Lo! ’t is a gala night
    Within the lonesome latter years!
    An angel throng, bewinged, bedight
    In veils, and drowned in tears,
    Sit in a theatre, to see
    A play of hopes and fears,
    While the orchestra breathes fitfully
    The music of the spheres.
    Mimes, in the form of God on high,
    Mutter and mumble low,
    And hither and thither fly—
    Mere puppets they, who come and go
    At bidding of vast formless things
    That shift the scenery to and fro,
    Flapping from out their Condor wings
    Invisible Wo!
    That motley drama—oh, be sure
    It shall not be forgot!
    With its Phantom chased for evermore
    By a crowd that seize it not,
    Through a circle that ever returneth in
    To the self-same spot,
    And much of Madness, and more of Sin,
    And Horror the soul of the plot.
    But see, amid the mimic rout,
    A crawling shape intrude!
    A blood-red thing that writhes from out
    The scenic solitude!
    It writhes!—it writhes!—with mortal pangs
    The mimes become its food,
    And seraphs sob at vermin fangs
    In human gore imbued.
    Out—out are the lights—out all!
    And, over each quivering form,
    The curtain, a funeral pall,
    Comes down with the rush of a storm,
    While the angels, all pallid and wan,
    Uprising, unveiling, affirm
    That the play is the tragedy, “Man,”
    And its hero, the Conqueror Worm.
  6. Saros
    Not been in a good way at all lately. No longer med-confused, at least.
    Sleeping became more problematic and irregular. Getting up is worse.
    Not eaten in past few days. A shadow of my former self, pardon the cliché.
    Harmful thoughts are the status quo.
    Managed two showers this past week. Did not "enjoy" standing in shower, or being clean afterwards, any more than being un-showered.
    Ability to sense pain further reduced.
    is the sum of my life this week. no television or movies, no reading, no job, no music, no going outside, no cooking, bills not paid, no cleaning or laundry, no web-surfing, no tooth-brushing, nothing. I can't hang on to anything.
    Seems my life closed before it's close, to borrow from Emily.
    I just feel so hopeless.
  7. Saros
    Townes Van Zandt was a country-folk "singer songwriter" who emerged in the late 60s. From an outside perspective he had a difficult life, including an early diagnosis of manic depression and a treatment of insulin shock therapy, erasing much of his long-term memory. He died in 1997 from health complications after a long struggle with the abuse of alcohol and smack. In the movie 'Be Here to Love Me', Steve Earle recalls a troubled story about Townes and a gun. On at least one occasion, Townes baited suicide.
    In the same movie, Guy Clark relates a story from Townes. That story is the reason behind this blog entry. When Townes was in the third grade, his teacher talked about the sun as one of many stars, and how all stars eventually burn out. Townes startled and, as told by Clark, said "-'scuse me? You telling me the sun's burning out? I gotta shine my shoes, be here on time, do my homework, sit up straight, and the ****in' sun's burning out?".
    Clark said he lived by these words: "Excuse me - the sun's burning out. **** this."
    I don't have any logical reason to be depressed or to do anything destructive. I've lived with sunshine, socialization, stimulation, education, exercise, and a healthy diet. It's not enough.
    I've been so exhausted this week. I couldn't get up yesterday or today. Thanks to the laptop, I've been able to post a thought or three online, hoping to salvage some purpose in an otherwise meaningless day.
    I've stepped the bupropion down from 450mg to 300mg. Still taking amphetamines twice a day. Bupropion alone couldn't enable me to be active in recovery, and serotonergics didn't seem to be a good augment. I'll step down to 150mg soon, and then nothing, and then I'll try a new medication. But that's all future. Today I feel lucid. Grim.
    My peers continue to move beyond where I plateaued in life. They're selling the first house and buying the next, having more kids, adopting kids, starting city-wide conventions, founding churches, receiving grants to work and research overseas. While the magnitude of their success stings, what bothers me most is that they decide on an objective, and then move towards it. That motion makes me jealous. I am so frustrated with wanting nothing, feeling nothing but exhaustion, apathy, isolation, and emptiness, and going nowhere.
    Lately I am giving more reflection to the constant background harassment of suicidal thoughts, and I feel like doing something about it. My psychiatrist wouldn't be thrilled, and she worries. One of her patients unexpectedly committed suicide, though he had seemed fine. I believe she understands that it was his choice, but who couldn't feel at least a shred of regret and guilt?
    I've watched a few lives implode after a suicide. I clearly remember the (to put it bluntly) tortured screams of a girlfriend when she first learned of her father's suicide. Remembering her voice is painful. I wonder if any of those deaths have deeply affected me. I volunteered in an emergency room for a while, where sometimes people would die, hopefully surrounded by family and loved ones; it wasn't a traumatic thing. I watched a family member of mine have a bad accident, go unconscious, and die a day later. I didn't get the worst of it, though. But things happen. There was only one girl I ever "fell in love with at first sight" - I was enamored the first day I met her. I still occasionally think about her. She was killed on the highway when, after stopping at a traffic jam, the semi driver behind her failed to notice, and collided into her vehicle with 10 tons of steel. I'm told she didn't die immediately, and, morbidly, I wonder if she was aware that her brother next to her had died on impact. I wasn't even the closest person to her. I can't imagine the pain of her family. And here I am, offering nothing and feeling nothing, drifting along from year to year. It's a perverse world. I had no connection to this man seemingly beaten to death by a crowd, during a job half a world away. It was unpleasant to look at. I cannot begin to wonder what kind of scars people pick up when caught within or sent into armed conflict.
    And so on.
    I despise living this way. If we're defined by the lives we lead, then I'm undefined, or a story that concluded years ago. And I am failing, every day, to start redefining myself. I looked up Salvation Army online today, thinking if I can't work I should at least volunteer in their kitchen. But I feel more like stone each time I consider movement. And my motivation ends just as it begins. Tomorrow could be different. But tomorrow will probably be just like today.
    I began the entry with Townes because I keep thinking over and over: the sun's burning out. **** this.
    I don't know what that means to me. I feel so desperate.
  8. Saros
    Met pdoc and am starting to slowly back off all meds in anticipation of starting an MAOI in subsequent weeks. I'm excited to get off ALL meds, if only for a brief interval. Pdoc is less than excited.
    Sometimes you say a word too many times and you forget it's meaning? Like: tree, tree, tree, treeeee, repeat to infinity.
    It feels like therapy has started down that path, except i'm talking about my psyche endlessly and it's starting to become confusing and meaningless. I drift into soliloquy and stop with, "um, wait. what am I talking about?".
    Maybe getting confused is good, because you have to start putting your pieces back into coherence. I used my self-expectations to start organizing, and some bits are oddly indefensible. I'm seeing myself in a new way, and it's totally weird, and I'm a little anxious.
    I'm not exactly what I expected. Some new things I'm not, and some new things I am. Could I have dichotomized myself and lost track of a branch? I look at what I've created, and it looks like 1) I'm not entirely the personality I imagined myself, and 2) something else is peeking out. I don't recognize what I'm seeing, and it's totally weird. Pdoc suggests I've sequestered this as a defense mechanism. I have no evidence to refute the claim.
    Unrelated, but I'm starting to feel that strange upwards twisting in my gut, words are getting slippery to choose, and thoughts are gaining momentum. Maybe, like last Friday and Monday, it will blossom into the Confusion Flower - which I thought was a bad reaction to a few medications. Maybe the drugs are still in me. I'm starting to wonder if the meds just allowed more of me to be expressed.
    Back on topic, I can't decide if it feels good-weird or bad-weird, but there's a a crawling sensation at the back and base of my head like energy and coffee jitters. It feels warm, nauseating, wild, hungry, mutinous, impish, buzzing. It feels like I'd be happier and could relax if I took my hands off the wheel. It feels comfortable when I imagine taking a baseball bat and running down the street hitting mailboxes, and they'll chase me, and it's fun and I'll be able to laugh out loud.
  9. Saros
    Sometimes I think about my psychiatric treatment boiling down to:
    - deviation from the supposed norm is abnormal, and
    - some agent should correct the deviation for an imagined normality.
    Do the symptoms I exhibit, which I am told per the DSM classify me as X and Y, mean that something has gone wrong, because of some genetic and/or environmental factor? All other things being equal, I would be a happy, productive member of society?
    Commonality doesn't define an ideal, only a frequency of occurrence. I don't know any formal criteria for the ideal. Without an ideal, I worry that where I'm psychically at is the fundamental me. These attempts to adjust are square pegs and round holes. My treatment will cause other problems while masking the first. In a dynamical system, when you change one coordinate it alters the overall state, sometimes unpredictably - nothing happens in isolation.
    I've talked so much to my physician about mental baselines, and "where I'm at mentally" in response to a stimulus, that I'm confused. I'm no longer sure which mental state, if any, are "real" anymore. I'm lost in these narratives. Were it not for doctors writing them down, I'd have forgotten several of them. Those versions of me would cease to have ever existed.
    I feel unreal, formless, agitated, confused, uninterested, volatile, suppressed, nauseated, and dull. Part of me doubts I can be made into the shape everyone wants me to be (which even I wanted to be). I want to stop. There is no ideal, no deviation, no correction. I think: this is you, celebrate it in the manner you choose and as your capacity allows - or struggle and strain and wear yourself down hoping you'll start resembling something else.
    I want to be something other than depressed. But. My depression is me.
    It's been a gloomy week, which might have included some unhelpful thinking patterns.
    If it's only a pill that makes me someone else, how was I ever anything but the constituents of this or some other pill?
    Are we just pills without a pill shape or patent, set to the tune of 80 billion neurons firing?
  10. Saros
    After a spasm threw me out of bed, I went and sat at my dining table. Here I sat all day. I've gotten on the DF forums a few times hoping it would give me a break, I ate some almonds and raisins, and that's my day. No getting dressed, no internet surfing, no tv, no talking, no nothing. I've spent the whole day sitting and staring at my dining table, waiting for something to change. Regressing. Status quo is adjusting downwards. No escape. Need an exit ramp. Tired of this.
  11. Saros
    I feel gutted and emptied. I want to say something but I have no words, so I want Pablo Neruda to speak for me. Hope you enjoy the poetry.
    Walking Around by Pablo Neruda (translated from Spanish) (slightly censored by the word filter)
    It so happens I am sick of being a man.
    And it happens that I walk into tailorshops and movie houses
    dried up, waterproof, like a swan made of felt
    steering my way in a water of wombs and ashes.
    The smell of barbershops makes me break into hoarse sobs.
    The only thing I want is to lie still like stones or wool.
    The only thing I want is to see no more stores, no gardens,
    no more goods, no spectacles, no elevators.
    It so happens that I am sick of my feet and my nails
    and my hair and my shadow.
    It so happens I am sick of being a man.
    Still it would be marvelous
    to terrify a law clerk with a cut lily,
    or **** a nun with a blow on the ear.
    It would be great
    to go through the streets with a green knife
    letting out yells until I died of the cold.
    I don't want to go on being a root in the dark,
    insecure, stretched out, shivering with sleep,
    going on down, into the moist guts of the earth,
    taking in and thinking, eating every day.
    I don't want so much misery.
    I don't want to go on as a root and a tomb,
    alone under the ground, a warehouse with corpses,
    half frozen, dying of grief.
    That's why Monday, when it sees me coming
    with my convict face, blazes up like gasoline,
    and it howls on its way like a wounded wheel,
    and leaves tracks full of warm blood leading toward the night.
    And it pushes me into certain corners, into some moist houses,
    into hospitals where the bones fly out the window,
    into shoeshops that smell like vinegar,
    and certain streets hideous as cracks in the skin.
    There are sulphur-colored birds, and hideous intestines
    hanging over the doors of houses that I hate,
    and there are false teeth forgotten in a coffeepot,
    there are mirrors that ought to have wept from shame and terror,
    there are umbrellas everywhere, and venoms, and umbilical cords.
    I stroll along serenely, with my eyes, my shoes,
    my rage, forgetting everything,
    I walk by, going through office buildings and orthopedic shops,
    and courtyards with washing hanging from the line:
    underwear, towels and shirts from which slow
    dirty tears are falling.
  12. Saros
    I read some posts on DF that talk about depression pushing people into incredible sadness, being sorrowful and tearful. I have difficulty empathizing. The only time I've been moved to tears in (give or take) the past decade is during a strange few med-induced episodes when starting a new scrip.
    I just have an emptiness. If I feel anything, I would describe it as grief over what I imagine to fill the void with, and disappointment at failed attempts to do so. When it is manageable, it just causes a vague nausea and discomfort at my inability to relate to anything in the exterior world. When my depression is at its worst, the emptiness is oppressive and overbearing, and drives me to a mental frenzy to feel something. I have means of coping both healthy and unhealthy.
    It feels like a loss of identity. I am just a collection of thoughts with no root, no desire, no predilection, no purpose, no movement. I am somewhere else, behind a smoked glass. I think of one of Marcus Aurelius' scribbles: 'the soul becomes dyed by the color of its thoughts'. I feel colorless. No color, enjoyment, pleasure, sadness, interests, or any engagement beyond intellectual reverie.
    It's not all gloom. For the past few weeks, the newest dosage of meds have granted me more physical motility, an easing of the unbreakable inertia, a freedom from that sensation of limbs that feel like lead, and a certain immediacy or acuity of thought allowing me degrees more volition, which is a welcome reprieve from the status quo. I don't understand the chemistry at work, but suicide ideation has dropped dramatically.
    This post seems to me self-pity and noise. I don't want my own vanity responsible for the entirety of this entry, so I'll end with another romantically melancholy thought by Aurelius, thus spreading the blame:
    “In the life of a man, his time is but a moment, his being an incessant flux, his sense a dim rushlight, his body a prey of worms, his soul an unquiet eddy, his fortune dark, his fame doubtful. In short, all that is body is as coursing waters, all that is of the soul as dreams and vapors.”
  13. Saros
    Today was an average day for me. I fell asleep around 6am this morning, and slept fitfully until around noon. I woke up feeling tired and low. I laid in bed for a few hours listening to the noise machine and looking at the sunlight that managed to penetrate the fabric I've draped over the windows. Just patronizing the fatigue.
    I got up around 2pm, popped a bupropion, ate a little yogurt, and then sat down on the couch. I am exhausted and low. I shuffled around my apartment and made some tea. What's left of the day passes without notice. Sometime this evening, after have thought about it since getting up, I finally worked up the willpower to go to the bathroom and apply some emollient to a few scars on my arms - in the hope they'll fade soon so I will feel comfortable wearing short sleeved shirts. There's my accomplishment for the day.
    It's been seven months since I had to quit my job because pain pills and drinking weren't enough to manage my depression anymore. I ran out of pain pills a month ago, and I suppose that's a good thing in the long run, though it might have pushed me to some more destructive coping mechanisms for the present.
    Nothing was enjoyable or pleasant or interesting today, which is as frustrating as always. It's past midnight, and I expect tomorrow will probably be a repeat of today, ad nauseum. I can't remember anything of this year, except depression and visits to a psychiatrist.
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