Wednesday, February 16, 2011

And just like that, poof.... was like someone flipped a switch one day.

For a few weeks there, I was trapped in a fairly serious depression. I wrote about not wanting to write about it.

Then one morning I woke up and instead of the depression, I was wracked with an equally intrusive anxiety. It's been about 6 days now I think, and I'm still there. I used to be "there" all the time, that's part of why I decided that a now defining visit to a certain mental health center was necessary. Having been free of this kind of consuming anxiety for a long time now, it's beyond uncomfortable to feel it again--it's almost unbearable. But how do you define bearable in a situation like this? Unless you're literally indulging in self-destructive behavior of some kind, you are "bearing it". That doesn't mean you're thriving.

And yet...and I feel it's important to point this out...I'm still performing all of the functions of my normal life. I clean my house, I function as a member of my family, I go to work, I just met up with friends for a beer. The whole time, it feels like I'm consumed by an energy that won't leave me alone, and it feels like my entire chest and neck and lower face area of my body might explode, and I can't stop "moving". This is literal, as in I have tics that others might not notice, but that drive me crazy, like a subtle throat clearing for example. Sometimes it's a more physical thing like I can't stop moving around the room, or talking's different from the ADHD feeling...and it's not the "oh, some medication I'm taking might be making me anxious" feeling. It's the white's the native grinding kind...and it's back. It compels me to move and speak as a means of escape, and it literally feels like running...but running as hard as I can in quicksand.

"Trying to relax" by doing things like breathing can help, but but not much. I can't control it. Even Ativan couldn't control it the other day, so I just don't bother taking it. I have too many things to do, too many responsibilities to be doped up. Over the last few days I've adjusted to this sickening feeling a bit, but it's still awful.

It makes me trapped...and trapped by something that I thought was in the past, no less.

ADHD medication does not make it worse, in fact, it actually helps me feel better. The other day, I had forgotten to take the ADHD meds first thing in the morning so I took it later in the morning. Within 15-20 minutes my body and mind began to relax and focus, but that baseline of anxiety was still there. I'll tell you what though, just taking that edge off was like cold Mexican beer on a 106-degree day.

It makes the little things difficult. I'm thankful that I'm busy because if I wasn't, I would be focusing on this, and I also wish I wasn't busy, because it takes so much work to function this way.

It's disrupting my eating, and disrupting my sleep.

I'm a little angry that nobody at my prescriber's office has bothered to call me back after I told them that I was feeling horribly depressed. Although I wasn't suicidal, they didn't know that...because they didn't call! I could be really be dead right now and they would have no idea. But I'm not, I'm just infused with an anxiety that makes drug addiction and innumerable other outcomes that anxiety often leads people to, seem so much more plausable. Just because I'm able to "function" this way does not mean I should have to live this way. Makes me glad I sought help...makes me realize that there's nothing wrong with my determination, just my body chemistry. Also makes me pissed that again, nobody has called me back. I do not deserve to have to "function" like this.

I remember writing about this before...and writing about how it was like my body is a house, and in one of the rooms of that house is a person who just sits and screams, and I'm unable to just shut the door. She's back. And I have all the sympathy in the world for her, but all the sympathy in the world won't soothe whatever it is that makes her scream.

I sit here tonight, writing instead of sleeping. I spent my day working furiously, instead of eating.

I will call them again in the morning because I am unwilling to give up on advocating for myself, but I get tired of being ignored because I seem functional. Because I'm able to articulate. my experience in a way that seems calm, and "not that bad". Because I'm "not crazy". I'm so frustrated to be here again with this feeling, and so frustrated to feel ignored on top of it. I'm working so hard to just do what I need to do and it shouldn't be this hard. I'm tired of the act of tricking myself into gratefulness with "well at least I don't feel this way all the time anymore". I feel this way NOW. I've felt like this for 6 days. I need help.

But until I can get help, I'll go to bed, I'll get up, I'll go to work, I'll run a meeting, I'll remain suspended in perpetual motion until I get to the side of the pool, and something I can hold onto.

Juxtaposition...a classic plot device.

So there I was last night at Borders, two Additude magazines in my left hand containing a piece written by me, and in my right hand, a copy of "Understanding Girls With ADHD".

I cried.

Left hand: proof that I have come a long way. That I am able to express myself effectively in words. A small victory if you will.

Right hand: Someone who never met me wrote my life story. Someone knows what it felt like to be a girl whose brain was doing strange things. Someone knew what it was like to be a little girl in plain sight, yet be invisible.

Left hand: The fruit of years of hard work finding myself.

Right hand: Documentation of those years during which I was lost.

Left hand: Proof that hard work and being true to yourself pays off.

Right hand: Proof that I had to work harder than anyone guessed, to get here.

Left hand: The power to help others by telling my story.

Right hand: ...what? I have a disability?

Left hand: I've arrived!

Right hand: (I exist...)

How can a person not cry, when being pulled in two directions?