blessing in suffering

God is good and i am amazed at the way God works in our lives.  i was so sad about my old psychiatrist not wanting to be my (primary) therapist.  i was so consumed in the sadness all i could see was sadness and all i could feel was sadness.  i couldn’t take the sadness anymore and wanted it to just stop.  that was back in july.  since then the relationship between me and my psychiatrist started to deteriorate to the point i couldn’t stand it anymore.  then i felt angry, incredibly angry at things she would say and imply.  so i stopped talking to her.  and i told her i didn’t want her to be my doctor.  i stopped being her patient.

sometimes in the unexpected turn of events that confront us and even when it seems to us that nothing good could come of it, sometimes we find that the outcome that seemed so terrible is actually a blessing in disguise, that we got what we wanted and that infact we got more than what we wanted and asked for!

my new psychologist, one who i might not have met if my old psychiatrist was still my therapist, he is great!  he is thoughtful, sympathetic, understanding, and he thinks things through.  my old psychiatrist and i would kind of meander our way through the session and acted in response to whatever seemed to upset me that week.  my new therapist and i, in just our first session, we are paying attention to what’s going on and being flexible but at the same time looking ahead and keeping the big picture in mind as well.

i didn’t know back in july what i know now.  i didn’t know that instead of my old psychiatrist who was losing patience and confidence that i would really ever get better, i would get to work with someone who is fully committed to supporting me and figuring out with me how i can improve the quality of my life, not just stay alive at whatever cost.

i am starting to have hope.  i am starting to believe.  maybe the rest of my life, however short or long, won’t feel like i’m kept painfully alive to prevent sadness of others and maybe being alive won’t be so painful after all.  maybe.  maybe.  🙂

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happy without a therapist!

it is really strange.  people are wondering if i am holding up ok without my usual twice a week therapy sessions with the psychiatrist i knew since 1991.  and it takes me couple of seconds to answer with certainly that i don’t think i have felt freer and happier since 2002 which is when this crazy long depression started.  oh, also, i am back on all my meds.  i refused to take couple of the medicine i am supposed to be taking because i was too angry at my old psychiatrist to take prescriptions from her.  so for couple of weeks, i was without two of the meds.  then when my PCP gave me prescriptions, i was only able to fill three on time.  other three i had to wait for physical prescription to arrive in mail (the front desk people of my PCP’s office mailed the prescriptions to me per my request because they didn’t know they weren’t supposed to mail out controlled substance prescriptions).  so anyway this past week, i started going to partial hospital on wednesday, took all my meds since wednesday also, and by friday, i realized i feel like myself again.  it’s really strange.  people worry that if you take psych meds, that it will change who you are.  but i found that without the meds i am supposed to be taking, a strange woman emerges and i am nowhere to be found.  and the strange woman trapped in my body is not a pleasant person to be around.  but when i take all my meds, the strange woman fades away and the person that i know myself to be emerges.  and i like myself a lot better on medicine than not on medicine because when i’m not on medicine, i become a stranger to myself!

i have even started making attempts at working on my thesis so that i might get the degree i’ve been working towards.  when i am studying, i know i’m okay because when i am unstable, i can’t study and don’t care about anything, least of all some degree that no one cares if i have or not.

is it weird to like who you are?  in the past couple of days, i feel like i was reintroduced to me.  and honestly, if i might say so myself, i like who i am.  and i like feeling the way i do when i’m stable.  i only wish that i could have more days like this.  one day is great.  i’ve had one day happiness before.  but it would be nice to have a series of days like this.  i know things won’t be great all the time.  i just would like a string of good days so that i can build a life worth living.

you are fired!

last night i basically fired my therapist.  she was cutting down her hours anyway and wanted me to find a new therapist.  i didn’t take the news very well and felt my world come tumbling down.  i reacted badly and ended up in the hospital, the worst hospital ever where my psychiatrist wanted me to stay until she returned from her week long vacation.  the doctor at the hospital was unsympathetic.  the staff was unprofessional and uncaring.  i hated it there and basically was looking forward to working with a new therapist who wouldn’t make me stay at a hospital while he or she was on vacation.  so basically since august, my therapist and i have been in a holding pattern waiting for a new therapist to take over.  and during that time, i basically got worse.  and after each session, i get upset over what my psychiatrist said or seemed to be implying.  we were losing trust in each other and the relationship that had been built over the past fifteen years was rapidly turning toxic.

i was supposed to talk to her this morning.  but last night i called her to say i didn’t want to talk to her and didn’t want her to be my doctor any more.  anyway she left a message saying she didn’t recommend the way i was choosing to handle the ending of our patient-dioctor relationship.  but you know what?  i don’t take it personally that she’s choosing to cut down her hours so that she can travel more and retire some time in the near future.  she shouldn’t take it personally that i want what’s best for my treatment.  and right now, working with a new therapist is better for me than talking to her, especially when it’s clear that she doesn’t trust me, and doesn’t think i will improve with some radical change. last night before i left the message about not wanting her as my doctor anymore, i left a message saying i didn’t want to take my meds anymore and wanted to slowly come off my meds. then i realized later that i just didn’t want her to prescribe me medicine anymore.  anyway hope i can find a new psychopharm and new therapist soon!

quite an unusual day

since i got out of the hospital (basically since the last post), i have been traveling a lot. it’s good that i was traveling since i am not sure i would have done any better at home. i saw family and friends and was kept busy, meaning not contemplating or deliberating on how to gracefully exit my life. somehow after the last hospitalization, i came to terms with the fact that depression is something i have to live with, work around, and accept, for now at least, if not the rest of my life. then i started thinking that if the rest of my life is going to be like how it’s been in the past six years, that i would much rather not sign up for more. then recently, parts of the puzzle i’ve been thinking of when i was not feeling well started coming together. i decided that if there is a next time i attempt to end my life, that i will be more successful.

for a brief period during the hopelessness, i started looking forward to life like i had never done before as i was getting to know someone. i never met anyone that i wasn’t afraid of getting to know better, spending more time together and it was strange but really nice. anyway, it was a brief but lovely pause in my ongoing dark hopeless days.

so as i saw the end of my life approaching, sooner or later but probably sooner rather than later, i wanted to prepare for the end. and most of the time when i am alone, which also seems to be times when i’m not feeling good, i try to make progress on planning my last attempt. as i have been consumed with thinking and planning about the end, i told a couple of friends and my psychiatrist. yes i did.

incidentally, my psychiatrist is planning to retire sometime in the near future. so she wanted me to find another psychiatrist so i could start transitioning as smoothly as possible while she was still working. and now she hopes that the new therapist will be able to do something different, say something different than she was able to and hopefully facilitate my recovery. last time we talked, she mentioned ECT (electro convulsive therapy) for about the third or fourth time and seemed quite upset that i wasn’t even willing to talk to someone to gather more data about ECT. as far as i can tell, we’re going to try one more medicine. then as she sees it, ECT is the only thing we haven’t tried and would be the next on the treatment plan, so long as i was willing.

after i talked to her, i did some data gathering on the internet. for most people whose depression is medicine resistant, ECT treatments are pretty effective for relieving symptoms of depression. so i can see how ECT would be recommended for people when relieving them from depression seems urgent enough (like if a person is planning to commit suicide).

but at what cost? it seems like keeping someone alive would trumph any other considerations. most people just have short term memory loss and confusion for weeks or months. but some people lose long term memory and even some cognitive capacities. i agree that a lot of people would be protected from the grief of losing a loved one, if someone is kept alive by ECT treatments. but as for me, i don’t know if i would choose life over death if the quality of life wasn’t good physically, mentally and/or emotionally. if i had to choose, i would choose to live as me, with or without pain and suffering. so i figure ECT treatments are out, unless someone forces me, like a judge for instance.

everyday since i got out of the hospital, i think, breathe, obsess about finally exiting and being spared from depression. on some days, it’s painful to be conscious. but today, for some mysterious reason, i did not think about the end of my life. today, i thought about what i would do for the rest of the day and found myself hoping to accomplish things in my life which i thought i no longer cared about! i don’t know how long i will stay hopeful and free of pain. all i know is that today, even in this very moment, i am living life, not as i had done before when i was just waiting for the end of my life, but living life as though i will live tomorrow looking forward to the next day and the day after that and the day after that.

emergency room

last week i went to the emergency room twice!  my therapist was going out of town and was really concerned that i may not be on earth when she returns from her vacation.  so she sent me to ER to be seen and evaluated.  praise the Lord, they let me go home.  but then i had to come back to ER a couple days later for another check in.  everyone, i mean, everyone, well except me, wanted me to go to partial hospital.  partial hospital is really, partial hospital.  instead of being inpatient and staying at the hospital 24/7, you go to partial hospital from 9 – 3 pm monday through friday.  but then it’s like, okay, what are you supposed to do the other remaining hours and the weekends???  anyway i postponed partial hospital admission until next week.  by next week, i hope that i will be feeling infinitely better!  yes, infinitely!  🙂

giving then taking it away

as i posed a few blogs ago, my psychiatrist put me on ativan.  but then now she’s going to take some of it back.  i had a passing thought that i could take more than i was supposed to.  why?  well, just because i could.  but my psychiatrist is going away for a few weeks.  so if i run out, i’ll just have to live through anxiety and madness!  it doesn’t seem fair that i was honest about possibilities i was entertaining.  i chose not to act on the ideations.  and i don’t want to.  but still she’s going to take the pills away.  where is the trust???  oh well.  i feel helpless, like i can’t do anything about the situation.  i don’t want to be suffering when i know i could have taken a pill that would relieve the tension and anxiety that i feel, if only my psychiatrist hadn’t taken them away from me.  if that happens i am going to be so upset.  oh well oh well