My Fingers Get Panic Attacks

Life is going pretty well if I put it on paper (or, internet paper…). However, I am still not happy.

I’ve been coloring this big picture for my brand new pen pal who I’ve been friends with for a couple years now online and I notice some water droplets touched the paper…if anything it gives it a bit of a watercolor flushed look and it’s tried and the damage is done but…THE DAMAGE…IS DONE!!! Oh god it’s ruined. I’ve spent like 3 hours on this thing trying to make all the colors work together and I’m nearly done and then…drop drop drop. Honestly I don’t even think it’s a big deal but it makes me feel SLOPPY and no one wants to feel sloppy when they present themselves to another person…I want to still send it though. Honestly it shouldn’t be a big deal. But right now it’s the BIGGEST deal.

I have a mood tracker app on my phone which I recommend, it’s called, “Mood Log” and it’s brilliant. Gives you a little graph and you can log your mood at your fancy any time of the day or night very quickly and easily. Since I started Celexa about a week and a half ago now I’ve noticed instead of solid 2-3’s (out of 10) I’m more generally in a 4-6 range. Right now in this moment I’m about a 3 though, with tightness in my tummy.

I’ve been trying really hard to work through the kinks of life and I’m obviously alive to write that all out but my fingers have been having major anxiety attacks. Seriously. That’s why I go missing from blogging, I feel guilty I haven’t a set schedule and pumped out new material for people to skim and nod at. I feel guilty when I don’t get back to e-mails…oh lord do I feel guilty…PANIC ATTACKS. Just this paralysis, or this gap in my brain that disconnects, “I should reply but my reply won’t be brilliant and witty and long so it’s not quality and I can’t just send a SLOPPY e-mail” and then the days go by and the weeks and I have a couple e-mails I’ve been meaning to reply to that I keep putting off because of finger fears. Same thing in my facebook inbox, though for whatever reason it seems to be a lot harder in my gmail one.

See, all the words in the English language are at my disposal (I haven’t worked on my second language skills in months, should get back on that, I think- though by the way from a cognitive behavioral therapy standpoint using ‘should’ statements is a no-no), and I can ‘share’ a meme on facebook or throw a few ‘like’s on my feed as I’m laying in bed sorting out all the things I’ve done and have to do and contemplating getting up to drink water because that’s good for me but I’m depressed and don’t want to get up and also water sometimes leaves droplets on your coloring pages. It’s problematic.

Woe is me, my job is great and when I’m at work I do a great job though in-between sessions I have with clients I get MAJOR anxiety about how it’ll go, even though I’m wonderful at what I do and get a lot of positive feedback from higher ups. Woe is me. I have a pen pal now!!!!! How cool is that?! Woe is me. I have friends who want to share stories with me and hear mine too. WOE IS ME. I’m starting side projects like picking up knitting again (I WILL finish this blanket before I die, I swear!!) and zine making and taking care of my skin and hair. But you know, I’m miserable. So, as guilt so often does it will give me enough fight or flight anxiety now that it’s built up like gunk inside my arteries to empty ALL of my inboxes tonight which will feel wonderful. Until they fill back up again and I’ll have to rewire my brain with self talk so that I can fight against the finger panic attacks. Though I know, they’ll still come and as they do I’ll have to face them.

For all of you out there reading this, I hope very much that you’re having a fantastic day and be sure to feed your fingers with fabulous thoughts so they work well for you. Time to catch up on some blogs!

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Meanwhile, my words are tucked away

Sometimes it’s comforting that someone else has found the words to describe the things you wish you could, but the things you wish you could are busy stealing your life away.

Here are some very perfect quotes on depression I found this evening. I’m not crying, you’re crying…

“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“I didn’t want to wake up. I was having a much better time asleep. And that’s really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like when you wake up from a nightmare you’re so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare.”
― Ned Vizzini

“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”
― Laurell K. Hamilton

“The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.”
― David Foster Wallace

“That’s the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it’s impossible to ever see the end.”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel

“If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.

Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.”
― Stephen Fry

“Some friends don’t understand this. They don’t understand how desperate I am to have someone say, I love you and I support you just the way you are because you’re wonderful just the way you are. They don’t understand that I can’t remember anyone ever saying that to me. I am so demanding and difficult for my friends because I want to crumble and fall apart before them so that they will love me even though I am no fun, lying in bed, crying all the time, not moving. Depression is all about If you loved me you would.”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel

“The worst type of crying wasn’t the kind everyone could see–the wailing on street corners, the tearing at clothes. No, the worst kind happened when your soul wept and no matter what you did, there was no way to comfort it. A section withered and became a scar on the part of your soul that survived. For people like me and Echo, our souls contained more scar tissue than life.”
― Katie McGarry

“Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say “My tooth is aching” than to say “My heart is broken.”
― C.S. Lewis

“When you’re lost in those woods, it sometimes takes you a while to realize that you are lost. For the longest time, you can convince yourself that you’ve just wandered off the path, that you’ll find your way back to the trailhead any moment now. Then night falls again and again, and you still have no idea where you are, and it’s time to admit that you have bewildered yourself so far off the path that you don’t even know from which direction the sun rises anymore.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert

Journey to the Center of the Earth

As a student researcher on mental illness stigma I was impressed to see an article about high functioning depression recently. Unfortunately in my opinion it fell a little flat of the full picture and per usual, unless I’m reading an empirical case study, I’m selfishly irritated with the pop-psych paragraph or two about the strong Suzie Superheroes that go to school and work full time and are still sad inside (but her peers just can’t tell!)

I’d prefer reading an article collaboration by a collection of highly functioning depressed adults that show the individual unique experiences as well as the common struggles. Where is the paragraph of Suzie Superheroes that talks about how the only time she feels relief from the physiological discomfort that rises from her anxiety and depression is when she’s laying in bed and can’t sleep and thinks about how tension relieving it must feel like to pop your teeth out one at a time? Are all Suzie Superheroes having that thought? Likely not, but it’s an accurate example portrayal of how everyone’s depression oppresses them differently, and how brutally gritty it can be.

Today I was ready to quit my job, hitchhike to New Zealand and sleep on a beach for the rest of my life. Like legit, sleeping beauty 100 years of ZzZ’s kind of sleep. That or hop into traffic. Of course I know better, so I went through the motions and have socially self isolated myself to deal with my emotional tetanus privately. THAT way, I don’t have to feel the associated guilt about being a pathetic mope whose no fun to be around. I merely just pine after and resent the lack of an out pour of love and hugs and verbal reassurance that I am special and loved. I know the lows get better eventually, they generally do, but the perpetual sadness even in a baseline state of being is no way to live.

Kleenex must make bank off of folks like me. Shit.

After 2 failed attempts at finding a new psychiatrist (one is booked for the next two months and the other is listed as taking my insurance then e-mailed to say, “just kidding! I don’t take any insurance; though for a small fee of $450 upfront in full I can give you 90 minutes of my time for an intake”.

My mixed bipolar episode of 2-3 weeks and counting (once I caught on that’s what was happening to me I had to go back in time to measure when symptoms started) has destroyed my bank account, led me to making a huge fool of myself, overwhelming numbers of grandiose projects started, absurd thoughts, lost sleep, crying before and after work (and at home, and driving to the grocery store…) and most recently the urge to drop dead (as well as an increase of run on sentences). It’s destroying me!

Today I felt as though I had reached rock bottom, then reminded myself that it’s a simple step to keep digging even if I don’t mean to and fall even further down the jagged path until I reach the center of the earth and burn to a crisp. Worry not though readers, I’m WAY too terrified of the idea of hell to off myself.

Oh yeah, the psychiatrist thing. I threw a metaphysical dart at the pdf file that Blue Cross sent; a list of doctors who take my insurance plan. Looks like I’m seeing some quack Monday morning. I did some snooping for reviews after I made the appointment which either said he was horrible and should take up a job cleaning up vomit or that he’s fabulous.

Regardless, I’m hoping for a medication adjustment and a STRONG anti depressant. CBT, mindfulness, gratitude journals, listing all the things I’m great at and why life is worth living can take you only so far. At the moment it’s all a bunch of ineffective or joke worthy garbage in my state of mind and Obi Wan-Kenobi (obviously a metaphor for expensive Western medicine) is my only hope.