Thursday, June 02, 2011

deep, heavy sigh

The deep, dark depression of 2011 seems to have passed. Or maybe it's still there but with the current combination and dosages of drugs, I don't feel like hiding or stabbing people. This funk had been steadily increasing for a little over a year until things finally hit bottom in February. In that time, I had several supervisors give me a lecture on my work attendance and I was honest in telling them that coming in to work took all my energy and sometimes I just didn't have that much. Also, sometimes I felt like stabbing people and when that urge was really strong, I didn't come in.

But they didn't believe me. Or I had mastered happyface to enough of a degree that they thought I was just being metaphorical. While the deep funk of February-March 0f 2011 had passed, it was replaced by a mild psychosis (my term) of April-early May 2011. That's when I really wanted to stab people. I am not joking. I wanted to sink a blade into someone's flesh. And it was scary because I didn't know what would trigger my rage. Example: I got up and left a meeting because someone was drinking a cup of chamomile tea, and I HATE the smell of chamomile tea. One of the drugs I'm taking is used in anger management, but like so many psychiatric drugs, the drug can produce a side effect of exactly the issue that's being treated. I started taking this drug in late March and these take a few weeks to take effect. Early April, the urge to stab people became incredibly strong.

So I stayed home, which pissed everyone off at work. I thought I was doing them a favor. While at home, the only person I had to worry about was me and I thought being in a familiar environment would lessen the chance of encountering unknown rage triggers. Part of me felt like I should call my doctor but I couldn't bring myself to it because I was sure she'd make come in to her office, which meant taking a shower and getting dressed, and going to Seattle and hell, if I could make it to Seattle for a doctor's appt. why couldn't I make it into work?

Also, my paid leave was exhausted on January 31st, so every day I didn't go into work, I didn't get paid. My savings were gone by mid-March. Honestly, it seemed like a tidy sum until I had to pay the mortgage. So yes, there was a direct financial cost by not going in to work.

However, no one was physically harmed over the past two months. At least not by me.
About two weeks ago, I started to feel relatively normal. I didn't want to hurt anyone, and I had the courage to finally reach out to some friends for help, and they have been wonderful. I'm not surprised. They are my friends! (I know that I should have contacted people earlier, when I was really down. But I didn't want anyone to see me in that state, so I hid.)

And the drug cocktail is working. This is how I know: over the past two weeks, I have had real reason to be upset and frustrated due to a less than helpful Human Resources department (that's a rant for another time), which resulted in all that time off in April and May that I was off was not covered by the Family Medical Leave Act (like I and everyone else in the office assumed), which meant that all that time was in risk of being considered Absent Without Leave, which effectively means that I was not considered employed on those days, and thus my health insurance would be voided for that time (among other things, but that's the one I'm really concerned about). Oh there's more, lots more to this snafu, but I will say this: I did not feel like hurting anyone. In fact, I didn't feel any urge toward any violent behavior like kicking the wall or slamming a door. I did stomp around and complain bitterly, but I think that's an improvement.

And I feel like reading again. I feel like I can knit. I made food which actually including chopping something and there was no fantasy or urge to slice my skin. (For most of the past few months, I have been relying on canned or jarred foods. Mostly beans and rice, and spaghetti. And tea. Lots and lots of tea. I'm glad I bought a four-pack of PG Tips in January!)

So it's day by day. And things are getting better emotionally. Which is good, because I have to deal with a really big pile of financial and employment-based crap due to Madness 2011. sigh.


Rachael said...

Happy to see you are doing better Lee. Would love to start up Saturday get togethers again and would love for you to attend. For now I am planning our family vacation, but as soon as I start having people over again I will surely let you know.

CarpeDyem said...

Good for you for getting out of the desperatley dark place you were in. You are never far from my thoughts at the moment. Big cyber hugs xxxxx