Saturday, August 20, 2011

Older and wiser?

I thought long and hard over this one, but finally decided to post.
In 2009, my then-neuro put me on diazepam for the twitching legs at night.  It really does help, but I still have trouble some nights.  This spring, my family doctor diagnosed depression and put me on sertraline.  I was hesitant, but decided to follow through.  It had been a rough winter full of death and difficulty and further disability, so I figured it couldn't hurt.

This week I was filling up my little day-by-day pill dispensers, and I held the bottle of diazepam and looked at all the pills in there.  For the first time ever, I made a mental note that one could easily kill oneself with that many pills.  Then I finished prepping the dispenser and put away all my drugs.

Two years ago, such a thought would have me tearing up and reaching for my Recovery books.  I would have been afraid that I might carry out the notion.

This time I simply finished what I was doing, and decided to think about it later.  When I did, I finally concluded that I just don't want to die right now.

For the first time in my life, I am in a fairly decent place.  I am not overworked, although I am now naturally underpaid.  No one expects too much of me, either as family member or otherwise.  It is obvious that I cannot be the go-to person now.

Wouldn't it have been so much better to have learned to say NO sooner, instead of waiting until I was undeniably ill and incapable of performing as Superwoman any more?

I would love to say that I am teaching my daughters not to be Superwomen, but...  BUT.

They are much more likely--and already are--doing as I have done, rather than listening to my good advice.  Now I simply pray for all us Superwomen, and hope we can bow out before we are knocked out.

Little Pond


Have Myelin? said...

You know, I have brief moments like that. We have access to meds most people don't.

I shutter those thoughts up because to do something like that would ruin my son's life. Not what my daughter would want me to do.

Life isn't forever. We'll get to the end one day and go damnit, I could have, should have, would have done that....had I known "this".

So now I am trying to figure out what my "this" is.

Hope that makes sense.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Nancy said...

The dang depression can really warp one's mind. Been there and it seems pulling myself up by the bootstraps is harder to do. Like your blog.

pb said...

I've battled suicidal thoughts all my life, and Recovery, Inc. was the best way for me to deal with it. Right now, though, the kids and grandkids, and my mother-in-law all need me. Just that now nothing seems like it will go on endlessly, even though I could barely get out of bed. Maybe the meds are helping. Who knows?

My online friends are often in my thoughts, and always in my prayers.

Have Myelin? said...

Depression is a horrible thing. I believe my daughter suffered from it and did not tell me - I know alcohol is a natural depressant and it added to her woes and of course, killed her. I know if she knew how she wrecked our lives with her actions she would be so horrified. I do know that.

I wish I had been more aggressive in addressing her depression but she hid behind a mask with the family but I saw behind it. I knew. It's so complicated.

I've heard of a new anti-depressant that is doing wonders but unfortunately I didn't get the name of it... I've tried them all. I am situationally depressed. I don't know if anti-depressants work for that kind of thing. They never have in the past for me. It is difficult living with depression, (I'm so down I can't stand myself) so I feel for you, having to battle it most of your life.

pb said...

It's easy to be hard on yourself; it's much harder to forgive. Your depression has many, many layers and would need to be addressed from many, many angles. Personally, I stay away from group therapy sessions, because no one ever has the same troubles and that just seems to make it a pity party.

Recovery did allow me to work on it little by little, symptom by symptom. And their group meetings are just people explaining how they did attack their symptoms. Not just a long sad story of their troubles. Generally the antidepressants don't seem to help me, either. The doctor insisted, and said I was resisting his orders. It was easier to just take the drug. I honestly think that summer sunshine walks with the dog and family have more to do with my lighter mood.

Oddly enough, yoga appears to help me. Instead of getting out of bed, groggy from the meds and moody from the weird (always!) dreams, my body wakes up over the next 20 minutes or so of stretching and breathing. When I don't do them, I'm miserable in the morning and can feel the strain on my lower back again.

Also, in my experience, Prozac and the newer Lexapro seem to do nothing at all. At least the amitriptiline and the sertraline help me drop off to sleep. In fact, the amitriptiline was prescribed specifically to help me sleep. Unfortunately, I usually wake up after 2 to 3 hours, either because the drug is done or because my leaky bladder chases me out of bed before we have a disaster.

Meditative chants are also a good tool. As a Catholic, I have a huge storehouse of fairly decent chants that I use after I prayed for family, friends and our future. The Buddhists in my family tell me their mantras work well for them.

So it's not just a pretty sign-off when I tell friends like you that you are "often in my thoughts and always in my prayers."

Be good to yourself and know that someone cares about you.


Have Myelin? said...

You know pb, funny you mentioned "groups". I told Alex this morning I wouldn't even know what "group" to go to. I could go to Compassionate Friends. Or I could go to a MS Support Group. OR, Alanon. I'm sure if I look I could even find a colitis support group lol.

When you are shattered you are shattered. I don't think pills will do it.

I've said before I'd take a pill if it would make me forget everything. Actually...medical mj is good for that which is why is works so well for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I think that is my problem, more than true depression.

I plan to talk to the neurologist about this at my next visit.

I took amitriptiline before- it put me to sleep and I could NOT wake up at all, not even at the smallest dose. I gained a ton of weight. I get all the weird side effects, I'm not kidding!

I like diazapam because it feels "cleaner". It reduces my anxiety and nothing else happens. I don't take a lot of it either.