Monday, April 01, 2013

This is the Last Stop

It's been a while, there's no way around that.

I'm back because I'm sick in a pretty substantial, yet insubstantial, way.

I'm sure more of you can relate than those who don't, but some of the demons from my past have resurfaced with a vengeance this winter, and I vaguely remember that writing here used to help a little.

Tomorrow, I'm going to see my counselor in the morning, then I'm working from home until 1:30 p.m. when I'm heading to an accredited psychiatric hospital, where I'll be assessed and have to decide whether inpatient or outpatient treatment is best for my situation.

Funny, I heard that Cory Monteith is going back to rehab - addiction treatment - because he's relapsed. It's understandable. It's actually better than that, it's respectable. While addiction is a weakness of sorts, it's widely recognized as an illness. A socially acceptable one.

What I have is widely - and narrowly, depending upon my relation to the judgement - considered a weakness. A character flaw. Narcacism.

I've talked about my struggles here before. When I was a teen, I cut myself. Once the option arose, I began drinking instead. But I'm not an addict exactly, I'm someone who has been diagnosed with mood disorders: Dysthymia, Seasonal Affective Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

It's April 1st and there is snow on the ground. Melting, but there. It's maybe 30 degrees out, and windy.  Another contributing factor is my TBI.

Right now, I feel like something is irretrievable wrong. Someone has died. Someone has been injured. Someone I love is crying out for help because they are in the greatest of danger, and I just KNOW it. But they aren't. No one is. Everyone is fine, relatively speaking.

My stomach is in my throat and my heart is racing. I feel like I'm on a never-ending roller coaster plunge. I have the urge to pace the floor, back and forth, until the Call comes. But no call is coming.

This happens to me every once in a while, and is augmented now because I am taking a well-known anti-depressant that was prescribed to me by my general practice doctor, and only because I've taken it before with no serious health side effects.

Why did he prescribe it? Because up until about 10 days ago, I was - once again - contemplating taking my own life. For very selfish reasons that seem perfectly reasonable to a sick mind. This was an emergency effort to keep me going while I began meeting with a counselor, and ultimately, until I came up with a longer-term plan.

Right now, that plan is to get intensive psychiatric treatment that will help with the chemical imbalances, the emotional fucked-up-ed-ness, and my general health.

I'm turning 30 this month, and I always thought that maybe age would bring peace. Perhaps different friends or different goals...perhaps if my most impulsive behaviors were unleashed, or my lifestyle and circumstances changed drastically...perhaps I would be well.

It's not working, so I have to try something else. But there's a very big stigma associated with mental health issues. Never mind that my paternal grandfather died living in a van in his driveway because he was convinced that his house was bugged. Forget about my maternal grandfather who was abusive to the people he loved most before drinking himself into the grave. Ignore my mother's propensity to live in a fantasy world after trading drugs for god. My biological sister who attempted suicide and then witnessed it's brutal fallout not long after.

Sick in the head is even harder to understand than addiction, and it's part of the reason I wait until I'm at a DEFCON LEVEL EIGHT CRISIS STATE before I try to get help.

It's likely I'll need to miss work, which means I'll need short term disability and/or FMLA leave. I'm ashamed to tell my boss why I'm sick. I'm terrified that I won't qualify.

I'm most afraid that I'll go to the hospital for my assessment tomorrow and they'll tell me I'm fine, that it's in my head. Because NO SHIT?! My head is the problem.

But what I've never been scared of is spewing my shit to the Internet, and for that freedom...I have all of you to thank.