The week continues after taking a day off in remembrance of one of American history’s most beloved and controversial Civil Rights Leader. I’m not sure if it relates much to this post, but here is my favorite quote by MLK
Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend. -MLK
A few moments ago I finished my second pint of ice cream in two days despite the bitter cold. My window has cracks in it and keeps me colder than I should be inside. I put Crayola Molding Clay in some of the cracks but I’m not sure if it’s really doing anything. I have my hair dryer on next to me, on medium, to provide heat, along with my heating pad. I’m wearing a sweatshirt and a robe and red socks, the ones I got from the hospital. I don’t know why I’m rambling, the point is, I ate a lot of ice cream. My stomach hurts. I don’t have a real, legitimate justification for my gorging. I haven’t eaten a real, good and satisfying meal in three days. Yes I’ve eaten. Mostly Lucky Charms and ice cream and granola bars though. I say I’m trying to gain weight, but is this really the right way? I’m sure it’s a good way to get diabetes. My energy is low and my mood is low and everything else is, well, low.
The past couple days I haven’t stop thinking about what happened to me on Saturday night, and wondering if I made a mistake, judged too harshly, had expectations that were too high, etc. I tell myself I only feel I should have done it because I crave sex, but if I had something sexual to satisfy, then I would want to masturbate, and I don’t, at all. If I can’t stop thinking about a person, does that mean I like them? Or did the experience just scar me that badly?
I should talk about my doctor. On Friday, before all of this, I went to the doctor. I have a new psychiatrist. My old psychiatrist sucked. But, as I have written earlier, I feel very much over therapists and psychs and counselors. I went in already as the little bitch shit I am, just wanting to get my prescriptions and get out.
The Dr. is male now, and the first thing I notice is that his office is plain compared to the other rooms with brighter colors or intentional lighting. I sit down and the next thing I notice is a prayer rug in the corner—a Muslim. But he’s a doctor first, so whatever. I didn’t try to guess his ethnicity. Not much of an accent anyway. He was here as a doctor so that’s the relationship we would have.
We began by going over my old psych’s notes, which SUCKED. Apparently I’d been taking all the wrong dosages and so much crap. “And you were being treated for, depression?” he says to me. I say yes, and then it starts. How is your depression doing? I had been doing well that week and 2015 had ended strong and my winter break was good and I felt optimistic, so I said I felt good now, but it was still there, in the backdrop. I know he knew what I meant, but he kept asking me to explain, and I hated it. Then of course, you will get asked what you want to work on, and so I say eating and depression and sleeping and shit, and he asks what keeps me up, so I have problems sleeping. I have always had problems sleeping in some form, and some nights are worse than others. But, what keeps me up?
I don’t really know, that’s the honest answer. I tell him about how I won’t be able to sleep so I will sometimes give up and get up and do something else because I feel like I am wasting time. But why? He pushes me. Racing thoughts, that’s a word I’m used to saying because that the term that’s used, but what racing thoughts?, he kept pushing. I tell him I have conversations with people, and he says what people, what conversations…I’m not really able to articulate myself. I tell him how it gets to the point where I want to keep myself awake, and he asks why, why, so you don’t value your sleep? I can’t explain. I talk about how I’m lonely so I guess it’s okay for me to sit there and think because I have so much to share that I share with no one else, and at least there is an outlet in these thoughts. But at the expense of my sleep? I can’t explain. I tell him I’d been sleeping well lately though.
We are going back and forth. He is asking me a lot of questions about my health and my thoughts, and looking back, I understand it, he was using some kind of method of exposure to really find out what I needed to work on. Am I suicidal? No, no, I’m not suicidal, I just don’t want to be alive. He doesn’t get it. I explain my continuum of existing and not existing and wanting to die and wanting to be alive, and how I’m in the middle right now, I’m okay that I exist but would prefer not to. I make jokes about my death. He doesn’t laugh. I tell him how I’m on birth control. He asks how I got on it, and I tell him, and if I’m sexually active, and then I ask how he defines sexually active. And then I realize what the definition of sexually active is, and feel stupid for never knowing. He asks if I told the doctor that gave me the BC if I was sexually active, and I say no and how I wasn’t comfortable with my mom being there, I didn’t want to tell her to leave, they never asked her to step outside. Well, he asks me: why didn’t I? He can’t believe that I would have not told the doctor that! (To be fair, I can’t either) I think I try to defend myself and come up with something to deflect him, because he is pushing me hard, and it is getting to me. I knew it was going to get to me soon, at that point, that I would not be able to keep my composure. It was showing in my face, I knew it. I wanted him to understand who I was, I wanted him to stop pushing me around, and so I was harsh.
It continues. I am struggling to keep it straight, he keeps asking me why, what were the motivations for these things? I have problems eating. But why? Do I have body image problems? No, I say, I don’t, he asks and asks, and finally I say no, I just have some problems, not an ED (eating disorder). More questions. I don’t have good answers. I’m exasperated and I know he isn’t loving my attitude. I say I’m fine, I’ve been fine really. but then, he asks, why am I here? I don’t know. I really don’t.
He asks me if there were triggering events in my depression, so I talk about Bo and how I kept this relationship a secret, but why, he asks. Why keep it a secret? Why be in the relationship? But why did I have to keep my parents in the dark? He knew, he knew the answer to all of that, he knew the culture, and he pretended he didn’t, and it was upsetting me. He gets it then, he makes me cry, but I can talk through my tears, and I don’t want to reach for the tissue box but I do it anyway. I think he may have asked me why I’m resisting, or something, but I do know that my outburst was “because I hate crying!”
Woah, where did that come from? I didn’t hate crying, I thought. I embraced crying. I cried so much last semester that I would just walk outside and there were tears coming down my face, but whatever. Who cared who looked? Oh, look at me, I’m crying. It’s not a big deal that I cry. Don’t be concerned, other people! I’m fine, I just cry. It just a thing that I do. I felt comfortable with that. Or at least I thought.
No, I hated crying, and this outburst had brought the truth out. I mean, no, I don’t hate crying, I say, I just hate to cry here. Why do you think we have tissues in every room, he says. I hated how right he was. I hated that he had made me cry. I hated that I thought I was doing fine and that I was wrong. My week was ruined. It was true that I didn’t like to cry in front of the doctors or therapists. But why? I don’t have a good reason. I guess there are two types of crying for me: controlled and uncontrolled. In my room or laying in bed I let myself cry. I let it flow through me. My crying is uncontrolled and makes it through okay. In front of these people, I feel crying coming so I begin controlling and managing the emotion, trying to bend it into something else, to blink it into the backs of my eyes. Oddly, I control cries because I fear most of losing control over myself. That’s so terrifying to me. My first reflex is to hold back the cry or let it fall out as just apparent water coming from my eyes, not anything filled with gasps or redness. Yet, when I cry this way, a controlled cry, I am drained of all the energy required to carry it out, and if I fail, then the chance of me gaining control over myself again is actually lower than if I would have let it run through me. That was a lot to understand, and I apologize, Reader, for the wordiness of it all.
We start talking about my earlier panic attacks, especially the main significant one back last semester that happened at work. I say how I think I knew it was coming, things led up to it. What things? I tell him about confusion, stress, memory loss, and a metallic taste in my mouth. I admit that I wet the bed once. He seems concerned about this and bewildered that I didn’t go see a family doctor to get it checked, but I have no response. I once again felt l at a loss, like I was slowly losing my dignity. Yet, in the back of my mind, I thought to myself “this guy is good at his job. Damn it, he’s good at his job.” So many questions that I don’t know the answer too. So many things he wants me to explain and re-explain.
We go over everything, and for the first time in a long time, I feel like I’m getting some concrete answers, even though I deeply resent the way he achieved that.
The symptoms I’ve described make it sound like I may have had seizures. This is huge news to me, a new thing to consider. He thinks that in conjunction with my depression, I may actually have a sleep disorder. This would explain things. I need to see a family doctor about the urination, that is particularly concerning to him that I can’t do that simple thing, and he says I shouldn’t hold in my pee. I already know this. I had admitted I do. I get caught up in something and put it off, because I don’t want to stop the task to do something as intrusive and inconvenient as peeing. I was going to work on it, I tell him. I was to see a family doctor, he recommended, and a sleep specialist.
We go over my medicine and go back and forth on whether or not I should continue Welbutirin at the same dosage, since it’d apparently been so fucked up and I’d taken it wrong before. I say I’ve been on the Lexapro for a while, and that the Welburtirin was added later. I don’t know about the dosage (I’m not the fucking doctor, I want to say), but are there any other options that I can replace Welburtirin with. Yes, the Dr. says right away. What is it? More intensive therapy. We are quiet and stare. “You are really annoying me,” is what I say to break the momentary silence, and he says that, well, I’d asked. Fair. That’s fair, I say.
He went back to asking me if I was doing therapy, which he’d been harping on in the beginning. Had I seen, Ka, my counselor? Did I talk to Ka a lot about this Bo stuff? Yeah, but no, I didn’t like to. I don’t want to do therapy, I say, and the Dr. says I have to or I can’t see him. He says I should try the Intensive Outpatient Program, something that was pushed on me last semester, but I said I didn’t want to. He talked back over the benefits of it. I looked down at my lap while he talked. I can consider it, but I really didn’t want to. He says no one can force me to do something if I don’t want to. Then he tells me about something called TMS and another thing called ECT. Reader, here is a link to what this is. I don’t really feel like writing about it. The thought of doing this coupled with everything else makes me feel unable to write about what it is exactly: a last resort.
We schedule for the next appointment. He puts the blood pressure thing on me. I’ve always hated those things. The sensation makes me feel choked. As a child, I would prefer needles and shots over that thing. But I was always brave and I still am for it today. He reminds me that I have to see a therapist or he will not see me. In my head I think, whatever, fuck him anyway, why is he thinking this is a threat?, but I know in the back of my mind I appreciated him and thought he was doing his job well. I said Ka had emailed me, I just didn’t reply, because I didn’t want to go, and he was happy, he said, to refer me to other therapists, but I couldn’t see him if I did not have one. I do like Ka though. There’s no way I’m starting over. I said I would eventually, she had emailed me and I hadn’t replied and of course I had to see her because she would keep emailing me.
He turns back around in his chair to face me, and checks my blood pressure. How am I feeling? I feel fine, I say. My blood pressure is kind of high. Of course, in my head. You pushed it up. I am disappointed in myself. I want to cry more but I control the feeling instead of letting it run. It hurts to do so, and it’s obvious I’m sure.
He addresses what I said about Ka and the email, and he has become softer. “Not everything has to be a battle” are the only exact words I remember, and I remember thinking “But what if you’re a soldier?” I didn’t say it. It is nice what he says. “What do you mean?” He says I should not say I want to see Ka just to get rid of her emails. Yeah, I didn’t mean that in my heart, but I am cranky, and I hope Ka doesn’t mind when he they exchange notes and he mentions that I said this. I want to say I can already see her concerned face, but I just realized, I don’t really remember her face that well. It’s meshing with others.
I leave and thank the doctor. I forgot to ask for a note, I had missed class for this. I didn’t know my spring schedule when I had made that appointment, and my professors and I are all mostly close so this was fine when I said to him I didn’t want to reschedule, so I’d bring a note. Now what to do, damn it.
I’m just in tears walking out of there. I’m in tears and I have no where to really sit and cry. When I find a spot, I know I should cry it out, but I can’t even really do this. I’m so mad this man made me cry and ruined this week, and reminded me I’m broken and depressed and I can’t run away from this reality. So, I call my sister, and we talk for a while. I tell her how the guy is a good doctor but he made me cry, and I tell him about the seizure thing, and I’m glad to hear her voice. The conversation I had with this man, my words—“because I hate crying!”—repeating over. My sister asks if I want to go back, I don’t have to go back to that doctor. I feel like I should though. I can’t really imagine quitting (I know it’s not quitting, but whatever) after the hour I spent in his office that I thought would be much shorter. It will be a month, anyway, until I see the Dr. again. Later, while still sitting in that same spot, in my ball of sadness and thought, my mom calls, and I’m happy to talk to her. She makes me happy.
The night sucks. I don’t sleep well. I’m angry. I cry some, I think. The scene comes up again, my outburst, his “not everything has to be a battle.” I thought I was fine up until then, I really did. But it’s clear I’m still fucked. I’m not better. I’m not. I’m very sick and I’m very depressed and it won’t leave me alone. Maybe I was being overdramatic, after all I was due for my period.
Last night I wrote about an experience I had the next day, with a man I thought was a decent person. Today, I still can’t stop thinking about all of it. As I said earlier, should I have left? What happened in that doctor’s office influenced me. I reminded me that I am depressed, and I came into his house as a, once more, depressed person.
The day, today? I took benzodiapenes in the morning for fear of having a panic attack (or fucking seizure!) at work because I couldn’t stop thinking about that stupid guy. Later, I was jumpy because of this, and danced around to Madhuri Dixit in my room. I thought about Aaron again and I thought about reaching out to him again, and my gut tells me to do it, and that I had missed something about him and wanted to know what. The following thought occurred to me: I miss being in love. I also thought about how I’m not grateful enough for so many people in my life, including you, Reader, if you are there.
Tonight, I’ll try to sleep. Since I’m not sure how the earlier quote fits in, I have added something that I came across a little while ago, by a motivational speaker named Zig Ziglar that I feel I should take to heart.
Yesterday ended last night. -ZZ