Yesterday I was better than the day before or the day before that but today I feel worse than I was yesterday. And that's the only way to really measure any progress. Or lack thereof. One day at a time.
Yesterday morning I actually cared about whether the sun was shining. I noticed the pretty flowers around the clinic grounds. I moved to a new room which is very quiet with a wonderful view and lots of space. I started to make eye contact with the other patients and learn their names. Haven't really had the courage to say anything to them but I am starting to feeling a little less invisible.
I have slept well the last couple nights, in comparison to the first couple nights. I can tell that I toss and turn because the sheet will be all bunched up and nearly off the bed. The duvet was on the floor when I woke up this morning.
But the last couple nights I didn't wake up even when the nurse delivered my early morning coffee. I can't recall any of my dreams and I certainly don't remember screaming out at the various baddies that used to try to choke and smother me at night.
Last night I took a new drug to help with my fear and anxiety which lies at the root of my depression. Ever since July 2011, I have been afraid of everything: driving the car, leaving the house, attending social gatherings, cooking a meal, finding a new job, speaking to strangers, answering the phone, going to the supermarket, opening the post. Everything. Some rational. Some completely irrational. The point is one cannot avoid falling into depression when one is constantly in a heightened sense of fright of life itself.
Even here in the clinic I am afraid. I am afraid I am more crazy than everyone else. I am afraid that I will never recover. I am afraid everyone is staring at me. I am afraid I do the meditation wrong. I am afraid that I don't say enough or that I say too much. I am afraid that I think all wrong and that I will never have the right thoughts. Or that I don't smile. Or that I do.
To keep my adrenalin under control I take a drug 3 times a day which does a pretty good job keeping my anxiety from grabbing hold of me. When my fear and anxiety begins to win against that particular medication, I take a little bit of a half a tranquiliser and I can usually muddle my way through. Rarely, however, does one enjoy muddling through.
I spoke to my psychiatrist about this fear and constant anxiety. He recommended a drug called Olanzapine. He said it was good for treating fear and anxiety and he would start with a very small dosage twice a day. I thought, "Cool. why haven't they given this to me before?"
Within 20 minutes of taking this drug, I thought I was losing my mind. My limbs, legs and particularly my right arm, began to move uncontrollably, like restless limb syndrome. My balance was off. I felt like I was on a rolling ship at sea in a huge storm. I bumped into walls trying to get downstairs to get some help. I was dizzy and kept thinking I was going to black out. I was agitated and highly paranoid. I was more afraid than I've ever been.
The nurses were cold comfort telling me that since I had already taken the pill, there was little more they could do. I just had to ride out the storm. They offered to have someone sit with me. Well, what kind of help is that?
In the end, I fell into bed and fell into a very restless sleep very early in the evening. I woke up confused several times during the night. I reported this to my nurses this morning who assured me that when they looked in on me I appeared to be sleeping soundly. Well, that's ok then, isn't it? I was so out of it last night that I didn't even get my sleeping meds which I am sure made my situation even worse.
Today I await the visit from my psychiatrist for Plan B, or rather, Plan G. None of these plans seems to be working. I am angry. I am frightened. I feel so alone.
I have more voice mails, texts, phone calls, Facebook messages, tweets and visits from my army of friends than I can respond to. It is genuinely a pity that depression strikes even those who are loved so very much. If love could cure depression I wouldn't be paralysed with this fear, this anxiety and this sheer and absolute darkness. Please don't be upset if I haven't replied. Please don't think I don't love you. Please know your message meant a lot to me and sometimes I just can't cope with the world right now.
I want it to get better but on days like today it doesn't seem like it ever will.