Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Long night it was, sitting and waiting

Here's the pivot, I think.

Sunday night, after I dropped the kids off with their mom. It had been the first time in months I'd enjoyed my full custodial schedule and those days and nights with them did wonders in improving my outlook. They give me purpose, filling my emptiness with love; my reason to go on, try love, thive, strive - to live.

Returning here on Sunday, house devoid of giggles and protests of not getting to be the princess in "the game", devoid of requests for juice or to take a place on my lap left me feeling especially empty. It was as if the momentum of the previous four days had come to a dead halt, alone in the murk and mire of my self, drowning. Sitting in my chair, staring blankly at my TV, paralyzed, anhedonic, smoking cigarette after cigarette as a way of shooing away thoughts I did not want to have, I allowed the dull glow of the glass to hypnotize me so I didn't have to stumble around alone in my head. For the past few months, the TV had become heroin for me.

Everything happens for a reason, I'm told. When an informercial came on instead of the show I was waiting for, I became irate, irritated that the universe had flopped another card out I didn't need; fold and wait for the next deal. I rose from my chair to change the channel when suddenly the face on the screen began talking to me. Not literally (I'm not completely crazy) but the spokesperson for the commercial was talking about so much that I have been experiencing. Standing there in front of the television, I watched, listened, heard my life as it is now being described with uncanny accuracy.

A knot in my stomach when I wake up. Loss of appetite. No energy with a desire to sleep the day away as if whatever sleep I'd had the night before was insufficient. A fear of starting things because the task seems insurmountable and doomed to failure. Obsessive thoughts of death and destruction to the point of agoraphobia. Feeling like a the walls are caving in, trapped by failure and despondancy. The more the face on the screen described the symptoms, the more I heard my own life described in detail.

The infomercial was for The Midwest Center for Stress & Anxiety and I went to the website to see more. On the site is a self-assessment tool that I filled out. The results said I was probably suffering from severe depression and that I probably needed more help than the program could offer and that I should consult a doctor or a therapist. To the credit of The Midwest Center, they were advocating that I not spend my money there at this time but seek professional help.

And so I did. I contacted the local mental health crisis line and they recommended that I go to the ER for an evaluation. Third time's a charm, the evaluator also said I was severely depressed and that I need to get on medication ASAP. They wanted to hold me on a 72-hour Psych hold but I was able to convince them that I was more interested in getting help than ending it all, that the suicidal ideation was just the logical conclusion to a negative thread that unwound itself at every turn. Contracting to a treatment plan and a promise to follow through on referrals, they eventually let me go.

And so today, I have been running around trying to fulfill the various aspects of that treatment plan. There's recommendations of Lexepro and weekly therapy. A promise to get out once a day and walk for at least 20 minutes, practicing attentiveness. Find a charity to involve myself and the kids in and volunteer. Write everyday (not here but as a "brain drain").

Here's the pivot, I think. I hope.

Check in, please, because I'm going to be blogging this from time to time as well as taking advantage of my daily "brain drain". I want to describe the feeling as well, this dark cloud that's been smothering me.

After I begin crawling back out of this hole, I may try The Midwest Center for Stress & Anxiety program, I think it's a sound Cognitive-Behavioral based program. I just can't afford the $70 a month price at the moment. As I said, here's the pivot. We'll see where it turns.


True said...

Sounds like you are headed on the right path. My good thoughts are with you! Be well!

Miss Cow is a Cow said...


I'm here if you need anything.

Glad you're getting help!!!

love you sweetie.

landismom said...

Wow, Jim, that's heavy stuff. I'm glad that you are getting the help you need, for you and for the kids' sake.

I have to admit, I thought this post was going another way when you brought up the infomercial.

~d (tilde) said...

Heya Doll
around this time of year for some reason I usually decide to eff with my meds. This year I 'caught' myself in time. I will wait until January.
I hate seeing Thing 1 with the rage and anger that i know he got from me. And it is the silliest silliest thing, b/c ANYthing can set me (and now him) off...and within minutes we can be fine again. It hurts to see my child like that.
Good for you in taking care of yourself. We cannot be there for others unless we do.
Much love and support!

karen m said...

I've always heard that December is the prime time for depression. Good on 'ya for getting some help!

Meds can be a good thing. Sometimes it takes a while to get the right thing, but it will be worth it.

Bimbo said...

Brilliant post as usual. Brilliant guy as usual. Help him out.

John Doe said...

Wow, but I know those thoughts. Hang in there man.

Kim said...

((((Jim)))) I'm giving you a full on nudie hug, boobs are good for everything.