It's been just over a month since I started the outpatient therapy program, so I thought it was time for an update on how I'm doing. I'm still in the program and it's looking like I'll be there through the end of this month. The road to recovery has been slower this time around...a lot like two steps forward and one step back, or cyclical rather than linear. I wish that I was in a better place, but I'm not. I'm still struggling each day as the depression clings on. I do, however, feel like I've turned a corner and that I'm on the side where things will start getting easier soon. Soon...just not quite yet.
Lately, I've been having what I've been calling "micro mood swings" where, in the course of a day, I'll go from agitated and irritable, to restless/fidgety/feeling like I want to crawl out of my skin, to crashing down and feeling completely wiped out and tired, to anxious, to feeling slowed down, and then some. It's a bit of a rollercoaster, and it's nothing like the stability I thought I'd be feeling by now. It's downright exhausting and frustrating. I just want so badly to be well, to be stable.
My meds have been tweaked and re-tweaked to find the right combination of things—a combination that will get me to that stability. Needless to say, that hasn't been an easy process either. It's been hard not to feel like it's all a bit haphazard. But, then I remind myself, it's a privilege to have access to this kind of healthcare. I'm fortunate that I'm able to see a doctor regularly and make these adjustments to find the right fit. I believe the right combination of medications is out there, I just have to get to it.
I should probably mention another thing that's been going on with me lately. I've had two "episodes" where I wasn't able to take my night time meds until a few hours past the normal time. On these two nights I have woken up to severe leg convulsions, along with nausea and not being able to lie still. The first time it happened, I told my counselor and doctor at the outpatient program about it and they recommend that I go to the hospital if it happened again. Well, two nights ago, it happened again. So, I went to the hospital. The hospital staff didn't end up doing much for me except run blood and urine tests to make sure that none of the medications I was taking were at toxic levels (they weren't). At 5am (after being there since 1am), I was sent home. The biggest help? The heavy, warm hospital blankets on my legs to soothe the convulsions. I've got to look into getting some of those. Or, better yet, I need to keep my meds with me at all times so that I'm never late on a dose.
But, there's something else that happened during these episodes. I discovered a new voice/personality inside of me (you know, the kind I've mentioned that I hear in my head). The first time I had the reaction to taking my meds late I was so scared and panicked about what to do. In my desperation, I asked myself if there was anyone in my brain that could help me. And, lo and behold, a calm. soothing voice appeared. It walked me through things I could do to soothe myself and make myself more comfortable during the convulsions. It was a wisdom that was within myself, but wasn't myself. And, now that I know this voice exists, I've been calling on it for help more often.
So...what the hell do I do with all of this? There have been ups and downs. There have been scary setbacks and positive steps forward. All of this goes back to my original point that healing isn't linear. It's cyclical...like a spiral. We keep revisiting our issues, over and over again, until those issues start to lose their potency, and you become a little stronger. That's what I'd like to be right now...a little stronger. And, the next day, a little stronger than that, until I'm able to cope with life. I think that it's possible. I have hope that it's possible.