My uncle did pass away, so tomorrow we are heading for Indiana for the viewing, and then the funeral is on Saturday, at the church he pastored for many years. Feeling sad about it all. I’ve glad he isn’t in pain and won’t suffer anymore, but I’ll miss him. The whole week has felt rather dark and overshadowed by the loss, so my mental health has been struggling a bit. I’m trying to make sure to do fun things and fill my life with activity so I don’t get pulled down too far into a depression, but it has been rough.
When you have experienced times of loss and grief, how do you cope? Do you have any specific suggestions that help you keep a positive frame of mind through the sadness? I am allowing myself to feel the sadness, but I don’t want to get swept away by it too much and end up in a dark depression, as that has definitely happened in the past when I experienced the loss of loved ones.
I’ve had a really bad couple days. The day before yesterday I had a total meltdown because I couldn’t get a painting right. It was kind of the last straw, as I have been struggling terribly with irritability, anxiety, ocd, and anger lately. At first I thought it was just a phase or one of the mood swings that mood disorders bring, but it has lasted a long time now and I am starting to wonder if it has to do with the new med I have been put on (Lamictal). The irritability and worsening ocd definitely seem to have started as I began taking higher doses of the drug.
Yesterday all the anger, irritation, and anxiety turned into depression and I cried a lot, felt helpless and hopeless, and entertained some pretty dark thoughts. I was in one of those moods where I felt utterly worthless and felt that no one liked me or cared about me, I even felt like my husband was sick of me. That was probably projection as I’M sick of being around me in this state.
Today I’m a bit better (no crying yet), but still feeling low and exhausted. I haven’t been sleeping well lately at all, which isn’t helping. Just not in a good place right now.
Maybe it is the bipolar, but I tend to go through cycles where I stop taking my antidepressant or bipolar medicine because I start thinking either it doesn’t really work for me, I decide I would rather try natural alternatives, or I start thinking that the new agers are right and the pharmaceutical industry is trying to poison us all or trying to block or destroy our pineal gland with the medicine so that we can’t have real, meaningful spiritual experiences (or so that we can’t exercise any innate psychic powers – whatever they may be).
During these times, I do at least taper off. I’m not stupid. I don’t do the cold turkey thing. And honestly, I DON’T notice much of a difference with some of the meds, even after being off them for a month or more. However, I do notice a difference with the antidepressant and I notice it quickly. I’m not sure sometimes though if it is really the medicine or my fear of going off of it since I have taken antidepressants for YEARS and feel almost dependent on them at this point.
Anyone else experience anything like this cycle of suspicion, doubt, and desire to be off the psych meds for good?
Lately I have really been struggling with motivation to blog. Due to a depressive slump, I’ve been having trouble with the desire to do much of anything, but blogging especially has fallen by the wayside.
It makes me feel bad because I truly do appreciate this community and love the interaction I get with all of you, but when the whole world feels dark, it is hard to even try to reach for some light.
I’m not sure if my current state is just a continuation of the depression I was already feeling, or if it is worsened by gradually switching mood stabilizers (Seroquel to Lamictal), but I am hoping the situation improves soon. I have only been on the Lamictal since Monday and am only on the first dosage level, with at least two increases planned, so maybe my brain is just struggling to adjust.
I’m hoping my passion for blogging will return eventually, but for now, I’m trying to hang in there. If I’m not as active as usual, all of this stuff is probably why.
I had my first appointment with my new psychiatrist yesterday (my old doctor unexpectedly retired last month). Yesterday’s appointment had to be via video because of Covid. I was super anxious about it beforehand, not knowing what he was like or if we would be a good match. For a first visit, I would MUCH prefer an in-person appointment, but that wasn’t an option for now.
Fortunately, he seems caring and understanding and listened to me very well. I felt like he was trying hard to understand my situation and symptoms and that he took all of my concerns seriously. I guess I couldn’t ask for much more.
Because my anxiety and depression have both been bad lately, we are trying a new medication combo to see if that helps. I will no longer be taking the Seroquel and instead will be taking Lamictal. He is hoping I might be able to wean off the Prozac too if the new med works, since the antidepressants don’t seem to do much for me anymore (and if I take higher doses it tends to cause hypomanic symtoms).
Lamictal is known for not causing as much weight gain as other mood stabilizers, so I am all for that! I hope I won’t have many side effects from it, but we’ll see.
Here are a couple recent ACEO artist trading cards I made when I was struggling through a nasty depressive episode. I find creating art like this is therapeutic, even if I don’t feel like doing it at first.
While I was painting this acrylic picture last night, trying to capture the burgeoning depression I could feel weighing on me, the REM song Shiny Happy People came on the satellite channel I was listening to. I felt that song perfectly captured how I was feeling, as I always felt it was a rather tongue-in-cheek, mockery of a song. I decided to name the artwork after the song, so here is my version of Shiny Happy People:
Here is what I wrote on my Facebook page today, I think it pretty much sums it all up:
Six long years, and I finally won my SSDI case! Fully favorable! Feel like crying and screaming. Been sick and in pain so long, sometimes I wanted to give up hope and die, but glad I hung in there.
All those people who doubted me or thought I was just being “lazy” or “dramatic” can kiss my ass. To all those who have showed love, empathy, and encouragement, thank you so much for helping to keep me alive and fighting.
My fellow bloggers here on WordPress definitely fall into the second category of supportive, encouraging people, so thank you all so much!!!
By the way, the decision was just made yesterday and my lawyer was the one who called and told me, so it will still be a little while before I get the back pay or monthly payments started, but I’m on my way!