So, as a lot of you who follow this blog know, I suffer from a pretty nasty mental illness and recently underwent a bout of Electroshock Therapy. Are you tired of hearing about this? I’m tired of living it. About three weeks ago I decided I’d had enough and I was going to go back to work. Money is tight on disability and Christmas is coming. I’ve managed to get creative though so things are ok on that front, but what happened when I told my psychiatrist I had been looking for work sent me back to my bleak reality.
She said there is no way I should even consider working right now and my condition is ‘severely guarded’, and that it’s a good possibility that if things continue on the way they are now that I’ll be looking at a hospitalization sometime in the new year. Hopefully not sooner. Going into the hospital during the holidays is terrible. I’ve lived that a couple of times and have no desire to do it again. The awful realization that she was right hit my smack dab in the pit of my stomach. I can’t work, it would be a disaster. I hate it. I feel like a leech. I feel as though people are whispering about me, looking down on me and surmising that I must be sitting at home because I’m lazy. There’s a lot of, “I know someone with depression and they work.” Or, “I have depression and work. You just have to suck it up.” The thing is when I suck it up and try to do that, at some point I end up hallucinating.
It’s not easy feeling like you contribute absolutely nothing to the world around you. This has been going on for years and I have not been able to have anything close to a career. Right now the writing is the only thing I’d compare to a job, and at that it’s really not. Not for me anyway because unlike a job, if I don’t feel like I can get out of bed that day (or for a few days) because my brain is going crazy and refusing to function I don’t have to write. I can totally skip it and not have to call somebody to make up a ‘legitimate’ excuse.
It’s a struggle. Some days I feel ok, and even in the last week or so I’ve felt really good. My psychiatrist put me on Abilify as a boost to the Prozac and since it’s also an anti-psychotic it has an added benefit. I felt so good that one day last week I actually felt motivated to do things. It lasted an entire day and was a strong enough sensation that I remembered what it felt like to want to clean your house and make the dinner and do the shopping. I had one day of normalcy, but sadly it hasn’t come back. I’m hopeful that it will.
For now I am stuck with the guilt. I feel guilty for living and not contributing to the world in the way people think I should. I feel guilty for being alive, period. I hope that through my writing at least, that I can contribute constructively to someone else. If I can provide an escape from the drudgery of your everyday mundane life perhaps I am doing more than just taking up space. I hope I am.