Monday, October 12, 2009

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Sad Fish

I saw a great avatar picture on Ravelry today:

This sums up my last 24 hours pretty damn well.  I missed a single day's dose of Vitamin Anti-D--which means I went 24 hours without any pills in my system--and it sent me into a tailspin of epic proportions.  Dizzy brain, nausea, loss of appetite, exhaustion, and uncontrollable crying jags.  Sam knew something was very wrong from minute one, and proceeded to snuggle the hell out of me at every opportunity.  I know things aren't right with my neural chemistry when I'm violently weeping while apologizing to the dog for stressing him out.

I called one friend last night and almost asked her to come over, but she was hanging out with her boyfriend so I pretended that I'd called just to chat.  I scrolled through everyone else in my phone list and ruled all of my friends out as possible touchstones, sometimes with logical arguments ("She is in California and cannot come over for tea right now.") and sometimes out of embarassment ("How will >insert name here< react to me being in this state?").  I worried more about the consequences of having someone over on my relationship with that person than I worried about needing company.  I ended up hanging out with the Upstairs Crowd, once I figured out they were home, and watching Discovery channel while not knitting on a dishcloth.  Later, settling down in bed required over an hour of Plants vs. Zombies with my favorite golden lamp turned on nearby and lots of fluffy pillows.  Falling asleep last night was tough, and I had vivid, angry nightmares.

I almost didn't get out of bed today.

I got up and took my pills and came to work this morning because I knew staying home would be worse. 

I have not felt this horrible since 2001.  I remember starting the descent into the black pit around mid-summer, and how I could still see daylight even after the numbing madness that was 9/11.  By New Year's I was in wretched shape, sleeping 10 hours a day or more, playing computer games into the wee hours of dawn, cutting myself off from my long-time friends.  I wasn't going to the movies (my major hobby at the time as I hadn't taken up knitting yet), I wasn't cooking, I wasn't dining (just eating), I wasn't shopping, I wasn't travelling, I wasn't reading.  I got up, watched Law & Order, worked, and slept.  Nothing interested me, and nothing mattered.

In late winter I figured out that I was depressed and needed help, that nothing was fundamentally wrong with my life at the time, and that I wasn't capable of going to (or even interested in) therapy. When I finally called my doctor's office (she was an Ob-Gyn) to make an appointment, I remember being in tears and trying not to let on that I was crying. The receptionist told me that she wouldn't be able to fit me in until a month away, and that I should see my (non-existent at the time) primary care physician instead.  Which sent me into hysterics.  On the phone.  With a stranger.  I made that call at 3 in the afternoon, and I was still in bed.

I saw the doctor that week and began a chemical journey into the unknown.  I slowly got better, turning back into a functional human being who interacted with her environment and friends.  By the following winter I was OK, even good.  And over the last seven years prescriptions changed, dosages increased/decreased, and I've learned to read my tendencies and moods and mental chemistry.  I have maintained the OK, staying fairly level--in short, functioned much like everyone else on the planet.  Until yesterday.

What astonishes me is that it all came crashing down on me like a brick tower in an earthquake.  It was so sudden, so unexpected, and such a complete destruction of the even-keeled mindset I've built up that I would catagorize the event as catastrophic.  Natural disaster images come to mind.  Why would a single missed dose cause this reaction?  And what would have happened if I'd missed a second dose, or a third?

I am doing, moving forward right now, unable to focus much, but am not in the state I was yesterday or even this morning.  I vacillate between deeply sad and ragingly angry, and am restless and irritated--but I'm not crying.  I am taking Sam to the dog park this evening.  I am seeing the doctor tomorrow, and the fact that I can think about tomorrow without wanting to weep means progress.

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