Wednesday 21 March 2012

Changing the guard

No traffic. Occasional buzzing of a light aircraft overhead. Delicate rustling of the birch tree beside me. The intrigued meaows of the cats as they surprise one another from behind the lavender and euonymus. My dark hair absorbed the glorious heat from the Sun on a perfect Spring and, as I closed my eyes, I was in the place I call to in my anxious times, my ideal safe place, the place where everything is all right. My lovely garden and my lovely home.

Last night, Mum and I had been at a neighbour's house with several others to discuss plans for our Queen's Jubilee street party. Even if no-one wants to say "Hoorah!" for HRH Liz, they can at least have a nice cup of tea and a bop to Glenn Miller. My headache had not - and still has not - left me for days. I am still 95% certain that it's a sinus problem. Still. Again. Last night was the time of something else "interesting": the taking of my first Duloxetine capsule. Yes, it's my new anti-depressant! *Dramatic music.* I know. No more Citalopram. Shocker. I've surprised myself by how relaxed I feel about the change. I'm more comforted than perhaps I could've been after I discovered that Duloxetine is used to treat generalised anxiety disorder and... pain. I'd taken Amitriptyline for a few years a long time ago and again last year at a low dose after nerve bruising resulting from my second laparoscopy.

While I've been honest with you lot about my depression and insomnia and endometriosis, what I tend to hide is the anxiety aspect. I hide it from me. Or, I try to. It never bloody works, so I wonder why the hell I keep on trying to pretend things are OK or that they will be. Soon. It'll all be fine. A few weeks and it'll all be OK. But it's never that simple. Because of the anxiety, I've felt nauseous every day, my appetite has been quite rubbish, the aforementioned sleep disruption is building up to ARGHsome levels. My shoulders have been so friendly with my ears that I'm beginning to look like Gladstone Small.

I have months of "OK", and then a low, tearful, woeful wobble. And it repeats. Over and over. And this is a low wobbly bit. Eurgh. And all the fears of how to cope with it all, without Mum and Dad, how to live a "proper" life, how to try to relax when everything seems so hard to do, they all come back and punch me so hard in the gut it winds me. And I don't know what to do. Someone saying, "chin up" or, "rest for a few hours" doesn't help. I know what I need to do, but that doesn't mean I can do it. Depression isn't a simple "chin up = suddenly feeling better" equation. It's a punch-worthy thing to say.

It's something so bafflingly complicated and beyond reasonable logic, I wonder if Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking collaborating on it for 50 years would lead to an answer. I can not cheer up. I can not take things easy. And while I'm bloody annoyed, I'm not brave, either. Living a life of pain and depression and fear isn't a choice I've made; it's something that's just as it is. It might improve. It might not. But it's not bravery. It's just... it's living. That's "all" it is.

Duloxetine and Citalopram are different types of drug; the former is an SNRI and the latter, an SSRI. Citalopram helped me a hell of a lot but maybe it's reached its limit. Maybe it's just not working enough any longer. I don't seem to have control over the anxiety like I used to, and part of me suspects it's because of the stresses of endometriosis coming, once again, to the fore to be all I bloody think about. I have high hopes for but not unrealistic expectations of the new fella. The bouncer outside my brain, protector of my prodigy, guarding my grey matter. But not the grey hairs. They can sod right off.

The places I've been invited to are family and friends' homes, they're full of welcoming love and comfortable atmospheres. I would love to go to all those places I've been invited. Gosh, I really would. But. Aside from endometriosis period stuff potentially being my jailer at those wretched times, I also fear myself. That is to say, I fear possible anxiety and panic attacks. It's so easy for one to avoid those situations or places that may be where anxiety and panic rear their exceedingly ugly heads, but one can't avoid them forever. The list of places grows so long there's almost nowhere left to go because the possibilities increase and then nowhere is safe. ARGH! Why do I let it bother me so? Why do I let it control me so much? Am I weak? Am I?

No. I know I'm not. Heavens, after all the pains of endometriosis, and the acutely depressive and deeply suicidal thoughts I felt when I was 13 and 14, I should think I can handle a bit of tough. Not too much, though, please Oh Holy Great Big And Really Rather Pretty Cosmos, please. Please. I have, after all, still the depression to contend with as well as all those other things: the stress of pain; the knowledge of pain; pain medication; managing and taking stock of my pharmaceutical cabinet filled better than Boots (i.e. the kitchen cupboard); hospital appointments; benefits. It's so hard to be "positive" when so much seems to be shit.

Baffingly, as I composed this post on the bench on the decking, under the birch, beneath the wonderful warmth, the only pains I felt were in my sinuses and my headache. My shoulders were still spying on my eardrums but nothing hurt. I mean, aches were still present and I was tired as heck but... it's weird. I'm not dismissing it, not at all; it's that it's different. When something is different, even if it's good, it's not necessarily easy to get used to.

So, did I go mad at the ironing board? Stay outside? Clean the bathroom? Sketch some... sketches? Dust and vacuum? It's "relax" or housework; I don't have enough spoons for both. When I came back in for another up of tea, the robins were still singing, the clouds were still passing slowly overhead, the breeze was lighter than a whisper upon my face. I wanted to stay out there. I wanted to go to sleep out there, in the quiet, in my mind's calm place. Had I stayed out there, I'd've felt guilty for not helping when I could have.

I cleaned the bathroom. And my headache still weighs heavy. I'd ask you to play violins but you'd disrupt the...

1 comment:

  1. What some people need to understanf about depression and anxiety disorders are that thouse of us who suffer these disorders do not enjoy it, we do not do it for fun or attention, we SUFFER from it. Never knowing when a anxiety attack will happen, having little control of our own emotions sucks. Hang in there Lucy Pops, you already know i think you're awesome!


Talk to me. Caaam aaahhhnn...