At times I felt held by a universal love. But then life would go slate gray and hollow again.” ~
Cynthia Bond, author of “Ruby” in O Magazine, Feb. 2016.
Once again I find myself sitting confession on the couch in my psychiatrist’s office. It’s the kind of couch with deep, oversized cushions that one might have in their living room. A coach you would want to curl up on with your favorite fleece throw and a good book or magazine, or maybe doze in and out of a soft slumber as you channel surf. It is a coach meant to put you at ease, make you feel comfortable with an alacrity to open up and share.
But it’s not. the fabric is rough and pricks through my yoga pants. I suppress the urge to scratch and instead squirm a bit to remove the prickers from the back of my thighs . I find myself trying to squish my butt awkwardly between two seat cushions in order to get comfortable. Yet this is impossible. Nothing about sitting in a psychiatrists office is comfortable.
Today, I catch Dr. D. up on my bout of depression following anesthesia and a knee surgery that was more complicated than planned, therefore leaving me “lame” for two months longer than originally expected. Today that depression, coupled with a dash of anxiety, has now mutated into a swarm of dragonflies. They flutter against my sternum searching for a way out. They make it difficult to breathe and I can feel them making their way to my throat. I try to choke them back down before they purge from my mouth in the form of rapid fire sentences which will again leave me struggling for air, gasping in shame, but before I know it I have just walked (or in reality sprinted) my doctor through the last month of my life in a mere 30 seconds.
That is my mania, and I don’t know what’s worse, breaking down into a puddle of self-hatred and despair in front of this man in the deepest throws of depression … or this.
I am exhausted, and barely treading water some days. Others, the anxiety is unbearable and I walk around with this burning sensation in my chest that resembles heartburn after a night of sucking down margaritas and noshing on Mexican food
Depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder are a very real part of my life. If you look back through my Before OP posts, you will see posts as far back as 2011 (before any clear cut diagnoses was made) were I allude to my failing mental health. I say failing because that’s what it felt like. It still feels like this at times. I am failing at being happy and content with my wonderful life. One moment I’ve finally taken hold of my life again. I’m productive and social and dare I say, happy. And then as Cynthia Bond described in a column on depression, I’m “given a pair of eyeglasses that made the world gray,” and I see everything “through a prism of pain.”
A big part of this Oprah Project is to find joy in my everyday life. To distinguish whether my blasé attitude towards life in general is just the natural product of The busy on the go life of a working mom, or something that needs to be handled with a change of medications.
Today Dr. D and I decide to keep with the current drug regimen and check in again in a month. I hope the anxiety, foggy brain, and my propensity for unfiltered loquacity ends soon.
And I hope I can begin to organize my thoughts and writing into coherent (regular) posts for my readers.
Day 2 has long past. It took 3 days to organize myself and get my thoughts from my head, through my fingertips, and into the computer.
But it’s done and suddenly … the fog has begun to lift.