I’m not sure I can do this today.
I don’t often get depressed, but when I do it’s with a vengeance. I’ve been working up to it for the last several weeks, and even though I saw it coming and started taking steps to avoid it, this depression has completely taken control. Now I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. Honestly, deep down I know that I need to be in a safe place. My thoughts are sinking deeper and deeper into that hole of despair and no hope. But to accept the safety that comes with confinement has consequences that will only make the situation worse presuming I get through this. My job is a temporary one, and I know that taking even a few days off will be the end of it, and I’ll be destitute and alone. I survived on unemployment before, but just barely, living on less than $25 a week to cover gas and groceries after meeting the barest of living expenses. In an 8 month period I lost over 30 lbs because I couldn’t afford to eat. Not having a place to go everyday left me completely isolated 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. I was left alone with my thoughts that were already negative and lost. Not a good situation for someone already fighting depression.
So these are my choices.
Try to believe that being in the hospital can get me past the immediate crisis and hopefully regaining control of the utter misery. It will be a release. I won’t have to deal with the agony of sitting at my desk 9 hours a day pretending to be busy and doing just enough to hold on to my job. I won’t be alone, but will be surrounded by others who should at least have a clue of just how hard it is to deal with the horrors of the mind, at least for a little while. I can rest, and try yet again to find a combination of medications which just might make a difference long term. But this is a temporary solution, and the resulting loss of employment and isolation will put me right back into the environment that only breeds more depression.
I can try to ride it out. Two days ago my Psychiatrist prescribed a new antidepressant to go along with my mood stabilizer. We all know that nothing will provide immediate relief, and it could easily take weeks before I could start feel better. In the meantime, I’m stuck in the absolute depths of hell. I spend nine hours a day at my job, mainly focusing on not crying or walking out just to get away. My mind is in a repeating loop…”How long can I keep this up? I just want it to stop”. My mood has to be obvious to others, and there’s also the risk that even though I’m here and trying to make at least some effort, I’ll be let go. My nights are only a little better. As soon as I get home I take a handful of Ativan; enough to make sure I reach the relief of a deep sleep. That usually lasts until bedtime, where I take another handful to try to make it through the night. As long as I’m asleep, I’m not thinking.
There’s always a third option. Over the years I’ve tried so many different medications to try to get this bastard illness under control. Most have never worked, and I have 10 or 20 bottles with residual pills left. Surely a full combination of these will provide a permanent relief. I’ve been dealing my whole life with the ups and downs, the insecurities and loss, and the pain and suffering inflicted on not only myself but others. Somehow, some way it just has to stop. Unfortunately, even this has a down side. However brief a time, there will be people who will be hurt. My Children lost their mother a year and a half ago to a drug overdose, losing a father has got to have an impact. Then again, they’ve lived with my illness their entire lives, they won’t be surprised. My relationship with them has been strained at best. My only surviving sister will be upset, but this too shall pass. She has her own life issues that she needs to focus on. Oddly enough, a deterrent is more about who won’t be hurt. I have a couple of ex wives and several girlfriends who will be happy I’m gone. It proves that the relationships failed because of my illness, not for any of their own responsibilities. I hate to give them that satisfaction. Finally, I’m afraid. I’m not afraid of the unknown; I don’t think that will matter. I believe that I will just cease to be. I’m more afraid of failing and having to live with the consequences of failure. I’m afraid that once I commit myself to this course that in the final moments I’ll change my mind, and it will be too late.
So there’s my dilemma. The responsible course of action is to take care of illness and place myself into a safe place with professionals who can take me through this one more time, but leaving consequences that are guaranteed to create more failures. The plan with the most success for long term results is to stick it out and hope that the medications can eventually help. Experience has taught me that this is only a temporary solution as well, since all of the medications I’ve ever been on end up ultimately failing. And the days and nights to be endured are beyond hell. The final solution is just that; Final. Sure, it still leaves consequences for others to deal with, but my pain will be over.
Regardless of the solution, there is a level of courage needed to make my decisions. Somehow I need to find that courage and commit to my actions as time is running out. Making no decision is a decision in itself; I don’t want that power taken away from me.
But I’m tired…so tired.