Down in the Bottom Of a…
I’m depressed; there’s no way around it. I don’t know how depressed I am or how much worse it might get, but the fact of the matter is that I am in a depressed state and have been for a few weeks now.
I was talking to one of my dear friends on the back of yesterday’s post, when she pointed out that my medicine is probably not doing the job based on how much depression I’m still dealing with. And maybe she has a point, but I can’t fully agree quite yet. I don’t know what my baseline is. I don’t know what my bottom line is — I have only had this past year medicated in which to determine where the lines might be. I think the bottoms are higher than they used to be, if only for the fact I don’t feel the need as strongly to dive down a bottle, or across a spliff. But that could also be a product of being able to apply more of my self-control in that regard; I know I’d still like to drink and do drugs on one level, but the dearth of benefits are much clearer from this vantage. I know that many choose to self-medicate because I have done it in my past, and because of that, I choose to not behave in a sanctimonious manner to those who do still. We have to do what we can do to get by, and it’s definitely not a pretty stretch of choices for the oh-so-fun invisible mental illnesses.
I still want to smoke though… I’m not sure that desire will ever go away. It was the ultimate spot fix. Thankfully, it costs too much here to be a real temptation.
She had a point regardless, though — I do need to relate to my doctor that my bottom line needs more support. While the day-to-day fluctuations are managed to a point that I can keep myself mainly afloat, it’s not managed if I’m still dealing with lots of depression. I admit that I’m a bit nervous about the ‘promotion’ to cocktail though… I don’t think anyone with any sort of illness wakes up thinking, “Hooray, today I will add another wiggling jiggling bit of uncertainty to my pile!” But it’s worth it if it helps me continue to improve my quality of life. If it will work. I just… uncertainty isn’t fun, but neither are my brain’s bag of dirty tricks.
I spent most of my life unmedicated. Diagnosed 6 years ago, my doc started me on some meds to control my Bipolar Disorder. With in a few months I felt better than I ever had before. Still it took me a year or more to get honest with him. Once I did my worst fears were realized, he wanted to adjust my meds. “Why fix it if it ain’t broke?” I asked. He assured me this was not something he dose lightly and that while I feel better now there will come a time when the current cocktail of meds no longer provide me with the relief I crave. I eventually, begrudgingly agreed to try his recommendations.
In the five years since my meds have been adjusted numerous times. I have finally come to accept that I will never go a day without them, that I am a better person with them and that I’m happy, maybe for the first time in 50 years.
I will also share with you that recently I slipped into a depression. It was the first extended depression I’ve experienced in a long time. I called my current shrink, she suggested another adjustment in my meds. Once again I was reticent to take her suggestion. I finally agreed only because I have a track record of getting better when I’m honest, willing, vigilant. These are not traits anyone who knows me from before my treatment would have assigned to me. I learned them in AA and I do my best to keep them always. I don’t give advice, but I am always willing to share my experience, strength and hope.
My experience is that if I have a good repore with your doc I should trust what they say, I chose them after all. My strength lies in a belief in God that I didn’t always have. My hope is that you will find some relief.
With the NHS, there’s less choice in whom one has for a doctor, but I -do- like my doctor and feel he is a good advocate for me. So yes, I will definitely do my best to poke myself into advocating for myself. And, failing that, my husband is told all that comes out of my mind, so he’s good at helping to keep me on the right path. 🙂