This can’t end well

Sorry for the ominous headline. Its early and my headline engine is not firing properly. Every morning starts with me listening to music with my coffee and on my long commute into work. Usually, the music is all similar and somewhat representative of my mood for the day. The day started with “Pink Floyd” —> “Circle Jerks”—> “Black Flag” —> “Puddle of Mudd” —> “Grateful Dead”. What in all that is holy could cause that kind of playlist? Perhaps, it says my emotions are all over the place.

I know for someone without depression it is hard to understand why all the “feelings” talk and the seeming magnification of the smallest things that the average person shrugs off. Well, that, is the point. Its a shackle that makes everything you do have an extra (or two) layer(s) of logistics and strife.  Imagine, if you will, getting up from the couch, going into the kitchen, and pouring a glass of milk. Easy. Now imagine getting up from the couch and getting punched squarely in the face. You fall back stinging and ringing from the shock. Now, try to get up again, then, another punch in the face. After awhile you have two choices: 1. give up or 2.try it again. So, you try it again and again until you can function through the pain and shock. Then the span from the couch to the kitchen is broken glass, rusty nails, and random ribbons of sharp metal. Your barefoot steps are all dangerous and mostly end by slicing into you body by your own weight.

but, I digress.

 

Empty.

Hi Readers! How are you today?

Do I sound excited? truthfully, not so much. its a face i put on when i am just empty. empty is hard to explain, its kind of like emotionless or so distracted i am emotionally vacant (with out the distraction).

for example: i was on my way to work today. a lady in a large Cadillac pulled up to a stop sign and looked right. then she pulled out before she looked left. I very calmly laid on the brakes and came to a very short stop just inches away from broadsiding her car. She, of course, panicked and was visibly terrified. she backed up and was wildly gesturing apologies for having pulled out in front of me. I restarted the the stalled car and drove to work. did not even blink an eye. did not matter one way or another.

Pills pills everywhere

Ok, so we upped the dose. All that seem to do was up the side effects and no real increase in effectiveness. After a few weeks I got up the gumption to text my doctor. (his office has a secure patient to doctor text system through a phone app) He changed my medicine from a SSRI (selective serotonin uptake inhibitor) to Venlafaxine which is SNRI (serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor). Now I am trying to balance two neurotransmitters.

Its night and day.

I immediately feel better than I have in months. It should take about 3 days to reach a steady state but I can tell its working.  It does have some side effects for me: my sleep pattern is all wacky, food tastes blah, crazy thirsty, and a little dizzy from time to time. However, its SOOO worth it. When I do sleep, I sleep like a friggin rock. I sleep less but I sleep better and therefore its much more restful. I tend to get sleepy in the middle of the day (its only been two days) but that will go away, I am sure.

Wow, I did not know how much better this was for me.  It was well worth it to finally tell my doc it was not working. I need to keep him in the loop more often.

Ok, now what?

So, this week I upped my dose as directed by my doctor. I have some of the side effects of less medicine: racing mind, night sweats, mild panic attacks… But, I am not really sure what to expect.

I have scoured the internet (made a google search) and cant find what to expect when you up your meds. My guess is there really is not an answer. For me, I am sleepy, restless, and ..uh.. in the mood – if you know what I mean.  I am hoping all this levels out and I land on the better side of just getting by. We’ll see.

why not throw water on the fire?

I flip back between smolderingly angry and feeling nothing. I know that the solution is simple. I have been taking meds for over a year and its normal for the tide to go out a little. My body adjusts and the meds fall just below the effective line.

So, the answer is simple to an outsider: up the meds. I have called my doctor (never self adjust meds, never) and he wants me to move up a dose. Seems simple. It raises my quality of life and general happiness and effectiveness as a person.

Why have I not done it?

Thats pretty complicated. First, meds scare me a little. I have to get to a place where I feel I can up the dose and if there are side effects I have the time to deal with it and not inconvenience anyone who relies on me. That day never seems to come. But, mostly, I have lived like this MOST of my life, its …. normal. Well, normal to me. An outside observer would look at me and say, “why not just throw that water on the fire and quench it?” well, I am very used to the fire and quite comfortable with dealing with the fire. (it just lowers my quality of life, happiness, productivity, etc….but thats ok, right?)

TO recap, when I am fully regulated I have all the different emotions. But right now the needle is just slamming one way or the other. I need to bite the bullet and up the meds. After I do I know I will look back and not fathom why it took so long to do. But, not there yet.

Random drugs not working day

Ah, my old friend. Sometimes, for no reason I can tell, my medication does not work as well as it normally does.  My brain gets noisy again and I become very passionate about anything I am currently focused on.

Now, this is not bad. For me its been the norm for most of my life. Its hard to explain but imagine you have eight trains of thought going at a time. You can hear the entire cacophony of all that machinery running at the same time. The upshot is I can put all those threads of thought to work on a single idea. Then I can be drawing, coding, etc. and exploring other avenues or ideas while I am accomplishing the main task. Its like having a team on the project all in one mind.  Its very powerful. However, its emotionally and spiritually draining.

So today i have my old feelings back, my old brain noise, and I can find anything wrong with that. However, I know that the actual problem. Its not a good way to be and after the medicine kicks back in I will looking back on this with a WTF attitude. Right now, its just comfortable.

 

When the problem isn’t you.

Oh, dear readers. Trust me, I have issues – but – it isnt always me. Let me explain…

I work for a failing business and is basically run by a bunch of external managers and the people who come to work are 50% awesome people. However, the other 50% are back biting assholes. So, yesterday was a typical day of being helpful to shitheads and assholes. I left in my normal, “meh” mood that helps me survive this situation. I was stopped by a person who used to be a friend but we have drifted for “reasons.” He spewed lies and hatred for what he thought was someone else’s job not realizing he was talking about me. I nicely pulled up my phone and showed him the emails that proved he was wrong and that it was me he was spewing lies about. It did not even slow him down. Turns out he told dozens of people the same shit story that was a complete fabrication and 100% contrary to the truth. Met with the evidence he never skipped a beat and made up another lie! What the hell?

After 45mins of this shit I was beyond angry. I was almost trembling with anger and excused myself and went home. If people around my place told the truth instead of trying to manufacture drama then perhaps we could get stuff done. Instead, we are all pretending we are on some bullshit reality show. #$%%#^Y#@$

Loneliness, the worst part. (Now with update)

For me, I can handle the panic attacks, the noise in my head, and all the ugliness that comes with depression. However, the thing that hits me the hardest is loneliness.

I work, my wife works, kids are at school, all of which means I don’t spend time with the ones I love.  When we get together at night we spend so little time interacting. It really gets to me sometimes. I even get so used to it to the point I am startled when a foot touches me in bed. Who’s that? Oh, yeah, I am married and I have a wife.

I usually can tell when boughts of loneliness are coming. Besides the obvious not being with people much, I start loosing my appetite. I may eat one meal a day, then again, maybe not even once. I don’t get hungry (weird brain thing, huh) so I don’t miss eating if I just stop doing it.

Also, my sense of humor just fizzles out. I am not funny, things aren’t funny, nothing can make me laugh.

I blame some of this on my unbelievably awful workplace experience. Some on my depression, which, is just the lens I look through to see the world. And some on just a little decrease in some hormone or neurotransmitter.

ho hum. Think I’ll go do some code.

 

***Update***

Thats right readers, you are getting pointless bonus material like a $2 dvd from the car wash. In my above post I forgot to mention how I hate to be touched when I am like this. I can’t stand anyone to even as much as sit next to me. Weird, huh? I am lonely, but, I also shun personal contact. Arn’t we weird machines. It would seem that my mind does the exact opposite of what I need. But, isn’t this what lots of our minds do? Mine is just so annoying about it that it has its own blog. Its the greyest of grey matter. I am off to meditate or, much more likely, have a beer and watch youtube.

Just not coming in clear today

Today, things are just not clear.  Its been a horrible week, emotionally, and if I had the ability to cry I would have cried all week. The weekend has not been restful as I have a virus and I am taking care of an angsty teen (who gave me the virus). I just cant seem to get on the track. I have tons of creative ideas but no energy. Nothing.

I just cant get a foothold on the day. My mind, for lack of a better term, is very noisy. Lots going on up there. I even woke up mad about work on Saturday morning. We are in between churches and so I did not have the purging I get from good Sunday worship. It resets me to a point. ugh, all my sentences are short. So, is my temper, patience, and attention span.

I am just basically annoyed that I am not being creative and every little detail of the world is pissing me off. Triggered.

Its basically just a blurry day. I cant focus, find my center, or anything.

— Time Passes —

Fresh from the tub. I am sitting here with a hot coffee and loud music in my ears. I am much calmer and clear headed. I still feel as if my fuse is a little short, but, a but harder to light – if you get my drift. In the south we dont talk about depression even with our spouses. I have been pretty much the whole way through my depression journey alone. Not that my wife is a bad person, but, she had stuff she was dealing with and I am embarrassed to have depression. I wish the medicine just made the depression go away, but, what it actually does is make it manageable. Which means I am managing it everyday. I wish my wife and I would share and talk about things like this but thats just not our relationship. So, for now, I’ll put on my depression shoes and keep walking down my own path. Its not as bad as it sounds, I’m just lonely.

 

Oh, thats not what I signed up for

Hello reader. How was your day? My day probably seems normal unless you are me. You have to understand a little about my working environment to understand how I respond to stress. Some times companies have to downsize, roll over management, and restructure. Well, my company has been doing that for 10 years.  Its not a good company businesswise (money in, money our, use of resources). In just the last 5 years we have had four full administrative level replacements and tons of firings. We have been told over and over that we may be fired at anytime. This has been the mantra from whomever the hell is in charge for almost a decade. We are down to about 1/3 of the employees. Our “production” is larger than ever but it comes at a very high price by the employees.

Our new management has adopted a narrative that is untrue about how we got here. Its apparently a conspiracy enacted by the employees to destroy the company. We are NOT allowed to discuss or off any other narrative. That is the accepted and meeting often start with that statement and a forbidding to discuss otherwise.  HaHa. So, we start with bullshit thats all our fault and we have to try and fix problems unless its with the admission its our fault.

Wow. So why work here? I wont for very much longer. Mostly I was really helping people and I get paid decent for what I do. Oh, and I have crippling depression. As that gets more under control the more I am out the door.

Right now, I just want to breakdown, scream, and cry. A big overweight artsy guy just balling his eyes out. Not a pretty sight. shit.