Beyond Blue

I continue to be amazed and delighted by the support offered by readers to those who post their problems on the message boards of Beyond Blue.
The other day at breakfast, Eric said to me, “I feel bad for Moira.”
“Moira from Beyond Blue?”
“Yeah, that Moira. She doesn’t have health insurance. When I read some of the stories on the comment boards of Beyond Blue, I realize how lucky we are.”
This is coming from a man who (in the past) only read the words I forced in front of his eyes with the directive “read.” I had no idea he was reading everyone’s stories on Beyond Blue. And the fact that he carried their problems to our breakfast table made me realize how special a community we have.
A few days ago Moira wrote the following on the message board of “Nine Tips for Managing Anxiety“:

For the first time in several years I am trying to “live” without antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs. I have no insurance now and these drugs are cost prohibitive. Working from home, I have no one to talk to. I cannot drive due to diabetes (newly diagnosed) and not driving is a first for me so I no longer turn to books for comfort. I read very quickly and I have no way to buy books now.
I realize that I am privileged. I live in the USA. My only child is healthy, happy, a wife and mother. With the college degree and job skills to fall back on some day. She had a good career before she traded it for a great career as a stay-at-home mom.
So, I have so much to be thankful for. Why do I still want to die but am so afraid that I will? I don’t know how to reach out. I don’t even know if I can continue working as a medical transcriptionist/medical editor. I have had this career for 34 years. I am failing at it now. I get so anxious when I start to sign on to begin work that I either throw up or worse. I have not been paid by my employer recently. I sent e-mails and get no reply. At one time I would have taken the bull by the horns and called and demanded payment. Now I am afraid to call because I am afraid I’ll lose my job and never get paid. I do not like how I sound. I sound sorry for myself and a victim and I never thought of myself in that way.
What in the world do I do to stop this cycle? How do I get on with my life? Why have I been such a loner and now that I am so very alone, I want to scream and cry and beg someone to talk to me…just listen…go to lunch…tell me what they need and how they feel. Get my mind off me. I pray. I pray all the time. Please, Dear Lord, lead me.

So many wise, insightful, and loving comments followed hers. Among them:

I am a psychiatric nurse who happens to have a long history of Major Depressive Disorder. I know the dark place where you are all too well. It sounds like you need to be working with a doctor or nurse practitioner to manage your depression with medication, like I do. Depression is just as real an illness as your diabetes or your neighbor’s heart disease. And, like those illnesses, it needs to be managed for you to have quality of life. The medicine will regulate chemicals in your brain so you can think clearly and, eventually, start to take back control of your life! Managing depression is not a matter of having the willpower or mental resolve to “go it alone” without medicine. You have found the strength to reach out to others on this web site. Please find the energy to reach out and get help with your medicines. Please call this number:
Affordable Rx. Meds.: 1-877-MEDS 4 ME, or 1-877-633-7463. Leave a message-they WILL return your call.
This is a program based on a US government mandate that helps people who cannot afford their medications. They take some information once, then apply to different funding sources for you. A social worker from the US Department of Health and Human Services may also be of some help–you may be eligible for Medicaid or Medicare. Is there public transportation in your area? It never hurts to ask!
Please look in your phone book for a crisis hotline. If you feel overwhelmed or like hurting yourself, call! I believe that asking for help is a sign of strength. You are NOT helpless-You are a SURVIVOR! Hang on –Katie
All the areas in your life that need attention can seem overwhelming. But even one small step in the right direction is progress. It may seem impossible, but actually you can do it. I know — I’ve been in a similar situation and as crumby as it seems, you have to take the first step to help yourself. The others will follow. I hope take the nurse’s advice and first get your medication. You need a clear head to make decisions and your health comes first.
Even though you can’t drive, maybe you could get a job that gets you out of the house. I think being home alone and working is very difficult. Are you a church member? Perhaps your church has a way for you to reach out, both to be listened to, and to volunteer.
My inclination when I am feeling bad is to retreat into myself, but I know that it is not healthy. I will pray for you. If you write back here, I will reply. –Babs
You now have a “network” of people caring for you and being concerned about your well-being. I know, it is not the same as having someone to talk to in person but now you can look forward to seeing if “you’ve got mail”.
I know you are depressed and anxious but please contact the number that Katie gave your re affordable drugs and also contact your doctor’s office and ask for any available sample sizes of your anti-depressants that the doctor might have on hand. They might tide you over until you get set up with the affordable meds.
Moira, is there an organization in your town that provides rides to doctor’s appointments or necessary shopping? They might be able to help you and you would meet new people and possibly make new friends. You can always ask someone in for coffee as a way of thanking them. And regarding books, sells books at a discount although they do charge delivery. Would you be able to get to a post office to pick them up or arrange for your regular mail person to deliver them to you? What about a traveling library?
Is it possible that once you get the diabetes under control that you will be able to drive again? I don’t know what size community you live in but most hospitals offer some information sessions for people newly diagnosed with diabetes. Your doctor’s office could provide you with that information.
I know, I’ve raised a lot of questions that you probably are not up to answering at the moment but maybe making one little step at a time will help with the anxiety.
I’m thinking of you Moira. Hang in there, kid, you’ll get through this. –Linda
I was in the legal field many years as a legal secretary and got burned out, especially when I reached menopause years. Perhaps you need a change, even a small one. When my kids were small I also worked at home for about a year, typing and transcribing for a court reporter, and for me it was so isolating and I could not go back to it. Change can take time, sometimes what seems like a very long time, but it does happen, so hang in there. –Peg
Please don’t downplay what you are going through, or shoo it aside because you “have so much to be thankful for.” Your anxiety is REAL, it is a disease. Like someone else said, this is like your diabetes- it needs treatment. I hope that you are able to find some way to get help for this. –Jennifer

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