Thanks to an anonymous reader on my “Is It a Relapse?” post who wrote:
This is a great article! However, what have you done that helped you to come out of it since? I was hoping to read on and find out where you went from there (from this article). What were your next steps that made you feel secure and confident that you would be okay? Please continue with “the rest of the story” to the end.
My sanity update:
I am presently camping out (toasting marshmellows) in what I refer to as “the Waiting Place,” eloquently described in Dr. Suess’s “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” (see next post). That is, I’m somewhere between recovery and relapse. After a day or two of nonstop tears, I felt a huge relief and thought that the brief visit to the Black Hole was merely a consequence of going off of the hormonal pill that I had been taking to shrink my benign tumor in my pituitary gland.
Unfortunately, though, the anxiety snuck back in. In my mood journal, I’ve rated the last ten or so days as a two or three (the number one being complete sanity and five being close to hospitalization). For the nine months (270 days) before that, I enjoyed “one” days, minus the occasional PMS melodramas and stay-at-home-mom grumpies. During that time I woke up without the nausea and tight knots in my stomach.
But, as so many of you know, the black dog (as Winston Churchill and some Beyond Blue readers refer to depression) is never too far away because most of us have an invisible, electronic fence around ourselves that zaps the poor guy the minute he tries to escape from our little worlds. The hour you get cocky and think you can coast for awhile–that everything is “so” under control–is precisely when that black mutt bites you in the ass.
So, here I sit, (with many of you no doubt) in the Waiting Place. I’m not suicidal. I’m not looking up gun stores in the Yellow Pages like I was a year and a half ago or plotting a half dozen ways to end my life. But let’s just say (and I know this sounds horrible, absolutely horrible … because I do so much love my husband and family) at this very moment I would be relieved if my plane went down. When anxiety and depression have me by the throat, as they do right now, I become envious of elderly people and those with terminal illnesses because their end is near. Death seems as enticing as an all-inclusive Sandals vacation package in the Caribbean. The Waiting Place is about “existing,” as reader Bonnie described it on the message board of “They Just Don’t Get It“, until you can go back to “living” again.
As ugly as that sounds, it is an honest assessment of someone caught in the Waiting Place, and I pledged to myself and to God from day one of writing Beyond Blue that I would be totally sincere, completely and painfully candid, in expressing my opinions and feelings about depression in order to help those afraid to admit that they have, at times, scanned the obituaries to see who “won the lottery.”
However, should you right now want to log off and never return to my doom and gloom, let me say this, worth repeating from my original my relapse post: As bad as I feel at moments right now, I’m not without hope. And that makes this place so much more tolerable than it was the last time I visited (courtesy of all my sky miles, now that I am a platinum member of Club D). I know that the Waiting Place is only that–a temporary position that will ultimately lead me to a better spot where I will once again be excited about David’s soccer games and Katherine’s dance recitals, and when I can wake up in the morning with thoughts of breakfast, not how I’m going to manage through the day.