Posts Tagged 'depression'

New Meds Again

Sorry I’ve been away.  I just have no interest in things.  And no energy

The Welbutrin didn’t help or hurt so the doc put me on Lexapro.  Two big side effects : increased anxiety and screwed up sleep.  Not fun.  I told the doc if this one didn’t work then I want to be off meds because this is the forth (4th) medication I’ve tried and doesn’t seem to be working.  I called for counseling but there was no availability. 

I have been making it to Mass every week so that helps (even if I was late this past Sunday).  

Still working on finding a job. I need one soon. The woman in charge of the paperwork part of the food benefits program does not like me. Dealing with her drives my anxiety up so I avoid dealing with her as much as possible.   She keeps changing the rules about what I have to do and what I can include on the paperwork (no interviews unless I physically walk to at least five separate businesses and physically fill out an application on site and then interview).  She’s also given me really bad advice about how to interview (she wants me to bad mouth my previous employer when you are never supposed to do that and to make myself look like a horrible candidate by bringing up immaterial stuff from previous jobs i.e. say that I got written up when I was working for evil security company). I want to leave evil security company in the past.  I’ll talk about why I was let go but I won’t bad mouth the company. (Just thinking about evil security company is activating my anxiety; that place was majorly anxiety inducing towards the end).

Still volunteering at the library and still very mildly frustrated that people can’t remember the alphabet when reshelving books.  I like working there but the are times when I want to go up to random patrons and have then recite the alphabet.  I don’t but occasionally I feel like it.

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Depression Reset

The Effexor had lots of nasty side effects.  I’m now on Welbutrin.  We’ll see how that goes.  This has been the longest episode of my depression yet. I’m barely functional most days and currently in tears daily though I think that’s from Effexor withdrawl. I feel cut off from my Catholic faith and it doesn’t help that I’m only able to make it to Mass every other week right now.  And I really need to go to Confession.  I sleep during the day and am up at night.  I can’t be bothered about most things. I hate depression and feel like I’m cut off from everybody until I get completely cured and never be depressed again, which isn’t going to happen.

Lent is Coming. Time to Start The Misery Competition

Lent starts next Wednesday and my anxiety has increased. It doesn’t help that I’m not on meds anymore.  

I hate Lent. It fills me with dread.

Lent always seems to bring out the competition in Catholics, more so online these days.  It’s like Lent needs to be the horrible torture fest in the name of God and if you aren’t miserable and despairing than you aren’t a good Catholic making a good Lent.  The more miserable you are the better.  Of course that feeds my anxiety and depression because I already believe I’m a horrible Catholic because I don’t do fifty devotions everyday, volunteer 70 hours everyday along with working 90 hours a day while caring for 4000 people.  Heavens, I have a hard time going to Mass on Sundays and I pray in the morning and at night and go to Confession regularly but apparently that isn’t enough.  That God isn’t going to love me until I’ve worked myself into the ground and then He’ll deign to notice my existence but only the once because I still haven’t done enough to even be considered worthy enough to gain a second glance. And forget about Heaven. As my mother constantly told me growing up, bad girls like me go straight to Hell.  I existed therefore I was bad.

Lent seems to turn God into a psychopathic, sadomasochistic tyrant bent on humiliating people and sending them to Hell, going by the way Catholics act and talk during Lent. (And outside of Lent, too, at least for some Catholics).  It’s like God is absent or barely there the rest of the time or at least this pleasant parent that lets the kids get away with everything but then Lent starts and God turns into this bully that lays down the law very strictly and any deviation is automatically a sending to Hell, do not pass Go, do not repent and go to Confession, there is no way that forgiveness is going to happen so you better freaking forget it.  Messing up means you’re dead to me.

Intellectually, I understand that this is not God but how people imaging God to be and what they think Lent should be.  The part of me that constantly heard that God couldn’t possibly love me and that I was going straight to Hell along with all the “Catholic” opinions stated as Church teaching make this easy to believe and to fall into this mindset.  And I’m left to figure out what is real and what isn’t all on my own.  It all feeds my depression and anxiety and just makes worse. And there are a lot of Catholics that would like to keep my marginalized or even excommunicated from the Church because of my depression and anxiety. I am not in a good place when it comes to Lent let alone my faith sometimes.

Lent has an emphasis on three things: fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. Yet, I’ve always seen an extremely improper focus on fasting and fasting alone with maybe Stations of the Cross thrown in.  Everyone is “giving something up” which they think is the whole purpose of Lent.  This is where the competition comes in. And it is competition because it ends with Easter and they can resume what they had “given up” which many do with relish.  This is not the purpose of Lent. So what is?

The purpose of Lent is to prepare for the Crucifixion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ. It is also when the elect (those going through RCIA) prepare to enter the Church and receive the Sacraments, to be Baptized into the Body of Christ.  Fasting is important but it isn’t the main thing or the primary importance.  Jesus is.  Our focus should be on our relationship with Jesus and what we can do to improve that relationship. But that relationship shouldn’t necessarily be at the cost of our other relationships.  A parent can’t stop taking care of their children to go to daily Mass, volunteer at the parish, etc. They can add these things if they are prudent but the care of children is how the parent lives their relationship with Christ and their vocation and has priority.  A mother can’t add or do things that would harm her child(ren).

And what about prayer and almsgiving?  Other than adding the Stations of the Cross or maybe daily Mass most don’t focus on prayer. And almsgiving? Well, Catholics seem to be tight fisted with money and give the least out of all groups.  

Lent uses all three (fasting, prayer, and almsgiving) to help us focus on Christ and his Crucifixion, Death, and Resurrection.  Like Church relies on Scripture, Tradition, and Magisterium (think a three legged stool) to uphold her teachings/doctrine, so does Lent rely on the three legged stool of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving.  You can’t focus on one to the detriment of the other two.  You’ll fall off the stool on to the ground and end up with bruises and embarrassed.  I can’t think of Lent as a time to focus on being punished for my sins, as a time to suffer just to suffer.  Yes, I have come across Catholics that just want fellow Catholics to suffer just to see them suffer and so they can gloat about being “better” Catholics.

So what to do for Lent?

Well, the Church already tells us when and how to fast and abstain. Maybe add Wednesdays during Lent as an extra day of fasting and/or abstinence. If you have an activity or behavior that drives you batty and you know gets in the way of your relationship with God and/or others, then definitely give that up.  I know I shouldn’t read certain things on the Web  (I’ve started it already) since they make my anxiety worse.  It’s not just something I’m going to do for Lent because my anxiety exists all the time and not just in Lent. Don’t just “give up” something just to give up something.  Do it with purpose and that you can continue outside of Lent. I suggest giving up sinning because you can continue it all year round.

For prayer, I’m working on being consistent in my prayer life.  I started that several Lents ago and work on that all the time.  That’s a good habit that can continue outside of Lent.  Or maybe add one prayer. Or add a prayer to pay at specific times of the day.  I pray a Hail Mary as I’m making my bed in the morning (okay, when I get up) and include several in my bedtime prayers.  That was actually a penance I received several months ago that has turned into a good habit and I liked doing it so I kept doing it. Yes, you still pray the Stations of the Cross.

Almsgiving.  Yes, you’re going to have to open your wallet.  Look at your budget.  How much is truly necessary (rent, utilities, food, gas, insurance, student loan payments) and how much is luxury (daily trips to the coffee shop, the gym membership you barely use, buying new and expensive clothes when you have perfectly good clothes already or can find it cheaper and used at Goodwill, etc.)?  If you haven’t been giving anything, start with $5 or $10 at least once a month.  If already giving, give another $5 more or start giving weekly.  Or at least give to the special collections like St. Vincent de Paul or the Bishop’s Appeal. If you can’t give at all, offer you time. Volunteer.  Parishes always need help somewhere. (I do give even though I’m still currently unemployed.  I give because I can and my lack of employment doesn’t effect my relationship with the parish.)

See, Lent doesn’t have to hurt.  You don’t need to suffer needlessly or pointlessly or at all.  I don’t have to either.

One thing I am focusing on is taking better care of myself. Depression can be very debilitating.  It can be hard to do simple, everyday things let alone new, complex things.  And my anxiety feeds my depression and my depression feeds my anxiety. Not fun. So I’m working on treating them and not just during Lent.

I am totally giving up snow, however. That stuff is vile. (And yes, we had snow yesterday (23) and today (24) and it’s almost the end of February. Seriously whacked if you ask me.

Withdrawal. Anxiety.

I’m dealing with both right now.  It’s 2:14 in the morning and I don’t want to sleep even though I have a medical appointment at 10:30 that I have to leave for before 9:30.  I’m also freaking out about an interview for a job I have Friday.  I’m not thrilled with the possible commute to the job but I’m getting desperate to find a job. Not that I care much for the job either but I really need to find a job soon. I feel like I’m on the knife edge and something really terrible is going to happen to me very soon. That I’m going to end up homeless or my parents are going to stop helping me or my rent is going to go up to where I can’t pay it or I lose my food stamps.  Just something really bad. And I’m doing something, driving somewhere for the next seven days and I feel overwhelmed.

I have been off my antidepressant for five days and the withdrawal has set in. I just want to sleep and hide.  But then I don’t want to sleep at all.  And I’m crying all the time. I definitely don’t want to go anywhere or deal with anyone but then I really want to talk to someone about all this. But my friends all work so I can’t talk to them until the weekend.

I still don’t have someone to drive my to my major medical appointment next week. And then I might be picked for jury duty since I got a letter a couple a weeks ago and have to go in on the 12th. And if I get the job, (which it sounds like I already have) training starts the 16th.  My birthday is the 18th and am pretty sure I’m celebrating it alone as always. I feel like I’m being slammed all at once and how I handle it determines how the rest of my life is going to be like. That I’m being judged on how much I can take before I break and still more stuff is going to be dumped on me even after I break.  That this is a game to someone and I’m the loser participant.

And we’re supposed to be getting more snow this weekend, possibly even today, and I don’t want snow. All it’s been has been is nearly freezing or snow for the last month. Very little rain. I want the rain back. I can handle rain with no problems.

Yeah, my head’s not a good place right now.

When It All Goes Kerbluey

Not a good day today.  Instead of getting up early like I planned (before noon) I was in bed until 5pm.  Then I found a notice on my door from the apartment manager about unauthorized guests (not me, general warning but this is the first time that anyone had done anything about it).  Then I checked my apartment mail box and found the notice about my late rent (I knew about it and had already mailed it weeks ago).  Add in the whole added on paperwork for my food stamps and the nitpicking by the woman in charge of that paperwork from yesterday.  Oh, and the medium sized spider I wasn’t able to kill before it skeddalded off to hide (again yesterday). Plus, the stupid mouse that I hope is dead but no clue (last month and a half).  And the refrigerator that has decided to start to smell (I know what’s causing it and there’s nothing I can do about; the fridge will fix itself in time) (the last few days).  I was in tears last night and again today.  I was certainly thinking it was the end of the work even though it wasn’t.

The apartment stuff has been dealt with so there’s nothing I can do now.

Food stamp extra paperwork: one form will be signed, I have to find another volunteer opportunity to fulfill the other nine hours I need, update resume again, make lists of professional and personal references (which I kind of already have but this woman wants lists of them yesterday), and wants me to go into excruciatingly tiny detail about my job search and how I apply to jobs on the paperwork I have to file every week.

That woman is driving me bonkers with all her nitpicking and changing rules.  Sounds passive aggressive to me.  On one level I understand she’s trying to help but it still feels like micromanaging and nitpicking that is unnecessary and irrelevant.

I know I will find a job. Yes, it’s been a while but I’m getting interviews more often now.  At this point I just have to keep slogging along and it will happen.

So while the medication for my depression has helped, I’m still having bad days.

The one really good thing: the Chicago Cubs made it to the World Series for the first time in 71 years.  Now they just have to win. Go Cubbies!

When Bad Headspace Rears Its Head

It has not been a good week for me. The only decent day was Thursday and even then I didn’t go to Adoration like I was supposed to. 

I don’t feel like crap or anything but sleeping and hiding in bed is about the only thing I want to do. So of course today I slept from about 1am this morning till after 6pm this evening. I meant to get up at 8:30 am when my alarm went off but stayed in bed. Woke up just after 2 pm, checked stuff on my phone,  and then went back to sleep. Which is when the bad headspace showed up.  I won’t get into what was there but suffice it to say I will most definitely be going to Confession tomorrow.

I know my depression lingers due to my continued unemployment and that I rarely leave my apartment except to go to the library, the grocery store, and church. I pretty much don’t have a life.  I just feel like I shouldn’t be falling into bad headspace even with the depression. I’ve been praying though maybe missing Adoration yesterday caused the bad headspace to happen today. I don’t know.  I feel like I should be stronger, that I can control because I know better than to allow bad headspace anywhere near me but it still happens. I keep screwing up.

I don’t know. Bad headspace.

Anxiety and Depression Run Rampant

I did not want to get out of bed today. I just want to hide. I have to deal with bureaucracy tomorrow and I’m afraid that I’m going to lose my food stamps due to the stupid changes in rules.  Actually, I’m totally convinced that I will lose my food stamps and that I will have to pay back every cent I was given.  I’ve pretty much planned on giving up the card and going back to living off what little my parents give me.  Everything is debt and this one is being called due. 

And yes, I’m still looking for a job and applying to jobs.  And the new rules say I have to working to keep my food stamps but of I’m working I make too much to qualify but not enough to eat. 

I hate this. Between spending Christmas alone, dealing with losing my food stamps, worried about my inability to find a job, my depression and my anxiety everything is crashing down.  I’m just waiting for the really big shoe to drop and it will. And it will be bad. And it will be all my fault.


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