Depression is kicking my ass.
I think this is the first time I’ve actually acknowledged to myself that I have that, that I am depressed, instead of dismissing it as a side thing of my anxiety disorder, or just feeling down. A part of me is afraid maybe I’m reading too much into it — I’ve encountered a lot of things about depression in the past week — but then I think, I always come across depression things, both on my “serious” social media spaces and my fandom platforms. I’ve always identified with a lot of it — random tumblr comics, bits of Hyperbole and a Half, I spent an entire morning after an all-nighter reading Robot Hugs and feeling like someone was holding and squeezing my heart, in a good way — but I never identified with depression itself. I think I’ve always overidentified with my anxiety, maybe because it’s so loud, so present, so hard to ignore or misinterpret. People always say that anxiety and depression usually go together. I was on antidepressants for two years, and I still thought I was just treating my anxiety disorder.
But it’s — not that. The thing that sealed it this week was reading a list of usual symptoms and okay, I’ve always struggled with motivation, my sleep schedule has been a mess for the better part of the past six — six! — years, I’m always behind, and, since I moved to London and had to deal with being solely responsible for keeping a roof over my head, I’m always a hair’s breadth away from a breakdown. But things have looked up considerably for the past two weeks, and I could argue that I’m still carrying the severe stress and anxiety from October, November — the stress I felt and the stress I didn’t, the stress from that weekend I didn’t break down despite the way everything felt like it was falling to pieces around me and it would never change.
It changed, a little bit. It’s changed a little bit. It’s changed enough that the reasons I was melting down all through the past two months aren’t there anymore, not right now. And when things changed, when money came in, I felt a little bit of happiness. When I listened to music and danced around my room, I felt a little bit of happiness. When I watched a movie and things worked out in it, I felt a little bit of happiness. I’ve been taking better care of myself than I have in two years.
But the thing is, I’m not excited about anything. At all. Everything comes with a side order of worry, or reluctance, or overwhelm, or plain old blankness. I’ve been popping lorazepam like it’s a daily treatment and I think it’s doing more harm than good, because it quells the anxiety and overwhelm, but at the end of the day it’s a downer and if I’m not counteracting it with antidepressants and I am depressed, could it be making things worse? I also no longer really feel the effect of it, and I miss it. I miss the relief, the stark contrast between moods as it kicks in. The feeling of yeah, this is working.
Yesterday I was just off. I wasn’t feeling up to anything. I wasn’t feeling much of anything. And today I feel just as empty, if a little bit more like I may be able to go through the motions.
And I feel irresponsible. To myself. Because the paroxetine wasn’t doing enough, and I sorted things out to get a GP and instead of going through with the switch and going to therapy sessions, I quit. It wasn’t — it wasn’t quitting, it was giving ‘not being on antidepressants’ a go, and the fact that I slept through both my CBT appointments speaks volumes to how messed up the system is. If my motivation is so fucked that I can’t even drag myself to the doctor to make it better, that I can’t push myself out of bed, isn’t that precisely the reason I need it? Precisely the reason it should be easier for me to pick when and how, instead of be assigned the only empty slot three weeks away in the middle of the morning, like my anxiety and depression aren’t going to make it so I’m so far removed from the initial motivation of booking the appointment in the first place that I no longer think it’s going to be any help. In fact, when I first asked for therapy, individual sessions weren’t even on the table.
It’s a bit of a relief to no longer think that’s my fault. But I do think I should have taken up new antidepressants, and I didn’t, and now I think about going back and getting a new prescription — even though I suspect my GP will just prescribe the same thing she did last time, and I don’t know why I find that disappointing — but I can’t because my sleep schedule is so, so far beyond messed up that I probably wouldn’t make it to my appointment. And the new meds may not work, and if they do, they will take weeks to kick in. And then I’ll be better, and I’ll want to quit them again, and I’ll have to go through the absolute hell that was the week weaning myself off paroxetine hit the ‘stop taking it’ stage.
But if I don’t… What happens if I don’t? I guess things go on the same way they have been. And it’s just as uncertain, and less work, less trouble, less disruption of my routine, such as it is. It’s easier. Is it lazier? Is it irresponsible?
My eyes are crossing over. I can’t fucking tell.