Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This I Believe

Saw Dr. S yesterday. Opened the appointment with the admission that he had hurt my feelings with his "I've wracked my brains with you" comment at our last meeting, which sent me looking for a new psychiatrist, which led down the Prozac road, aka The Road to Hell. Can't believe I had the guts to actually be honest, but am proud of myself. In any case, he took it pretty well, I don't remember if he actually apologized, but he was responsive in a way that made me feel okay about giving him a second chance. He wants to increase the Seroquel to 200mg, up from the baby dose of 25mg, which I guess I'm going to do over the next week. I've taken 100mg before, but I don't know if I've ever gotten as high as 200mg, which is still at the low end of the dosage to treat bipolar depression or certainly schizophrenia, so I guess I ought not be scared, except I have the other health issues (POTS) to consider, and there is some concern that drugs of this class (antipsychotics) can cause orthostatic intolerance. I don't know how to get both treated without aggravating either one.

Regarding the hangover issue with Seroquel, Dr. S first suggested that I take caffeine in the morning, but I told him that I wasn't allowed caffeine, again because of the tachycardia, and he suggested I exercise instead to get my body up and moving in the morning. I left his office with every intention of following his orders, but when I woke up this morning I felt like a bar of soap, if that makes sense to anyone, that's just how I felt, it doesn't even make sense to me, maybe I should say I felt like I had eaten a bar of soap, which is to say, sick. Not sick, just, like crap. Definitly didn't feel like exercising was in the realm of possibility. Laying on the couch and waiting to feel normal was within the realm of possibility. I thought I might go out for a walk later in the day, but here it is late evening, and, well.

I spent most of the day on the couch, watching t.v. and reading, finished a book (in 3 days!) which makes for three now that I have to review, which is stressful. I seem to be good for nothing other than less than minimal efforts - laying on the couch, reading, going to appointments with psychiatrist and therapist, showing up at the CODA meeting every Monday for nothing other than some human contact, teaching violin lessons each week even though I'm not a good teacher and am probably doing more damage than good. The other teacher is a much better violinist, and a much better teacher. She's been teaching longer, and has obviously taken the instrument more seriously than I have over the past decade.

There's an essay project that I found off of the NPR website called This I Believe. From - they accept essays from "people from all walks of life," and each person's essay is a "short statement of belief" that expresses the "core values" that "guide their daily lives." In that spirit, be it the influence of depression or not, here or some things that, right now, I believe:

I could live or die and it wouldn't matter. The world would go on, either way, just as it has after billions of deaths, losses of every kind of person, from great to miserable, like me. Everything, everyone is, ultimately, meaningless, even if they try to have some semblance of meaning while here on earth.

Thus, even if I tried to give my life "meaning" through the usual routes, no amount of charity work or writing of poems would make my life matter because, ultimately, in the end, all those things are meaningless. The people I helped through charity work would eventually die and be forgotten just like me. The poems I wrote might last a little longer if they were passed around, but, I have no energy or thought for the writing of poems - my brain is dried up in that respect. I don't know if I have another poem in me. Besides, I am no Shakespeare or Emily Dickinson. I have no energy, nor sufficient motivation, for work of charity or any other kind. It's too much trouble, too much effort. Answering the phone is too much effort, lifting a cup is. I cannot even decide whether or not I am hungry, or if I were, what I would want, or be willing, to eat.

I'm a sign seeker, a score keeper. If a certain song comes on the radio, God loves me; if someone cuts me off in traffic, it's proof that I'm an insignificant wretch who will never amount to anything and who should just go ahead and end her ridiculous life now, immediately, if only she had the courage - I told J, I think maybe Fear is the Mental Illness. It keeps you from doing the thing that you should most reasonably do, like off yourself.

This sure sounds like Depression, but when I am thinking it, it just feels like Thought, like an awakening to the true Truth. For that reason, I'm afraid I'll never shake it. Maybe this isn't depression, maybe I've just realized the horrible, ultimate Truth. That everything - God, signficance - is constructed, nothing matters.

Here's where my therapist calls me an Existentialist.

oh, Hell.

The idea that there is possibly a fisherman in a village somewhere, a man who works hard and takes care of his family, lives a simple, clean life, who might get carried off by a wave and drown, or cut himself and get an infection from the dirty blade and die, while I, who makes no contribution to anyone, who seems incapable of it, go on living, is just baffling to me. It makes me want to donate an organ, donate all of them, what does my life matter except that I can try to make it matter? The only thing that seems to make sense, that would be right or fair, regarding my uselessness, is that my carcass be scavenged. I think if I were living in a community more greedy for its survival, say a situation where a group of people were starving and starting to eye each other with the intent to cannibalize, that would happen.

I am definitly a weak, weak link in the chain of humanity.

I know this all sounds so terribly dramatic, but I just feel so utterly useless, yet feel there is no remedy for it because nothing I do would ultimately matter in the scheme of the universe. Nothing seems to matter, we're all just going to die.

double Hell.

It amazes me how I am able to laugh and carry on conversations, to act normal for a while, maybe even feel a glimpse of normalcy, but deep in the pit of my stomach and psyche I am carrying around, at all times, this dead weight, this cynical demon who sucks any joy right out of me, who has me not even believe the things I say, the things I used to believe, like the idea that God existed, that happiness existed, that things mattered. I put on this farce, this farce of my former self, because I don't know how to act, I don't know how to represent this new person I seem to be, who hates everything, who believe in nothing but meaninglessness. If others knew how I truly felt, they would give up on me.

Wouldn't they?

So I show up, I make jokes, I ask friends how they're doing, I exchange kind words for kind words.

I feel like a ghost or some demon pretending to be human.


Amanda said...

There are people out there who would care if you died. Know that.

Sorry you feel like a bar of soap. For what it's worth, I totally understand.

hamilcar barca said...

you matter to a number of people, Amber. there are folks out there who accept you just as you are.

Laura said...

You matter to me and I love you