This is a continuation of my ongoing journey thru Depression & Anxiety. Chapter 1 is here.
Thank you for your comments and sharing your own story.
I had just moved in with Grandson’s family. God love ‘em. Family of five took me plus dog into their 3 br, ONE bath duplex. After living in a 2400 sq. foot house on 5 acres you might imagine it was a shock to my already frail system. Yes, the 2nd day after running out of Ativan, Penny (my now-roommate, bff, and life coach) was taking me to my Dr. appointment. By the time she picked me up at 8:30 or I was a complete wreck with make-up dripping down my face and previously curled hair gone flat. I was also crying incessantly, a total mess.
All because we couldn’t locate a clean pair of underwear for Santino (grandson). Huh.
Trigger? Um, if you’re OCD-ish and used to living alone where most everything was in its place . . . yeah, being unable to find a pair of underwear was a trigger.
Poor Penny. A 40 minute drive to the doctor was made even longer when there’s a rambling, crying, sweating (!) passenger. (More on Penny later. She deserves an entire post, not just a mention in a paragraph.)
By the time Dr. came in to see me I was a trembling, crying, SWEATing, nervous wreck. He asked what was going on and I told him I was a m.e.s.s. over something ridiculous as a missing pair of underpants. He asked if I was still taking Ativan, to which I replied I’d run out 2 days prior.
“Two days?!? You went from 6 mg. a day to nothing? No wonder you’re having problems!”
Here’s the thing though – I didn’t know there was going to be a problem. I didn’t ask any questions of the doctor or pharmacist about Ativan, an Rx I’d never had before. Had I known, I would’ve called the pharmacy or doctor for a refill. Simple.
What I learned is:
You need to be your own advocate.
Ask questions about any medicines. Research side effects and what happens if you stop the Rx.
I won’t deny that when you’re depressed it’s hard to think logically. Or at all. I kept telling the Dr. all I wanted was to FUNCTION. Meaning, I needed to work.
Ha, work? Most days it was difficult to get out of bed and brush my teeth. Working – painting, writing – was out of the question. It was so frustrating, staring at white canvases or blank pages and . . . nothing, not being able to do the things that used to bring me joy. I tried to push through it, as I could before, but nothing happened other than frustration.
Anyway, Dr. prescribed Ativan for 30 days and I felt somewhat normal . . . somewhat. Penny would pick me up twice a week and we’d go to a park to walk. Then she’d take me to breakfast for “real” food. For some reason she didn’t think Cocoa Pebbles were ‘food’.
In May 2016 Penny asked me to housesit while she went on vacation. Then she said, “Why don’t you just move in?”
I was dumbfounded. Are you absolutely sure? I don’t want to ruin a 40 year friendship and I’m obviously not well.
I still didn’t realize, or accept, how sick I really was at that time however I did move in with Penny, leaving Santino, his 2 little sisters and mom and stepdad, after 4 months.
There aren’t enough words to express my gratitude to Santino’s mom for calling me and telling me to come ‘home’ to Sacramento where my family (Tino) was. She singlehandedly changed my life forever.
So in June I took my one tote of clothes and my one tote of paint and moved in to Penny’s beautiful, quiet home.
This, I thought, would bring me out of the ‘black hole’ of depression and calm my anxieties.
to be continued. . .