And here we go.

Well, I went in to see my therapist and he took about .3 seconds to get to the “good stuff”, meaning everything that sends up red flags in therapy world. After asking me 3 different ways if I wanted to go inpatient, he got me in to see my nurse practitioner (who also asked me if I wanted to go inpatient). I do give them props for getting me in to see everyone so quickly, and respecting and trusting what I say.

So now I’m left with an overhaul to my meds, a promise I’m not going to hurt myself, and a potential partial hospitalization if things don’t turn around in the next week.

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I was able to get in to see my therapist this morning and I’m terrified. This will be only the second time I’ve seen him and I have to tell him difficult things-the depression and anxiety are out of control for me and I’ve spent more time than I care to admit thinking about suicide.

I don’t know him well enough to gauge his reaction yet. How “bad” does he think things have to be to have the hospital conversation? Do I want to have that conversation? If I’m brutally honest, I’m at the point where I’m wondering if I should go.

I don’t know. All I know is that I’ll find out in an hour and a half and I’m scared.

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When depression robs you of your confidence

I have been saying I want to switch jobs for at least a year, if not longer. I have been saying I’m unhappy in my job, that I’m tired of what my job requires of me. But over the past few weeks I’ve come to realize something.

I’m not tired of my job. My want to switch is rooted in the fact that I feel like I’m not doing good work. (And if we are being realistic here, I’m not doing my best). I have no confidence in myself. And the reason for that is because I’m depressed. I’m resistant to doing new things and I can’t tell you how many times “I can’t do this anymore” runs through my head. Every time I sit at my desk staring into space, I just don’t care that I’m not working. I hate the parts of my job that I used to love. Public speaking. Working with kids. Teaching. The one thing that I’ve been passionate about for most of my life. I’ve never, ever lost that before, no matter how bad I’ve felt. I just don’t care.

Despite all of this, the one thing that made me realize I am depressed is the sense of tremendous relief I get when I don’t get called for an interview or I make it the whole way through the interview process and don’t get the job.

The depression has robbed my of my confidence, of myself. This has been the longest stretch of depression that I remember. I think it’s been years. Yes, I’ve had small periods of relief, but the overall theme has been soul crushing. I’m even questioning the bipolar diagnosis because it’s been so long since I’ve felt truly hypomanic.

When I thought I was going to have to wait a month to see the new therapist again, I was in tears. I was upset. I felt horrible. Mostly I was scared of what would happen to me if I didn’t have help. My mom talked me into calling back and asking for one of the cancellations he had for next week, even though I’d have to take off work.

So here I am, scraping the bottom of the barrel to keep going, dreading the medication change that is surely in my future. The amount of work that is in front of me feels insurmountable.

But I’ll do it.

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Why does this have to be so hard?

Shopping for a therapist sucks. I’ve had a hell of a couple weeks mental health wise and I’m essentially stuck without a therapist. I met a new one today. He seems ok, but I don’t know. I have to wait a month to see him again. I just…..I’m tired of fighting.

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I’m fine.

I’m fine.

The memories of this past week where I couldn’t cook or clean, or when I’d call my mom crying are fading into the background. The fact that I called off work last Monday is so faint in my mind.

I’m fine.

The therapist never called me back in regards to switching to another person. I wonder if I’m over reacting, making stuff up that isn’t there. Then I remember that she told me that being self-harm free for a year wasn’t a big deal and really not all that long. But still…

I’m fine.

I started wondering yesterday how bad was bad enough to go to the crisis center.

But I’m fine.

So I will pick myself up, go to work, and get on with my life.

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This isn’t supposed to be how it works

Two days ago I called my therapist and left a message saying I wanted to talk to her about something. Namely that I don’t want to see her anymore.

She called me back this morning, and the conversation went a little like this:

Me: I’ve been thinking and I want to see someone else.

Therapist: What do you mean? You mean someone else here?

Me: Yes

Therapist: I don’t know if that’s possible. Why do you want to see someone else?

Me: I’m not comfortable with you.

Therapist: Well I can bring it up with the team but I don’t know if we can do it. The other therapists are busy and have full schedules, and I’m the only one that really has evening hours. I’ll ask.

And then she hung up.

I was pissed.

I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t that. I feel like an appropriate response would have been more like “I’m sorry you feel that way, can we talk about this?” Or something like that. Instead she sounded like she was annoyed with me.

Now I’m not sure what’s going to happen or when I’ll hear from her again.

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I texted the Crisis Text Line last night. No, I wasn’t suicidal…I had my reasons and no, I’m not going to tell you.

But it helped. It also told me something. I can’t wait to switch therapists. It may not be a good idea to wait three months to see the psychiatrist again, though I would rather tackle this with a therapist before changing meds.

My interactions with this therapist had me underestimating the power of my illness. It was easy to dismiss my symptoms, to think I was better than I was. I was ignoring what hurt. When I sat down with my psychiatrist this last time, and she point blank asked me about the list of symptoms, I realized I’m not better. My bipolar is very real, and my symptom meter is out of whack. I’ve had this inkling that I was sliding backwards, and last night was the proof that I am.

So I’m going to call the therapist today and tell her I want to switch. It will be incredibly hard and anxiety inducing. But I have to, or I will just get worse.

Wish me luck.

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Turning 30

I turn 30 this week. I never thought turning 30 would feel like a big deal, but it does. Not in the sense that I’m suddenly old, but in the sense I get to start over. It’s like New Years. Like I can take control of my life.

My 20s were rough. Mental illness reared it’s ugly head and sucked up most of the energy that should have went to enjoying life. Grad school ended up being an exercise in survival.

I know better than to think that there will be some miraculous change in myself just because I’m 30, but that doesn’t mean I can’t try. Part of this is coming from the fact that my therapist thinks I should change jobs to something outside my field because I’m frustrated with my current position. She never bothered to even find out what I do in my current job or why I’m frustrated.

You do not get to walk into my life and declare I need to change the one thing that has kept me going the last several years. For better or worse part of my self-worth is tied to my career. Any thoughts of leaving my field have been closely tied to depression. I give in and depression wins. Not happening.

Which brings me back to turning 30. I have fought to get here. I will fight to move forward. I’m not going to give up. Mental illness is going to follow me into my 30s. There’s no doubt about it. Mood swings will happen and depression will try and rob me of what I have worked for.

I can do this.

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That’s what my therapist wants me to do. She tells me about how she exercises even though it’s not her favorite thing and then feels fabulous.

She tells me I need a project. I already have one, I say. Apparently I need to get another one.

She tells me all these anecdotes about herself. How if she stays up late she’s tired and she’s exhausted after a bad week at work, and isn’t that how I feel? Um. No.

She tells me that I just have to adjust to having mood swings. I’m trying. I can’t just pull myself up by my bootstraps.

She tells me that my brain fog is chronic (duh) and that I should just start projects earlier and I’ll be fine.

She tells me that I should look for a job outside my field, and dismisses me when I tell her I wouldn’t be happy and I want to do what I’ve been working towards the last 10 years.

She tells me all these things in a half hour then ushers me out the door.

And at the end of the day I’m left alone with my thoughts. Wasn’t I clear? I’m having problems with depression. If I could just try a little harder and be able to cope, why the hell am I spending $50 an hour?

I don’t know how else to describe the disjointed thoughts in my head-that mental block I get or being stuck in my head. I don’t know how else to explain that I’m struggling-that I have this sense of hopelessness following me around.

It’s like I’m not trying hard enough. If I check off all the boxes on a to-do list and then just suck it up, I’ll be fine.

I miss my old therapist. And I’m wary of this new one.

But I have to wonder.

Is she right?

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I feel like I’m in high school again. Not in the sense of drama (thank God), but in the actual way I feel.

The majority of the time that I was in high school, I danced on that fine line between feeling ok and feeling suicidal. Well, that’s not really a fine line, but it sure as hell feels like it. Anytime I was on that fine line, I questioned what I was feeling. If you haven’t already figured it out, I’m there now.

I know I’m beating a dead horse. I can’t leave well enough alone. (And any other cliché you can think of.)

But am I ok? Am I fine? Does that negate all the bad times? What about those times between Christmas and New Years where I sat on my apartment floor crying because I couldn’t do anything? What about all those times in the past two weeks where I thought about skipping meds, cutting, and suicide?

I feel like I’m making everything up, and I’m mad at myself for not doing better.

I see the psychiatrist on Monday. Still haven’t figured out what I’m going to tell her. I’m supposed to call the therapist to set up an appointment. Haven’t done that.

I just need to try harder.

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