Monday, August 8, 2016

The War with Depression

Depression is like a war. Each day is a battle. I go through times where I easily win my battle with depression every day. I can manage work, school, and daily life stressors with ease. I can handle bumps in the road. I manage my sleep and my appetite stays fairly consistent. My emotions aren't out of control and I don't participate in self-harm. I handle any triggers using coping skills I know and choose not to engage in any risky behavior. I also go through times where it feels like depression wins the battles. Where my sleep and appetite aren't consistent, my emotions are all over the place, my mind is the battlefield, and every life stressor feels like a nuclear bomb went off inside my chest. I've gotten really good through the years at making it difficult to tell which time is which just by looking at me. If you talk to me or read my facebook posts, you may get a better feel for where I am on my relationship with my depression.

That leads me to where I am now. I feel like in my war with depression, I'm losing more battles than I'm winning. I'm still able to make myself get out of bed and go to work. I'm still able to get myself to get my schoolwork done. Those battles I win. However, most other battles, I feel like I'm losing. My suicidal thoughts are getting stronger and more intense. My emotions are all over the place. I'm super sensitive to every little thing and paranoia has taken over. I feel extremely alone and like I don't have anyone to talk to. I feel like if I did reach out, I would be burdening people I've already worn out and will only continue to burn bridges. I'm mentally beating myself up and degrading myself and this only contributes to the suicidal thoughts.

I recognize that I'm on a sinking ship. Most people on a sinking ship would seek out life vests. Most people in my situation would have multiple life vests. These include: a solid support system, hospital options (whether inpatient or intensive outpatient), outpatient providers, and medications. When it comes to these life vests, few of them exist for me. I don't have a solid support system to depend on because too many bridges have been burned. I don't have medication options. That's part of what caused this issue in the first place and any anti-depressant medication takes 6-8 weeks to work and I am not sure if I will be able to continue to win enough battles to maintain this war for that long. Hospitalizations are out because hospitals flat out won't take me. They claim they can't help me but it's more of they won't help me and they don't want the liability. This leaves outpatient providers. When it comes to outpatient providers, I have an outstanding therapist who is fantastic but she is the only one I have. If I am honest with her about where I am,  I know what she will suggest. She will want me to do crisis group which is three hours of therapy groups and seeing a psychiatrist once a week. Sounds good right? Only this is the WORST possible time to do that because work needs me more than ever right now and tutoring is about to pick up because school is starting. I also can't afford to lose work hours because I need the money more than ever with my financial issues going on. I feel like I'm in a lose-lose situation. If I do the crisis group, I could lose my job. But there aren't any other options left.

I'm a wounded soldier in a war with too many battles left to fight and not enough ammunition or armor.