Okay, I think I'm over my little snit about my diagnosis now. At first when I read it I was in disbelief, then angry, then sad, then angry again…but now I'm just relieved to have it and the drama be over with. No more testing, no more arguments with my psychiatrist and doctors over what my diagnosis should be and what medicines I needed to be on. All that is done. The writing is there in black and white, literally. It's been an 8 year fight for this. For a long time I was labeled as having Major Depressive Disorder, but I've known now for quite awhile that that wasn't it. I had more wrong with me than just depressive episodes. But it took me until I was very sick at 25 to realize more was going on than just depression. I was psychotic and paranoid and seeing and hearing hallucinations. I was unable to sleep and unable to eat and paced back and forth along the length of the house all day, feeling stuck and terrified, wanting to go outside but SO afraid to…and I still don't know of what. And then I started remembering being a teenager getting into trouble all of the time around 13 to 16…promiscuity and drugs, having a blast and feeling invincible. But the problem was when my behavior "settled down" it was because I'd bottom out into severe depression again. That would last for months or even a year or more. College was insanity all put into a pretty little package wrapped with a bow. Between my class loads (which were really high), working 2 jobs, practicing 3-4 hours a day normally (it became 6-8 later), dealing with my rape memories for the first time since it happened as a young girl ~ it's no wonder why I thought I was just plain nuts. I wanted to die but I couldn't slow myself down. Then I'd crash for days at a time and end up in the infirmary sleeping for 2-3 days straight, usually burning up with a fever and lung infections from smoking like a madman. Or I'd hide in my apartment and not leave the bed except for going to the bathroom or getting something to drink, and that would last for days as well.Then back to the fast-paced insanity of mania. I didn't reallize all of this was an illness until I was probably about 27. I never thought I was more than depressive until then…but when I got so sick at 25 that I couldn't be left alone or function, eat or sleep, saw and heard things that weren't there (and weren't pretty either), and paced the hours all day back and forth, one sliding glass door to another , never going outside ~ that's when it clicked that there was something more seriously wrong with me than just depression. I thought maybe I had a neurological illness, so they did all these tests on me ( I was in horrible pain ~ my head screamed all the time; I couldn't handle light, smell, sound, etc…) but now I know it was the lack of sleep for all those months. I'm surprised really that I'm NOT dead. That should have killed me and the baby I was carrying too. But God saw fit for us to live, and slowly I started to get better. VERY slowly. I credit a very good therapist for pulling me out of the delusional state I was in and the terrible crisis I was in too. I've never been the same since the pregnancy…but I'm wiser, I'm a little healthier mentally, I KNOW what's wrong with me and how to start to get a handle on it, and I understand the importance of taking care of myself when I start to swing one way or the other. Sadly, I still slip up because the highs feel so good when I'm normally in a low-grade depression, but I'm learning to balance some. As my current therapist said to me ~ "I'm glad you're feeling so good. Enjoy it of course, but you need to take precautions to prevent doing things that will cause havoc…give your wallet to your husband, don't drink, don't go out with the girls for a night on the town, and MAKE yourself sleep. " So that's where I am today. Well, actually today I'm down but not terribly. I always feel this way after a big family get together or event. It's the letdown time period I go through.

Part of it though is that tomorrow is the anniversary of my stepdad's death, and last night my Uncle gave us a very special ring for us to hold on to until Zachary is old enough to understand it's worth and mature enough to keep from selling it for cash. It's got a LOT of history behind it and it's very valuable. It broke my heart, because even now he's still expecting to die at any time. I know he's not young and that no one's really immortal, but I don't want him to think like that. Who knows? He could be around another 15 years. We accepted it graciously but hesitantly. He was afraid that my aunt woulc hock it for money after he died and he wanted it to go to Zachary when he was old enough to have it.

On the way home my Mom and I had some meaningful conversation about how she's feeling and how she too is living her life like it's already over and how sad and heartbroken that makes me. She's not even 55 yet, and because of the loss of her husband 6 years ago life has stopped. She gets up, goes to work, comes home and eats dinner, then goes into his den where NOTHING has been moved or changed since the day he went into the hospital for his stroke, and she sits and plays Solitaire until she goes to bed. I wish there were some way I could make her laugh and joke and find meaning again that had to do with HER alone, her own identity. I finally asked her if she would like me to pray with her about John (stepdad) sometime, and she looked at me and said, "I thought you weren't religious.". I explained to her that just because I don't follow a particular set of rules or regulations on how I choose to worship doesn't mean at all that I don't believe in a God. She said, "Yeah, I think I'd like that. I haven't prayed at all since John died. I've been too mad at God for taking him from me. " I just nodded my head that I understood and patted her hand as she drove.

So that's my story for the day. I don't know what today will hold, although I'm pretty sure tears will fall into it. That's okay, let them come and wash the pain away with their heat. Maybe I'll feel better for having let it happen.

I hope you all have a beautiful day of some sort. May you all discover beautiful things about yourself. I hope you know how dear to me you all have become. Peace and Light to you each.

Love ~ Key

1 Comment
  1. SaltWaterDrinker 11 years ago

     I didn't find your last blog "snitty."  Being "diagnosed" isn't easy.  I think most of us have had sufficiently bad dealings with doctors that we resent their right to proclaim anything about us.  And then, we individualists balk at the experience of being lumped in with all the other people with our "condition," or worse, being reduced to the dimensions of that condition.  We are all so much more than the sum-total of our issues, but being trained (and paid) to deal only with issues, doctors can help us overlook that fact.  

    Of course, I don't worry about your overlooking it.  Your deep-down sense of self is something I really admire, Key.  And after learning a bit about what you've been through, I am not surprised you have it.  You sure have dealt with some tempests, and have come out with your compassion blazing.  It's wonderful.

    Good on you for reaching out to your mom.  Maybe you'll be able to show her that there's nothing disloyal about letting some of her grief go.  I happen to know that there is a message board for young widows (google YWBB).  Someone I know who was widowed in her 50s got great comfort from it.

    As for you uncle, that must be hard to see.  However, maybe once he feels that he's made his peace with death, he'll be able to relax into life a little bit more.  I hope so, anyway.  


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