Friday, September 21, 2012

In which I realize I need people

I don't know if it's the hypnotherapy or me going off Yaz that's making me feel better...

Re. Yaz: I was googling something, I can't even remember what is it was it so paled into insignificance after I found the Yaz thing, and I came across all this anecdotal evidence that YAZ is possibly the root of all evil in the known Universe. Well not all of it and not the Universe, just possibly my depression and my anxiety in my known Universe. So I quit it. I completely screwed up my menstrual cycle but I feel better.

I bet Barry the hypnotherapist would like to take credit for me feeling better.

I don' care, I mean I really don't care whether it's the hypnotherapy or the going off evil Yaz, because I feel so much better. But in true form I, as usual, realize that I now have new problems. Other problems. Problems unlike the ones I just went out there to "fix" or lessen.

I'm like that, you know. I'm like that because I have to question everything and I will never quite be dumb enough to be content or completely happy. I'm really like that.

So anyway, going from doom and gloom, and terror and fear, to being calmer and more content I have now realized that I don't get validated enough. When you're depressed you're dead set certain that no one loves you anyway and you just don't have the energy to maintain too many relationships. Let's face it, you spend most of your energy just getting by and holding on.

So here I am, one and a half year out of my nervous breakdown and I realize that I have streamlined my social life to the point it now lacks severely. What can you do? I would like to find a bunch of creative people to hang out with now because, holy Jeebus, I'm having some pretty radically creative ideas that I would like to set in motion right now.

Most of all though I need validation. I need to know that I'm OK to talk to and hang out with. I need to know that even though I'm so nerdy on so many levels that I'm kind of a cool human being to hang with. I need input, from people other than my own brain because my own brain is people I have spent way too much time with in the past one and a half years.

Heh! I think I'm getting better ya'll. I think I will give Barry the hypnotherapist the credit. He's a really nice guy.

I'm just saying.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I’m not given to hope, not at the moment anyway.

Barry the hypnotherapist says that “hope” and “can’t” are two of the four worst words in the English language. I can’t remember the other two but I suspect that they’re “gratitude” and “shouldn’t”.

There are people in this world who have given up all hope that their lives will ever change. They just get on with it, day after day. If something were to come along and make things different they probably wouldn’t notice so sure are they of the status quo they’re in. Except, maybe they will notice the nervous feeling in their stomachs, the feeling you get when you’re about to experience something new and unknown.

There are times when it seems that the whole world is in a state of fear, when fear is something you live with day in, day out. When people fear they do different things. They fight. They run. They destroy the thing they fear. They put a lot of distance between it and them. It’s when the fear is within them that they can’t fight it, run from it, destroy it or put a lot of distance between it and them. It’s when they are forced to face it. It’s when they lose hope.

I have that nervous feeling in my stomach.

I keep looking for answers.

“Don’t stare at the sun or you’ll go blind”, is what your mother used to tell you when you were little but sometimes you just want to know something so badly that you’ll take the risk of losing your sight just to get a little glimpse of what it may really be all about.

When you’re little, all you want is for the stories your parents read to you to be true. You wish you could crawl into the worlds in the books and live there. Deep down you know that it can’t ever happen. It’s the knowing that the magic isn’t quite there even if you’d really like it to be. You know instinctively that it’s not what life is about. The truth is you feel safe there with your parents and that you really wouldn’t want things to be any other way.

When you’re little you like to think that you know everything but the last thing you really want to do is to know it all. What you really want is for grown-ups to make the world a safe place where dreams can come true and promises are never broken. When you’re little it doesn’t seem like too much to ask for.

Before you were born you spent nine months in your mother’s belly and not once did you doubt that things weren’t going to turn out the way they should. You didn’t worry about if your ears where going to be finished in time, if your hands where going to develop properly or if you were going to be beautiful enough. You didn’t even wonder what kind of person you should or shouldn’t be. You just trusted the process and you had no need to intervene or act. There, in the safety of your mother’s belly, all was well and everything was going according to plan even if you never spent any time at all worrying or thinking about there being a plan. You felt no need to control. You spent all your time just being.

There are things in life that don’t make any sense and they can never make any sense, and if you are anywhere near smart you know that but you also know that your job is not to give up. Your job is to keep trying to make sense out of the things that don’t make sense, to keep trying to understand things that can never be understood.

People will always find different names for their answers but the questions will always be the same.

If you have suffered pain you come to understand it, you know its nature. You almost become friends with it. You’ll come to know intimately how it feels and what it does to you. More importantly you’ll know what it looks like and you’ll recognize it when it’s in other people. People who have no empathy for others have not felt pain. They are blind to it. It’s easy to envy them. They go through life completely unaware of what it feels like when pain tears through your being and leaves you in pieces, and how fear inevitably follows. Those people are of little service to those who are in pain. They’re only able to serve themselves. Their existence must be a lonely one. Perhaps they’re not so enviable after all.

Why do people so desperately want to think we’re not alone, that there are beings from other worlds or dimensions watching us, that there is a God? Why is it more comforting to think we’re being watched than to know that no one is watching us at all? And why really, should that make us any less alone? In the end, if there are others out there, something else out there, wouldn’t we be, all of us, still alone together?

Why is it easier to pray for help and guidance from someone or something when you don’t even have solid proof it does exist than it is to ask another human being for the same? Why is it easier to thank God than your fellow human beings for the blessings in your life?

People believe what they want to believe. They find meaning where they can and they cling to it. In the end it really doesn’t matter what’s the truth and what’s not. What matters is that people believe. When people stop believing all is lost.

The sky just goes on and on, and we play all our games beneath it. It’s of no consequence to the sky.

Everything has a beginning and an ending. That is the unmistakable truth of it all.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A sign that I am perhaps feeling better

I was just sitting here thinking about how freakin' annoyed I am with this whole depression thing, how I can't (apparently) find a miracle cure for it, how my mind dares to behave like this and how I would do anything to feel better. From some obscure corner a clearly amused voice exclaims "I will do anything to feel better except feel better!". I made me laugh! Shouldn't it be just that simple? Shouldn't we just be able to say to ourselves once we've figured out intellectually that there's no reason to feel anxious and profoundly sad that it's OK to start feeling OK again?

What's stopping us?

These are the kind of fantastic little questions I like to ask myself in order to show myself that I'm clearly capable of turning my mood around. I have to wonder about what benefits my subconscious sees in keeping me in this state where I feel less than, shall we say, optimal.

I wonder how I got here and I realize the road was very long. I have consistently set about putting myself in situations where I can get punished. Martyrdom isn't nearly as much fun as it made out to be and it's seldom met with appreciateion.

Anyway, I keep trying  to nut this one out and I do realize that someone, The Universe or God or whatever, clearly has a sense of humor.

As I'm looking for a new technical writer I opened my mouth last week and said jokingly "Wouldn't it be bloody hilarious if XX would apply for the job?" XX used to work for me and I had to performance manage him because he did nothing, he left of his own accord only to send me a very "colorful" e-mail, clearly written in a drunken state or during a psychotic episode of some sort, telling me what a $@*&%$#^ I am and how I would rot in hell. I think I posted about it here actually.

This sense of humor is in stark contrast to the lack of a sense of humor of my own. I'm frustrated and I'm at a loss, not helpless though - that's different, to find anything that will snap me out of the current low. I will state this though:

I categorically refuse to feel like this for much longer.

I'm just saying.

Monday, September 10, 2012

In which I angrily rant on about my depression and the lack of a cure

I realize that you can’t really expect the world or the people in it to solve your problems but I can’t help but to think that it would be nice if it or they could. Just every now and then.

I’ve learned more about my mind and brain, and my human behavior biology than I probably cared to in the last week or so and it’s really interesting stuff.

I’ve wished that I had somehow married Professor Robert Sapolsky because if anyone could understand me he would be that someone.

I’ve searched for answer about my depression because it seems that I have graduated from being merely depressed to suffering from major depression.

On a more positive note though, I think I’ve kind of have a much better handle on the anxiety. I say this cautiously because I don’t want to make it angry so it stirs into action again.

I’m “at peace” with being depressed. I’m not at peace with how it makes me think. It’s putting any previously conceived conspiracy theory to shame and it does so in a very personal way. They’re out to get me. You’re out to get me. I’m out to get me. Everything is out to get me. There’s simply no reasonable explanation for why everyone, including myself, would waste so much energy on being out to get me but it is the unmistakable truth about my existence.

If I was suffering from cancer (and it’s probably out to get me too, let’s face it) I would be in chemotherapy and getting blasted with radiography by now. There would be a team of doctors and nurses out to get back at it and I would be thinking positive because you must think positive (or you die) when you have cancer.

Thank goodness I don’t have cancer. I couldn’t think positive if I tried.

The problem with depression is that no one seems to know what’s going on. The treatment consists of you and a bunch of highly educated people approaching your condition much the same way you throw darts at a dart board; you aim and hope for the best. If you’re lucky it’s bullseye but that rarely seems to happen so here we are, depression and I, and currently it’s in charge.

There are no tiny armies of nanobots that can be sent into my mind to kick ass and get serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine to behave in a way that doesn’t affect me adversely. This is a hit and miss science and for a cerebral person like myself it’s pure torture to not be able to have any sort of control over how I feel.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know what you’re dying to tell me. Think positive and it will change. CBT is (apparently) the most effective treatment for depression and anxiety, and that’s all very well and good but I, I, cannot wrap my head around that shit now and I would like to get a shot of “cheer-me the-fuck-up-instantly”, thank you very much. That would be helpful at this stage.

I’m going back to Barry the hypnotherapist again tomorrow and I hope he can penetrate my thick skull with his suggestions and make sure the depression buggers off. I’m done with it. I want to break up with it. I don’t think we’re meant to be. It would be totally awesome at this stage to look at something I’ve done and declare it awesome in my own mind. If I can do that maybe I can declare myself awesome next.

I’m just saying.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

In which I admit that I might have fallen in love with Professor Sapolsky

Recently someone sent me a link to a Stanford lecture. The lecture was on schizophrenia and the lecturer was Professor Robert Sapolsky. This is how I became interested in the subject of Human Behavior Biology and it is why I have sat through 25 of his lectures on the subject. The man is a great lecturer and I have learned so much about human behavior that you all almost make sense to me now.

I had to admit though to the person who sent me that link that I would totally "do" Sapolsky because not only is he smart and funny, his brain is amazing.

I'm not happy now that I have come to the end of the lectures and I don't really know what to do next. I can't think of another subject to be interest and certainly not another professor.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Day one post Hypnosis: In which I am radically less anxious

I'm sceptic about most things that promise "instant" results. In fact, I'm so suspicious of it that I even refuse to contemplate the concept of "instant soup".

So, it's with mixed feelings that I report to you that my anxiety levels today are significantly lower. Significantly. My anxiety levels are so low that I can at this stage contemplate going back to the Barry the hypnotherapist next Tuesday, my next appointment, and ask him if he could please aim for making me super calm. I'm talking about the kind of calm Noah must have had inside him when we was told that the whole world was going to flood and he just went about building a boat and collecing animals. I'm talking about the mind of calm the Hulk doesn't seem to possess at all.

I'm quietly hopeful that I have swallowed my last Xanax and/or Valium, and I'm ever more quietly hopeful that I will soon be able to cut my Prozac in half. Hope is a terrible thing because it makes promises it rarely is able to deliver on which is why I'm quietly hopeful.

At this stage I don't care if this state persists or not. To get a few days relief from my own mind's obsessing and turmoil is a blessing. At this stage I will just enjoy the holiday. And the sunrise. I happen to notice it looks particularly nice this morning. :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

In which I get radical on my anxiety’s arse

Two weeks ago I experienced a whole, A WHOLE!, week of no anxiety and I felt like I was the queen of beating anxiety so badly that it was never going to be able to walk properly again.

All of the past week I have suffer from the most severe prolonged anxiety I have ever experienced.

One should never count one’s chicken before their all safe in the coup, that’s what they say.

Having experienced that profound change for the worse by Thursday last week I was somewhat desperate. I wasn’t content with snacking on Xanax and Valium so I set about looking for a miracle cure. I decided in pure desperation that I would try hypnotherapy.

I went to see Barry the hypnotherapist today. I didn’t expect too much and I told Barry when he asked me what I wanted out of that today’s session that if I could experience five to ten minutes in a relaxed state I would consider it money well spent.

I walked out of there after one and a half hour singing to myself, feeling only a little tiny bit anxious and a little sad – as opposed to profoundly sad – and I’m pleased with the result today. I hope it will last.

I’m going to have another two session with Barry the hypnotherapist and I will keep you posted on how it goes. So far so good though, so far so good.


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