Friday, September 04, 2009

The Monster at the End of the Bed

Raechelle's courageous posts about dealing with alcoholism this week got me thinking about the monster at the end of my own bed and the shame that we feel in admitting we have such weaknesses. However, weakness can be unifying, because you are guaranteed to find someone just around the corner with the same struggles as you and often the best life connections are made as a result.

I have touched on my monster over the years in this blog - I have suffered from depression on and off since my late teens. For the most part it's been pretty well controlled with a course of CBT from a psychologist in the 90s and SSRI medication when I get bad symptoms. For me, I know that the monster has resurfaced when I cannot sleep and I start feeling completely whacko about everything I put into my mouth (good or bad). The monster has been asleep since 2007, but has started to stir over the past month or so and a week ago attacked with a vengeance.

Today I saw my very wise GP, who likens a depressive episode to Archimede's Principle. Put "stuff" into a thin tube over time and gradually it will fill - add one little thing more and you get to overflowing. It's not the "little thing" that caused it (say my poor old metatarsals), but a series of stressful events leading to this point. And my goodness, this year has been full of those.

With this issue, hindsight is a wonderful thing. I know after a day or two of drugs, I'll look back and say, "how could I have not seen that coming?" However, when you're in the thick of feeling rotten, you just don't know how to think. I liken it to crossing a river. Your positive rational thoughts are on the other side. You know that the side you're on (the negative and irrational is doing you no good) but you don't have the tools to jump to the other side because you're scared you're going to fall in and drown. That's where the SSRI helps me - and why I can't understand people who tell others to toughen up and be strong without medication. If there is a need for a drug, go for it I say - and you know soon enough whether it works or not by changes in quality of life etc etc.

Shelley and I both decided to "chuck a sickie" today training wise. I've padded under my tarsometarsal joint and I don't know whether it's rest, padding or both, but it has improved dramatically today. I'm to teach RPM tomorrow, so I'll pad up and try and stay positive, even though I'm feeling a bit like an unfit slug (ah the mind games that a week off can play!).

Instead I've been attacking our filing cabinet with gusto and trying to get inspired to cook something nice for dinner. I revisited kangaroo meat today after being put off by the smell of the mince. I had a kangaroo herb and garlic steak for afternoon tea with some green vegetables. It was superb - oh Skippy, where have you been all my life. I simply seared both sides for 2 mins each for a medium to well done steak.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.


ss2306 said...

Glad you're doing what's right for you to help you through.

I'll be padding up with you! Yuk, I'm over the excitement already.

You can have skippy all to yourself however pumpkin soup - where have you been all my life - I'm hooked!!

Kek said...

Yeah, I reckon you never see that particular beast coming. But once you realise what it is that's sitting on the end of your bed and say its name, it magically becomes easier to fight off.

Put those gloves (drugs) on and give it a good whacking.


I'm all about the fighting and slaying today, aren't I? ;o)

Charlotte Orr said...

Yum - kangaroo is great! There are some nice recipes on the macro meats website:

Doris's BEHAG journey said...

Have grown up eating skippy from days out bush bush.............Liz I hope all will be well very soon for you. Need to pop and say gidday sometime very soon. hugs Dori

KatieP said...

I have no experience in either kangaroo or depression so I am completely out of advice [thank God I can hear you say!]

Just look after your gorgeous self and give yourself time to rest and heal.

LOTS and LOTS of love
K ♥

Esme said...

I have also had episodes of depression as a teenager, and it wasn't until I completely lost it, and was so close to ending it all that someone took notice (work related episode that put me over the edge). I was trying to cope at work and being a perfectionist at work is not helpful, in a 'caring' profession you have to learn to say no. I didn't know how to do that and almost worked my self to death, with the approval and encouragement of bosses! I saw the most wonderful psychiatrist & psychologist, and was off work for 3 months. That episode changed my life. I worked really hard and with CBT came out a stronger person who now easily says no - most of the time. I haven't had a bad episode since - about 5 years ago. As I still get very 'down' at times I've decided for me, the best thing is to continue with the medication - SSRI's. But that's and individual decision between my great GP, Psych & I. I totally agree that you can't always deal with it. I was very angry for a long time at my now ex bosses as I my thoughts were 'why did I have to almost die before you took notice', now my motto is 'What doesn't kill me, makes me stronger' Sorry, a long post. Essie

SeLiNa said...

I tried Skippy for the first time last week! Wow - I liked it although I felt a bit wrong!!!!!
I had the herb and garlic steaks, soooo good :)

Charlene said...

Liz, I've been bitten by the black dog a few times and it's not fun. hugs to you.

Raechelle said...

Sorry I missed this before..I wasn't reading many blogs the week you wrote this :-)
Thank you for sharing....I know for me it's been quite cathartic...I imagine it is for you as well. Stay strong and keep taking care of you!