So, I’m still alive. Still hanging on. It’s been a tough couple of months for me – hell, it’s been a tough couple of years, but I’m alive. And that’s what matters. I’m alive and I’m still making progress.
I’m not on Aripiprazole anymore. It was barely working for me as time went by. I’m now on Lithium. Day five. It has some untoward effects, as with most new medications, but nothing I can’t handle. Had a bad mental health day yesterday because of the change of meds, but I survived. I’m sure I’ll have more days like that, but I’ll survive them also. I always do.
I’m still on Escitalopram. Still can’t cry because of it. So that’s a bummer. I miss crying. Can’t even remember the last time I cried. I honestly don’t know if it’s still working, but there’s gotta be a reason my doc kept me on it.
Oh, I was rediagnosed by my PDoc. Apparently I have Bipolar Depression cos I wasn’t responding to the anti depressants.
Anyway, just wanted to update this blog and whoever reads it.
Going in on yesterday’s therapy, I considered having my doc up my dosage of mood stabilizers. Or, perhaps, try a new anti-depressant. I need the extra mental reinforcement. I need my mental foundation to be stronger. I still consider the foundations I have now to be weak, as it’s been shaky the past months.
But as my doctor and I talked, the more I realized that I’m letting my impatience take over. Despite the attacks and episodes, I’m still very much in control of them. I may have resorted to oversleeping lately so the attacks would cease, but that’s part of me taking control. That’s me using whatever I have in my disposal to combat the attacks.
Of course, the strategies I’ve concocted recently has its pitfalls, but I’ll reassess the situations I’m in. I’ll reassess the strategies, see what works with my current environment and my current path back to being a full-time photographer. I’ll have to make adjustments again to my lifestyle and how I operate. I’ll make mistakes, I’ll make errors in judgement, but nothing I can’t correct. That’s par for the course in being a depressive on recovery – learning from trial and error.
My life since I started treatment has been an experimentation. I was reborn that first time I walked into my psychiatrist’s office. I’ve gained much. I’ve also lost many. I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve also unlearned lessons and attitudes that were harmful for me.
Maybe my life will forever be like this. Maybe this is a cycle that I’m bound to live with for all my life. That I’ll have clinical depression until the day I’m gone. Maybe it’s more manageable than incurable. But I’m willing to stay the course and fight til life permits me to.
What have I got to lose, anyway? My sanity? That’s been decaying and rebuilding itself for decades. My life? I’ve been on multiple lives already, got a lot more of that in the tank. Whatever I’ll lose, I can regain.
2016 was a peak year for me. It was the era when I was at my most stable. Had a career as a music photographer. Had a girl. Had a guaranteed support system. Had a life – a real one where I was actually living. I was, for all intents and purposes, a functional human being with a clear direction.
I knew what I was waking up to in those days. I had reasons to wake up to, instead of waking up out of necessity. I wanted to live, not just ‘need to live.’
These days, even most of last year, everything’s a God damend mess. Nothing’s affixed. Nothing lasts longer than it should. Thought I’d restart a music career. Went nowhere. Lost the momentum and finally accepted that music isn’t for me. Now I’m back to film photography, and I am once again doubting if it’s the right path to take.
Hell, it’s the only path right now. Not that I have any qualms about it – I was a better photographer than anything I’ve ever done, really. Photography is second nature to me.
I do, right now, feel the need to reclaim the state I was in back in 2016. That’s been the goal, anyway – stability. A stable life balances an unstable mind. Got to thinking that I should recreate the state I was in. Sell my old car and purchase a digital camera and photography gear and go back to being “John Mari A. Marcelo, Photographer.” I do sorely miss digital photography. I can do film photography for personal projects, digital for work.
Sounds like a plan, right? But is it feasible? Is it doable? Damned if I know. I’ve been uncertain of too many things lately.
Before writing this, I tell myself that I don’t know how I managed to survive without my anti-anxiety pills for a month. That’s not really true. I managed because I did whatever I can to survive. I will admit that there were unhealthy coping mechanisms – nothing too extreme – but I do consider them unhealthy. I’ve been sleeping the anxiety off, overeating (pizza budget was exceeded,) negative/dark thoughts…
Continue reading “Battle Notes”
Battle Notes – February 14, 2017
As I’m typing this, the time is 9:09pm. Less than three hours until midnight. Less than three hours until I survive another Valentine’s Day.
But first, I have to apologize for the four month absence. Life has been, well…life. So many things have happened. Can’t even list them all down at this point. Need to focus on what I need to write.
This year’s Valentine’s is rougher than last year’s, no doubt. I was losing my shit again earlier. My breathing was compromised. Chest heavy. Felt like I was trapped in a prison I created for myself. But I know it’s my brain’s doing. It’s the depression’s doing. It’s that thing inside my head that was fucking with me again.
Continue reading “Letting Go Of Ghosts”
I found myself in a very precarious position eight days ago. I had to go off my anti-depressants as I was to take anti-biotics for my cyst removal surgery. I had to go cold turkey as my hand was forced. Sort of. I did allow for it to happen so I had a hand in it. I was afraid. Very afraid. But I did want to see what would happen. I wanted to know if I was capable of surviving a week without medication.
On the days when I forget to take my meds, the stressors get the best of me. I lose my shit. For the first few days when I had to go off meds, everything was okay. “Okay” like I was still medicated. My body as going through physical withdrawals (i.e. dizziness, light headedness, lags) but nothing to be concerned about. I don’t think.
It was the lack of stressors and triggers that made those first few days…good. Sane, even. I was still in control of my thoughts. I did this “thought test” I do when the need to assess my mental situation arises. The test, albeit morbid as fuck, hasn’t failed me yet: I imagine myself holding my revolver with the intention to blow my brains out.
Continue reading “The Seven Day War: A Week Without Medication”
Forgive the desolate tone of this blog post. It’s one of those weeks.
Six months to a year. That’s what I was told when I asked how long I was to take the medications. Of course, that was just an optimistic estimate. But I still held on to that. “I’ll be fully recovered in a year,” I thought. “I’ll finally free of the darkness that made a home in my head.” I knew it would take much longer since I’ve had the depression undiagnosed and untreated for almost all my life. Let’s say, thirty one years. That’s thirty one years of darkness versus a year of recovery.
A year won’t cut it. Let’s be real, here. I knew that. I knew that it will take more than a year. But it was nice to think that after a year, I’ll be the me I should have been if it wasn’t for the depression.
In less than a month, it will have been a year since I started seeing a psychiatrist. It will have been a year since I’ve been taking anti-depressants. What’s changed since then? What’s happened since I first walked into the clinic?
Continue reading “A Month Away”