Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In a Bind

Today I saw my psychiatrist.  She called me last week after my therapist called her because my therapist was “deeply concerned about me.”  My psychiatrist doesn’t do therapy, she just writes prescriptions.  It’s all about the meds.  Today she wanted to know about my drawings.  I guess my therapist told her about them.  If you’ve ever seen my drawings you’d know why describing them is not an easy task.  I wasn’t able to describe them so now I have to bring them in when I see her in two weeks.  Crap.  I am panicking and trying to draw kitty cats and rainbows but I can’t draw pretty things.  I can only draw sad, scary, depressing things.  We talked about why I look so nervous and about my foster mother.    I told her, “I feel like everyone is looking for evidence that I need to be in a hospital and not really what is best for me.”  My doctor said, “Look, I’m not psychic, if you say you’re not going to hurt yourself, I have to take your word for it.  You are here because you want help, right?  Are you going to hurt yourself?”  She asked in her South African accent.  I shook my head no.  She asked me, “Are you sure?”   I said I was.  I feel like I lied and I hate lying.  I should have told her that I think about death all the time, that right now it’s all I can think about, but I knew that would be stupid and to be honest my tiny little South African doctor is a little scary.  She is very nice but my anxiety is out of control when I sit in her office.  I don’t know what it is about her that terrifies me.  Perhaps it’s because I know she’s watching and analyzing ever move I make.  Judging me.  Everything means something to her.  I bite the left side of my bottom lip and rub my face with my hands a lot.  Nervous tics I guess.  Normally I don’t think about it much except for when I am sitting in front of her.  When I am in front of her I notice every single time I do one of those things.  My brain yells at me.  “Stop doing that, you look crazy!”  Then I suddenly stop and she seems to notice.  She writes a note down in my file.  “Oh great, now I look like I’m trying not to look crazy.” 

My doctor gave me samples of a medication to add on top of my current antidepressant.  It’s one of those medications there are a ton of commercials for and the list of side effects in those commercials creeps me out.  I’m not even sure the meds help me at all.  My girlfriend says she can see a difference but I honestly can’t.  I don’t feel any different with the medication.  This new medication will take three weeks before I feel anything.  How do I know that it’s the medication making a difference and it’s not just that I’m feeling better on my own?  I don’t want to be on drugs for the rest of my life.  Will I ever be able to come off them or will my brain stop making the hormones it needs to feel good?  I’m afraid to argue right now because everything I do is under scrutiny so I took the meds and made an appointment to see her in two weeks. 

Right now I am in a bit of a bind.  I so desperately want help because I know it’s not normal to think about ending your life all day long nor does it feel good.  I desperately want this sharp, deep, ache in my heart to lessen.  I don’t think I’ll ever get it to go away but it would be nice if I can bring the pain down to a tolerable level.  I need it to come down to a tolerable level because I cannot continue to live this way.  It hurts so much that death feels like a relief.


I have therapy on Wednesday and I’m already nervous about that session.  I wrote my therapist on Friday with links about my childhood hospital.  I wrote:

“Dear L,

Even if you think it is what is best for me, it isn't.  A hospital cannot make me feel better.  I know you have to worry about yourself, but you shouldn't because there is no one in my life to go after your license.  I don't have any family to do that to you.  No one would want to anyway.  I don't need a hospital but I'm so terrified that you're going to send me to one anyway.  I'm worried about what is going to happen when you and Dr. M talk so I am writing this just in case that happens before I see you again.”

This was her response:

“I just wanted to acknowledge that I received your email and hear your concerns. We can definitely talk more about them when we see each other. If I speak with Dr. M before then, I'll disclose to you the details of our conversation at our next session.”

Perhaps I didn’t do myself any favors with this email.  I should have said nothing.  I should have just waited.  My therapist made me promise to send her an email this weekend telling her how I am.  I should have just waited for that email.  I tried to be funny with the next email I sent on Sunday.  I wrote:

“Dear L,

All better now. 

--Campbell

Alright, so maybe I’m not that funny, but I’m okay.”

I wrote this because a friend and I thought it would be so funny.  I can’t remember why I thought it would be funny now.  Her benign response made me feel a little stupid.  She wrote:  

 “Thanks for checking in with me. I'm glad you're okay. See you Wednesday.”

Anyway, I’m not sure where I am going with any of this.  I guess the point is I don’t really know how to act anymore.  If I am honest and truthful and show my feelings there are potentially very serious consequences.  Being honest is risky right now.  If I hold everything together and pretend like I am fine there are equally as big risks and then I’m not helping myself at all.  My therapist is right.  I do think about ending my life.  I do have a plan.  The plan was only for comfort but I find myself thinking about it more and more.  I have even bought an essential item for the plan.  I am not planning on doing anything but I can’t get the thought out of my head.  It’s extremely seductive.  It’s looking better and better every day.  I just want some relief.  If your leg is infected and causing you an extraordinary amount of pain and the pain and infection is spreading, you’d cut off your leg, right?  That’s what I want to do.  The problem is my pain is in my heart and my brain.  I cannot cut those off without ending my entire existence.  I really just want to kill the part of me that hurts, but right now all of me hurts.  Every single part of my body, my heart, and my brain hurts.  My life hurts.  My life is hurting me and I just can’t do it anymore.  I want to tell my therapist.  I want her to help me, but what good will that do for me in the long run?  A hospital will NOT make me feel better.  I know this.  A hospital cannot help me.  A hospital will make me worse.  I know they can only hold me for three days because I will not go willingly, but I also know what once I am in the hospital I might shut down completely which means they can keep me longer.  This is what happens to me when things are beyond my control and I freak out.  I cannot speak.  I cannot eat.  I cannot do anything but pretend to sleep.  This is what I will do in the hospital because strangers scare me.  Hospitals scare me.  The possibility that someone can hold me down and shove things in my mouth scares me.  Having no control over my own life scares me.  I will not be able to talk to a strange therapist.   It took me six months to talk to the one I have now.  I will not be able to talk in group therapy.  It’s just not something I can do.  I might not be the most self-aware person on this planet, but I know this about myself. 

So where do I go from here?  How do I get the help I need without messing up my life even more?  I have to walk a very fine line at the moment.  Trying to say the right things and make the right moves instead of being honest is already exhausting and I haven’t even begun doing it yet.  I’m so nervous about therapy on Wednesday.  I plan on doing my hair and dressing nice.  I want to look put together.  I want to look nice so that she will think I am better.  That part is easy.  I already know what I am going to wear.  I’m going to wear my favorite blue shirt with a black undershirt, my newest jeans, and my nice boots.  I will also do something with my hair.  All of that is easy.  The hard part is finding the right things to say.  How do I make myself seem like I am better, but not “too better?”  How do I keep my freedom and get the help I need?