Thursday, February 11, 2010

Down the Rabbit-Hole

"The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well.

Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her and to wonder what was going to happen next." - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

To those of you reading this, I want to apologize for my long absence from the blog. I had fallen into a pretty rough spot, and was really struggling to even just drag myself out of bed in the morning. I was feeling short tempered, whiny and miserable, and felt like I was annoying everyone around me with my mood. I didn't want to get out bed in the morning. I didn't want to go to work. I didn't want to do anything when I got to work. I was grouchy when people asked me to do things. I didn't even care if I lost my job because of my attitude or performance. I was achy and tired and deflated. I was almost constantly snarky to IvoryBoy, unreceptive to intimacy, lazy about cleaning the apartment and I have no idea how he put up with it, but so grateful that he didn't kick me out. (ha ha)  I could see this all happening, and couldn't stop it. I felt completely powerless over the world around me, and the things that would set me off seemed to change daily.
So I talked to my therapist about it all, and she seemed to think that it might be really severe PMS as my body tried to adapt to the change in hormones, both toward the end of the science experiment phase 1, and once we started the break from it. Her suggestion was to try an SSRI as a treatment for PMS. Since she's a clinical psychcologist and not able to prescribe meds, she directed me to discuss it with my GP. I mulled that over for a couple of weeks before actually calling my GP to make an appointment. Finally I had an epiphany (for lack of a better word) that I don't have to feel like that.

So I went in to talk to my GP, and he asked me a lot of questions and we talked for a while, and finally he said "It sounds like you've been battling depression for a long time. Is this the first time you've considered medication?" And I laughed and said "I didn't know I was really depressed." I always thought I was just a shy, angsty teenager, who grew up into a less shy, more angsty adult. I thought it was just my hormones wreaking havoc on my moods. I thought I just needed to try harder to deal with things. (I'm actually very hard on myself, and expect myself to have superhuman patience and coping skills.) So I decided, so much for the break from the meds... I started taking Zoloft, and it definitely is helping me to feel a bit more normal. Or calmer anyway. So it's worth it.

Examples of how it's helping:
1) Last year when I was writing report cards for my hebrew school classes, I broke down in tears no less than 3 times from the stress of trying to evaluate students without repeating comments for multiple students because my principal apparently hates it. I don't know firsthand that she hates it, only that she complained to another teacher about my comments. Nice, right? Well this time, I was calm and did not stress about the fact that I didn't get them from the school administrator until 3 days before they were due. I just did my best, worked slowly and calmly, and handed them in 2 weeks late. IvoryBoy said "Wow, that Zoloft is working!"
2) Seven (not exaggerating) friends and family members are all pregnant and due in late July or August. I am happy for them. I haven't cried about it, and have made jokes about not getting the memo. "Wow, that Zoloft is working!"

So I'm taking this one day at a time. Working on feeling more human, more like my old self. Trying to get back to the happy place IvoryBoy and I had. Now if only I could get myself motivated about exercising!