Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The Deep Breath before the Diagnosis

This is going to be a post of two parts. Half of this I'm writing Before, the other half will be written After.

After what?

After I see a Doctor seeking a diagnosis for whatever has been fucking up my mental health for the past 3+ months. The likely bet is depression, possibly with a dollop of anxiety to make things even more fun. I probably should have made an appointment for this *weeks* ago but that miserable little voice which I've talked about before has been a real bitch for talking me out of making that phonecall because it says things like "why do I need to see a doctor? There are loads of people way more unwell than I am, it's probably nothing. I'm just being lazy etc."

Over this summer I've become aware of my mental state in a way I don't think I have been previously and there is no getting away from the fact that I am not all right. I can literally tick almost every box of Depression symptoms without fudging my memories to fit (Anyone who follows on me twitter knows about my inability to wake up at a reasonable time & to feed myself proper meals). It is not good for me to continue avoiding getting a proper diagnosis, I don't think that sheer willpower alone is going to drag my head back out of the black pit that it's been living in for last stretch of time.

I just need to actually be brave enough to ask for that help - one of the hardest steps has been taken. I've made the appointment to see a Doctor. That's an accomplishment I should hold onto. The next step is going into that room and telling a stranger that my brain has been dousing itself in misery and is drowning in it to the point that I need someone to throw me a line to pull myself clear.

Obviously I am nervous to HECK about having to explain everything. There's this nagging fear that the Doctor won't actually believe that I'm actually depressed and send me home with only the sickening thought that I just need to pull myself together and stop wasting their time. That's the worst case scenario for me. I *need* to know that I'm not imagining all of these awful feelings.

So I'm taking a deep breath. And hoping that I don't get the wind knocked out of me when I hit the water.

Well I went to the Doctor's, admittedly I only got out of bed 12 minutes before I needed to be there and I was teetering on the verge of falling back to sleep for at least an hour before I moved. But I went.

And whaddya know I *do* have depression! The Doctor used basically the same damn diagnosis quiz thing I used myself last night on the NHS website and I came out with a 14 on what I could very flippantly call the Depress-o-meter (My sense of humour tends towards the morbidly dark when dealing with the unpleasant issues). That apparently means I'm at the upper end of "moderately depressed".

Now what?

The Doctor I saw wasn't particularly gifted with sensitivity settings so it was suggested to me that I ought to be making changes in my life to deal with the root causes of my depression, (the fact that I'm unemployed is definitely not helping) I need a reason to actually get out of bed in the morning and currently my own willpower is not motivation enough. The phrase "need to stop moping about" may have been used. *sigh*

It was also suggested that getting a part-time job to fill some time & tide me over financially while I figure out what the fuck I'm doing long-term would be "easy" like jobs are just falling from trees around here. Just because there is an enormous Tesco a stone's throw from my house doesn't necessarily mean that they are in need of staff.

I am fully cognisant of the fact that I need a job both for financial reasons and mental health reasons. I am not one of those people who can manage and divide up their time to use it productively without it being required of me. If I had a boss who was expecting me to get up at 7am in order to get to work on time then I could do it, but when it's just me thinking "oh you should do x,y & z today"there's no real incentive to follow through because there's no consequences if I don't do those things.

Of course there is the shame & self-loathing of knowing I failed to do what many people can do with nothing more than willpower as their motivation. But currently my inability to get out of bed and get things done is somewhat out of my control - if my brain has foxed itself on how to produce the chemicals which make me want to wake up in a morning and not feel like someone has simply dug me up with little care that I'm soft and squishy - then is it entirely my fault that waking up before 9am has become such a foreign concept?

When I initially had my diagnosis (it's now a week later because this post didn't get finished last Wednesday like it was supposed to *quelle surprise*) I didn't get a prescription for anti-depressants because I thought that maybe I'd be able to sort myself out by just booking some counselling & getting a job or whatever. But after mulling it over for a week now I've started to realise that in order for me to make the lifestyle changes which will allow me to stabilise myself I do really need to be able to function for a good portion of every day.

At the moment I can't - I'm waking up late every day, not really getting out of bed before noon & then milling about aimlessly for several hours before Le Boyf gets home from work and then we're both sat around doing nothing for the rest of the evening because it's very likely that he's also depressed and can't be fucked with anything.

So I'm going to look into getting meds, because if they help me to function well enough to get up properly, do the things I need to do & sort out fixing the root causes of my depression then it can't be a bad thing to try them. Just got to make another appointment at the doctor's and *not* with the original guy because I don't need my worst perceptions of myself reinforced again ta very much.

This has been a bit of a rollercoaster post and has taken me far longer than I would have liked to finish. That's another thing which depression has fucked up for me - writing. It's been like trying to transfigure shit into diamonds with a toothpick. Agonising and damn-near impossible. I'm hoping like hell that meds will help whatever it is that has kicked the bottom out of my creativity or the next 9 months are going to be hellishly difficult.

So deep breath, let's try to deal with this. One day at a time.


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No judgment, no hate, because it is already tough enough being a girl.