I really thought that I could switch the light on through sheer will and determination. Actually, I thought of it more like I was on a dimmer. If I tried hard enough, I could turn that knob brighter and brighter. I could nudge it an itty bitty bit every day and that could keep me going forward. I have a need to see some kind of progress in my life. I have to at least think things will get better.
I’m not a dimmer. I’m a light switch. Hell, I’m that middle light switch that no one can figure out what it does. I can’t switch myself out of this depression, and I’m losing the ability to fake it. I’ve missed about two days a week out of work this past month. When I call in sick and organize for a substitute to cover my classes, there is a pull down menu of reasons. I click the “sick leave” category, but I really want an option for “can’t do today.”
In my delusional effort to turn that fucking dimmer, I have overextended myself. I promised myself I wouldn’t lie. When people ask me why I’m not at work, I tell them. I now have people coming to me with questions. Adults and students who are having mental health issues and coming to me as if I have my shit together. At first I thought I was saving the world, but this problem is so much bigger than even a sane person could handle. The 22nd kid came to me on Friday. I need to stop keeping count. He showed me his cuts. That’s all he had to do. We sat down. I told him he was brave and thanked him for trusting me. Our school is lucky enough to have a doctor’s office on site. I reassured him that he was going to be fine. He is unwell and not the deviant he thought he was. I then promptly delivered him to the health center. I was able to use the words he didn’t know to tell the doctor what was going on. A bell rang and I went and taught test taking skills to my juniors. Number 21 doesn’t see a point to any of it and is struggling to survive through each day. I’ve known number 20 for a few years and a once vibrant young lady is a greasy unshowered mess who can barely get out of bed. Numbers 17-19 are also cutters. Numbers 6-16 are severely depressed. Number 5 is way out of my league, I’m thinking schizophrenic. 4 is bi-polar. 1-3 are depressed. They all had different needs and were each hurting so much. I am so thankful we have a doctor and psychologist available in the high school for these kids.
I’m at an impasse. I’m not getting better. I’m becoming more unwell. It doesn’t matter how hard I try, I am not a reliable support system for these kids. I’m not a reliable support system for myself.
I’ve gotta figure out what that middle light switch does.
Here’s the thing. Once the meds are right and things have leveled out, you realize that there is still a bunch of shit waiting for you. And it was all that shit that put you into a tailspin to start with. Are we just programmed to forever react inappropriately to the stress in the world, or does it just gravitate towards us? I’m usually too busy dealing with my crazy that I don’t see what I’m surrounded with. Time to open up my eyes and use this time of lucidity for all it is worth.
Sideburns!! An earlier post mentioned the magnificence of this man.
My son’s birthday is today. He is a St. Patty’s day baby and now officially a teenager. We went to the Irish pub down the road like we do every year. It was crowded, noisy, two bad bands playing at the same time, and 90 minute wait. But if my kid wants to go celebrate Irish style, then that is what we will do. Xanax helped.
I saw Sideburns there!! I don’t know the etiquette of this kind of situation. Do I say hi? Hug? Firm hand shake? I decided to play it safe and not approach him. But he was there. He wanted so desperately to die not so long ago, and there he was. Alive. Very much alive. 🙂
I just thought of something. We all know the story. Depression and its buddies are caused by….actually, I dunno.Google doesn’t know either and there are no answers to be found anywhere on the Internet.
Here is some of the information that is readily available Online:
Russia has a larger surface area than Pluto.
France was still executing people by guillotine when Star Wars: A New Hope hit theaters.
For every human on Earth there are 1.6 million ants.
Shakespeare made up the name “Jessica” for his play Merchant of Venice.
Scotland’s national animal is the unicorn.
Here is how depression is treated with medication: “Antidepressants primarily work on brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, especially serotonin and norepinephrine. Other antidepressants work on the neurotransmitter dopamine. Scientists have found that these particular chemicals are involved in regulating mood, but they are unsure of the exact ways that they work,” according to Dr. Doctor.
That’s cool. I don’t need to know exactly how it works. I’ve got too much or too little serotonin, norepinephrine, and/or dopamine. The antidepressants help me keep these things or gets rid of them. With all that being said, there must be people out there with the opposite issue, right? There are tall people and there are short people. There are green eyed people and blue eyed people. There are hairy people and bald people. So logic says that if I have severe/major depression, someone out there must has severe/major under-depression. I’m not talking about those happy folks. The opposite of depressed is not happy.
I’ve wondered what my under-depressed me would be like. I’ll named her Charlotte. I bet her house is clean. I bet Charlotte is the type of person who hangs flags on her front porch that match the seasons. I bet she remembers to get her oil changed and rotate her tires. I bet that bitch’s bra and panties match every day and not just on “special occasions.” I bet her dog didn’t eat her only pair of black flats three weeks ago and she still hasn’t bought a new pair and is almost out of brown outfits. Charlotte is in the PTA and knows the names of all her children’s teacher AND hand makes teacher gifts from Pinterest. Hell, Pinterest calls her when they need gardening advice.
You know what? I hate Charlotte. You know what else? I’m way more fun.
Sir Terry Pratchett died this week. He was one of my favorite authors. His books are a mix of Douglas Adams, Neil Gaiman, Kurt Vonnegut, and wrapped up with in a Monty Python bow. Right now he is sitting on the beach of a nice little island that is just one land mass on a massive flat disc which is balanced on the backs of four elephants which, in turn, stand on the back of a giant turtle.
Here are my favorite Terry Pratchett quote (there are lots of them, and I have one tattooed on my arm) :
“Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.”
“Just erotic. Nothing kinky. It’s the difference between using a feather and using a chicken.”
“If you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don’t apply to you.”
I’ve been in bed for 4 days. 4 days!! That is a lot of hours. I would be specific about the amount of hours, but math. Oh wait, there is a calculator on my phone…….96 Hours!! Imagine all the things that could get done in 96 hours. I could have built The Great Wall of China, The Starship Enterprise, The Death Star, AND the Eiffel Tower out of legos. I could have Netflixed the hell out of some Ken Burns’ documentaries. I could have cleaned the house from top to bottom (the probably never would have happened).
I could have gone to work.
I could have used the lesson plans that I worked hard on and showed up. We are reading sweet ass books in all my classes. I’m missing out on watching their minds being blown. That’s an overstatement. 5% of the students’ minds are blown, 80% are really enjoying the book, 10% are trying to give me their, “I totally didn’t do my homework and I have nothing to worry about just as long as I don’t make contact with the teacher. For the love of all that is holy, don’t call on me,” look and 5% are over-medicated. I should of gone to work. Co-workers and kids are let down when I don’t show up. What I am trying to say is that I love my job and the people I work with, but it wasn’t enough to get me out of bed. I went to the doctor on Tuesday. I had him take me off all stimulants. It was a good ride, amphetamines. I wish you all the best.
I just want to get out of bed.
I can not insist enough how important it is that you go to this site. And buy her book! A very good friend of mine recently bought me Allie Brosh’s book. It is brilliant, beautiful, and the most perfect thing ever.
I am not a fan of Vyvanse! I thought the hardest part about switching from Adderral to Vyvanse was going to be when they had to pry the Adderall from my clenched fist. I started feeling lousy as soon as I switched last week. I figured that it was because most things feel lousy compared to taking speed every day. My brain melted yesterday. I couldn’t keep a thought in my head, I couldn’t pin down an idea, I could barely carry on a conversation. It continued to melt today, I am jittery, anxious, and stupid. This afternoon, I suddenly found myself unceremoniously in a depression. The kind of depression that takes a good couple of weeks to get going. The kind that you see gradually catching up with you in the rear-view mirror. I found this to be incredibly unfair and not cool.
I consulted Dr. Google and I’m having an adverse reaction to the Vyvanse. Lots of them. I’m putting this drug in the “A Lot of Nopes” column. What do I do now? I could, with a straight face, tell the doctor that I gave it an honest try and I would like my adderall back please and thank you very much. I’ll do some research tomorrow when I can form a coherent thought. I’m gonna keep calm and chill until this stupid and sad wear off.
I like dogs. I like them way more than cats. Cats are assholes. My feelings about cats may be influenced by the fact that I am deathly allergic to them. Those assholes.
I had seen the news specials where dogs are used to help people pick shit up and stuff. It seems they are also being used very successfully to help ill minds. I used to think that this was all very nice and pretty stinking adorable, but it wasn’t science. It wasn’t medicine. Then I had my own experience with dogs and crazy.
There is a beautiful time of day. It lasts about an hour. It falls after I have come home from work, after the boys’ homework has been checked, but before I have to start dinner, and before grading and lesson planning. Let’s call this time, “STFU Time.”