Welcome to my World

Where else can you get a really good look at a train wreck of emotional dysfunction
and not be right in the middle of the thing?


Monday, April 18, 2016

Riding the Crazy Train

The mind can go either direction under stress-toward positive or toward negative: on or off.  Think of it as a spectrum whose extremes are unconsciousness at the negative end and hyperconsciousness at the positive end.  The way the mind will lean under stress is strongly influenced by training.
{Frank Herbert, Dune}
 
I had my first ketamine infusion today, and it was extremely unpleasant like a very bad trip.  Ketamine is a dissociative, and I found myself in a terrifying psychic space where time had little meaning and each thought rippled further into a constrictive prison of the mind.  The whole fundamental nature of existence and reality, undefined and yet forever inescapable, seemed to dissolve into a chaos of endless fear.  I had at least 2-3 panic attacks and was sure I was going to have a heart attack and die.  I managed to ride it out, but I'm anticipating tomorrow's appointment with trepidation.
 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Amended Assessment

But quick as a shot came the sickness, like a detective that had been watching around the corner and now followed to make his arrest.
{Alexander DeLarge, A Clockwork Orange}
 
Every goal that I have for myself—writing, getting myself in some kind of shape to attract a mate, unburying myself from debt—inevitably, invariably gets derailed by my mental illness and depression.  I try so hard, running with any improvement in mood, pouncing on any momentum and believing that, this time, things will be different.  That's why this blog often seems bipolar when reading through the entries, even though I don't suffer from that particular affliction.  The most apt metaphor for me is someone with one foot nailed to the floor, forever limping along in a circle—getting nowhere—while life just passes by.  My efforts always devolve into pleasure-seeking: expensive calories, movies/TV and video games (now that I've managed to stay away from alcohol and drugs) while practical matters of my job, fitness, finances and personal environment get thrown over, even as they weigh me down with stress and feelings of failure.
 
I spent most of last week wishing I had the courage to end myself, since cowardice is often the only thing that stays my hand.  As I get older, it seems harder to believe the lie that one day things will be better, and I have very little use for my existence.  My psychiatrist says that there is nothing further he can do for me pharmacologically.  He suggested I take a leave of absence from work and go into intensive outpatient therapy, but that would just cause me more problems while likely solving none.  I have no social support to speak of and spend most of my non-work time alone.  It's not that I don't have wonderful people in my life who care about me, but my need is so great that it wouldn't be fair to overwhelm those people in what would be an endless drain.  And I'm not at a place where I could nurture new and healthy relationships and haven't been for some time.

The Audacity Delusion of Hope

I have just arrived in Atlanta today to try a week of ketamine infusions, a new and somewhat experimental procedure, once more grasping at hope.  It has only recently been used for the therapeutic treatment of depression, and this is the closest place to me that offers it.  My time and monetary investment in TMS didn't work out "as my hopes have flown before."  Even if this new treatment helps, it's unlikely to last for any significant amount of time, and I don't have the resources to make bimonthly trips out of state for something that isn't covered by insurance.  As it is, my parents had to give me the $3,000 to cover my trip and treatment, which they generously gave to me freely out of kindness and love.  I do feel tremendously grateful to have such caring parents, but my mind always warps it into guilt for having so many advantages over other people and yet still can't get it together.  But I've been desperate, and the desperate will try almost anything.

On a more sanguine note, I did have an auspicious fortune in my Chinese food last week: "Traveling to the south will bring you unexpected happiness."

My Healing Brain

Once I managed to stick with protracted sobriety, especially after a year, I really expected more of my brain to come back.  My depression has a measurable effect on my cognition and memory, but I anticipated the avoidance of recreational chemicals to clear out some of the fog.  While that wasn't the case for the longest time, I do think I'm seeing some improvement.  I still have the attention span of a fruit fly, but I think my focus has clarified somewhat.  I've been replaying the Dragon Age: Inquisition video game, which has an extremely complex and multifaceted story built upon a richly established set of lore.  I've noticed myself being better able to remember details and tie things together more easily.  The same has been true of the recent audiobooks I've been listening to in the car.  So that, at least, is something.

I am the Inquisitor

Personal Roundup

Sobriety: 1 year, 6 months, 2 weeks
Weight: 241 pounds
Debt: $24,200