One thing I’ve never wanted to do was write a blog while I was in a depressive state of mind. But then again one thing I’ve always said is I want anything I write to be authentic. I want it to be raw. I never want to sugarcoat my emotions or downplay the pain or suffering. So why have I been afraid of sharing how I currently feel and instead always focusing on how I felt in the past. It is easy to say I’ve leaned on past experiences in hopes that you will use them as a beacon to light your path through your own mental health struggles.
Today was an odd day. I had a great time with my son. It was only 2 hours but I don’t complain, it was 2 hours I dreamed about and hungered for just months ago. We had fun. We didn’t get to do much but the important thing was us communicating with each other. We are getting to know each other again and I can’t be more happy about it. He actually made me feel good when we started discussing the weekends. I will have him Saturday and Sunday from 12-4 this weekend and in a few weeks he will start spending Friday night till Sunday evening with me. When I explained this to me he said he had hoped he could start spending the entire weekend already. I can’t explain how happy that made me feel.
Later today I had my first appointment with my new psychiatrist. Finally after 4 months of seeing the therapist an appointment opened up and I was able to finally be seen. It was a good session. Obviously more of an introduction than anything else. She has put me back on lithium to help me with the suicidal thoughts. To this day I believe I’ll be dead by the time I’m 55 and it will be from suicide. I’m not suicidal. I haven’t thought about doing anything in quite some time. But the fact that its in my mind on a daily basis is the reason for the lithium. I’ve taken it in the past but never took enough to reach a therapeutic level so this time I’m going to be going to a full 900mg a day to see how that works. All other meds have been kept the same which is a relief. I was afraid it was going to be a wipe the slate clean and start a whole new regimen situation.
On the drive home this evening I felt my emotions start to drop a bit. The other night I googled for any kind of dental fee assistance that might be out there. There is but it’s a long process and quite a few hoops to jump through. I can honestly tell you that due to never being taken to a dentist as a child I don’t know what its like to smile with my mouth open. And if there is a picture with me smiling with my mouth open I’m horrified to look at it. Can you imagine living your entire life being afraid to open your mouth? There always seemed to be a life event that would come up that would cause me not to be able to afford to do what I wanted to do with my teeth. I always put other peoples needs and wants before my own. I’m at the point now where I use DenTek which is a product designed to be a temporary filling for cavities. I’ve been using it for the back of one of my front teeth for 4 months now. It dissolves after a few days and a new filling goes in. I don’t have dental insurance and lack the funds to get things fixed to be able to once in my life….smile.
I started thinking about how my rainy day fund was completely gone. I at one point had the money to get my 6 top front teeth replaced but didn’t because I knew something would come along. First it was my car needing replaced, then it was dropping $2000 for a new custody agreement and another $1350 to file for bankruptcy. I’ve always lived having a plan for emergencies. That is now gone and my skin is crawling. I absolutely hate it. I’m now paying for choosing the instant gratification over long term security. I’m now paying for spending money because I didn’t plan on being here.
These are all things people take for granted. But when your stuck in a well up to your neck in your own shit it weighs on you more than people can understand. Today should have been a good day and it was, but then like flipping a switch it has gone to shit. I want to be here to inspire people to open up and share their feelings. Not to sit here and dwell on the damn mistakes I’ve made. But people don’t realize how magnified your mistakes are to you when your fighting depression. You start down this road and you begin to question everything. Your relationships, your future, how you are going to survive. Everything.
I wish one of the pills the doctor described me today would cure everything. It can’t give me self-confidence, it can’t give me family, it can’t fix my teeth, it can’t replenish my safety net, it can’t wipe out my debt, and it certainly can’t give me love and acceptance. Those meds are for one thing. Stabilizing.
Being stabilized is great, but it doesn’t take away any of the thoughts I just shared. I hate feeling like this. I hate feeling like this is the best its going to get. I hate knowing how vulnerable I am should something else happen. I hate knowing there is nothing I can do about it. I hate knowing there is nothing I can do about anything I’ve mentioned.
If your reading this and you’ve recently been diagnosed with a mental illness I would want you to take away one thing. Regardless of your diagnosis and regardless of your medication life is going to continue to move around you. You must be diligent in building a support system that you can turn to for help. When you get to the point I was at, it seemed like moving a mountain to make a call to the gas company just to work out a payment plan so your gas wasn’t turned off. Or as in my case going out in public and potentially have people see my teeth. You are already torn down and now every little insecurity is magnified 100x over.
I’m not perfect, I’m not even good. I am who I am. This is who I am. I’m now a 43 year old guy that lives in his sisters spare bedroom. I suffer from depression, anxiety, PTSD, and OCD. I am not working. I’m bankrupt and unable to live on my own. My family is my sister and my son. I’ve got less than one handful of friends. I have trust issues. I have zero self-confidence. My future life isn’t a pretty picture. I didn’t ask for this but these were the cards I’ve been dealt. If your reading this you’ve been dealt your own cards. Learn from my mistakes. Ask me questions about where I went wrong. The short answer to where I went wrong is this… I went wrong at every turn when I started in this mental health fog. I didn’t have anyone reaching out a hand who was experienced in suicide and severe depression.
I’m not a licensed professional but I have what the book smart doctors don’t have. I have true experience of living it, fighting it, struggling with it, admitting I have it, and accepting it as part of who I am. The hardest thing you’ll have to do is accept that your diagnosis is now part of you. Its not a death sentence. You do not have to be a statistic or a definition. None of us are exactly alike. Most days I can’t light my own path in front of me but I’d be there in a second to shine some light to help you get even a few steps closer. It’s easier for me to build someone else up than it is to build myself up. Never, ever be afraid to reach out to me on twitter @tonyk10933. You have nothing to lose by reaching out. I’m a judgment free person and there isn’t much you could tell me that I haven’t either already heard or experienced myself.
I’m sorry this entry wasn’t at its usual tone. But ya know what, shit happens.
REMEMBER…. YOU MATTER!!