Thursday, April 17, 2014

The honest truth

To say that my psychiatrist was not pleased with me when I told him that I had added another antidepressant all on my own, would be putting it mildly. He is even going to consider if it is possible for our doctor-patient relationship to continue because I have damaged his trust in me and played a dangerous game. I did not protest against anything he said to me because I know that I was in the wrong and that from his point of view I had made an enormous blunder.
I did explain my reasons why I had added the antidepressant and that I had done the research on it, but he said that was still not good enough and that I should have discussed it with him first. I did point out his negative attitude toward solving my depression with medication and that when I made the decision, I was very desperate and that there was no one around to lend a helping hand. A phone call is just not good enough.
The point is, that these last two days I am doing better, although I don't know if the medication can work that quickly, and I am past the side effects. It is also starting to have a calming effect and I need less of the tranquilizers.
My psychiatrist is going to let me continue on the new antidepressants and he wrote a prescription for them. He said that he really hopes that my experience with them is going to be good and I will see him again in about three weeks. I am to keep in touch with him in the meantime about how the medication works and if I have any problems with it.
None of this leaves me unmoved, but at least I do know now why I feel so guilty.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Moving more smoothly

I did some research online on the antidepressant that I started taking along with the one I was already on, and found out that in the US and Australia it is given as a complimentary antidepressant with the kind that I already take because they are of two different classes and work differently. It is given as a complimentary antidepressant when the more commonly used one doesn't work by itself well enough. So, instinctively I did the right thing and seem to have struck gold. I hope my psychiatrist is just as pleased about that when I see him today, although I am sure he will need some convincing, but the proof is in the pudding.
I am also seeing my therapist with whom I discuss the details of my daily life and I will have 45 minutes to do so. I am worrying ahead of time if that will be enough to tell her everything that I need to, but I am sure that once I get there, all the pieces of the puzzle will fall into place and the whole story will emerge. I guess I worry too much about delivering proof that I am learning my lesson and I really ought not to do that. I don't have to proof anything. I don't have to be the patient with the best success story. I don't always have to strive for perfection. Let's dump that idea here and now.
I had a better day yesterday and managed to not worry as much about things and spent less time in bed. I am becoming a bit more comfortable with who I am, but this is just one step in the long journey I have to go. I don't want to be overeager and say, "Eureka, I have seen the light!" In all things I want to be very restrained and keep my life on a very low burner, maybe forever if that is the way to survive best. I am better aware of how I don't want things to be and how I don't want to behave. I suppose I had to be badly burned for me to get that message well enough.
What really saves me, is that I have given myself until the end of May to deal with this situation and I don't have to have all the answers until that time. I suppose it hasn't really dawned on me what a luxury that is and that I should take full advantage of it. Guarding my boundaries is the most important thing I have to do and to keep reaffirming my attitude about that every time my resolve starts to weaken. I must not lose sight of what my most important objective is and that is to clearly define where my space is and at what point I allow other people to invade it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Being assertive

The friend who always calls me so much and who is so codependent, I will call friend L, and just like I had expected, she called me in the morning after I had not answered the phone the day before. This time I was prepared and I gave her a good talking to about sticking to the agreement that we had made and that she should not call me again, and I am sure that she heard by the tone of my voice that I was angry. Of course, she had her excuses ready for why she had called me anyway and they were supposedly all in my interest, but I made the conversation as short as possible and hung up before it could turn into an argument.
This whole situation is one of the reasons why I have a burn out because it has been going on for a long time and it illustrates how I allow people to take advantage of me because I don't clearly mark my boundaries. I have a public persona and that one is friendly and polite and helpful, and it is the one that people are attracted to and feel that they can lean on and tell all their troubles to.
I am very much aware of the fact that this persona comes out the moment other people are around, and now I try to keep her out of the picture and let the Irene that I feel I am in my guts be present. One of the ways I can tell if she is, is by paying attention to my body. If I start to get aches and pains anywhere, especially in my neck and shoulders, then I know I am in trouble and I know that the public persona is doing her spiel. I feel I literally have to wipe the smile off her overeager face.
I get those aches and pains when I am by myself too and huge feelings of stress and I know that it is because I let how I experience life overwhelm me at the moment. Therefor it is good to take this time out to learn new behavior while I become aware of the kind that is dysfunctional.
You have to find out who you are in your deepest core and always be that person.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Not letting it get out of hand

I find that I react to the slightest trigger by becoming very nervous and I try to protect myself from that by spending a lot of my time in bed. I do alright taking Tyke for his walks three times a day, in fact, I find them very relaxing, but when I am home anything at all gives me stress. I am very lucky in that everyone has gotten the message and the phone doesn't ring, but yesterday afternoon it did, although I didn't answer it. Things like that bother me a lot, especially because I saw who it was.
I have a friend who is very codependent and who can't take an independent action of her own without discussing it with me first. She discusses the least little detail of her life with me even though she has a husband and a therapist and a psychiatrist. She calls me twice a day and expects me to answer the phone each time. She will call until I answer the phone or until I call her back.
I had already told her earlier that it is absurd that she expects me to solve her problems and for her not to call me all the time anymore and for about a week she didn't, but then she returned to her old habit. Now that I have a bad burn out, I told her specifically that I was taking a long time out and that I wanted no contact with anyone and that included no phone calls until further notice. She said that she understood and that she would wait for me to get better and contact her.
And of course it was she who called yesterday and let the phone ring for a long time and this irritated me so that I was upset about it for a long time. Apparently she is so needy, that she can't think about my best interests. In her own convoluted way of thinking she had justified her reason for calling me anyway. I know just how her mind works. I know she will try to call me again today and will keep trying and I will have to stop her which means talking to her because I can't find her new email address.
And that is the way things are.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Living like a hermit

My self imposed separation from the world is working out well and I am becoming more and more comfortable with the idea that I am allowing myself a long time to do this. It was difficult at first to accept that I had stepped out of the rat race and that I didn't have to get back to it, but now it is very much alright with me. The healing properties of my hermit like existence are starting to bear fruit and I am already a much more relaxed human being. They are because I am so very strict about it, and I aim to stick to this regime until the end of May.
Tyke and Gandhi are the beneficiaries of my newfound relaxed state of existence. I have more time and energy to pay attention to them and spend time petting them and talking to them about nothing at all. I don't feel that I have to do anything else when Gandhi sits on my lap or when Tyke wants a belly rub. I guard this quality time with them like a mother lion and make darn sure nothing interferes with it. It is to my benefit too that I do this because time spent with the animals is good for me.
I feel better now that I have stopped taking the estrogen pills and am much less anxious. They should put the danger of that as a great big warning on the box. It also said in the English language information sheet, that if you have endometriosis, you should not be taking these hormones, so I thought it was kind of odd that I was allowed to take them. It was after all thought that I had that kind of tissue left in my body and that it was causing me to go into menopause. Maybe that was a fairytale that I need to investigate further.
Well, you do live and learn and it is through personal experience that you do. You touch the fire and you burn yourself. Hopefully I have learned my lesson well enough now.

Friday, April 11, 2014

A rare thing

I am having that rarest of all things, and that is a glass of ice cold milk, but it is lactose free. I used to drink cold milk all the time and have terrible problems because of it, but I loved it so much that I took that as a given. Now that I have lactose free milk available, I very rarely just drink a glass of it because it is so expensive, but I decided to indulge myself. I still am not sure of how safe it actually is for me to drink and I have some doubts about it, but it sure tastes good going down and it is a great thirst quencher. I was also feeling a bit hungry and I thought it would take care of the worst pangs. It is not quite dinnertime yet and I still have to take Tyke for a walk.
Sometimes I feel like being reckless and throwing caution to the wind and do whatever the heck I want regardless of the consequences. I assume the best possible scenario will take place because I am an optimist and that I will have an interesting experience along the way. That is the reason why today I added another anti-depressant to the one I already take, despite the fact that my psychiatrist does not want me to do this. I felt so miserable this morning (as usual) that I decided an experiment was warranted and I went to my stock of medicines and found the one that I wanted. I googled it first and then took it and am planning on taking it a few weeks before I inform my psychiatrist.
I stopped taking the estrogen pills after I googled the information sheet in English which told me much more than the one in Dutch did. It said that one of the side effects was anxiety and I certainly have been having lots of that. There were other side effect and interactions with a medicine I am taking that sounded worrying and I decided that it was better if I didn't take it at all. I don't feel that I was informed correctly.
I have also stopped taking the anti-inflammatory medicine for the fibromyalgia and found out that this makes no difference at all and that it is enough just to take paracetamol if the pain gets especially bad. This leads me to believe that fibromyalgia is not an inflammatory disorder.
It is time to take my usual medicines and feel like a solid human being again, although I always wonder what I would be like without them.