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Wrong way on a one way track

29 Apr

Can you help me remember how to smile, make it somehow all seem worthwhile?

How on earth did I get so jaded?

Depression is a cruel, cruel illness. It robs you of the ability to give a damn.

I find it incredibly difficult to write about depression with hindsight. It’s far easier to force myself to open the laptop when I’m feeling utterly sunk in misery and numbness, and explain it in real time. Otherwise… I can’t begin to describe how it feels to be trapped so far within myself that the outside world is just a whisper in the background.

For weeks – months – I have slept during the day and lain awake at night until the sun rises. Attempts at righting my sleeping habits have been pointless; the pain dictates what I do, and when I do it.

sleeping in black and white

So, am I free? Almost. Today, I managed to wash the dishes, tidy the bedroom, water the plants and do two loads of washing. That’s that most useful I’ve been in months. Strangely, I haven’t needed a single painkiller today up until thirty minutes ago. Last night, my foot was swollen to the point where the outline of the damaged tendon was clearly showing, so I don’t know why I’ve been granted a small respite today. All I can assume is that my plan of keeping my foot off the floor as often as possible (I’ve invested in crutches) is working. True, I hate having to stay on the sofa, and it’s horrible knowing spring is somewhat here but I can’t go for a walk or even down to the garden (too many holes in the pathway), but perhaps it’s paying off. It has to be better than last month’s buckets of ice water and boiling hot towels.

I’m trying everything. Which is… a good sign, I think. Over the past week I’ve started thinking about the future, and that’s something I didn’t think I’d feel happy feeling. I’d given up entirely, and I almost felt safe there. Does that make sense? Failure is… easier, somehow.

On Saturday, I had an MRI at Liverpool Hospital. The week before I had ultrasounds at the same hospital. In nine weeks, I see the rheumatologist again. Until then, my GP is giving me regular codeine prescriptions and, if I need them, I can ask for morphine patches. I’m wary of doing so; I don’t want to leave myself with no options. I get used to opiates far too easily.

codeine

So… the codeine. It’s going okay, actually. There have been a few days where I’ve taken more than the recommended dose, but that was purely through pain. So while I’m still not entirely responsible… I’m learning. I’ve learned a lot of lessons recently, and one of those is that painkillers are important. When you’re in so much pain that you could rip your own face off, the last thing you care about is abusing painkillers to escape the fear. You just want to escape the pain, and let them do the job they were designed for.

Oh, it’s not easy. I’m constantly on my guard, and I know it’s something I’m nowhere near over. Addiction is… well, it’s an addiction. It’s come back far too many times for me to ever say I’m over it.

They’re not perfect. Tramadol was much more effective, but I couldn’t be doing with the apathy and constant nausea. So I still have pain, it just becomes easier to ignore. That’s why opiates are so perfect. They don’t remove the pain, just stop you caring.

Like depression.

One day, perhaps this will stop happening. I’ll stop losing it, and life can run more smoothly.

 

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14 Comments

Posted by on April 29, 2013 in Every day life

 

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14 responses to “Wrong way on a one way track

  1. The Depressed Moose

    April 29, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    its great that your thinking about the future! make some plans and have something to look forward to! love this post <3

     
    • halfwaybetweenT

      April 30, 2013 at 2:57 am

      Thank you! As for plans… perhaps it’s a little to soon yet. I don’t know how mobile I’ll be in the near or even far future… but S and I have spoken about taking a small holiday (just local, in a little B&B somewhere, maybe the Lake District) when all this is over.

       
  2. jatwood4

    April 30, 2013 at 2:02 am

    Love from Maine in springtime. The last thing you’ll want to hear is what I’m going to say. I had to stop wishing the depression would go away, and embrace it as part of me. I had to love my depression into submission. When I finally stopped wishing it away, I began to accept and cope with it a new way. I don’t guarantee results — just offering one approach. Good for you for getting those chores done. That was very significant. Remember to love that about yourself, too, if you can — I remember when the only thing I loved about myself was that I remembered to brush my teeth that day. If you start that small, happiness builds upon itself, little by little, and for me, at least, that was the beginning of my resurrection. You are strong and sensitive — if you put the energy you use wishing stuff would go away, into loving even the most miserable part of who you are, you’ll get there eventually. I love you, dear, and I hope some of this might help.

     
    • halfwaybetweenT

      April 30, 2013 at 2:56 am

      Actually, I agree with you Judith. It’s not so much I want the depression to go away, but the periods of suffocating numbness which goes beyond the “norm” of my everyday depression. Those occasional periods of absolute nothingness; the ones where I can’t move or eat or sleep.

      My GP has put me back on Cipralex, and I’ve noticed a difference. I feel less fragile, certainly; and that gives me the boost to actually pull myself out of this. I hope it does anyway. It’s going okay so far.

       
      • halfwaybetweenT

        April 30, 2013 at 3:28 pm

        I didn’t reply to the “love yourself” comments because I was too tired to really make much sense last night!

        I’m trying. I’ve been making more effort with my appearance and getting dressed, and to me that’s a sign I’m trying to at least accept I’m worth something. As you know, this has been a problem for… well, forever, so I know it’s an uphill climb. It’s all baby steps right now, and even knowing I’ve brushed my teeth or hair is a huge achievement.

        I’m getting there. Even feeling able to reply properly to comments is a good sign.

         
  3. kathlynn

    April 30, 2013 at 2:04 am

    I don’t know anything about Tramadol, but if it’s like most other pain meds and you have to take it like ever 4-6 hours, could you not get a prescription to use only when the pain is way tooo bad for the codeine to counter, then you won’t have to deal with the side-efffects as often. *hugs* depression and chronic pain are horrible to deal with

     
    • halfwaybetweenT

      April 30, 2013 at 2:44 am

      The Tramadol I was given was twice a day, at a pretty high dose. I do still have a few strips left – I’m holding onto those for the exact reason you mention – but I seriously doubt my doctor would allow me both. Luckily it’s not too bad with the codeine; I can get around a bit and it’s a little easier to sleep than it used to be. Really, I doubt anything will truly help until/if I get the fluid in my ankle drained, and that could be months.

      *hugs right back* Thank you for reading. They are horrible to deal with, I’m not going to lie.

       
  4. booguloo

    April 30, 2013 at 11:49 am

    I’ve been having success with Fentanyl transdermal System.for managing my joint pain. See if one of your doctors will give you a month’s suppy. One patch for every 3 days.

     
    • halfwaybetweenT

      April 30, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      I think that’s something I could have if I asked – they’ve certainly opened up the pain relief options recently – but as I say, I’m wary. Not of addiction, but of getting used to the effects. I’m currently having to drop my codeine dose regularly so it doesn’t become ineffective, and I’m aware that Fentanyl (or at least, as I understand it) is one of the really top-heavy painkillers, and beyond that… there’s very little. I don’t want to end up in a pain-relief no man’s land where the lower-end stuff achieves nothing. Does that make sense?

      Still, I know the option is there, and if I start having major problems sleeping again I’m going to ask for it. Cheers, Booguloo.

       
  5. Don't let me get me

    May 1, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    So very well written and much more erudite than my effort. Am having the black dog over again myself. Bad times. Most I’ve done is clean my room space. Something though eh? Glad you’re back blogging too. Always gives me some comfort reading your entries. Miss them when they aren’t they but understand why you can’t.

     
  6. The Quiet Borderline

    May 2, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    I wish the pain away so that you can really work on those future plans. Wishing you well x

     
  7. tersiaburger

    May 2, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Hugs!

     
  8. faithhopechocolate

    May 3, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Glad that you’ve had a good day with the foot. I think these little lightenings go along way to help us see the point of thinking about the future. It’s good to read that you’ve got a sensible plan for the pain relief too, and that it’s actually doing something to help somewhat.

    With love, and hugs, and prayers as always!
    Faith xx

     
  9. Shandra

    June 24, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    I’ve nominated you for the way your perseverance inspires. Blessings! See it at my site: http://shandraharris.wordpress.com/2013/06/23/who-is-your-inspiration/

     

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