On Mental Health

Not Enough.

I have an appointment with my general practitioner next week. I say that like I see her regularly, when the truth is: I’ve only visited her office once, and it was a “new patient” visit like…maybe 7 years ago? When I called to make an appointment for a “yearly checkup” they said, “Um…if you don’t come to see her in 3 years we assume you’ve found another doctor and she is not currently accepting new patients.”

WHAT? You mean I get PUNISHED for not coming in? I assumed there would be smiley-face stickers all over my chart for all of the years passed without a visit!

Anyway – she’s “accepting” me again since Donnie goes a bit more regularly than I do.

I’m going to talk to her about medicating my anxiety/depression and recommending me to a psychiatrist (I was seeing a non-prescribing therapist) which is a big step at this point because I haven’t considered medication in over a decade.

You see, I’m a pragmatic kind of girl and I like to quantify things, and it’s hard to measure that point when, “Okay. Time to medicate.” But lately I found a way.

I don’t enjoy the things I should be enjoying. The things I used to look forward to are no longer a priority. The things that raise my spirits have become a chore.

The last several months things I love, trail runs with my friends, book clubs, date night, time with the kids, family dinners…all of those things have become things I either skip, forget about, or I have to force myself to do. I FORGOT ABOUT BOOK CLUB LAST NIGHT. Book Club is my favorite night of the month. I go even if I don’t read the book because the women there build me up spiritually and fill my cup so I can go on with my life and GUESS WHAT? I FORGOT.

If I hadn’t already been considering medication before last night? I would be now.

But it’s not just that. I have to drag myself to social gatherings to hang with people I love. There was a big part of me actually kinda relieved this past Sunday was our last trail run group of the season because it’s such a chore to get myself out of bed to do that thing. AND THAT THING IS THE BEST THING. Logically? I know I love these people and they always renew my soul but I’m stuck in such a fog lately I don’t even like doing the things that I know I actually love doing.

I don’t read as much. I don’t color as much. I just kinda push myself through the fog every day and this is all very quantifiable and when you add it all up it says: SELF CARE IS NOT ENOUGH ANY MORE. I’m exercising, I’m eating better, I’m not drinking, I’ve been to therapy (not in awhile, but still), I’m doing all the things they tell you to do to care for yourself and I’m still dreading the things I love. DREADING. There’s a thing going on this morning that Stable Kim would have woken up SO EXCITED ABOUT. But instead? I had to convince myself to go. I had to tell myself that this is for someone I adore and they deserve me to GET OUT OF THE DAMN BED and GO, DAMMIT. YOU OWE THIS PERSON! GET OVER YOURSELF!

So I’ll talk to her next week because now I can quantify my fog and evaluate it pragmatically and determine: Yes. When the things that are supposed to sooth my broken spirit become chores, I can quantify my anxiety and depression and conclude that what I’m doing is NOT ENOUGH.

15 thoughts on “Not Enough.”

  1. good for you, my girl!

    One thing I think you’re forgetting/not seeing clearly, though… Since you’re feeling meds ARE what’s needed at this point? You going to see someone about getting on some IS YOU PRACTICING SELF CARE!!! It’s just another tool in the toolbox…to be incredibly annoying-sounding about it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Love you

  2. Good for you. I struggle with this all the time – I am medicated, part of the month for a hormone imbalance. However, I recently talked to my doctor about taking it for longer stretches, and whether that was “OK”

    She had to remind me (again) that I’d take all the medicine I needed for a physical illness, why shouldn’t I take care of my spirit as well.

    I’m feeling similarly strange about the decision we made to start treating my son’s ADHD with medicine as well. And his doctor said the same thing.

    Take care of yourself Zoot, by whatever means you can, the world needs you!

    Diane (who you may never meet, but would love to have a coffee or a beer with you one day.)

  3. Omg. You just described what’s been happening to me for the past 6 months or so (definitely longer if I’m being honest). I didn’t think much of it, I just thought that’s how my life was now. I don’t enjoy anything. At all. Things that I KNOW are supposed to be fun aren’t. I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow, but for a different issue. I’ll see if I even get the courage to talk to her about it. Another problem I have is that I’m afraid no one will believe me when I tell them, which is irrational, I know.

  4. Kim, good for you for recognizing things are not getting better, and for ACTING on that recognition. In my struggle, I recognized there was a problem, but it took me almost a year to do anything about it. I hope your doctor will work with you to find someone who is right for you and that you will find medicine that you are happy to take. The stigma is still so strong, which is why I tell everyone about my own struggles and the medicines that have made me better.

  5. Glad you came this morning- J was happy to see you! ( And we were rewarded with a doughnut!)

  6. Girl, I have the SAME FEAR. Which, yes. Totally irrational.

    Should we hold each other accountable? ๐Ÿ™‚ If you tell, I’ll tell? ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Good for you. You have to do whatever it takes to live your best life. I’ve been doing my thing with bipolar, anxiety, and OCD for over 20 years. I’ve been through so many ups and downs over the years but luckily I’ve had a great doctor who has helped me through all of it. I hope you find a good doctor too. Best wishes.

  8. Good on you for taking care of yourself. If medication might help, trying it sounds like a great idea. If your brain isn’t producing what you need, there’s nothing wrong with balancing things out that way.

  9. A move, on the stress scale, is a huge number. A child graduating college and moving away = a huge number. Dealing with tweens or pre-tweens is a huge number. I think you forget what you are holding up every dern day!!! It’s good to consider all that may help, just please no zantax!!

  10. Good for you, realizing and seeking help when things are not right.
    You have such a gift for writing and describing exactly what is happening in any one of the compartments of your life, so this might not apply, but I will say if I were a physician, and my patient could present to me the words you just wrote on paper, explaining the details of what they were experiencing, I would be ecstatic, knowing exactly how to point my help! Of course you may not have any problems voicing it. Me…I leave half of it out and screw up my explanation of the other half…Ha! Good for you getting the help you need.

  11. Look at you, modeling good self care for your kids!!
    I am sending good thoughts your way.

  12. Good on you, Kim! I did the same thing last year, and I’m feeling better. I have fewer dark days and I’ve started enjoying things that I never did before. Hello gardening! I have plants now. Yes, my medication and my tomato plants are connected. I swear it. LOL.

  13. What you’re describing sounds like anhedonia, which is what I went through/go through sometimes due to my depression and anxiety. Good on you for realizing you need someone to help you through it. That is a huge first step!

  14. Late to this post but wanted to add:

    If the first med/dose doesn’t work, don’t give up. There are many and you will find the correct one for yourself. It took a lot of tweaking for me.

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