It's been a profoundly difficult week.
I keep wondering if I am going out of my mind. What is real and what isn't? I've started seeing my therapist, the one who's moving away, two times a week now. I asked him if wanted to see me twice as often because he was "worried I was going to off myself."
He said "no." Knock on wood.
I can't help but wonder if all this talking is making things worse; if it is only drawing more attention to my suffering; if it is better to swallow and bury it, to laugh instead. He argues ironicalness is a coping mechanism, but not an ideal one, that it is better to feel.
I am not so sure.
I find myself driving into college town, pulling over less than a block away from that bridge. We've become so familiar to each other. I sit in my front seat writing goodbye notes on the backs of old pay stubs.
After long gazes, after considering the 9 foot fencing, I reevaluated my plan. To really simplify things, I would need a ladder, and I would need to do it when there wasn't nearly so much traffic. I would need to come back during the night or early, early morning.
Although I was tired and really just wanted to get it over with, I was okay with taking the time to do more planning. It wasn't worth dying if I wasn't going to do it right.
I drove home.
I went to bed early. I was exhausted; there was nothing I wanted to do. I couldn't sleep. I felt compelled to open the window, take of the screen and jump, but surely this wouldn't be nearly enough of a fall to guarantee death. I started planning: what about the fifth floor of the hospital? Is the entrance locked? I'd have to be careful, there was so much grass in some areas.
I didn't want to think this way, but it's difficult to turn thoughts around. I had reached a new level of desperation. Maybe I should stop taking drugs all together. I always used to be able to get back on track when I was at Oberlin, and I didn't take any drugs as a student. Something had to change.
I saw my PCP a few days ago. I sat there, flatly explaining that everything seemed pretty pointless. After a while she started suggesting alternatives, including ECT. I was disturbed and appalled. I know ECT has become comparatively less...barbaric, that the delivery is less prolonged and less intense, that they sedate people. Still, I had a friend who underwent ECT. I knew her before and after. It was like someone had replaced her head with a yellow balloon, bobbing happily in the breeze (but empty). She had a lot of retrograde (and probably anterograde) amnesia, too.
I started to wonder, what would it be like to forget all these memories, to forget memories of my son, his birthdays, my marriage. How is this living? After all this bullshit, you want to steal my memories, too? From what I'm read, I'm just not convinced of the efficacy of ECT and that the benefits outweigh the risks. From what I've read, it's not uncommon for people to have reduced IQs of 30-40 points (although many state they do not feel less intelligent). I might as well just get ECT, and go back to my job as an automaton. That's the kind of promise that I envision. Maybe I'm being overly protective of what memory and intelligence I do have. Still, getting robbed of all this is - calling it frightening seems like an understatement.
We talked about trying some of the old (and now comparatively more obsolete) tricyclic antidepressants. My husband took my script to the pharmacy (which apparently doesn't routinely stock it). I told him to just get it filled - that I didn't want to read about the side effects, that I was worried if I did I wouldn't bother taking it, that I was desperate.
I don't know. I just keep going through the motions. I keep trying to put on a brave face, but in this job, where I am grossly underutilized every day, I just have too much time to think. This thinking, it's not pretty: counting down the minutes, plotting my demise.
Everyone once in a while something real slips out. A narrow beam of light through a cracked doorway: excitement about xanthomas, about knowing something, about actually being useful in some capacity that is above that of a trained monkey. Every once in a while, something very real and very sad slips out, too. I find myself reduced to a puddle of goo, trying to hold back sobs as I sit in my car, driving down the road, listening to the radio. Sometimes I feel as though I am carrying around the entire weight of the world, that I just need to lay down and cry, that I am not capable of much beyond that.
I don't know what's happening. Things are changing, but I can't seem to discern if it's for better or for worse.