I want to decide, but I feel frozen instead.
There are things I can do right now that would address getting out of bed in the morning. But somehow, all I can muster is my “being OK” act. My high-functioning depression kicks in when I must get out of bed.
This morning is a perfect example.
I had gone to bed just before 10 PM. Eight hours later would be 6 AM. At 6:30 AM, I was wide awake. It would have made sense to go ahead and get up then. However, I had set my alarm clock for 7 AM. This meant there were 30 minutes of time in bed left. Depression helped me see how much longer I could be in bed, without violating my high-functioning period.
When the stuff hits the fan, I can move and make it happen.
Yet I could not figure out a way to get out of bed this morning when my body was saying it was time. Worse, I went to my psychiatrist about this in early October, and we agreed to add 20 mg of Prozac to get me more balanced.
Prozac has made it even harder to get out of bed and get started each day.
What I need to do is call or email my psychiatrist and let her know what I am experiencing. Instead, I have been dragging my feet and creating in my mind all sorts of valid reasons why I cannot let her know. And I justify it because it is not that I am not going to tell her, it’s just that I haven’t gotten to it yet. My first mental roadblock was traveling for a week to see my grandson.
How could I address medication management with my psychiatrist when I was focused on sending quality time with my 16-month-old grandson?
Then, once home, I had to get back in the swing of things. There was my day job, and my volunteer work. I am involved in a large project that is requiring quite a bit of my mental focus. Putting in the effort for this leaves less energy for my self-care.
Getting my medication straightened out is a huge self-care for me.
Yet, I am engaged in unhelpful thinking that is sapping my focus and misdirecting my thoughts, so I do not feel in control. By giving in to this, I am handing over the one thing that I have complete charge over and that’s my attitude towards events.
Once I begin to listen to depression’s version of what I should be thinking, it is all over for me.
Giving up my ability to choose how I am going to think about my inability to get up in the morning, I am waiting and hoping for things to get better. By not taking charge of my thoughts, I am giving up the chance to advocate for myself.
This then turns into me shoulding on myself.
This morning, I am shoulda, woulda, coulda all over the place. And even with all the energy I am spending on beating myself up for not contacting my doctor, I am NOT contacting my psychiatrist.
One “out” I give myself is that I am too busy, and I will get to it tomorrow.
Of course, tomorrow never gets here and it has been three weeks and I still have not contacted my psychiatrist. Depression has me lying to myself about what is going on. And it is making it almost impossible to be honest with my Peer Support advocate and let her know what is going on.
So, depression is getting me into “secret mode, “and has me thinking dark thoughts about myself.
It loves it when I am secretive. Depression is joyful as I become more reclusive and less trusting of others. Then it reinforces my inability to advocate for myself. And now, I am feeling even less able to speak with my doctor and address my trouble getting going in the morning.
What I should do is stop writing and call my psychiatrist.
Yet here I sit, banging away at my laptop, unable to generate the required energy and focus to make the call or at least email my psychiatrist. In my mind, I am not advocating for myself. Big, helpful, self-care is beyond my grasp this morning, as it has been for three weeks.
Worse yet, after a week on the 20 mg of Prozac, I was supposed to go to a 40 mg daily dose.
And you guessed it, that did not happen. At first, I forgot. My new medication was prescribed Thursday, filled Friday and I left for my grandsons on Sunday. Getting back the following Monday, I could have started the higher dose. But I could tell that this medication was making me worse, not better.
The chance to spend time with my grandson overrode depressions attempts to keep me in bed.
Each day was precious, and I wanted to spend every moment possible with my grandson. Making lame excuses to stay in bed was not an option while I was visiting. Getting up and being ready to enjoy the day with my grandson was my entire world for the week.
This experience filled me with positive endorphins and marvelous memories.
Last week, I stopped taking the 20 mg of Prozac and have not taken any for 7 days. I still have the getting out of bed issues, but they are not as intense as they are when I am on the Prozac. I realized that getting off Prozac and into the Wellbutrin was because of my lethargy about getting out of bed.
Several members of my support group told me point blank that my getting out of bed issues were directly related to my medication. Their personal experiences did not register for several more months when I finally addressed this by finding a new psychiatrist.
When we came up with trying Prozac versus Lexapro, it didn’t dawn on me that Prozac was what had caused my problems in the past. So, I obligingly started the new (old) medication. Once I realized the link to the past, I should have contacted my psychiatrist at once. As I sit here writing, I STILL should be contacting my psychiatrist about this problem with taking Prozac. Now I am telling myself that I will see her in a week, so I can tell her then.
Springing this on her during my appointment will NOT allow her to formulate alternatives easily.
Worse for me is I am wasting another 9 days that could be used to address this issue. So, I will stop here and see if I can gather myself up and make the call to my psychiatrist. My personal self-care would benefit me, and this would boost my self-advocacy. So here I go.
Mark Baker says
How do I get rid of that dear in the headlight feeling while suffering from a depression it’s very disconcerting. This obviously is part of the phase of depression one must go through But how does it go away