Category Archives: etc

Where I am now

I seem to have fallen into a pattern wherein I wake at 6 with this terrible heartache and spend the next three hours trying to go back to sleep to escape the pain. Eventually I crawl out of bed because I have to be somewhere, like an appointment or my first day on the new job, and then, imperceptibly gradually and with lots of tears, I manage to distract myself to the point that I feel almost not horrible. By evening I can tell myself I may actually survive this, and then I go to bed and try very hard not to think about the this that I’m surviving.

And then the next morning the heartache is back and I can’t drag myself out of bed for exercise or laundry or food or coffee, but I can drag myself up if someone’s waiting for me. So I just have to make a lot of appointments. But I’m a lot more tearful in the morning, which does make the appointments maybe an uncomfortable experience for the person I’m meeting. My therapist and psychiatrist get paid to handle it, but I feel rather bad for my colleagues and friends. You know, when I can spare a moment from my raging self-pity.

Song du jour of the day: Arcade, by Duncan Laurence, the Dutch contribution to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Yeah, that’s still happening.


The in-between

On Tuesday I felt… almost not horrible for several hours, and I thought egad, how shallow am I that I can get over such a shattering event in less than a month? On Wednesday I woke up and realized I was Definitely Not Over It. Not by miles. Not by years, probably.

This is the bit where I can’t think of anything new to say about how sad I feel but I will still feel sad for an unspecified period of time, right? But I won’t want to talk about it because I’ll be afraid of being boring.

I’m going to accept the freelance job. I am also interviewing for another job on Tuesday. I looked at the flat and I like it so I’m going to try to get it. He is helping me, and promising to make sure the rent is paid no matter what and being so generous and I should be grateful – I am. Very grateful. But him being so nice also burns my heart a little more because it underscores just what I’ve lost. I can’t believe how much I miss him.

You know, with my insecurity and poor self-image and horrible childhood I have always been a scaredy-cat – Queen of the Worst-Case Scenario, that’s me, so of course I have worried that I might lose him. Seriously, I’ve lived in fear of this for half my life. You’d think I’d be better prepared.

Today was eventful

They let me out of the clinic today. I, uh. I was pretty dejected in the morning, but I guess I looked better enough that they trusted me to go home after one last blood draw and EKG. I’ve found a therapist; I still have to find a psychiatrist. And I have to see my GP for a prescription for more of the drugs they gave me at the clinic – that would be the Zoloft in the mornings (one per day, not optional) and the Seroquel at night (as needed for sleep). I called and made an appointment for 8.45 tomorrow.

Another thing that I didn’t expect to come through so soon – well, at all, actually – is an English Teacher Wanted ad on Facebook that I clicked on a few days ago and there was this “Apply Now” button and I thought “psht, who applies for a job through Facebook?” But I clicked it on a whim, and they messaged me requesting my CV, so I sent that in on Saturday when I was home, and today they called me in for an interview at 3pm. So, yeah. They seem to want me to work for them – it’s a freelance thing, so they’re not taking a big risk here – and I told them I’d let them know by the end of the week. Some tutoring kids, some private lessons, maybe an actual evening class at some later date.

Oh also, I emailed about a vacant flat at the end of April, and I got an email today offering a viewing on Thursday.

All of this is very handy for my usual approach to depression, which is to try to skitter across the surface of my life and never slow down for long enough to sink. Which, to be fair, has generally kind of worked, most of the time. You know, until it doesn’t. And I land in a psych ward.

Song du jour of the day: Twist, by The Fat Lady Sings.

Home for a night

This is what they call a “Belastungserprobung”, which is probably best translated as stress test, where you go into a difficult situation (i.e. home, which usually features at least some of the components that led to your breakdown) and see how you handle it, with the clinic’s number on speed dial just in case things go badly.

They… went fairly badly. He was home when I got here, and and I learned some very painful truths and spent a lot of time crying, but I got through it. My grief is still bottomless; I still feel like I’m falling and falling, but there is also work to be done and no point in putting it off. Weaving a basket at the clinic is not going to move me any closer to finding an apartment that will let me bring my cat.

I have to go back to the clinic tonight. Tomorrow in the fishbowl (you have a chat with the senior doctor while all your nurses and therapists sit around and watch you without commenting – it’s unnerving, to say the least) I will say that I’m ready to go home, and hopefully they will set a date before Thursday (the date my therapist suggested when I talked to her last Thursday, which…? Why would I want to stay a whole week longer in an environment that has not been therapeutic for me?). This will happen between Movement Therapy and Ergotherapy (the basket-weaving thing), and then I will have some time to go for a walk. I go for a lot of walks.

Home for a day

So I’m home for the clinic just for today, because it’s a holiday and all the usual activities are cancelled, just to see what it would be like to be home for a day.

The cat’s happy to see me.

And it’s so blessedly quiet and empty. Thing Two is around somewhere, doing whatever, and I’m not surrounded by people and it is bliss, except for the occasional stabbing pain in my heart.

I don’t think the clinic is a good place for me. Monday was back-to-back activities from the minute I got up until like 9pm, and then I had to avoid my room because my roommate was trying to get her toddler to sleep. Tuesday was the same until about 2pm, and then I just… declined to go to the next two activities and took a nap because my brain was fried. There is literally no place I can go to be alone, and I’ve been really down the last few days and everybody noticed and the nurses were asking me if I was planning to do “anything rash” but whenever I cried everybody would swoop around me and hug me and pat my shoulder and be all concerned until I had to stop crying so as not to distress them.

So yeah. I think I need to come home. It’s a hard place to be, with all the memories around and the gargantuan task ahead of me, but I think it’s better than the clinic where I have to Perform Okay at all times.

Question is, what do I do once I’m here? Start packing for a move that will probably happen in August, I guess, but dang it’s hard to know where to start.

And I am still unbearably sad. The future I thought I had is just gone, and I don’t know what to replace it with.

Song du jour of the day: Bonnie Raitt, I Can’t Make You Love Me.

Radio silence

I went home on Saturday while he was there to iron out a few practical details. He is being very generous, for which I’m grateful, and I handled the conversation fairly well, I thought. All things considered.

But that evening, back at the clinic, somehow the enormity of it hit me – that the love of my life just doesn’t love me – and since then I’ve been so sunk in sadness that the other patients are all asking me what’s wrong. I started up the blog to post pithy observations of clinic life, but I’m so sad and lost and scared now that I have no wit nor pith. I’m not my usual self, and I don’t know what to write. I don’t want to be maudlin, and I don’t want to say something I’ll regret later, so I just… don’t know what to say.

What happened, in brief

Okay, it’s been two weeks. I think I’m ready to sketch the bones, but I don’t want to go into too much detail, because… well, because a lot of it’s still too raw, and because I might say something unfortunate that could have bad consequences later.

Backstory: our youngest is 18, so we’ve been talking about moving to a smaller place. Two weeks ago, on Saturday night, he came into my office and said he didn’t think we should look for a place together. And you know, I thought that thing about suddenly going cold was a metaphor? But I really did go cold, from one second to the next: I felt like my lungs were coated with ice.

He said a number of other things, that he’s not thinking divorce, just a separation and we can keep the joint accounts, and something about the house … And that there’s another woman. I don’t remember much of it. I cried a lot, and eventually he went away and I went to bed and cried some more.

The next morning he left for the apartment he’s renting in Cologne because he has a fellowship there this semester (hang on – is that really why he rented it?), and I alternated crying and sleeping in 3-hour (or so) stints until Monday afternoon. Then I had to get up because I had appointments to cancel.

I called a therapist (not my therapist, she retired in November) and she can’t take new clients now, but she gave me an emergency appointment for 4:30 that afternoon. I’d been hoping she could squeeze me in the following week sometime, because I really wasn’t ready to get up and get dressed, but I did it anyway. She referred me to a psychiatric clinic right near where I work. I said okay, I’d check it out. She said, “Will you really?” I said probably not. So she called for me and told me I had to show up in person. I promised to get Thing Two to take me in the next day (Tuesday, the, um… 16th).

That turned out to be a good decision because there was a lot of runaround and waiting and I wanted to bail but he wouldn’t let me. And they admitted me, and that brought a set of problems that I’m not ready to go into right now. They put me on antipsychotics for a week, which seems weird. I think if I were psychotic I’d be, I don’t know, peppier. They made me feel sedated but not less anxious – my brain was still a jar of angry wasps, I just couldn’t do anything about it.

So now I’m on sertraline (Zoloft) in the mornings, and quetiapine (Seroquel) at night so I can sleep, but my roommate has a two-year-old who was sleeping through the night, but now he’s teething so two nights ago he was crying every couple hours, and last night he graduated to coughing and vomiting. His mother is so apologetic, but it’s not her fault, or his, poor grummits. Still, it means the sleeping-pill is basically useless and I might as well not be putting that stuff in my system and risking the side effects for nothing.

And that’s all I’ve got right now. I’ll try to put up a FAQ soon. Because when this happens, you get a lot of questions.

Song du jour of the day: nothing. For once, my head is without music.