Monday, 29 September 2008

Update on the crazy lady

So I seem to be doing better, day by day. I'm still taking each day as it comes, and some mornings are definitely worse than others, but I am getting there. I have been lucky enough to have some long service leave up my sleeve, so I am going to be working four days a week through October and November to take the pressure off a little bit, and take the fifth day as leave so I am not out-of-pocket financially.

Work has been very good about everything and I haven't had to answer any tricky questions about my absence or behaviour. I am still assisting on the project that I was managing previously, but another girl has taken over as the main contact for which I am really grateful for. I am surprisingly doing pretty well at work, managing to get through decent volumes of work, but I definitely couldn't cope with working the way I was before. I think they are expecting me to make a decision shortly about what I want to do, but I will take my cues from them and not jump before I have to.

Murray and I are making some big decisions about our future over the next month, which is proving really difficult. I want to stay in Perth and keep trying for a baby but I'm not really healthy enough to be working fulltime as well as going through IVF. Murray wants to move overseas for a while and teach away from Australia. He is unhappy with his job, but moreso with teaching fullstop, and thinks teaching kids in Asia will be easier as they are more respectful and dedicated. If we could go overseas and I didn't have to work, I would do it, but to be able to keep our house, I would need to get a job in a foreign country where everything is so different to what I'm used and I honestly don't know if I could do that.

We are butting heads on this, which isn't helping with my recovery. I feel like he is trying to run away from everything and he never mentions any of the negative aspects of moving overseas, like they don't exist. I am trying to look at things more realistically, but maybe I am being too pessimistic about things. The decision needs to be made over the next few weeks though so we need to work through it.

I really want to do another FET cycle next month but we need to make a decision about going overseas first. I had good cry in our would-be nursery today. Some days I think I could hold off for another year to have a baby, and I don't need the added responsibilities that come with a baby. It's like trying to convince yourself that you don't want a baby. Unfortunately it doesn't really work that well.

I have started going to church again recently. Yesterday's sermon was about hope, and even when you are going through your darkest moments, God is still there with a door of hope, but you need to open your heart and choose to take that path. I had tears in my eyes through the sermon, it was just what I needed to hear. I have been a christian from when I was six years old but haven't been regularly to church since I moved to Perth at 13. It's actually really nice to be part of a community of people that really care.

I spoke to the pastor about IVF, without going into too much detail about our history. I wanted to know what their particular denominations thoughts were about using ART, and he was surprisingly well-versed in the subject. He said that there is nothing wrong with using it and their church has never said not to use it, but you need to really sit down and think about the options regarding disposing/donating embryos because of their views on sanctity of life. To be honest I hadn't really thought much about the issue, so it's something that I'm going to think more about. Right now we have three frozen embryos so I don't think it will be a matter to lose much sleep over though.

It's nice to be able to pray to God and know that somebody is there, listening to you. It comforts me I guess you could say. I still haven't brought myself to partake in Communion yet. I feel that I need to re-establish my faith a bit better first. Wow all of that sounds like I'm a religious nut, which I am not in the slightest, but it is definitely something exciting that I am glad to have as a part of my life.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

My down day, and getting back up again.

I have been having a really horrible day today, my mood is terrible and I cried for no reason which made me feel even worse. I was getting so caught up in having to go to work tomorrow that I wasn't allowing myself to at least enjoy today. Murray was really good though and recognised that I was having an off day and gave me a lovely massage. Just having someone touch me and hug me and tell me that it is okay, made me feel just so much better.

I found this article online which really helped me get through today. I think everyone thinks that once I am on this medication that I am going to keep getting better with no down periods, and that's just not the case. I co-sign to everything that is in the article...

My experience with depression leads me to describe one of its worst features: its variable symptoms. These symptoms not only make the experience of depression particularly distressing for the patient but also confuse and mislead those who deal with the depressed person. No one really wants to meet or speak with someone who is depressed. Whenever a positive change occurs, everyone hopes that it is a permanent improvement. When this proves not to be so, impatience soon appears. Depressed persons soon find that many people avoid them. Only the “normal” or “up” phases of the disease are acceptable to others. But rejection during the “down” phases can considerably add to the depression.

Early Phases
In the course of a developing depression, it is common for there to be a wide variation in mood during the day. The morning is generally unpleasant. Darkness of mood prevails. Then as the day progresses, the mood lightens. By night, a person may feel quite normal.
Gradually a change occurs. The dark times get longer and longer. If sleeplessness develops, the morning hours can be quite terrible. It is at this time that suicidal thoughts can appear. The individual cannot envision living in such darkness, day after day.

Soon the darkness may last the whole day and also the evening. The depressed person dreads going to sleep. All that can be expected is a repetition of the same dark pattern. After a few days of this, the wish to die may become very strong. Depressed persons are not rejecting life as such. They are not rejecting any purpose that they may believe they have on earth or purpose that other people may suggest they have. Depressed persons are rejecting what they have become. “I do not recognize this person.” “I have become such a caricature of my former self!” “Look at me!” “I am completely anxious. I am afraid to be alone in my house. I am terrified when I have free time that I might have to spend at home. I am afraid to do things on my own. Anxiety makes me wring my hands incessantly. I am totally tense. I feel foolish, unable to do things that children easily do.” The death of such a creature would seem to be a blessing. At this stage of the depression, one is at the bottom of the roller coaster. Nor is there any hope of going up.

During Treatment
After treatment of depression begins with antidepressants, improvement is slow. Antidepressants do not take effect until four to six weeks. During this time, the depression can continue its insidious growth. One has to cope with the side-effects of the antidepressants as well as all the darkness of the depression. The medication may help with sleep and this is a great blessing. But one is still very much on the bottom of the roller coaster. Great will-power is needed to have hope that some change will come. This period can be painful with regard to other people. Their patience may well wear thin. Most people assume that one's mental attitude is totally self-chosen. If one is not cheerful, it is by choice. During this time one is immensely grateful for a faithful friend.

After some weeks the antidepressants begin to take effect. The depressed person feels less down, at first for part of the day, then for more of the day. But the mornings can still be bad and thoughts of death can still haunt. Side-effects of the antidepressants become less severe but do not disappear altogether.

During this phase a person may feel that all the symptoms are some kind of horrible nightmare. “This can't be happening to me” “I was always able to be cheerful and happy.” “How I want to be off these pills and just be normal again” But the hard and painful truth has to be faced: the depression is real and will not go away by itself. One cannot just throw away the medication, however much this may seem desirable. Human nature has proved to be frail in a most painful way.

During Recovery
At last some light seems to appear. “I am beginning to feel normal” “Up the roller coaster I go. And I will NEVER, NEVER go down again.” What an illusion! Depression is not a weak disease; it is one that specializes in cruel effects. Just as one begins to feel normal, the depression can return with a complete vengeance. This happened to me. On Sunday I feel normal, to some degree. I can ignore the side-effects of the antidepressants as long as I don't feel too bad. On Monday, as I face a series of decisions, I am as bad as I ever was, even at the beginning of the disease. Everything is dark. I want to die, thinking of suicide. I am anxious. I cannot make up my mind about the smallest details. I am most afraid and panic at the idea of being alone. Here I am at the bottom of the roller coaster once more.

What are my choices? None, really. However much I wish to die and wish that this ridiculous person I have become to die, I know that death is not an option. I must continue with the medication and hope that I will go up the roller coaster once more. There can be no facile optimism with depression. I might want to be well NOW. Every person I meet impatiently wants me to be well and never to hear again about depression. But it is not going to be so.

Recovery from depression may take months. Gradually I hope to be able to stay up the roller coaster. With other people, as I go up and down, I may have to learn to be a good actress. With some friends I will be able to speak of my pain. Depression is a roller coaster ride. It has taught me to have boundless compassion for those who are at the bottom of the roller coaster and to share their tears.

Monday, 15 September 2008

A rocky week

This past week has been one of the most difficult that I have ever been through. Not because of any external factors, purely just because I had to live through what is going on in my head. It is such a rollercoaster ride, one moment I can feel completely normal, the next I get jittery, lethargic and tension fills my head.

Last week was really scary. Feeling suicidal was the most out of control thing, I can't even describe how I felt. I was sitting at my desk at work, rocking back and forth with tears in my eyes, and trying to work out the best way to kill myself without making a scene at work. I have always believed suicide to be a cowards way out and I utterly despise it, but I hated my life so much at that moment, and I hated what was going on in my head. It felt like I was on drugs, this restless agitation where my brain could not stop thinking a billion and one things at the same time.

I have become extremely clingy to Murray. Usually we are quite independent of each other, but I feel this need to be close to him right now, needing to hug him and hold his hand all the time. He doesn't mind though, I think the last week has really frightened him as well. The anti-depressants are helping I think, I have been on them for a week and it has been up and down but overall better than I was before them.

We decided to cancel our FET cycle. In the end it wasn't a hard decision to make, I just can not deal with anything else in my life right now. Falling pregnant isn't magically going to make me happy, I realise that, so it is something that I can put on hold for the moment until I am feeling better.

At this point I don't have a plan for how I am going to go back to work, but I am expected back in the office tomorrow. I have to call my supervisor by the end of the day to let her know what I am doing, but I know that I have put them under a lot of pressure just by taking this time off now. I have some long service leave that I am hoping I can use to give me a bit of breathing space. I dont know whether it is possible or not, but it might be good to take one day off a week for the next month, just so the stress doesn't get to me like it has been. If I took Wednesday off, it would make the week more manageable for me, well at least I think it would.

The real issue is that, until I go back to work, I don't know what I will and wont be able to handle. I know my boss wants to give my job to somebody else, they have already told me that I am not coping with the workload and unfortunately this position is too important to share the workload around, the person in the position needs to cope with that. Does that mean they will find me another position? I don't want to be starting a new job the way that I am right now. I also don't want to be meeting new people and learning new tasks, because I can't give it 100%. I know there are a lot of tasks that aren't as time sensitive that need to worked on, and those would probably be more suited to where I am at right now. But do I really have the right to ask to pick and choose my work? I never have in the past and I feel quite selfish for work having to make arrangements around me. But as they keep saying, I am apparently an important part of the team. And looking at it from a pure business point of view, it takes a lot more time and money to train a new person and years to get the knowledge and experience that I have, it makes sense to keep me around, even if I'm not as productive right now.

So much to think about. I am entering panic mode again.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008


I saw my doctor this afternoon and have been diagnosed as having severe depression and prescribed antidepressants to try and help me out a bit. Unfortunately it takes at least a couple of weeks for them to work and are likely to make me drowsy and shaky for a little while.

Work today was horrible. I managed to keep it together until lunch time but then fell to pieces, started crying at my desk and shaking. I have spoken to both my supervisor and branch manager, and while they were sympathetic, both of them have to be concerned with running the branch first and foremost and needed me to be on board and completely healthy. Right now I just cant do that. I was so scared about calling them up but luckily my supervisor called me to ask how the doctors appointment went. I told her that he wants me to take time off and she said she would tell the branch manager for me. I have also asked my doctor to call her so that it's not just me saying these things.

I think I will probably have to put in my notice to resign shortly, I am putting them in a terrible position, and I can not handle any pressure on me at all. Even the thought of putting together a list of what urgent projects I have to handover is stressing me out.

I am 99% sure that I am going to cancel our FET cycle this month. What is left of the logical part of my brain tells me that it makes sense to cancel, but it is such a hard thing for me to let go of it.
We may have to put babies on hold until next year when things are a little more stable. If I quit my job, I lose all my maternity leave so will have to start again with a different company. Bleh - I just cant think about financial stuff at the moment, it just adds to my stress.

I just need to try and keep myself sane until these tablets start doing what they are meant to do. Fingers crossed it happens soon, I can't cope with the way I am feeling.

Friday, 5 September 2008


I am not doing well.
I am crying all the time.

I think I have depression again.

Have made an appointment with my doctor for Wednesday.

I just want to die and have this all be over.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Not coping with anything

Work has become too much for me, I can't handle it for much longer. I have a migraine today which is really killing me, yet I am still doing work from home because of the sheer volume of work I need to get through before my boss gets back from her holiday on Monday.

Murray and I have both applied for jobs in Singapore for 2009. It's time for us to move on and do something different with our lives. The last two and a bit years have been completely dedicated to setting ourselves up for a baby, when in reality they should have been about us. Babies can grow up anywhere, we need to start doing things for ourselves, and I need to get away from the pressure of my job.