I started writing this at grandma's on the 12th of May, just picked it back up to finish now on the 21st.
This is a personal journal type update thing. For the last two years I've been trying to get to the bottom of my depression/mental illness, and it's fair to say this sort of post is not always to most uplifting thing to read, or write.
I'm writing this for my own good, but also... I dunno. I think some of my watchers want to know what's going on with me, and so I suppose writing this is also being fair to them? I dunno. As mention towards the end, I'm having problems processing a some of these ideas and thoughts (hint: spook's an aspie?!)
While I was still self medicating I thought it'd be useful to keep a journal to track my progress and bring some light onto a condition that usually keeps people withdrawn and in the dark. Some of them are still in my drafts, half written and fragments. I wish I could have held onto that state of mind, that clarity, and continued the regular journals, but as I slipped back into depression they became harder to write, and as my ability to see the bigger picture evaporated, they felt like every other depressing emo journal you can read on dA. This is a round about way of saying I'm really forcing myself to write this, to write something after so long. I don't want to write a journal that's only all woe is me and shit... but if that's all I can write... well
(from the 12th)
Today I'm at my grandma's house, I stayed overnight to be here when tradespeople came to work on the fence between us and the new neighbours. Turns out they speak Greek too, so I didn't have to be here to translate, but I was able to help her move some stuff around that she would have had to ask them to do. When I haven't been needed though, I've been taking advantage of the faster internet here, and my aunt's laptop.
My computer at home is a >$300 Acer laptop. I like it; it's fine. But it's just powerful enough to do what I need on it. I can process RAW files, play games (within it's hardware limitations, which I'm fine with) and... do the internet things. Speaking of which, our internet at home is... urgh. ADSL. It's slow, and unreliable. It barely keeps up with 720p60 on Youtube, and suffers from random interruptions and slowdowns.
Using my aunt's more capable laptop, and the cable (fibre) connection they have here, its really clear how much these things can affect my productivity. I've got ~20 tabs open, and I'm getting to each one and finishing whatever task I intended - be it checking out someone's gallery, leaving a comment, submitting something out of sta.sh, reading an article I pulled up... whatever. I'm feeling nimble and a little wired (yes, wired, not a typo of weird), it's great.
Back at home though I realise that repeatedly having to deal with page loads, progress bars, and laggy task switching has led me to limit myself even before running up against the performance limitations. Having to wait for everything constantly breaks my train of thought.
It's like... a technological depression. hah. hehe. hehe. wait. urgh. Actually that's pretty close to how depression works.
(from today, the 21st)
September last year I mentioned I was taking two meds, an antidepressant, and an anti-psychotic at night, and that they weren't helping. I was convinced I was doing no better than without the meds. Well. I stopped those soon after, and came to realise... yeah, I was right, but I'm still fucked. My psych, lacking any better ideas, thought I should get back on one of the antidepressants I'd tried before, in combination with that same night time anti-psychotic. I gave it a fair go, but after a couple of weeks the side effects really started to outweigh the slight improvements. I figured it was the anti-psychotic causing most of the problems, so I stopped taking it and immediately felt better. Ok, fine.
The whole time I've been here my family has been awesome about going out and doing things - be it a movie, a museum, a road trip to country Victoria. I'm not always in the best state of mind to appreciate their hospitality, but I try to make the best of it. It's just a bit rough when I can tell I'm not right, and I'm going to say and do things I'm going to regret almost instantaneously. Like being drunk and not being able to stop yourself saying stupid shit. Like watching an accident about to happen.
Anyhow. After road trip we took at the end of May, I came home and was surprised to find I had run out of my antidepressant. Not only that, but I missed my psych appointment LAST WEEK. No big deal, it wouldn't be the end of the world if I refilled tomorrow morning, and call up and made a new appointment.
Only I didn't. Either of.
I can't give a rational reason why, I guess that's depression for you, but I decided that I was going to just quit cold turkey. Last time I'd been on this particular med I'd missed a day's dose a couple of times, and the withdrawal was immediate and quite unpleasant. So I knew what would happen, but I did it anyhow. In my head, it didn't make sense to refill three boxes of meds just for the few pills I'd need for the taper. It made muuuuch more sense to suffer the withdrawal.
I don't remember if it was just one week, or two, but I was bed-ridden while I rode out the withdrawal. In bed with my phone I watched a lot of youtube and flicked through reddit, and didn't do much else. I smelled like a hobo by the end of it.
The very day I was through it all (and after a thorough decontamination the night before), we went visiting family and I ended up catching some virus off their kids. No hate, the kids are cool. We drew each other's portraits, played with nerf guns and bows, they braided a tiny handful of my hair...
But so for another week I was bed-ridden by this virus, and then had another two weeks after that with a lung infection and a lot of coughing. And we actually went on another road trip (the one I shot Landslide house, Victorian high country during) around this time, with me coughing all the way up and back in a car with no empty seats. Logically I wasn't infectious at that point, but a week later everyone else got sick and I felt terrible about that. It could have just been something going around, but I can't make that fit in my head.
Finally free of the virus, the coughing, and the withdrawal, the temporary dependence on cough syrup, I felt that maybe I was doing okay. At first maybe I was, but then I fell back into the rut. Weeks go by and I'm just living out this routine of least resistance.
Anyhow. Yesterday, I had a long midnight talk with mum. I laid out all my frustrations and went all over the place as I ping-ponged around my mind. It was erratic and accusatory as much as it was things that needed to be said. What triggered it? Going with my uncle to do the weekly shopping on Saturday.
In the past the conversation argument would have ended badly, and I would have been stuck brooding trying to figure out what the fuck just happened until I went to sleep and woke up not remembering it all. But not for two+ years - now there comes a point towards the end of the argument where I recognise I've gone nuts and have lost control of my rationality. It's a fine line - I don't have to get too far before I realise it's happened. I'm not calling anyone Hitler. It's more that, I find myself saying "I don't get it! I don't understand! It makes no sense!". I see now that when I get to this point, the problem is me.
I apologise and we both promise to try find another psych etc etc. A short time later though, I'm bouncing around dA and I come across an Autism support group. Suddenly I'm brought out of the stupor that I've been in and I remember that I was pleading at one point with my psych that I feel like I have aspergers, or something other than simple depression. I've read about it before, but this time I read it with the aim of self diagnosing. So I read. And I did the checklists.
And now, I really think/feel that I have aspergers (yeah yeah, everyone on the internet is an aspie, right?) But I'm serious. It answers a lot about the way I am, and the way my life has gone, why I seem to have such trouble with things - with or without depressive episodes. There is a web of reference points in my life that make sense now - because the simple diagnosis of depression didn't answer all the questions.
So, that's where I'm at: A particular strain of marijuana 'fixed' me, I realised I had a life long problem (but not what it was), stopped the weed and sought treatment by the professionals, tried a bunch of antidepressants - which did something but not anywhere close to fixing me like the marijuana did... and now I figure I might have aspergers. Yeah, people can live successful lives with it, but I don't know how to reconcile the fact that marijuana fixed me, and after feeling 'normal' it'd be unbearable. (For a reference point, I've stopped taking street photos as much because the best ones I got were during periods where somehow, for some reason, I wasn't such a robot. You gotta be ready to interact with people on the street, otherwise it'll show.)
Is this aspergers-like state just a symptom of the depression? How will this affect my diagnosis and treatment going forward? With medical marijuana in it's infancy in Victoria, and it still not being legal in Virginia, I feel like my options are unjustly limited. The one thing I know helped me is seemingly of no use to professionals - but all over the net I read that people with aspergers have had exactly the same experience that I did with marijuana.
And, always at the forefront of my mind, I'm away from bleedsopretty
. Over the past two years she has only been getting worse. This in itself is soul crushing. I had gotten so bad that I thought it'd be worth coming home to try get this sorted ASAP, and then returning, but now that it's taken two years with no answers or improvement, no end in sight... that equation is completely unbalanced. Hopefully something good will come soon now that I think I've found the answer.
eh. anyway. got that off my chest...