Where I’ve Been

You know how sometimes life’s already super stressful—dissertation deadlines, strike stuff, various other anxiety-provoking things you don’t feel like listing in your blog—and then your epilepsy’s like, “this would be a really great time to mess with you,” and you start having an average of a seizure a day and spiral into a major depressive episode?

Well, that’s what’s happened/what’s happening to me.

As you might imagine, functioning like a “normal” person (yes, I realize that I’m romanticizing the questionable idea of normality, but let me have this one) is hard when I have a constant seizure hangover, am always worried about when I’m going to start lip-smacking and/or convulsing, can’t enter a room without counting stuff (thanks, OCD!), and am expending a lot of energy trying to steer my thoughts into healthier territory/smile/get through the day so that I can go home and do what my instincts so very clearly want me to, which is to withdraw completely.

Oh, life, why can’t we just get along?

As evidenced by the glaring lack of posts, I’ve been absent from my blog for the past few weeks. Why? Partly because I don’t have the energy or brainpower to write, but mostly because I don’t feel like doing anything that isn’t necessary for the fulfillment of my basic obligations. In the wise words of my not-at-all-dysfunctional thoughts, “what’s the point of caring about anything?” To my credit, a few days ago I tried to push through my apathy and pound something out, but, due to my sense of duty to produce something that doesn’t reflect my inner malaise, I got frustrated, typed “blah blah blah blah BLAAAAAAH,” closed the window, and had a depression-nap.

So yeah. Things have been a little rough lately.

Last night, my husband and I organized ourselves so that we know what steps we’ll take if I continue getting worse. I have these dips sometimes, usually coinciding with periods in which my seizures are really out of control, and we figured that it would be good for us both to be clear about exactly what we’ll do if we find ourselves in a moment in which concrete action becomes necessary.

It’s good to have a plan. It’s bad to need one.

This is all to say that if it takes me a bit to return your text message or e-mail, it’s because I’m overwhelmed, not because I’ve stopped caring about you. If I cancel a plan we’ve made, it’s because I can’t fathom leaving the safety of my living room, not because I don’t value our friendship.

Clinical depression works in mysterious ways, and seizures add extra spikes of complication and uncertainty to an already complex and uncertain situation. In the messed-up reality of my chronic illnesses, depression and epilepsy interact in what I imagine to be the saddest, clumsiest dance in the world. There’s a lot of foot-stepping going on right now, and though I want nothing more than to sit down for a while, for some time to breathe, my brain won’t let me rest.

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One thought on “Where I’ve Been

  1. I subscribe to your blog with an RSS reader, and it’s always a delightful surprise when one of your posts pops up. I’m sorry things are so difficult right now! I’m having a rough time right now too with the interaction of my chronic illness and depression and PhDing. I have been putting on fancy makeup every day I can get out of bed, even if the rest of the day I just sit on the couch in my PJs. Things seem a little better somehow with sparkling eyes and bright pink lips.

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