Of taking inventories and cats sitting on your face

May I open this entry with: When the fuck did it get to be March?!



In the interest of full disclosure – I was diagnosed with severe depression yesterday.I took the Beck Depression Inventory courtesy of my therapist. I scored a 34 which is in the severe depression range. It’s the low end, but in the range nonetheless. I’ve suspected it for a while. When I first started seeing her almost 5 years, it was part of the basic assessment. One of the things she said was a HUGE red flag was you stop bathing or showering. I went a week without a shower, justifying that baby wipes and dry shampoo were sufficient since I was working out in the morning & didn’t really have time to shower. Even so, I should have taken a shower when I got home. Really Emily? The Bullshit meter was going off the charts. I refused to admit it. I bought myself some fancy Lush bath bombs & bubble bars to make myself take a bath. That was Thursday night.

Part of the exam also assessed suicidal intent. At least twice during my commute my last week, I thought “You know, I can just crash my car into that barrier and it would be over. No big,”. I wouldn’t do it because I care too much about the people who love me. I don’t want to leave them behind wondering if they said or did something to make me do it. Regardless, the thought was wandering around in there. My justification was I’m broken. I’m so broken that no one can put me back together. It’s not fair to everyone around me to deal with that. Plus, it would shut my brain up. You can’t think if you’re dead.

Another clue was I didn’t want to be touched. By anyone. At all. Ever. Highly unusual for me. I’ll bounce over and give or take a hug any time. Any member of my “freebie” list could show up at the door and I’d be like “Put it away, zip your pants, and I’ll take a rain check.” I didn’t even want a hug from my own parents. Hands where I can see them, please and thank you.

Before we immediately jump to medication (especially given the epilepsy meds), I was given a daily “to do” list for the next 2 weeks:

  1. Bathe or shower every day: Checked this one off for today. I showered, brushed & flossed my teeth, & put good skin products on my face. I didn’t wash my hair, but I’m getting my hair blown out later today. I can outsource that one. My therapist also said don’t go cheap on products for the rest of my body. I need the good stuff. If you can buy it at Target, that’s a no.
  2. Get more exercise: Granted, the wacky weather this week didn’t help this one. That said, it would have been no problem getting to a 6a class on Friday. My alarm went off and I was like “Fuck it” and went back to sleep. That’s a no go. I don’t have to burn 500 calories in an hour, but at least get out and take a walk. There’s a walking trail around my office. It wouldn’t kill me to get out during lunch and walk around for half an hour or so. The place where I’m getting my hair blown out is an outdoor shopping center. I think I’ll go up there before my appointment and just walk around for a bit.
  3. Be creative: This could be anything from a pottery class to organizing a closet. I shit you not about the latter. I suppose figuring out where to put what can be creative. I’ve been on a writing kick the past few weeks. I wrote about a paragraph last night before I went to sleep. I have a ton of knitting and crocheting stuff around here. Even just knitting or crocheting a few rows while I’m idly watching TV counts. Not only does it use a different part of your brain, it leads to a sense of accomplishment. When you’re super depressed, finding a sense of accomplishment is like finding a tap dancing unicorn.
  4. Reconnect with friends: This one isn’t a daily task. She said try to spend time with friends at least every other week. I have plans to see one of my friends this afternoon so I can give her the Valentine’s present that’s been hanging around since the date. I have tentative plans with a very old friend in two weeks so he can give me some CDs that he burned for me forever and a day ago. The originals got lost somewhere in the shuffle and I think my music collection needs a little bit of a BSB detox (She says as she hits ‘repeat’ on their 2009 album [This is Us]).

There were some other circumstances that led to living with my parents for a few weeks. It worked out as a perfect “rehab” time. They might object to being called rehab. Whatevs. Point being, I’m in an entirely different location for several weeks. My therapist said a change of scenery does a lot up front. I can’t argue that point. My dad and I went to see Kingsman last night and that shook me out of it a bit. I also took the opportunity to tell him what’s going on. My mother doesn’t believe in depression like it’s Santa or something. He was supportive and told me to do what I need to do to get better. I’m very lucky that have a huge support network literally all over the country. I have plenty of people willing to encourage me, kick me in the ass, and help me up when I faceplant.

One funny story before I close out this one. Lily (my kitten) has turned into my little furry alarm clock. At 7 this morning, she was bouncing on the bed, planting on herself on my face so I would get up and feed her. Cat ass is exactly what I need to get the day going. Bad kitty. She made up for it later. I was sleeping on my stomach, she cuddled up next to my shoulder, and put her paw on my back like she was hugging me. I guess she knew I needed a little love. Then she went back to sitting on my face. A brief, shining moment indeed.

Take care of yourselves, fair readers. I’ll do my best to stay accountable in here.