I find it difficult to tell you guys what happened without violating other people’s privacy or seeming to bad-mouth them or anything. I’ll do the best I can.
This is kinda long and self-indulgent. Skip it if you like.
Anyway, this month everything hit me at once. Most of it had to do with either Nick’s death and/or a long-simmering turf war I’ve been having with Michael’s mother. In fact if Nick had not died chances are the blowup with Michael’s mom wouldn’t have happened — at least, not at this time.
A few days after the funeral I started throwing up everything. I couldn’t keep anything down, not even water. It went on for about two weeks. I’m not sure if it was anxiety or what. I know I was really, really hungry, and I never feel hungry when I’m having an actual stomach illness.
This lead to me having to stop taking the psychiatric medications I use to keep my brain from trying to kill me. I called up the nurse at the psych clinic I go to and she was like “just wait till you start puking, then start taking them again.”
Naturally the medicines ceased to be effective and I became extremely depressed. I couldn’t seem to do anything but lie around the house either sleeping or watching TV programs or YouTube vids or whatever. I didn’t go near my desktop, though I was on Facebook and web surfing a bit with my tablet. I couldn’t even read any books. There you have it, ladies and gentlemen: Meaghan the Book Nut was so depressed she could not even read.
Eventually the vomiting stopped and I resumed taking my medication, but the stuff takes awhile to start working again. In fact, sometimes if you stop taking certain psych drugs and then start taking them again, they stop working altogether. (That’s what killed David Foster Wallace. He decided to stop taking Nardil and try newer antidepressants with fewer side effects, but it turned out none of the zillion other antidepressants worked for him, and when he went back to Nardil it no longer worked. Poor man hanged himself. See here.)
So the waiting game began. Waiting for the medicine to work again.
The housework had piled up. Dishes filled both sinks and then the counter on either side. There were pots left on the stove, some of them still containing dried-out food. I hadn’t done my laundry in a month and was wearing my last pair of pants over and over. Empty pop bottles and not-necessarily-empty pizza boxes colonized the living room. Etc etc etc. All of which made me feel just worse.
It’s not like I didn’t want to get things done. I just…couldn’t. Like, there was this bottle of pop sitting on the floor. It had been in that position for days. In fact, it was still in the shopping bag it had come home in. I thought: Pick it up. Come on, just do it. Pick it up, it’s not that hard. Pick it up and put it in the fridge and you will at least have done something today, you useless piece of crap. I stared at that pop bottle for what seemed like ages and I just couldn’t pick it up.
(And if you are wondering where Michael was during all of this, I answer: working from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. most nights.)
Michael’s parents come over every Saturday and they have lunch. They also clean the house. Even when I’m not depressed, I can’t keep things up to his mother’s standards. I will admit these standards are not unreasonable. She wants clean carpets, no trash lying around, etc. She’s not OCD or anything. My problem is that my parents never cleaned the house when I was growing up and I simply don’t realize when things need cleaned, or if I do realize it I often don’t know what to do about it.
I will also admit to a bit of laziness, and some differences of opinion. MUST dishes be cleaned immediately after use? Wouldn’t it be more efficient to let the sink fill up and do a whole lot at once? Is it TRULY necessary to wipe off the counter with a wet sponge both before and after you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Is it really THAT careless to toss your jacket on a convenient chair when you come inside, rather than hanging it in the closet?
But anyway, Michael’s mom was shocked at the state of the house last weekend with all the garbage and the dishes and whatnot. We had already been tense with each other for some time. She is not a bad person but we think very differently about things and Michael says there’s a communication problem: she’s totally misinterpreting stuff I do and I’m doing the same thing to her. But we want to get along with each other, because when we don’t it makes Michael unhappy.
We — that is, Michael and his mother, and Michael and I, and his mother and I — have all talked to each other and we’re trying to work some stuff out, arrange a truce basically. But that’s now. Last weekend was just the worst of my entire life. One thing lead to another and I wound up having two different psych evals — as in, was I a danger to myself, should I be admitted. I told them we’d already had one suicide in the family this year and didn’t need another.
I saw my psychiatrist yesterday, explained about Nick’s death and the fallout and how I’m so anxious that my back has been locked up for eight solid days now — the muscles are knotted and it’s quite painful — and asked for some anti-anxiety medication. He told me I was already taking anti-anxiety medication and had I seen my family doctor about my back? I said I had and she prescribed Valium, which had absolutely no effect. He said that if even Valium didn’t work to loosen things up, there was nothing he could do for me, but he thought I’d feel gradually less anxious as the drugs started working again.
And they have started working again, as you might be able to tell by the Charley Project updates I’ve been posting. A tip for people: if I’m not updating Charley, unless I say it’s for a specific reason (I’m on vacation or something), usually there’s something wrong in my life. When I’m updating things are usually going pretty well.
I’m getting up. I am starting to feel like myself again. Though we’ll have to see what happens when Michael’s parents come for their usual Saturday visit.