View Full Version : Putting a face while slowly sinking

08-11-15, 03:13 AM
(tw drug mention---but it's all in this void)

It's so easy for me to pretend, for a while, that everything's okay. This feeling of optimism (not happiness--whatever that means--but a small bit of hope) feels like it's actually just a patch covering a laceration; it looks all right from the outside, but the inside is internally bleeding. I was off my meds for about a week because I lagged it with getting a psychiatrist appointment. But I'm finally back on Wellbutrin and now Strattera, but my body had been in withdrawal for too long--that lackluster feeling had already sunk deep.

I put on fake smiles and I see myself impulsively doing it--like I don't want people to know I don't want to leave my apartment, my bed; that I don't want to move at all and just sleep so this surge of nothing could (at least) temporarily go away. Or for good. But then I slip in my status in conversation: "I'm too sick to make any phone calls," "Sorry, bro, but I'm feeling like *insert vulgar noun here*," "Yeah, I'm not doing well," etc., but then I stop myself from going into detail because I feel these people won't understand. Then I see myself blaming myself for how I am and that I don't need to be the burden on everyone's hands. Then I isolate. I'm deterred from participating in group messages; I hide how I truly feel and let that tainted nothing taint the rest of my internal thoughts.

Then I see these meds not working. I'm still not better and the idea of just disappearing keeps resurfacing. I'd been hospitalized twice, once for drug addiction (co-morbidity that almost pushed me over the edge) and the other for psychiatric reasons. It hurts. It's a pain I can't pinpoint, but it keeps pulling be into this tide.

But I keep putting faces. I keep pretending everything is okay. I act so optimistic, but, deep down, I really, truly don't feel that way. It's almost like I'm protecting others from my self. Like I'm a contagion. They say, "Fake it till you make it," but that's total BS at its core. The impulsiveness behind this face-putting is petrifying. It's one diagnosis working against me with the other and I put off looking at it. I refuse to look at it as a problem while the boat slowly sinks. I'm losing sense of emotions and half of me forgets that because I'm so caught in the moment until I'm left alone in my bedroom.

My therapist wanted to put me in the hospital and I swear I put that mask back on to keep him from making that phone call (there's no way I want to go back there--at all). He had me promise him to attend our next appointment (this Tuesday), otherwise, he'll call the police. (what the ****.) I worked so hard to pull myself back up only to see it start crumbling and falling back apart. A whole year wasted. I'm still not able to focus. I daydream constantly. I'm starting to miss lectures again. Last-minute assignments have become the norm. I lose sleep while still wasting time and then ultimately regretting it. I caffeinate myself only to get distracted and hyperfocus on petty s**t. I record lectures but never take the time to actually play them back. It's all feeling like a lost cause.

Honestly, this place is the only place I've been honest about how I feel about my diagnosis and the co-morbidity (I hate that word), and even here I feel like I don't fit. I've managed to stay clean and sober only to hate myself for not even being able to f*****g hang out with people my same age because I can't do what I used to have fun doing. I can't stand that, no matter where I go, I can't be a part of. I can't drink, I struggle socializing, I try and try and nothing seems to work because I'm left all alone with no feeling of satisfaction or happiness. Nobody has seen me like this, and even as I'm typing this, I'm on the verge of bursting in tears because it hurts a lot and it hurts even more than I can't truly express how I feel. I want to tear it all out --each and every color of nothing that keeps blocking me from even identifying myself as an individual. I'm being pulled away and I just want to let it if it means not having to feel anything anymore.

08-11-15, 03:44 AM
so, i don't have depression, but i can relate to some of what you wrote from having my own diagnosis that i pretend doesn't exist until it's out of hand.

i'm sorry you're struggling so much right now. i understand the inclination to isolate. i understand feeling like a burden...and often i feel like others are a burden because i have to be ok enough so they feel ok with my not being ok. it's exhausting.

i don't know much of anything about how long antidepressants take to start helping, but i'm guessing several weeks. it sucks that you're so far under, but it sounds like you've pulled through before and you can again.

i'm glad you shared what's happening with you here. i think that's a courageous first step. i do want to encourage you to let someone in who can help keep you safe if you are unsure you can keep yourself safe. if the meds have worked before, it's worth giving them the time to work again, i think.

i do appreciate the feeling of wasting years, losing them and not getting them back. it does suck. but this is one year...and sometimes you have to keep pulling yourself back before you get to where it sticks for awhile. it's brutal, i get it. and i totally understand not wanting to go inpatient. it sucks. though, i assure you, it sucks more when it's involuntary. if you get to the point where it's going to happen, i strongly advise signing yourself in. it's like night and day. and if you go there instead of being escorted there...another bonus.

i think you need to talk to your therapist. maybe print out this post and give it to him. you're here...even though you're in pain...which seems to me like you do want a path back up, but it's hard and scary and feels like there are no guarantees and your thoughts are weighing on you. you mentioned that you deal with impulsiveness as well.

please print out your post and hand it to your therapist tomorrow. maybe he won't put you in on a hold. maybe by opening up, he can work with you to develop a crisis plan, to have support in place until your meds reach therapeutic levels, maybe write you whatever exemptions to remove the stress of school for this term.

you need to let someone help you make a plan for getting through this. and i think you know that. please reach out. be brave, you have it in you to be brave and once you are, you won't have to do this alone and i truly think you can get through it.

best wishes, xx

08-11-15, 08:44 AM
If you can put the words to this it is a huge step.
ive said this before in another thread i think. im very attached to language and in my bad times i have no words which is terrifying, and i was very much moved by your post.
" each and every color of nothing", please know that you have helped me very much by those words and i hope that is of some consolation for you today.

also i share your views on fake it till you make it. you must try to go out and intereact and that can be like a momentum but completely faking it will just blow up in your face eventually.

08-11-15, 01:14 PM
Feeling your pain on multiple levels. Wishing you strength in reaching out and gentle relief in doing so. ((((Hugs))))

Little Missy
08-11-15, 03:53 PM
I hate the co-morbid word too.

People with addiction problems usually do not abuse stimulant meds when they have ADHD. Stimulant meds completely change their lives.

Oh, every now and then you have plaster a fake face on and do the routine, but really, that therapist sounds like an antagonist to me. :)

08-11-15, 04:55 PM
I hate doing it, but it's necessary in order to survive in life. I like the idea of being genuine. Putting on a facade is the opposite of being genuine.

This is a place where you can express yourself and be accepted. I hope you find comfort in that.

08-11-15, 05:52 PM
BTDT. Doing it now, in fact. You've got to stop faking it, because you WON'T make it by faking it. If your doctor is saying he'll call the cops, it's because you are so far down that rabbit hole that you're a danger to yourself and/or others. That's serious. You need to take it seriously, too. You don't want to wait until you're forcibly committed somewhere to work on changing.

You need to be absolutely sure that the meds are right for you, and keep to them religiously. Even if they don't work, HOW they don't work is important information for your doctor. That will influence which meds need to be changed, and what is more likely to work better for you. This can take a while and need a lot of tweaking - and believe me, I've tried pretty much everything that's on the market because of complications. It's only because at a couple of points in my life I've seen the light at the end of the tunnel that I'm still alive. Once you know that it actually CAN get better do you really want to fight to make it better.

Don't put on the face for your doctor. Don't put on the face for the people who love you. Save that face for when you absolutely need it. You don't want to wear it out, and you want the people who can help you to see the real one.

08-12-15, 05:10 AM
I'm no doctor but stratterra was originally made as an antidepressant. It was sort of an afterthought that they realized it could treat adhd. I know for certain peoples like myself it can cause mania,and other mental health issues to become exacerbated. I personally would talk to the doctor about it.

Little Missy
08-12-15, 07:14 AM
I'm no doctor but stratterra was originally made as an antidepressant. It was sort of an afterthought that they realized it could treat adhd. I know for certain peoples like myself it can cause mania,and other mental health issues to become exacerbated. I personally would talk to the doctor about it.


08-12-15, 07:59 AM
Thank you, all, for your kind words and advice/ support. I really felt like I needed to pull that out. I went to my session with my therapist, informed him of my new medication treatment and took peripatetic's advice, as well as the rest. He's no antagonist; he honestly felt like his help was not enough to keep me safe from myself.

I wasn't going to spend half our session reading everything I said, but I took my journal and got more expressive with my way of pouring out the buckets full of remorse. I titled it "Notes to my therapist" and highlighted what I had written and recreated it into a sort of experimental poem. He suggested I keep doing that.

It actually got intense. I realized what I wanted out of the therapy and asked him to help me understand where the self-loathing and hatred, in addition to my lack of understanding emotions--why I'm deterred by my own self and isolate--from where all that stems. I figured I'd draw a route/root to the internalized depression. It's a complex, multilayered net of past experiences and trauma that my diagnosis has ignored and, through that, suppressed it in the back burner. Needless to say, I used up half of his box of tissues. I felt exposed and he wasn't going to lie to me: it feels awful. But we've paved a path, and it's a long road ahead.

I tend to be creative with my play on words. He sees the potential and wants to work with me on how to cope without resorting to beating myself up over my comorbidity and to "recondition," so to speak, my thought process. He mentioned to me something along the lines of "letting myself be uncomfortable," which is confusing. What are some ways you all have tried/worked on, in that respect?

08-12-15, 11:04 AM
i'm so glad to read your update. well done!

as far as letting oneself be uncomfortable...the only thing i can relate to that is doing CBT for panic/agoraphobia and there are these things called "interroceptives" which is basically "exposure practice" where you do these timed things that recreate symptoms of a panic attack and you "sit with it" or whatever to show yourself that you can handle the panic and it will subside.

i don't know if i'm explaining that well and i haven't been in that group for about a year maybe? but if you googled some of those terms i'm sure someone explains it better. but the problem of anxiety/panic/agoraphobia is that you have the response and then you avoid and that quells the panic, which reinforces avoidance, and then that cycle happens repeatedly and your world gets smaller and smaller and you're less and less able to cope with any anxiety/panic. if that makes sense. so the way to, well, the way i did find helpful, was to go through that exposure and it survive, you know? and slowly you break the cycle of avoidance or panic and let yourself be uncomfortable, you know, have some amount of panic, but process them instead of avoiding them.

that's the only aspect of my mental health that sounds similar to what your therapist advised and though i'm unsure it is comparable, i can say that doing it ultimately was worthwhile. SUPER difficult and exhausting. but ultimately, successful and necessary and with that component of my mental health concerns, i'm SO MUCH more functional. my world had gotten so small and that opened it back up again, if that makes sense.

anyway, again, i'm so glad to read your update. very impressed with the courage it took and the way you faced it head on.

08-14-15, 10:13 PM
Thank you. I have heard of CBT. It applies to depression as well because the depression tends to be fed by "distorted" thinking (which is a horrible way to label it because it makes the victim feel responsible). I have tried it; it is fairly difficult. It's like trying to change your mindset altogether because of the factors involved (personal beliefs, environment, and behavior).

Unfortunately, my appointment with him left an aftermath. I was exposed to the point where my major depression surged and overtook every thought in my mind. It's vile; I haven't spoken to amyone in days. I've missed more classes. I'm feeling hopeless again; it's sitting on hot coals and not making me react. It's easier to hide it. I had a friend stay over, but he's gone home now. Being alone with myself is truly unsettling.

I was emailing my therapist and he also suggested meditation, which has been thrown in my face countlessly by my sponsor before. I love the guy, but meditation is one of the things I have never been able to achieve. My therapist may not understand that I've tried these things before. My depression unraveled when I was young and it's a complex system. I'm still feeling lost. Admitting it helps, I suppose. A part of me wants to die, but the other part is the one making this post.