Saturday, 10 March 2012

adventures on ritalin

a couple of weeks ago i was sitting in the passenger's seat in our car (aka: "world's loudest car") playing on my mobile phone whilst Muffin dodged traffic with an ultimate destination of my doctor's office.

i'd been meaning to ring and book an appointment for nearly two months, but i had been coping with a very special bout of depression. since i lost my job i had been struggling to find the energy to do anything but move from the bed to the sofa and back to the bed again at the end of the day.

people who've not experienced an extreme depression could never understand how difficult it is to deal with even daily tasks such as signing onto Facebook or tidying up the tremendous amount of boxes that have been taking over our house since the delivery of all my stuff from England.

my depression was spiraling out of control and my entire life has been forced onto the back burner whilst i figure out what the hell i've got going on in my head. i had been to the doctor many times to try to figure out some sort of medication system to manage my lack of sleep, incessant need to eat and ultimate decline of my well-being with little or no result. every single aspect of my life felt like it was falling apart and i needed it fixing.

the most recent visit was set up after my realization that our healthcare will be running out on March 12th. my internal alarm set in and i called and booked in and now we're back to the first paragraph... i was in the car, playing Robot Unicorn Attack when we pulled up to the office.

we checked in, the nurse came out to get me and we sat in the office discussing my smoking habits, physical health and general mental state. i indicated my lack of interest, attention and sleep on a scale of one to ten to the nurse whilst Muffin sat across from me looking like he was trying not to be alarmed. i had become so depressed that i had completely closed down and stopped talking to friends, family and my own husband. he had no idea how bad things in my head had actually gotten.

after i received a terribly high score on my depression scale the nurse went and got my doctor (who is one of my favourite people in the world. he's like an american version of Harry Hill and i adore him). he came in, asked how the old anti-depressant i was on was going and went on to explain how difficult it is for a doctor, particularly when they have only a certain amount of time with a patient. he told me that he sometimes feels like he's failed a patient when he's unable to fix what they need fixing in the time he has with them.

after i reassured him that he had helped and reminded him of the fact that i only had three weeks left of healthcare he started the long process of thinking out loud. we discussed the medications i've tried that haven't worked and he finally settled on an option that he explained was slightly uncommon, but has been known to work.


he explained that the prescribing of Ritalin, particularly to an adult, is slightly unorthodox, but helps to accelerate the effects of the anti-depressant i take at night. he instructed me that i am only to take it during the day, as it is basically speed for adults, and that if i find myself suffering from any unwelcome side-effects, i should stop taking it immediately and call in for another appointment.

so here i am, two weeks into my new life on Ritalin and i have to say that i am much more stable than i have felt in a long time. the first day i took it i was pumped. i literally couldn't sit down. not like you'd imagine it would feel to be on speed, but just... i wanted to be up doing stuff. i wanted to be tidying and baking and re-organizing stuff. so i did.

since then, i really am grounded now. i am able to concentrate so much better than i can remember being able to in a while and have EVEN learned to knit (which, if you know me, is a huge feat, given that i have been trying to teach myself to knit for no less than seven years with no luck. i would try for half an hour, lose a lot of stitches, not be able to decipher what i had done and throw the needles into the drawer until i accidentally uncovered another knitting pattern that i NEEDED to try.)

also, i've unpacked all of my boxes from England, organized every one of my books (after having to literally get five more huge bookshelves to house them, which i ALSO put together), started re-vamping my crafting area according to craft (knit, crochet, drawing (which is FURTHER broken down by paint, marker, fine pen, broad pen and pencil), scrapbooking and dead animal crafting) and gone through all of my clothes to finally get rid of stuff i really don't NEED anymore (which, again, is a big feat for me if you know me, because i am a goddamned hoarder and hate getting rid of anything, ever).

things are okay right now and my biggest daily battle is just learning to deal with the little emotional curveballs my head likes to throw at me.

so, there you go. that's where i've been, what's been going on and why i've been so wildly elusive recently. i am making efforts to change that and have about five blogs i'm in the process of writing, so keep your eyeballs peeled and be well!


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