Friday, June 19

Doctor, doctor, give me the news. I've got a bad case of running away from my problems.

On Wednesday, I had my first psychiatry appointment in over four years. A medical resident from Pakistan, my psychiatrist took down a list of all the medication and dosages I've taken throughout my career in depression. The list was lengthy, a soiled list of medications which used to line various medicine cabinets. I was placed on 100 milligrams of Wellbutrin, an anti-depressant that can also reduce the urge to smoke, in conjunction with the 40 milligrams of Cymbalta I've been taking since 2008. I was cautious of this Dr. Dongry

Doctor: So you're in outpatient treatment?
Me: No, my last day was on Tuesday.
Doctor: Oh, okay. So you're continuing outpatient, then?
Me: I'm finished with it.
Doctor: What outpatient treatment program will you be participating in when you arrive in Seattle?
Me: I'm done with outpatient. Unless I relapse, I won't be going back to outpatient or inpatient rehab.
Doctor: Okay. So you're done with outpatient?

I had first heard of Cymbalta by seeing a commercial. I laid in bed, depressed, lethargic, and dismissive of all things everywhere. The commercial showed a man in bed with his dog. They watched TV with vacant eyes and heavy shoulders. I turned over under the covers to face Cosmo, my sleepy golden retriever who never left my side while in bed with the deepest blues. A voiceover from the commercial stated, are you depressed? Cosmo sighed. Two weeks later, I was prescribed the medication that was advertised to me during a block of World Series of Pop Culture on VH1.

And I shall call him...Golden Boy.

Today was my first day taking Wellbutrin. If you've been on any type of drug to stabilize your mental health, you know that the effects aren't immediate. At 10am this morning, I took my medication and ate a bowl of cereal. I tossed and turned while the air conditioner struggled to heat up my bedroom. Eventually I fell back asleep and awoke at 5pm, just in time for more laying in bed.

A lot of people have asked me about moving back to Seattle. Usually I respond with a PR type answer that dilutes one of the main reasons I'm moving: I hate most of the people here. A lot of folks don't know when to shut the fuck up, or when to stay quiet, or when to offer sympathy and not some half-assed opinion of what you're doing or trying to accomplish. There were times when all I needed was a hug or even a high five. Instead I got unsolicited opinions and advice that made me feel worse. Of course, there are good people in Minneapolis, and I hope they keep on keepin' on. It's nice to know that if I return to Minnesota, I'll have some people in my corner. But to be brutally honest, most of the people I've interacted with in the last four years have either been selfish, naive, or pretentious.

I often wonder if I'm running away from my problems. Perhaps I am, but I'm doing it for me. I fully expect I'll encounter people in life that I will not care for under any circumstances. This is one of those instances where my expectations of others have been too high. I expect people to treat others with respect, and I've come across one too many people who simply do not show any compassion towards others. Having expectations of others has ruined me, and it's a matter of control. I can only control what I say and do, and not what others say and do. Yet I still harbor anger and hatred for instances where I wish I had the last word, or that I actually won the imaginary argument I had in yesterday's shower.

Rumination is one of the main staples of anxiety and depression. I've stayed awake well into the early morning while dwelling on some stupid verbal transaction from eight years ago. These take place like a carousel before I actually fall asleep, like some shitty slideshow of all of the times where I wished I had actually said something instead of biting my tongue like a mute sheep. My expectations of others were high, and when they fell far short of where I would have liked them to be, I took it out on myself. I blamed myself, developed a sense of self-hatred, and became emotionally and mentally distraught because I strongly believed that their defects of character were my fault.

There are some days where I want to be really brutal and tell everyone my absolute, honest opinion of people. You aren't as funny as you think you are. Please start wearing clothes that fit you. I literally give no fucks about your workout routine. Of course, saying these things will immediately burn the bridges that are only upheld by social media. I suppose some could say the same thing about my posts about sobriety. But the point is that we all have opinions of each other and things and people and places and pizza and music and religion and politics and blah blah blah. However, I believe there's an appropriate way to address, or not address these opinions. And I've chosen to keep my mouth shut in most cases.

While I was in outpatient treatment (as you may remember, the outpatient treatment I am no longer participating in), my group worked on how to address anger and grief and depression. We learned certain skills that would help us acknowledge these feelings in a healthy way as opposed to turning to alcohol or drugs. If I'm guilty of anything, it's drowning my feelings with Coors Light and pinot noir. These skills are largely in the forefront of my thoughts as I encounter interactions in every day life. Example: an acquaintance learned of my recent break up. Instead of lending me a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen, she offered up advice and opinions that were abrasive and negative about my loss. I cannot control what she says or does. Instead, I chose to go deaf to her blabber and smiled and nodded my way out of the conversation. Given my history with this individual, I chose not to address the situation because I would be pouring more gasoline on the already tumultuous fire. She's going to have her opinions, but I cannot expect her to act the way I'd ultimately like her to.

It's ironic with the aspect of control in my life: I want everything to be in my control, but when I drank, everything was no longer in my control. I brought this idea up at my AA meeting this week as our topic was a first step discussion: where we were, and how the first step got us to where we are now. It was a lengthy meeting but again I was enlightened to the fact about how fortunate I was in regards to hitting rock bottom. I made the announcement that I'm moving at the end of the summer. I was pleasantly surprised: no one gave me shit for it. In some ways, I was expecting others (haha, see?) to scold me for making such a huge decision so early in my sobriety. But instead, I was applauded for making a decision that was going to positively affect my depression, my loneliness, and my sobriety. I've also had others reach out to me about meetings I can go to and people I can stay with in regards to my travels at the end of August, so that's pretty cool.

I'm going to have my second bowl of cereal of the day. I had a salad earlier so I think it evens out. Time to snuggle kitty and read this Channing Tatum AMA.

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