I’ve been in therapy for a year now, which is just a really long time. And it’s interesting, because I’ve unquestionably made progress, but I honestly don’t know if I’m really better off than I was this time last year. This is not the fault of therapy, nor my therapist (especially the one I have now), who I really think is great, it’s an issue with my brain and life and this two steps forward and 6 months back thing that’s happening.
I had a meeting with my psychiatrist yesterday, where he determined that even though the medication is making me more anxious, I needed to up my dose until I wasn’t anxious or until the side effects became too toxic, then lower it down to the last tolerated dosage and then stay on it for a year. Which, what? And hey, I have some feelings about this and not one of them is happy. He told me that my dose now insufficient.
Which is interesting because on the dose I’m on right now, I’ve had more moments of happiness than I have in ages. And I really don’t understand why we can’t give it more time since the max effect isn’t seen for another month, but when I asked I was told that it’s because my doctor doesn’t do “half-assed medicine.” I just feel like I got duped. Like I agreed to medication and now I have to take high doses of all of it. I’m not happy.
On Tuesdays I do double therapy, once by myself in the afternoon and once with my husband and Eli in the evening. It’s a long day of feelings, but it’s helping me and it’s helping my marriage. I actually often look forward to Tuesdays because I know that what we’re doing is making me better, but they are long, difficult days. And today was no exception.
I spoke with my therapist about the medication, about feeling happy and then crappy last week and she did her due diligence in reminding me that I’ve worked hard and come a long way. She’s right and I know that, but I also know that 2 weeks ago, I wouldn’t have felt as happy as I did last week, and that’s not because I’m working hard, it’s because my brain chemicals are changing and my serotonin levels are better now. I know that, and it’s partially great and partially blows. I want to have it be the direct result of hard work, but we both know that isn’t the case.
Halfway through our couples counseling session tonight, Eli threw up all over himself (we overfed him? I think?), which was just really a hot mess of awful, and it brought to light some serious OCD issues I’ve had brewing for quite some time. Issues I’m well aware of, and issues that are definitely having a negative impact on several areas of my life, my husband’s life and my child’s life. And I just sort of feel like perhaps I have a psych bingo now? Depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD. I mean, I am not bipolar or schizophrenic, but we’ve pretty much hit all the other ones, and surely there’s a free space in there somewhere. How many more things can we find that are wrong with me.
I just feel like I’m really kind of broken, like there’s little hope that I will ever be truly normal, even with medication and years of therapy. I feel like I’m facing obstacles that are bigger than me and even 2 hours of therapy a week and 10 or 20 or 30 milligrams of this medication aren’t going to fix that.
A year of therapy has passed and yes, I’ve made progress. I am stronger than I was a year ago. I’m more in touch with my feelings, my marriage is stronger and my self-awareness is heightened. But I’m also not okay yet. And I’m left wondering how many more years it’ll take to be okay again.