Still struggling / We got cats

It’s been three months now since I was hospitalized.  I was out of work initially for 2 weeks, then I went back for about a month before being out for another 2 weeks.  I started to feel like things were improving – it was starting to be spring, time was on my side, and I would have moments where the crushing depression was lifting.

Then I had a really rough few days last week.  I had 2 nights of disturbed sleeping in a row, and that really made the difference in whether I was OK enough or not OK.  I called into work one of the days, but that started to not feel like enough.  Things at work were starting to really trigger my anxiety, and this just got worse and worse over the weekend.

I had an idea about the trajectory of my recovery, but my brain is not following along.  I thought, “OK, I just went through a manic episode with delusional thinking.  This was followed by about 2 weeks of hypomania and then some mixed symptoms.  I thought I could get away without sinking into depression, but it caught up to me.  I should be in this depression for a few weeks and then things will start to lift and I’ll feel like myself again.”

Those few weeks have been stretching into 2 months so far.  Like I said, a couple weeks ago, it started to feel like things were improving a little bit, but then I fell again, fast and hard.  That wasn’t part of the plan.  My therapist suggested going out of work for even longer, to give myself some time to heal.  So, I am currently out of work for a month.  It feels like defeat/relief.  I started taking Celexa in the hopes that it will help.

Some of those nights when I haven’t been sleeping well have been agony.  There were nights where I didn’t actually sleep at all – just kind of dozed only to be pulled out of it by some thought attached to an anxiety-reaction, over and over and over again.  Does anyone else go through periods of insomnia?  I kept trying to go to sleep in the guest bed, then switch to the couch, then back to our bed, then the guest bed, the couch, our bed, the guest bed…  The night stretched out to infinity.  I started getting agitated.  Pacing.  Swearing at myself.  Punching a soft chair.  I could have done worse, so I’m glad it was just that.

I’m at a new low.  When I thought recovery was on the horizon, I sunk lower.  In my past, I have been more depressed than I am right now, but who’s comparing?  This feels pretty fucking bad.

When my feelings were so bad I didn’t think I could even be with myself, my partner helped me arrange to spend the day with her mom.  We went to the bank, got coffee, ran an errand at the mall, she brought me to my therapy appointment, and then we had lunch at her house.  That helped.

When it wasn’t any better 2 days later, I called a friend and she picked me up on her way to doing a bunch of deliveries for work.  We ate lunch at an Indian buffet.  That helped.

When I couldn’t imagine being home alone anymore, I went to yoga with my partner.  That helped.

When I couldn’t fathom what I would do with these unstructured days, I looked into a place called the Creative Wellness Center.  They have a bunch of art workshops and support groups, and it’s all free.  I went to a jewelery making workshop just because that was what was being offered when I got there, and I went to a support group.  That helped, momentarily, but I would have to say the social element was super taxing, and I’m not sure if I will go back.

When I expressed extreme despondency in therapy today, she suggested a partial hospitalization program.  She looked into it and they do currently have openings.  It runs weekdays from 9:30-3:15.  I think this is what I need right now.  She is going to fill out the paperwork and get back to me – I may be able to start next week.

In brighter news, my partner and I adopted 2 cats two weeks ago.  Their names are Joan (after Joan Jett) and Jarboe (singer in a band called Swans).  Normally, getting new pets would probably be exciting and fun.  There are elements that are nice – it’s fun to watch them play together, and I like when they are cuddly.  But to be honest, it has been stressful, just because of the state I am in.  They are cats, doing their cat things.  They get into stuff and knock things over.  They eat things they shouldn’t.  We’re containing them to the first floor right now, and Joan keeps getting through to go to the upstairs or basement. They are a whirlwind of motion; they are creatures being alive.






















I keep hoping that they will save me from what I am feeling, but the best they can do is distract me momentarily.  That’s a lot of pressure I’m putting on them!

35 Comments on “Still struggling / We got cats”

  1. I was just thinking about you this morning. Glad to have an update. Hope things get better. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. rimonim says:

    Damn, I am sorry to hear hear that things have been so rough. I’ve been through episodes of depression, and to say it’s hell is almost an understatement. I’m glad to hear you are getting support from family, friends and your therapist. I hope the partial hospitalization program will provide the resources and structure that you need. My thoughts are with you and I hope the fog lifts very soon.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. rimonim says:

    And congrats on the cats, by the way! 🙂


  4. Tea With Ess says:

    Thinking of you and wish you feel better soon! I was out of work for 1,5 years, took anti depressants, sleeping pills, anti anxiety pills and had different therapy sessions 2-3 times a week. The best therapy I had was physiotherapy where I learned to stand and walk again. It’s hard to feel bad when you walk like you’re feeling awesome. It wasn’t easy though, it took me a year to be able to stand properly out of therapy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lesboi says:

    I wish you only the best jq and hope this all resolves for you soon. It’s good to hear that you’re getting support and help as you need it. Maybe the cats can bring some comic relief for you along the way.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ariadne says:

    Sorry to hear that things are rough. I have been through depression in the past, and for what it’s worth, a partial hospitalization program was very helpful to me. Coincidentally, that was also when I adopted our two cats! Best of luck, I hope things turn around soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. One thing I like about pets is that when you’re down, you can focus solely on them. Focus on feeding them, providing for them, spending time with them. They don’t ask for much compared to humans, but they need you in an absolute way that people don’t. It can be a nice boost, or at least give you a way to focus on functioning without having to make it about yourself, which can be hard when you’re depressed.

    They’re adorable. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • janitorqueer says:

      I like your words about pets – so very true. Right now, my partner is doing a lot of the care-giving, but I’m trying to do some of it too.


      • Just remember it takes them a while to get to know you, just like it takes you a while to get to know them. 🙂 Building new friendships probably wasn’t something you wanted to focus on right now, on top of everything else, but maybe it’ll give you a good outlet?


  8. I was wondering how you’d been doing, thanks for updating us! It’s awful when you can’t sleep. It was only for a small period but I went through a time of anxiety that really affected my sleep a few years ago. I would be drifting off but then shoot back awake because something completely mundane would bother me and just cause me to freak out about it. Eventually it just went away on its own. But I found podcasts helped a lot and audiobooks. I’d put them on with the mindset of, “If I fall asleep? great. If I’m here awake all night at least I’ll have something to listen to.” Some nights I’d listen to hours of episodes but it would be a nice distraction at least.

    Hope you feel better soon!


  9. Jamie Ray says:

    Sounds like a really rough period that you are going through, and I really hear your disappointment at not feeling like your old self. I hope that the change in drugs, day treatment, and cats does the trick for you, and that you get back in sync.


  10. liamanthony2014 says:

    I’m sorry life is still so hard on you. I’ve seen my husband struggling with his bipolar for as long as I’ve known him, so I sort of understand what you must be going through.
    I do hope your new cats will soon help improve life for you instead of making it more stressful. Hang on, buddy. You’re worth fighting for.


  11. butchcountry67 says:

    I am sorry you’re having such a rough go, I can understand the depression as I suffer from it as well, I have found my pets ( 4 cats and a dog) to be good comfort when I am down, the cats are born insane I think, pretty sure they live in their own world and plot world domination in ours lol , I have found going for long walks and exercise helps when I am going through a depressive state, writing in my blog helps me as well, I hope you feel better soon , hang in there


  12. Hart says:

    Sometimes it’s just about making it through the moment, then these moments get strung together into hours, then days, then weeks, and on. It sounds like you have a good support structure, and plan to help you out of this. Keep going. And your cat has the most beautiful eyes I think I’ve ever seen.


    • janitorqueer says:

      It’s really good to remember this – thanks for pointing it out. Like when I am doing something in the moment, I am actually ok. It’s just the vastness ahead that makes life seem like it is not doable…


  13. Anonymous says:

    Lotsa hugs, JQ. Take care, we are all rooting for you.


  14. Michelle says:

    Huge (((hugs))) and best wishes


  15. witlessX says:

    Cats. Yeah. Good choice.
    My cat? Well, she’s my savior.


  16. Kate says:

    Yes, head noise is hard to sleep through. Often my eyes will bolt open at around 3:00 or 4:00 about something or other, thoughts that are somehow intensified at night. And then it’s hard to not pile on more obsession about being unable to sleep! That stinks, dude. Funk be gone!


  17. Catching up on emails so sorry for the delayed response. I can relate. Up until my heart attack/pericarditis episode a few weeks ago, I think I had on and off, tho mostly on insomnia for a few years. Not sure how I survived the nights that were zero sleep. Getting up to meditate always helped. Tried every herb in the book. nothing. Even drugs, sometimes they worked sometimes not. And recently a bout of depression which I have managed to pull myself out of by forcing myself to exercise and meditate every day. As well as amping up the work I am doing with my healer person. I don’t know if you are familiar with the Enneagram but I am a Five – and using my body is a key aspect for balance and well-being. A naturopath recently told me about hops tincture (yes the flower used to make beer) – it cuts thru negative thoughts and knocks you out without a hangover in the morning. I have not tried it as I am sleeping ok at present, but have a client on it who swears by it. Hang in there. Sounds like the day program will be helpful!!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hey friend—I know I’ve been MIA for a while, for a lot of reasons. But I just wanted to say that I’ve been thinking of you and sending you warmth and awesomeness. ❤ ❤ ❤


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