I have to do something I never anticipated having to do, so forgive me if I am a bit clumsy about it. As you may remember from my last Canvas post, I have been fighting the onset of a depressive episode for some time. Unfortunately, it is a fight which I lost, and I have slipped into a very severe depressive state. It’s much more acute a situation than I have had to deal with in a long time.
Another thing that you may or may not recall is that I cannot take any medication for this. Just a few months ago, I wrote in another post:
It finally happened. Officially, I mean. I’ve reached the end of the line. After six-and-a-half years of extremely intensive psychiatric treatment, the first fiveish with an incredibly bright, creative, thinking-outside-of-the-box younger doc; the last year-plus with a man long experienced in the mood disorder game (not to mention numerous consults along the way), it has been made manifest.
There is no medication, no medication combo, no singular or plural that exists currently in this country that I can both tolerate and achieve lasting stability with.
Stamp it. Signed, sealed, delivered, done.
So, while I am of course still under the care of my psychiatrist, there are no pills he can give me to treat this.
Which leads of course to the looming question of, ‘What do I do?’
I’m kind of feeling my way through this, as it’s all pretty new to me. One of the first and most constant decisions I am making is not to isolate myself. It’s instinct for me to withdraw when I am depressed. While I am not talking regularly to very many people, I know that not only am I not capable of that much, it actually would be unhealthy to try. I have some very few, very good people who are my “support network”, who are my friends, with them I keep in contact.
Beyond that. . . In another post, one I wrote exactly three months ago to the day tomorrow:
And I may come to a point where I stop writing altogether. Not to worry anyone, and I hope I don’t, but one of the blessings of the nervous breakdown I had was I was permitted to have it in private. So many people reach outward during those times, me, I reach inward. It’s just my way of coping.
I have always been an extremely private person. I do choose to share some very intimate pieces of my life through this medium. But there are many aspects I never touch on and never will. They are mine alone, and you not find them in the words of a blog.
In addition, in order to win the fight, I need to turn the whole of myself inward. I have to focus all of my thoughts and my energy on keeping myself as strong as possible, so that I may make it out as whole and unbruised as possible.
Finally, I just don’t have any words most of the time. For this post I have gathered some, because I owe all of you an explanation. To me it is a sacred obligation — I cannot suddenly just disappear without warning or reason.
But it is going to be my last post, on Canvas or anywhere for some time. I know that’s rather vague, because I really don’t know for sure myself how long it will be, but in my mind, I’m thinking a matter of several months. I need to take a break, I need to step back and focus on me. And fortunately this is a multi-author blog, so it isn’t as though there aren’t still plenty of wonderful people to write pieces for you to read.
A few things I want for you to know. I will still continue to handle all the admin/social media stuff for Canvas. That I actually find very, very therapeutic. I think it’s because it takes me outside of my own head for a little while, and it reminds me of my responsibilities to others — to my fellow Canvas authors, and to wonderful readers like all of you. It gives me something to be grateful for. So you will still find me sharing things on our facebook page: A Canvas Of The Minds, through our Twitter feed: @CanvasMinds, and I’m even getting more boards set up on Pinterest: A Canvas Of The Minds.
I want to say two very important things before I close. The first and most important to me is to say thank you. Thank you so very much, thank you to so many people, thank you with all of my heart. So many of you have reached out to me in so many ways and I have been unable to respond. Dear friends, friends I am only just getting to know, regular readers, readers brand new to me, people with common acquaintances, individuals I had never before known in any way. You have expressed to me support, understanding, good wishes, the desire to help, prayers, love, kindnesses of every manner. I have been unable to reply to any of you, but I hope that all of you read this and know how truly grateful, how touched, how humbled, and how valued every word made me feel. So again, and even though the words don’t seem big enough, thank you.
The other thing I want for all of you to know is that I will get through this. Of that there is not the slightest doubt anywhere in my mind. It’s going to take time, and it’s going to be a fight. But it’s a fight that I will win. I have much experience on my side, loads of it, and that counts for a lot. I do have my doctors, and while there may not be anything they can prescribe for me, I would never hesitate to go to them if I felt I was a threat to myself (which is a very unlikely scenario, given I have never in my life considered suicide or even self-harm). I have loving and caring people supporting me, with whom I know I can be completely myself, and never anything but entirely honest in what I tell them.
I want to thank you all so much for your understanding, your patience, and your continued support of Canvas and all the wonderful authors who will be writing just as ever in my absence. Me you can think of as still in the Fire Swamp, having gotten sucked down into the lightning sand. I’ll find a vine and pull myself out, it just may take some time.
Note: Please know that obviously you are as welcome to comment as ever, more so, even, if that’s possible. And I will read every single one of your comments and I will be silently grateful. I just haven’t anything left in me for responses at this point.
© Ruby Tuesday and A Canvas Of The Minds 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ruby Tuesday and A Canvas Of The Minds with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.