It's been a month since my last update, which was rather bleak. A lot has happened in the mean time.
For one, I started seeing a psychiatric nurse and a psychologist at my local health care crisis center. Usually wait lists are up to 8 months here, but I had the mixed blessing of being so acutely suicidal that I applied for an emergency referral, which means I had to get an appointment within a week. Which I did. Since I was so zombified from antidepressants, I was switched to antipsychotics to help me sleep. The food cravings became even more intense (so intense that the consulted psychiatrist described them as compulsive) but I did get a few good nights sleep. Luckily, the cravings left me after two weeks, but I gained quite a bit of weight in that time.
Then my aspie brain kicked in and decided to mix things up a little. When taking the medication, my body would fall asleep, but my brain would stay awake. I would remain acutely aware of my surroundings while also having insane dreams and having my usual thoughts running around in my brain. It was not a restful experience. Luckily my psychologist listened to me when I told her that psychotropic drugs can have different effects on the neurodiverse brain than on the neurotypical one. We halved the dosage and I am finally getting restful sleep.
In the meantime I started working out with a personal trainer in the same week I started at the crisis center. It took a whole lot of effort to convince myself to sign up and commit to it, especially since I don't really enjoy working out and I haven't worked out in years. But I really wanted to improve my mood and combat the weight gain from the antipsychotics and the compulsive carb consumption.
I have been working out twice a week for a month now and the effect on my mood and my overall energy level is great. At my bleakest of moments, I found out that my personal trainer could motivate me and actually make me believe I was doing well. I would walk out of the gym with a smile on my face. As a bonus, my clothes are less tight (hooray, shrinking muffin top!) and despite building muscle mass I am losing weight as well.
I am capable of feeling happy again, and I have had a few good days recently. I haven't felt suicidal in a few weeks. It's nice to feel the depression has receded. What's left is still a raw mess of emotions with lots of frayed, bare wiring. I am definitely not balanced or stable at the moment, but the bleakness has left me. I'm happy that, while my depressions can come on hard and fast, I generally seem to bounce back rather quickly. Which isn't to say that this one hasn't scared me. I've talked to my psychologist at the crisis center and we've agreed that I am no longer in a crisis situation. I'm now being referred to the regular mental healthcare system for further diagnosis. I'll be assessed for mood disorders, specifically bipolar disorder. I have had this diagnosis suggested to me over a decade ago, but it was quickly rejected again. I don't know if I have a bipolar disorder. Frankly, I don't really care either. I just want to know what, if anything, I can do to prevent another crippling depression from sneaking up on me and choking the life out of me.
Looking back at the last few months, I am proud of myself. I did everything possible to stay afloat and get back on my feet. I have been fighting very hard, and it's nice to know that it does pay off sometimes. I have managed to keep working my full-time job and I got to extend my contract yesterday, signing on for a full year. Despite my struggles, which my boss knows about, he really wants to keep me on. I've been asked to take on some additional tasks and I am looking forward to it. I am starting to feel cauteously optimistic again. Here's hoping it lasts!
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