Well, I definitely felt better for awhile. The anti-depressant seemed to be helping, I felt less anxious and I had no desire to go back to the place I'd been with vodka.
But that didn't last longer than about five months. It started out slowly, then it took over, like a thunderstorm. I was back to that same feeling of cracking apart I'd felt back last December - except this time, I didn't have gallons of vodka to blame for my instability.
I didn't know what to do. Most of my life, people seemed to view me as though I wanted to be a giant, chaotic pain in the ass to everyone around me. Like I was selfish and petulant and possibly a brat. For so long, I assumed that everyone felt things the way I do, they just controlled the feelings and their behavior better than I did. I knew I had some good reasons to be kinda kooky, but I figured everyone does, so I should quit being noisy because nobody even cares about my shit when they have their own to deal with - in a far less annoying way than I was managing to do it.
I've been in and out of counseling and therapy for decades, and hospitalized twice. I just never had the funds to really get to the point where I was completely functional for more than a few months.
My MIL suggested I contact the mental health place she goes to. It took me awhile to finally call, because I've been turned away so many times before, I felt too fragile to deal with more of that. I called eventually, and the person on the other end of the phone was brusque (that's how it felt to me, anyway) and informed me that they didn't treat what I thought I was dealing with.
He gave me a number to a counseling place. I called, tearfully, and they told me that they don't do anything but counseling - no medications. They gave me the names of two psychiatrists. The first one I tried wasn't taking new patients. I called the second, and I had to leave a message.
In the meantime, I went online to check out the second Dr.'s reviews. The first one was a person accusing the Dr. of trying to sexually molest them. All the rest called him an uncaring jerk. I'd hit a wall, and wondered yet again why I was even trying to get help when it never works out anyway.
I wrote a bitchy message to the original mental health place I'd reached out to. The next day I got a call telling me I should just come in for an evaluation. So I went.
Mere minutes into the appointment, I hit that wall again. Because I didn't have medicaid, I would be put on a waiting list that could be three to six months long. Perfection. He offered to try to get me counseling, without medications being involved. Since I was going to have to wait to see the only non-terrifying psychiatrist in town who was even accepting new patients, I agreed to go to the counseling place in the meantime.
Then, I started talking about hallucinations. I can't believe I'm talking about this in public. Okay, I hear voices. They seem to mumble from the next room, they never tell me to do anything, I rarely catch a word or phrase being said and they only seem to happen when everything is quiet and I'm trying to sleep. Sometimes it's just the cadence of speech and other times it sounds like little girls playing. Once, I heard, "what's for dinner?" Keep in mind, everyone else is asleep and there are no televisions or radios playing.
Also, in the past year, I've started seeing detailed, realistic images of things, while my eyes are closed but I'm still very much awake. For as long as I can remember, I've always seen colors and patterns and a strobe light kind of thing with my eyes closed, or when it's very dark with my eyes opened. When I told the therapist that I'd always assumed everyone sees lights and patterns when it's dark, and said, "Doesn't everyone?" he sorta half-grinned and I was like "Well, that's a no."
What do you people see when you close your eyes?
Anyway, it's at this point that the therapist was like:
He said he'd be able to get me in to see one of their psychiatrists sometime in December, and that because I would be in their system, I was automatically eligible for the counseling.
By the time I got home, I had a message telling me that my psychiatrist appointment would be mid-December. Not ideal, but far better than a three to six month wait. Then I got another call, asking if I'd gotten the message. I said, "yes, I wrote the appointment time down." and he was all, "Well, it's changed. Can you come in this Friday?"
Friday. Fucking this Friday. Hell yes I can come in on Friday. He also set up an appointment with the counseling place, so ... I seem to be all set. I'm not even sure what to do with that. It's weird to have something actually work out.
I celebrated by punching a hobo. Just kidding. I punched a vagrant. I think he liked it.
I'm sure everyone must be curious about what the hell is wrong with me. Since we should all stop being afraid to talk about stuff like this, I'll tell you what he said: "major depression with psychotic components" and "heaps of PTSD". Also, borderline personality disorder. Believe me, it's the most fun anyone could ever have.
I'd also like to say a huge, public thanks to all the real-life friends who reached out to me when I threw a fit on my Facebook status the other day - you were all supportive and didn't react as though I was just being a loud attention vacuum. Thanks, guys.
I've since learned that the patterns and lights I see in the dark are closed-eye hallucinations and while they're not extremely common, they're innocuous. So if any of y'all have them, don't worry that you're inane. Unless you're trying to eat plastic fruit right now. Then you should seek help.