General disclaimer: Chantix™ is the devil and if you have a history of depression, how about you not take this shit because it will fuck you and leave you right afterwards with a “hey, call me sometime,” but won’t actually mean it.
Last week was not a good week. I had a mental breakdown, with Chantix as the catalyst. I stopped taking it six days ago, and while feeling more normal to an extent, some of it still lingers on and had myself a lovely panic attack again this morning. Hyperventilating, shaking, my heart pounding out of my chest, the whole nine yards. What fun!
I was placed on an antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication, but I think the Chantix is still the alpha drug and making these new ones less effective than they should be. And I’ve played this game with SSRIs/benzodiazepines before and finding a perfect mix can be laborious and frustrating to those of us who’d love to be able to walk out the door to get ready for work and face their day without feeling like death is tiptoeing behind you, whispering his icy breath into your ear, “just give up.”
Chantix is the lone culprit here; I also know the stress of dealing with a terminally ill parent is also putting its grubby mitts into the pot. My dad’s pain got out of control this past Friday and I spent part of the weekend with him again. We started him on hospice care finally, much to his dismay. He wasn’t overly thrilled with me, my brother, sister-in-law, and his cousin ambushing him to start utilizing their services, but he can be mad all he wants. A nurse visited him this morning and already made adjustments to his current regiment, and I must confess that’s already a load off these shoulders. Dad hates taking pain medication and would falter off schedule, which duh–caused his pain to ramp up. Hopefully now, this will help him… And us.
I was also smart enough to understand I need help, myself. Most workplaces offer an Employee Assistance program and I utilized their services already, and am not too proud to admit I need therapy to help me cope with what’s going on. For the last year, I’ve “held it together” as well as I could, but it’s starting to creep up on me and my mental state. The therapist I saw said something to me that I hadn’t realized: I’m already starting my grieving process with Dad. Plus, it’s hard being the only child readily available to him. I’m not blaming my brother and sister-in-law for anything for being in Idaho, but I kind of am (love you both, I swear). I do wish they were closer to help with Dad, to come down on weekends and sit with him, but they do their very best by calling him frequently, so I’m grateful for that. Every little bit helps.
My new job has been beyond terrific in understanding what’s going on, but they hired me for a reason–to do my damn job. I spoke with my boss this morning and while compassionate about my situation, they need me to work and I need to work. I’m going to see the awesome physician assistant this afternoon and hope she can help adjust some medication so I can get back to work. Sleeping 3/4 of the day and hiding in my basement bedroom really isn’t conducive to being a productive member of society.
I’ll be fine…eventually. Right now is iffy, but Dad keeps telling me I’m a strong bitch (I added the “bitch” part; it helps me feel more bad-ass) and can do this. And I can. I just also realize I need more help in maintaining my bad-ass-ery.
And there you have it. I’m struggling, but it’ll be okay soon.
Thank you for letting me sound off about this. Thank you for understanding depression is a cunt and I hate it. And to anyone I’m close to who is also suffering, please help yourselves, too. There is no shame in it. I’ll stand right beside you and we can do this thing together. Strength in numbers, right? Right.