Tuesday, January 7, 2014

So, yeah. If maybe you could just try to not have kidney failure? That'd be great.

I am really, really tired of being depressed.

I'm certain everyone around me is tired of my depression too. I'm sure it doesn't make me the easiest person to live with. I'm sure it is no fun for my family when I retreat into my own little world, when I hide out, when the thought of doing some task, no matter how simple, seems insurmountable. When every single thing is a struggle. 

It's not every day. I know it's not forever. Even when I'm in the middle of the worst of it, I know it's not forever. That helps. It doesn't make it okay, but it helps.

I recognize when things get hairy though, and I decided on Sunday that I would sit down and review my medical benefits and find some help. I'm trying, you know? I really am. I'm take the meds I've been prescribed. I also started taking fish oil to cut down on my coritsol levels (stress, you are a horrid bitch). I'm walking, every day. Thirty-three miles since January 1st. I even went to Zumba, only once so far, but I'm going to go back because even though I thought I might die and I have the grace and coordination of a plane crash, I had a huge smile on my face the whole time. 

I'm trying. I still need some help.

So I started looking, reading, and trying to decipher all of information on the website of my insurance company. Then? I started crying. A lot.

It was so hard you guys. I don't know if it was so hard because I was already having such a difficult time, but OH MY GOD it was so hard. I found out that if I wanted gastric bypass surgery it would cost me $311 total (I don't, and I don't qualify anymore anyway). If I had a baby, I could stay in the hospital for 96 hours if I had a c-section. $20 to see a doctor, for routine anything. In-network tubal ligation is covered at 100%, if I want that. Should I ever need an ambulance? I'm good to go.

I couldn't freaking find out where to go to talk to someone. I couldn't figure out if I even had coverage for this. I couldn't determine if I needed a referral from my EAP. I didn't know if they would only help me if I had to be hospitalized and at that point? I was feeling pretty close to needing to be.

I called the number on the card and...I cried. I got transferred three times before I finally started crying, but yeah. I'm that person who cried on the phone to the freaking insurance company. They asked me if I was going to harm myself or anyone else. I figured screaming at them, "YOU! I'M GOING TO HARM YOU IF YOU DON'T QUIT FREAKING TRANSFERRING ME!" would buy me a one-way ticket somewhere unpleasant, so I didn't say that. Maybe I thought it. Maybe. Twice.

So I cried. I cried so much that once the girl on the phone said, "Hello? Are you still there?" because she couldn't even hear me. Apparently I cry very quietly. 

It makes me alternately ragey and sad that if I looked on the website I could very easily find a pediatrician or a oncologist, but I can't find a therapist within 50 miles of my address. My last attempt found me someone out of network that I didn't even like and never called again. I can search for "depression" or "talk therapy" on the website, but for some reason I can't get any results. Maybe it was just my own fail, because after my crying outburst they found someone for me (or maybe it was my crying that did it. I'm not sure). I can't get in for three weeks, but that's okay. Sometimes it just helps to know that you have a plan. 

I can't tell you how many times people have said to me that I should just "try harder" not to have depression. That my anxiety is my fault and I should just "calm down". No one says that to people with diabetes or cancer or the flu, but depression and anxiety aren't "real". They can be controlled if you just try hard enough.

Except yeah, no. That's not really how it works.

I assure you that if I could do just about anything other than having panic attacks that leave me unable to sleep, I would do it. If it was like, "You can stick pins under your toenails or have nineteen minutes of sleep at night and feel like you're going to die the whole time oh and by the way, during the other eight hours that you're awake you'll have to deal with an ongoing replay in your head of every single thing you've ever done wrong in your entire life. Real or imagined. So enjoy!" well hand me the damn pins. This is not fun. I don't want to feel so sad that it seems physically and emotionally impossible to drag myself into the shower. I don't want to sometimes feel like everything is pointless. I don't want to cry until my contacts fall out of my eyes and my head pounds. I don't want this to be my life. I'm not "doing this" for sympathy or attention. I can't control it. I don't want sympathy. Attention, especially negative attention, makes me feel ill. If you've ever met me in real life you know how freaking awkward I am. I certainly try to draw as little attention to myself as possible. I don't want any of this.

I just want to feel better. I just want to know who to call when things are hard. Most of all, I want people, everyone, to recognize that depression and anxiety are real. They are just as real as any other illness and when things suck, you shouldn't have the added burden of not knowing where to go to get help or people surrounding you telling you that you should just try harder. I am fortunate that I continue to have a bit of clarity, even when things are hard. I can rationally see that things won't be horrible forever. That helps. Other people don't necessarily have that clarity. I would really hate to see what would happen for them if dealing with this made me such a sobbing, hysterical mess. It's just really, really sad. 

I'm lucky I have insurance. I'm thankful for it, even if I can't always figure it out. I'm thankful that I can see things objectively, at least sometimes. I'm so, so grateful that I don't feel this way every single day. I know some people do and I cannot even imagine the level of suck that must be. 

It's just so broken, the whole thing just seems so broken. 

I hate it.


Unknown said...

This makes me really want to drive up there and hug you. I have bad anxiety and depression and the anxiety is so bad sometimes it controls my life. Social anxiety is bad too, and people just act like i can just get over it. Drives me crazy. I'm in the process of finally weaning myself off my medication. Not because the medication is too expensive, no its just 4 dollars a month, but the drs visit is too expensive, and then on top of that the dr wants to do bloodwork which is another 125 dollars. Not having insurance sucks :(

Anyway, I really really wish I could make things better for you. :( You are awesome, but you know I think that.

Kristi said...

Reach out to me anytime if you need an ear or a shoulder to cry on! I suffer from anxiety, PTSD and some depression on occasion. I know how crappy it feels.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Stephanie... I'm so glad you persevered to find someone! I hope the therapist they found for you is a good fit! that's the hard part sometimes... BUT not always! my very first counselor (and I am a counselor, so that was all super weird for me) was AWESOME!

Depression sucks... people who don't validate it's existence suck too, a tad bit more.

val said...

I've been reading your blog for years so I feel like I know you even though we've never met.

Yay for you for seeking some care, even though it's a pain in the neck. It's exactly what anyone with kidney failure or diabetes would do--get care.

A person can may be power through a funk, like you would a cold. But when it becomes more than that, then it's time to move on to other solutions.

Thanks for all the happiness you and your family bring me.

I hope this is the beginning of a great 2014. love, Val


Someone once told me to 'just think happier thoughts.' I made the same analogy that you did - 'so if I have cancer, I should just think non-cancery thoughts?'

I am so glad to have found a wonderful therapist and she has helped me. A lot. The drugs, even though I still wish I didn't need them, are also wonderful. The constant free-floating anxiety are gone. Winter has not depressed me like it always did before.

And don't get me started on insurance companies.

You're not alone, kiddo.

Meegs said...

Hugs lady. I hope this therapist is a good one.

dspence said...

I'm just so glad that they finally found you someone (even if it took crying to get it)! So glad you'll be seeing them and have a plan. Praying for you!

Jill said...

I get it. I've got an ear if you need one. I don't write about it on my blog often, but I've definitely felt this way before. a lot.

Unknown said...

Sooo… I have no clue how I missed this post. Because I would have been all over commenting on it, since what you describe, I totally get. That anxiety… well, I have no words for it. But that lack of control? I hate it. I
t makes me angry and frustrated.
And, since it's been almost three weeks, I hope you appointment goes/went well. And that you finally find someone who will be good for you.

Belated hugs from Canada...