It's hard for me to blog and I don't know how often I'll be able to do it in the near future.
Presently I am pursuing electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) at hospitals in the Bay Area, as there is no such treatment available where I live.
It saved my life in 1983. I hope it can do so again.
Since Kathleen left on a trip to NY for her mother's birthday, all semblance of emotional maintenance on my part has departed. There's no one I have the strength of will to appear well for. I hope to have the good news of my impending hospital admission when she returns. As she says, “I just want my husband back. I want Craig back.”
The uninitiated cannot know how bleak depression can be, how physical an illness it is. It's as if there is an eternal well of sadness in my chest and it takes very little for me to wet my face with it. I have no confidence in anything. Little tasks are daunting. Everything makes me sad. What makes me saddest is the idea that anyone could love me because I feel so unworthy. I'm such a downer I wish that those who care about me might never have met me. Like Job, I wish I had never been born. It's a terrible thing to admit but it's true. To be born only to suffer like this seems a waste of protoplasm. A weeping willow is much more useful than a crying Craig. One provides shade and aesthetic pleasure, the other only takes up space and continues to eat food and consume other resources for no good purpose.
I don't know what to do with myself. I'm very sick and very stuck. The record keeps skipping, the tape keeps looping back on itself, there is no up or down or forward or backward, just this hole I have fallen into.
I believe the body and mind ultimately know what they need in order to get well and that they lead us to that. Strange that in my case all the wisdom my body has tells me I need ECT. Too bad I live in a state with the most impediments to having the treatment. In California we'd rather let the mentally ill be shot by the police on the street than force them into treatment. Protecting the victim's right to be crazy is much more important than intervening for their welfare.
I have an appointment to see a doctor who does ECT on February 6, for which I am grateful. I can be grateful, strangely; in fact the least kindness shown me makes me want to burst into tears because I feel so undeserving of it. It has been hard work on the phone talking to so many hospitals and doctor's offices and insurance people in trying to get a doctor to see me who does ECT. It's not always easy to obtain. Stanford, for instance, has a two-month waiting list for the procedure.
I don't want to think about what happens if ECT doesn't work. It is the single most effective treatment for depression. Cross your fingers for me. But if you notice I have no reflection in the mirror, hold a cross up to me and please, drive a stake through my heart until it stops spasming.