On Wednesday I put up a horrifyingly honest post that found tons of support but I myself could hardly hack its pathetic tone so on Thursday, I took my own advice and bucked up for a few.
On Friday I read Blindbeard's post partially in response to my own and some things started to become clear to me. In regards to having MS she commented, "I will never act like it is better than it is, and I WILL say what I think about it all, whether they want to hear it or not." Up to this point, such an attitude has not been in my nature. True, I goaded the same Blindbeard on to do as she pleased whenever she pleased. I also noted that I am my own best teacher. I noted that at first this illness almost killed me, but still I have never stopped being a poster child for hope. While it still horrifies me, I am going to admit it... I am not coping well these days.
Many of my fellow MSers encouraged me towards considering anti-depressants. I thought to myself, "Wednesday's post must have sounded really depressed for people to think this. I'm just having menstrual symptoms and an existential crisis." I am now forcing myself to admit that I am not coping well at all and this may be more than an existential crisis. I have been depressed many times before but never like this. Now I don't just feel sad, I feel destructive and angry. Actually, I feel like I cannot even uphold the veneer that everything is alright. My ability to control my emotions is wearing thin to the point I even yelled at my mom on the phone this morning for no reason and then proceeded to throw the phone at the wall while screaming "F-----!" loud enough to leave my dog shaking.
I think Blindbeard is right: there is no sense in pretending that living with MS is just fine. At times it is and at other times, it really is not. I also believe my fellow MSers who say the first few years are the hardest. My mom, who of course forgave and understood my outburst said, "You're grieving." She's right. I am grieving. I am grieving the loss of the woman I was. That woman was actually quite imperfect but she put on a really great show. She could do whatever task was laid out for her with seeming ease. She did not make bad social slip ups like I did today and she did a very good job of acting like everything was ok even when it was not. Now the worse I feel physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, the harder it becomes to put a good face on things. I really hate to be vulnerable. I don't even like to be touched for the most part and now I find that the shell I have protected myself with for so long has worn very thin in places and even when I want to pretend, I just can't. Sometimes my husband looks at me and asks, "Are you sure you're ok?" Just the question tells me that I'm not hiding my feelings very well anymore. Yesterday a woman I didn't even know said to me, "You look tired." Yeah, I feel that way too.
My mental state is not being helped by my physical one at all. I just plain don't feel good. Every day it's something. I vacilate between a variety of invisible symptoms. I have back and neck aches, skull pain, dizziness, vision difficulties at times and some vertigo. I suspect all the symptoms are vertigo related so that's where my plea for help comes in. Can some other MSers please sound off here on a few questions I have?
1) What antidepressants do you suggest?
2) Is it just part of MS to feel a little ill all the time or is there something I can do?
3) What do you take for skull pain, headaches, dizziness and vertigo? For instance: is there a medication for vertigo that I could ask my doctor about or do I just learn to live with this?
4) Do I consult my neurologist or my general doctor about the physical symptoms?
5) What free mental health services can I get from my local MS Society Chapter?
Thanks in advance for your help and support. The "together" me wants to apologize for all my depressed posts of late but the advice I keep getting is "don't be so hard on yourself, quit apologizing, this is normal" so I'll just be honest, I need some help now.