Rain pour

"The most I can do is shower." I tell my therapist, sitting on that corner of that brown couch I've known for eight years. We've been through this depression. Years through the burrows and dark-dank caves. He changes my medication. He says we're moving forward, always moving forward, even when my illness isn't responding to shit. It's a stubborn depression, they call it treatment resistant. I call it hell.

I wasn't depressed for awhile. After ten years of being depressed, suicidal, paranoid-anxious constantly. When it lifted, it was amazing. Then this year came around like a slick sailor (the month of March to be specific) and took me back under. I've been depressed ever since. Face in the mud, sucking in shreds of air through worm carcasses and pebbles.

It's slimy down here. It's real dark. No one is here but me. I'm in a filmy membrane and the world is outside, moving and chugga-chugga-choo-choo. I can't function. I'm no train. I am bedridden. Our couch turned into a second bed so I can change my view. Agoraphobia is finally here. I can't leave the house unless R is with me. I can't sleep, but I do but I don't feel it just like in The Bell Jar.

I'm a nightmare fighter and we have plans. This new medication, my doctor says, "give it some time.". I'm giving it time and the time is unbearable because I want to die and my brain won't think of anything but darkness. Then if this doesn't work we have Lithium to go to (again). I hate that drug, it gave me the shakes, I have to get lab needles stuck in my wobbly veins, people ask what's wrong with me when they see me tremble and I don't want to tell them "I'm on a medication that is keeping me from killing myself." so I don't.

The next option is ECT. Yeah, that shocky thing. The thing Sylvia Plath got that didn't save her. Her tender temples, her brain scattered. I know it's different now but she is my baby and I live in her life and she in mine. I don't want to end up head-in-the-oven. If you want to know what depression is like, read her journals, it's all you ever need to know of the pain, and I hope you never experience this labyrinth of hell.

ECT is so much more effective and safer now. A small electrical pulse gives you a seizure and you are asleep and don't feel a thing. Doctors don't even know how it works, but it does so they use it. The only thing that shakes is your foot just a bit so they know when the seizure has ended, none of the out of control seizing with bruises and broken arms like in the past. ECT is extremely safe. It can even be done during pregnancy.

The thing is...stigma. If I get ECT I think "That does it. I am really crazy.". Even in the mental illness community being on meds means you are weak, therapy is "oh good girl, get that help", but meds are a crutch, try the green smoothie and exercise instead. And I am on so many meds. And I know it is bullshit. If I had cancer (and depression can be as deadly) no one would doubt me taking meds, actually they write articles in Time Magazine about cancer patients who don't, because it is so unbelievable. That's how normal it is. No one would doubt chemo. But ECT. A potentially life-saving treatment, "well fuck it all you are crazy!" You are Sylvia, and ice baths, and ready to be handed over to an institution. Stigma makes me angry. And I care what people think.

I wanted to talk about this because maybe it will help someone reading to know they aren't alone. I'm going through the same things and I don't know if I'll get through. I can't give up though and if ECT helps then I'll do it. Stigma hurts. Depression hurts. But fuck it, I'm not letting it kill me.


  1. You are so strong and I'm so proud of you for all of the steps forward you're taking. You're a warrior! I recently listened to the book "Shockaholic," written and read by Carrie Fisher and it was an enlightening view of modern shock therapy, told with honesty and humor.

    Thinking of you and hoping the darkness lifts soon. <3

    1. Thank you Molly! I will check out that book. Thanks for the encouragement. xox

  2. Sweetheart, I totally get it about caring what people think; but at the same time.....FUCK What People Think!!! FUCK the people who feel using medication is synonymous with weakness; FUCK their stigma, & FUCK their opinions!!! Anyone cavalier enough to say you should replace medication with a smoothie & exercise clearly doesn't have treatment resistant depression, & **they don't have to live your life**!!!! They haven't been through what you've been through, & they don't live your struggle 24-7 for years on end. You are the ONLY person who's opinion matters in this---end of story. No one has to know if you opt for ECT unless you choose to share it---& if you think it will help you, that is the ONLY thing that matters. PERIOD. No matter what you decide, I support & love you regardless....you are the only person who can make that decision. Sending you **so much love**, sweetheart!!!!!

    1. I totally agree. The real me, the healthy me, doesn't care what people think and I don't give a fuck. But the depressed me is so worried about what people think. It's hard to drown out the depressed me's voice at times.

      Love you!

  3. I've considered ECT a number of times as there is definitely proof it works. However I've met about seven people who have had it in the last few years (mostly in the psych ward) and they all said it greatly affected their short term memory. One woman lost an entire week. That scares me. But perhaps those people all had memory issues from medication too, as I do. It's so hard to know what's worth the risk isn't it? Best of luck and all the love to you ❤️❤️


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