Monday, December 17, 2012

Nighttime Struggles....

Hey Team,

I was going to write this as a status on fetlife, but then it ended up being way too long, so here it goes....
Does anyone else struggle with depression being worse at night? I am finding it so endlessly frustrating! I wake up in the morning feeling energized and ready to go and take on the day. I feel normal, healthy, and alive. My days are usually good- I am able to get up and out; most days I accomplish all the things I hope to accomplish, and I work with my students in the evenings, which is incredibly rewarding.

But then I am home, and most nights it's just me and Mozzie (my cat), and the dark starts to creep in. Some nights I do things and it's totally fine. I will play WoW or watch shows that I recorded that I'm excited about... but I am rarely able to get work done, and if there isn't something recorded or even some nights if there is... I just start to feel alone and... empty.

And it's not even just when I'm alone it turns out! I had my Daddy this weekend, both nights(!), and it was amazing. Beyond amazing really. Friday evening was pretty close to perfection, with some of the most amazing sex, and "making love" that I have ever had. And I just also had a good time just being with him and in his arms. But Saturday... the night was fine. Things were a bit off- Daddy was super tired from work and in a bit of a weird mood- but certainly nothing major. But I felt really separate from him, and I just couldn't shake it. And as the evening got later and later, the feelings of darkness kept creeping in until we were in bed and I was engulfed.

I was in my Daddy's arms- the safest place in the entire world- and I started crying. He was asleep, and I desperately didn't want to wake him. Partially because I really want to be able to do this on my own- he wants me to be strong, and I want me to be strong for myself. But also because Daddy isn't really the comforting type in that way. And that's ok! Please don't get me wrong. If I expected my Daddy to be something other than who he is, it would be really hard. But I know the man I love, and nothing that happened surprised me. Unfortunately, I did wake him, and he snapped at me to get over it and stop crying. That I was being ridiculous, which I was. I mean, yes, comfort would have helped and been appreciated, but like I said, I know my Daddy, and I accept him for who he is.

But so I'm laying there in his arms, and this feeling of what can just best be described as darkness is consuming me in a way I haven't felt in a long time. He rolled over and we separated, and I couldn't calm myself down. The sad quickly turned to panic and fear (I don't like my Daddy being upset with me), and a full blown panic attack started. So I reluctantly took a xanax that was on the counter (I have been trying to not take any- Daddy doesn't like it, and I had become to dependent on it- but I recognize that this was an unusual circumstance) which calmed me enough to be able to eventually sleep, and to stop crying. But this feeling of nausea and depression took over- something I haven't felt in years. Just this abyss that if I lost my Daddy I would be completely alone. That I have burned so many bridges and lost so many friendships with my own lack of communication and failed to make meaningful new ones... that I would be utterly alone. Even the thoughts of my family couldn't calm that fear, or make the sick in my stomach go away.

But I woke up this morning feeling fine. Daddy and I made up, and I had a great day with my students. But here I am again tonight, feeling insecure and scared and alone and... dark and twisty. And it is making me feel so PISSED THE FUCK OFF!!!! I thought I was better! I wanted to be better! I feel like I've made so much progress, and I have been talking with Daddy and some other people about trying to go off my medicine, which I have been on for about 4 years. I initially went on for anxiety, and stayed on when I suffered my first bought with depression two years ago. But since feeling better lately, and am on what is a really low dose,  I was hoping to go off, because there is a huge part of me that misses a lot of the anxious- it is part of who I am and part of what made me as successful as I was... and I want that part of me back...

But now with this set back... it seems like I'm not there. And I can't help feeling like I'm never going to be.

So yeah, does anyone else have a harder time at night? Has anyone been able to go off meds successfully?  Can someone please just tell me that it gets better?

Princess Kelley


  1. Hello Kelley,

    I should note, I have professional training as a Mental Health Nurse, so thought I'd best comment and see if I can't put your mind at ease a little. When I first read your status, I immediately turned to the idea that it might simply be that you're responding to the absence of natural light - humans get about 15% of their daily Vitamin D from sunlight, and it's been proven that in the absence of natural light, most people feel more depressed (Seasonal Affective Disorder or SADs being a fair example of that!), so night time is naturally a more depressing time. Maybe consider putting a few brighter lights in your place, see if that helps?

    That said, having read your post, I don't think it's necessary the night (and the accompanying darkness!) that's the problem - I have a sneaky suspicion it's just lack of productive activity. During the day, you're fine, because you've got something to do. It's once you stop doing things that I think this creeps in, but I think it's also related to what you DO at night. Friday was a great night for you, so I suspect you're then looking at Saturday night and finding it lacking by comparison - the feelings weren't the same. Add that to the fact that you're then worrying what will happen if you were to lose your partner, and the loneliness you infer from that...strikes me as an insecurity that is bothering you.

    It's perfectly natural, though - at night, we have more time to think and reflect and, yes, often we feel alone because we *are*, even with someone else close by, because we do have more time to think and, in your case, you can't help but compare the situation you have now (with a partner) to times when you don't, and start to fret over a 'what if?'. All you can do there is focus on what you have now, rather than on what you might not in the future (which frankly doesn't seem likely, you being you!).

    Also, just throwing this out there, but I'm wondering if it's a possible withdrawal from your anti-anxiety medication, combined with all of the above. You've said you've been trying to cut back on taking them, which is fantastic, but bear in mind that this will have physiological consequences for a while, until your body adjusts. Think of it this way: your body produces certain chemicals in response to the medication, and because you've been taking it a long time, your body has adjusted to be used to it. As such, when you stop taking it for a period of time, those chemicals are produced in much lower dosage and you're more likely to feel anxiety or depression as a simple result. When you take another tablet, you feel better because those chemicals have started being produced in higher quantity - it's almost equivalent to the depression you see in a spankee who hasn't been spanked in ages, because they lack the endorphin high that results from the pain, and find they can't quite feel as happy or 'good' as usual until they're spanked again. Does that make sense?

  2. (Adding this because I bumped into the word limit on a single comment, so had to split it into two...)

    Your partner is right to encourage you to come off the meds, but do so very gradually, to slowly decrease your need for them. It won't be the easiest, but it will help - going 'cold turkey' is usually quite nasty, as people tend to plummet in mood as they go from a certain physiological state to it's exact opposite, simply because the medication they depended on before isn't doing anything. You really need to wean yourself off it gradually BUT reinforce your self-esteem in little ways as you do so, to encourage you to associate it's absence with a positive state of mind. You'll find it easier after that.

    Final thought: if your partner does snap and tell you to get over it, that IS his way of offering comfort, because he's recognising the issue but ultimately doesn't think there is one, and probably doesn't understand why you feel that way (not surprising, since you don't either!). We men are fairly logical creatures: we don't invent the 'what if?' scenario that women do, because that hasn't happened yet - to him, he's still there and he has you, so that's the important thing. Reflecting on what happens if you're not there isn't something he'll do, because that's NOT the reality. He'll expect you to do the same, because ultimately thinking otherwise is sacrificing the time you DO have together on the idea that one day you might not. Seems wasteful, don't you think? Focus on the positive, and on what you DO have. Leave concerns like that for when they actually happen, and even then, don't let it get you down. The world's full of possibility, and you never know what'll happen next.

    At any rate, be well, and don't get too focused on the negative - life's too short for that, especially when there's so much positive to look at!

  3. I can understand what you're feeling, going thru. etc. I feel that I'm worse just alone. I've been known to feel it worse sometimes at nite like you said if I dont have something good to watch or a game to play. I was suppose to be put on meds but the ones they were gonna put me on only took a week before I seriously was more suicidal. So I stopped taking on my own. I know talking to a counselor, friend, or such helps me a lot. Sometimes I just sit at home and just cry for the stuff in my head. Sorry if random, my thoughts get random.
    I'm only a text or call away. Anytime you need to, I'm always your friend.
    Hugs to you my friend,

  4. Night-time is rough for many of us. It's dark, it's quiet, and without all the distractions of the day, our minds are free and clear to do what they do best -- attack us. So no, you're not alone in this.

    I am a strong advocate of meds if they are needed, and it sounds like you do need them. I wouldn't change a thing without being under a doctor's advisement. Speaking only for myself, I've been on antidepressants for nearly 20 years, and I would no sooner go off them than I would go off insulin if I were a diabetic. My brain's wiring is screwy, and it needs help.

    Please do see your doctor/therapist/whatever and discuss this with him/her!

    And I'm sorry, honey, but telling a depressive to snap out of it and get over it is like telling Stephen Hawking to knock it off and stop talking funny. It's just not going to happen, and saying that isn't helpful or compassionate.

  5. I have battled anxiety and depression my whole life and most of that time was before there were good meds available. I now take Welbutrin and Prozak and life has never been better. I also work in the mental health field.

    With the clients I work with I always compare psych meds to insulin. If you were diabetic and your body didn't make enough insulin, you would of course watch your diet and so on, but if that wasn't enough to keep you healthy, you would take insulin.

    Well guess what. Your body doesn't make enough of the right neurotransmitters to keep you healthy, so why would you not treat it the same way? Watch what you feed your brain, but take your meds.

    You of course are familiar with the food pyramid. There are lots of different pictures of it, but I like the one that adds and extra section at the base, "Water". It's really the basic place you have to start. Without water, it doesn't matter how many veggies you eat, your body wont be able to use them.

    For those of us that need them, meds make the base line of the mental health pyramid. They are what make it possible for everything else to work. So that when you feed your brain the things it needs like education, loving relationships, self-esteem and so on, your brain will be able to make use of them.

    I hope my analogy survives my poor writing skills (I am dyslexic).

    Your Alaskan Prince,