Futility Friday vol. 5: This post is not about sports

Job search update.
I've now taken 3 civil service exams, and gotten As on them. Next week I shall go back to the Thompson Center and take more. I've also started applying for things online again, partially filled out (but did not hand in) applications for local Starbucks' and greasy spoon, and today completely overhauled my resume. It is now much more detailed and hopefully enticing to recruiters. Intellectually I think I should be fuming, as Local H put it:

"you wa
nna jerk me around
with my resume arou
nd my neck?"

However, I k
now it's largely my own hole that I dug, by spending all those months in what was, but did not always feel like, a depressive funk. Hedonism in the microcosm can mask big-picture problems. I think the decision to get therapy, on the one hand, and the decision to get medicated on the other, were a my way of giving myself a wake-up call.

n the shrink gave me my meds she said the standard warning: short-term studies have found that all antidepressants may increase the risk of suicide. And I said, ah yes, I've read about these studies. (Looked around on Curator's blog for a bit, but couldn't find the link I was thinking of. If I come across it later I'll update the post!) Essentially, sometimes a person has been so depressed for so long that they are committed to the idea of killing themselves, but are so paralyzed by their depression that they can't summon up the will to act on their intent. So such a person gets meds, feels the temporary relief of their lethargy, and finds themselves finally able to do it. It's a sad thought, wondering how many people in that situation might have experienced even greater relief, changed their minds, and decided to go on living, if they'd waited awhile longer.

I was really glad I'd had occasion to remember the idea, however. Maybe it's placebo effect, maybe my system's just really sensitive to new chemicals--I'm not sure. Maybe it was the phone conversation I had with my landlord on Tuesday. In any event, three things have been happening over the past couple of days:

1. My stomach is all acid-refluxy like it hasn't been since high school. (A side effect of which I was advised.)
2. Falling asleep is noticeably less easy. (Another expected side effect.)
3. I feel completely terrified about my job and money situation. Filled with panic. Like I haven't been since high school.

Then, instead of going into the old panic feedback loop--panicking about panicking about panicking--I remembered the above sad factoid. And I thought, "Aha! This is the feeling the depression was preventing me from feeling!" Knowing what it was did not automatically make it fixed, of course.

But it did give me a starting point from which to figure out what I could do about it. Panic does two things: it revs up and it paralyzes. The useful and the destructive aspects of fear, both at the same time. Way I see it, the important thing is to find some way to deal with the emotional paralysis so that all that spicy fear energy can be put to use.

To the extent I'm able to accomplish this, every time I start to worry, I do something. Something constructive. If I do enough of those things, not only will it get easier to make the response into a habit, it might eventually resolve some of the problems that are making me scared in the first place.

Now here are a couple of fun quotes!

' Roose still tries to pray every day. He says the act of prayer changes him, referring to the writings of Christian author Oswald Chambers."He said that it's not so much that prayer changes things as that prayer changes me — and then I change things[.]" '
--Undercover at an Evangelical University, an interview with author Kevin Roose (thanks to kisekileia for the link!)

' Even a slight ability to change oneself is more valuable than any power over the external universe. '
--Liber MMM, Peter Carroll

(And a postscript. Thanks to a very cool friend of Paula's who's a whiz at tinkering with computers, I has the laptop back. Though he recommended some steps to get the keyboard back to 100%, I haven't yet taken them. All this to say, this entire post was written without functioning "n" or "b" keys. Instead, I copied "nb", and whenever I need one of those two letters, I hit ctrl-v and erase the one I'm not using. I'm not sure why I felt the need to explain this to you; it was kind of a dumb thing to do. Especially since Dave's computer, right over there, has a fully functioning keyboard. And "n" is the second most common letter in the English language. I have my suspicions. Stupid bad habits.)


Unrepentant said...

What an excellent explanation for the rate of suicide when in meds. Makes sense.

You made me consider medication. My depression has been there for so long that it isn't even funny anymore.

I think both, you and I, need to express ourselves and make a little money while do that. It's the only thing that can save us. We need to create and since we are not, it manifests as depression.

(This is your ex-fundy friend with the other blog's ID)