Under the Quilt

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Sunday, October 09, 2005

Anxiety and Depression: highs and lows

Friday evening hubby comes home from work with that wild eyed look. If any of you have never seen someone in what they call hypo mania, it is freaky. It is basically an anxiety attack that doesn't go away. He describes it as having racing, irrational thoughts, not being able to sit still(having to move at least one if not more parts of his body), and a racing heart beat. His thoughts usually turn to running away. From what, I don't know. Life, responsibilities, stress, work, family, etc. A little over a year ago he had one of these episodes during his deepest part of his depression. It was quite horific for me because I had no idea how to react to this behavior. It generally seemed to be happening on his therapy days. So I soon learned on Wednesday to look out. Expect the unexpected. One evening I had gone out for my weekly quilting night with my mom and sister. Came home at around 10 p.m. and found hubby sitting on the couch and knew immediately something was up by his body language. I said , "What's up?" And he said, " Do you really want to know?" O.k. I'm thinking I probably need to know what's up but I really do not want to get into this right now. So of course I respond with, "yes, I need to know." Turns out Jesse had been giving him a hard time when it was time to go to bed. This is not unusual as it usually happened every night. She would stall and stall until you're about out of your mind. Basically she would try and push the limit and then push some more. Pretty normal kid. He did not have the skills this night to deal with it and he said he had some pretty evil thoughts running through his mind. He did not follow through on any of these thoughts but it scared the hell out of him that he would even be thinking them. He said he had a sort of out of body experience where he pictured himself kicking her while she was laying on the floor and hearing her ribs crack with each kick. So I'm sitting there listening to him with thoughts racing through my head. He needs more meds, the meds that he's on are NOT working, I cannot leave him home alone with the kids until we get this straightened out, on and on. He continues to tell me that he has been having suicidal thoughts and that it was a good thing that the old, antique gun that he still has of his mom's, does not have any ammo. Because if it did, I may have found a horrendous scene when I arrived home tonight(meaning him killing himself in order to not hurt the kids). Yeah, killing yourself is not going to hurt your kids at all and they will not be emotionally damaged at all. I had no idea how to digest all of this at once. I had just been out for a relaxing evening and then WHAMMO! He hits me with all of this. So he abruptly gets up from the couch after spatting all of this out almost like a barage of insults or something. I was needless to say speechless. He goes into the bathroom. I go upstairs to our bedroom, collapse on the bed, and start sobbing. I have no idea how to react. My emotions have been all over the place trying to figure out where my role is in all of this depression/anxiety and now suicidal turmoil. I cannot tell you how devastated I was feeling at this point. I expected him to come upstairs after hearing me bawling and try to talk with me. Instead I hear the front door slam and seconds later tires screeching out of the driveway. I thought that was the last time I was ever to see my hubby again. I thought he was going to follow through on his thoughts of driving his car off the side of a mountain. I immediately ran downstairs and out the front door but he was long gone. I was sobbing, "NO! NO! NO!" I was so out of control at that point. My body was shaking, I was sobbing, my mind was racing. How could he do this to us? How am I going to tell the kids that their dad killed himself because he wanted to protect them from him? How? Why? After my convulsing died down a bit, I started rationalizing my thoughts(or so I thought). Do we still have life insurance so that I can support the kids and not have to sell our house? Do I call my mom when I get a call from the hospital to come identify his body or do I just have a neighbor come over to stay with the kids and go it alone? The questions and thoughts went on and on. I felt like I was living someone else's life. This is not us. We are not dramatic people. We lead very normal, boring lives. At least we did until this beast (depression) entered into our lives. I hate the beast. I want to kill the beast and get my hubby back. How dare the beast take him away from us. So I am sitting there thinking these irrational thoughts about what I am to do next. I wanted the phone to ring, yet I did not want the phone to ring. What if it was "that" call. From either the police or the hospital. The one where they so delicately tell you that they just scraped your loved one off of the road and you are now expected to come look at the mangled body so as to ensure that that will always be the last memory of them that you have stuck in your brain. I really did not want to get that call. Nevertheless, the phone rang. I jumped and my heart began to race. One ring, two rings, o.k. I need to pick up, three rings. "Hello?" I answered timidly almost not wanting to here anyone on the other end. Luckily, and I don't say that mildly, it was my hubby. He was alive but still not himself. He asked if I was glad to hear him. I said yes but that I had been waiting to get a call from the hospital. I still don't know if he fully understands how that night has affected me. I will forever be in fear of him leaving in that crazed state of mind. He made it back home that night but we have still talked very, very little about it to this day. This summer I found something that he wrote to his best friend during this time of him wanting to run away from everything. In the letter(that he never sent) he stated that she was the one he always had thoughts of running to. She was the one that he had always had feelings for since high school. And even though he had told me that they were always just good friends and would remain just friends, he still had thoughts and feelings of running away from his life with me and going to her. When I bring up the fact that I read this letter, hubby explains to me that this was when he was having racing, irrational thoughts. He said that when "the beast" takes over his thoughts, everything seems rational even though it's not. This is what he also said about his suicidal thoughts. It seems like a very rational thought at the time, but after looking back on it, he can see how crazy the idea is. He knows that he has many things to be grateful for in his life. If only he could at some point control the beast.

So when he came home Friday with that look in his eyes, my radar immediately went up. At least now I know what it is and he does too. He said at lunchtime he drove around the whole city with thoughts of just taking off somewhere. Not anywhere in specific, just somewhere. He wanted to find some remote place in a state park or something and just go hiking away from any people. No human contact is usually a necessity in these instances. So I feel lucky that he knew the safest thing for him to do was come home. At least here he knows he has a soft place to land. He has people that love him and will be here for him no matter what. He ended up going to bed and sleeping for 12 hours. When he woke, he said he realized that he may have forgotten to take the Zoloft for the last two days. Please, please take your meds! Am I going to have to monitor his intake so we can resume some sanity in this household? Please no. I've been there before and don't want to do that again(more on that later). So I leave you with that. Good night all. Hope tomorrow brings sunshine and no rain.


  • At 12:14 AM , Blogger Me said...

    wow, I thought I'd been having some bad times but really...
    you commented on one of my blogs so I thought I'd return the favor. I hope everything balances out for you soon. Depression does suck if you're watching someone go through it. I had a best friend who was depressed sort of like that once and it was scary.
    ok well, I'm going to sleep now. ttyl

  • At 12:16 AM , Blogger Mark said...

    Wow, your blog is quite interesting. Keep it up. Hope things work out for the good for you.


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