Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 17 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Awake with emotion

It's 6:00 AM, and I'm awake. It was a rough night of sleep. The evening leading into the night probably set me up. I had a tough evening, too. I was sad. I was frustrated. I was feeling pressure to get well quick. But mostly, I was just tired of being sick. I'm awake now, and those feelings are all still here. They are a jumble of a mess of emotions. They made me tired, yet kept me awake.

The sadness is more like grief. I'm grieving the loss of almost 5 years of stability. Being this sick again rudely reminds me of all the things this illness has stolen from me. It's not the best thing for me to think about, I know, but it's where I'm at. Freedom, energy, vitality, relationships, employment; these are just a few of the golden nuggets snapped up by this illness. Will I ever get them back?

I'm frustrated to be feeling so low when I know I've been taking care of myself. I've been doing the right things, maybe not perfectly, but c'mon! I'll ask again, what else can I or should I do to keep the darkness at bay? I know, I's an illness. Like cancer, no matter how healthy one behaves, the tumor may still grow. My tumor (metaphor for depression, just in case anyone is confused) is currently on the prowl, and apparently there are no predators to keep it in check.

I'm feeling pressure to get well quick for a couple of reasons. First, I'm supposed to be on a plane to Boston in 4 days. I cannot, will not, miss the Boston Marathon. However, I don't want to leave the hospital having made no gains in my mood either. Secondly, I can't afford to be here. With no benefits to draw on, each day I am out of work is another day of zero pay. I don't have a reserve to fall back on. I rely on every hour I work to pay my bills. Right now I'm looking at a 14 hour, versus my typical 56 hour, paycheck. I don't know from where the money will materialize to pay my bills. It's a stressor I can hardly tolerate.

And speaking of finances... Yesterday, I found out about a promising new treatment option which my treatment team thinks would work beautifully for me. I was excited. I was willing. Let's go, I said. Unfortunately, this treatment is so new, insurance companies don't cover it. I could pay out of pocket, they said, but the cost ranges from five to ten thousand dollars. I was crestfallen. I was tearful. Obviously, it was no longer an option. (When will insurance companies stop dictating what doctors can and cannot do? And if this were a new treatment for cancer, would it already be approved? Perhaps.)

I'm frustrated with the politics of "the system." I'm sad to be here, hospitalized after so many years, and still feeling so dark and so low. I'm feeling pressured to get well quick, which probably isn't helpful. And I'm stressed about the finances of it all. I wish I could just focus on healing, because that's what I really want to do. Focus on healing...that's what I need to do.


Michele said...

More than anyone I know, you are so good at doing the things that you can to be as well as possible. It is such hard work but you do it anyway. I really hope you are able to run your marathon. My son is an elite runner so i am often rubbing shoulders with parents who are marathoners and I know it is a superb accomplishment just to qualify these days. I am sorry you have financial stresses to deal with. I live in a country with universal health care so thankfully never have to deal with that. I wish you well. Keep fighting. Perhaps someone can help you fight the insurance company re access to the new treatment. It is just so wrong that those conglomerates are making decisions regarding peoples health and treatment.

Anonymous said...


I have heard a certain song for months now, but I just heard it again, and it is FOR YOU.

Find it, listen, and believe.

Before the Morning
Josh Wilson

Kelly said...

The only thing I can even figure is that maybe we are to go through these trials for some reason that we do not yet know. That is all I have....and I forget it, most of the time.

I hope you make it to Boston, how awesome would that be?

By the way...
I was talking to my mom about the cancer analogy. She told me she doesn't think that depression is like cancer, she thinks it is more like diabetes. That kind of left me in a bad/weird place with my mom.

Ann Hale said...


I'm so sorry to hear that you had your hopes up but then dashed to bits by the system. I can't believe that they could expect anyone to pay that money themselves. Is there any way to finance it? Honestly, if my doctors thought it had a really good chance of working, I'd get a loan. You are worth the investment. If you were to decide to go ahead with it, I'm sure that there are those of us here who would make donations to help you!

I also agree with Michele - keep pushing the insurance company. If your doctors say that all other options have been exhausted, there must be some kind of way for them to help out.