Isn’t it ironic? Don’t you think? – Alanis Morrisette
As children our imaginations know no bounds. We know we are going to be… a famous singer, actor, writer, artist, astronaut, The President, maybe doctor or a teacher. No child thinks… I’d love to be an accountant, middle-management, someone who sits in a chair for forty or more hours a day, a bus driver, a barista. Of course we don’t tell them, No dear, you can’t sing for shit. You’re not clever enough to be a doctor. We tell them they can make it if they work hard. Who are we to shatter their dreams? That happens along the way to adulthood. By the time they are sitting in their shitty, boring, soul-crushing desk jobs, they understand they never had a chance. The cards were stacked against them. The finally understand what irony is, as they sink into the quagmire and monotony of life.
I have spent my life to date running. From people, jobs, fears, myself, and finally my country. I left seeking something intangible. To be more than. I knew I would never be a famous singer. I was one of the few kids who didn’t want that. I did go through the whole teacher, doctor cycle that so many kids do. I ran to Chicago to be free. Drink, eat and be merry. I ran from Dublin, because that was real life. That was family, work, taxes. In Chicago I found all the superficial things I was looking for, and then adulthood. Somehow it’s fifteen years later, and I have a husband, three kids and a dog. I have officially arrived in mediocrity. Of course I love my family, but if I had a family in Ireland, I would love them just the same. What I ran from, I ended up with, but 6,000 km from my family of origin. Now I wished I lived back there, with my family, familiarity, the ‘boring’ things that I miss. So ironic. Go back and tell twenty five year old Ingrid that she will regret it. Irony catches up with us all.
I have spoken about my struggles with severe depression on this blog. It has been a bastard kicking my ass for two years. I have had many treatments and hospitalizations over the last 16 months. The drugs they give me work. They have significantly improved my mood – for the most part. Here’s the kicker. One of the main side effects of psych meds is… wait for it… depression, suicidal thoughts, anhedonia, and on and on. My longest inpatient psych stay was eight long weeks. In the end I was released, not because I was better, but because it was felt not only that there were diminishing returns at that point, but that there were negative effects on my mood form the hospitalization that was supposed to be helping. Can anyone say the ‘I’ word?
While we’re on my mental health… Depression is a clinical illness. There are chemicals in my brain that are fucked up. Outside factors certainly effect it, sometimes dramatically. If I am chugging along mildly depressed, and I become overwhelmed with life, then my depression will spike, and I may be at risk. So things like being sick, fearful, upset, frustrated all play into that. Going back to the meds… A major side effect of psych meds is weight gain. Not only is it due to an increase in appetite, but also a change in metabolism. I have gained 35-40 lbs in eighteen months. I went from a size 4 to a 14. I can barely fit into that. My body disgusts me. I can’t look in the mirror. I cringe when I look down, and see my fat rolls leaking out over my jeans. It is not just a matter of exercising. This is a fight against my meds. They are winning. Two nights ago I tried on a dress (size 14) I thought I might wear to my sister’s wedding in six weeks. It was really hard to zip up at the back. When I looked in the mirror, I nearly burst into tears. I looked disgusting. I had to turn away. I weighed myself yesterday – 174.2 lbs. My heaviest weight ever. I calculated my BMI – 30.9. I am officially obese. Yesterday I was extremely edgy, to the point I wants to cut my belly, thighs and arms. I didn’t think I would do it, but it was bad enough that I left a message for my psychiatrist. We talked last night and he was happy not to pull me in to the ward thankfully. I see him today anyway. Poxy wanking irony at its finest. Take your meds and they cure you, then make you feel worse again.
As is usually the case, this, like most of my posts, has ended up circling back to my depression. It is the most central thing in my life. I suppose it will remain to be, while it and\or my meds are still fucking with my head. It’s funny though. One might even say ironic. Haha. What will I write about if and when I’m better?