Horror and Thriller Non-Fiction posted August 29, 2019


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Life with depression

The Pit

by beencounter

The Pit

Light is dim in here and so far I haven't been able to climb out. I fell in on August 1, 2018. It was a sunny morning and not a day for a surprise tumble into the musty depths of the earth. My employers called me into their joint office and abruptly I was fired. I'd worked every waking moment, trying to do the best job I could. But obviously my best job wasn't good enough. I wasn't good enough.

When it happened, somehow I managed to drive home and into our garage before I dissolved. Sobbing, I called my husband, "I need a hug." Blessed soul that he is, Frank left work and came home just to hug me. These now former employers said it seemed as if my brain worked, but then would become stuck. As I explained this to my husband, he said, "maybe it's time." What he was referring to, was time to file for disability.

You see, over the past ten years, my brain and body weathered papillary thyroid cancer, continuous migraines, brain surgery, vision loss from the surgery, brain radiation, VP shunt placement, left neck resection, acute viral meningitis, shingles, and depression. Through it all, the greatest fear for me was losing my ability to generate income. This is because Frank's employment in the telecommunications industry was subject to layoffs if the moon was blue or the grass was too green or some VP decided to reorganize the division again. Frank had two layoffs in the same ten years.

I kind of knew my mind was no longer working at peak performance since the viral meningitis in March 2017. But when you're in it, sometimes it's difficult to realize how bad something is. Like when you put on a shirt for the second day and then get a whiff later on, or suddenly notice a very small stain front and center on your blouse while out to dinner.

After tumbling down into the pit I could no longer even look at myself in the mirror. I was so ashamed. An invisible giant letter "F" for Failure was permanently branded on my forehead. In orange ink because red ink was too good for me. Over time the pit became deeper, darker and smaller. The sides closed in and became clay. Dark clouds roiled above it. Sound was muffled and a musky scent continuously filled my nostrils. I could no longer see sunshine, hear laughter or feel love.

In Iowa where I grew up, there's rich, dark topsoil. Of course, we just called it dirt. When I later moved to another part of the country, I was astonished to see dirt in large plastic bags -- for sale. People actually paid money for dirt! Anyway, below a foot or so of dirt is clay. Slippery, copper-colored clay. That's where I live in my pit, in the clay. The damp seeps through my bottom and the sides of my pit are too slippery to climb out. It's not like I sit in my pit helplessly; there's muck under my fingernails and long claw marks on the sides where I've tried and tried to get out.

I saw a therapist and managed to create a few toeholds in the pit wall, even rising up to where I could smell green plants. Then my therapist closed her nearby office. Did I mention I also lost the ability to drive? Well, I still sort of drive, but I'm not supposed to. At any rate, when that therapist left, there weren't any openings in the practice and it has been an odyssey to find someone else. The toeholds in the pit walls disappeared.

Confined to therapists who take my insurance, I found a nearby group. The office required an intake appointment and then they matched you with a therapist for your second/additional appointments. Well, for the intake appointment, I printed out the lengthy list of my medications and scooped up the results from the printer. Therein was my mistake: I accidentally also gathered my book research, which was about dangerous traits of cult leaders. My future book was to be about friends rescuing a girl from a cult (yet to be started because computers don't work in my pit, especially for people who have a giant orange letter "F" branded on their foreheads). When the intake counselor reviewed my paperwork and came across information about cults I tried to explain, but I don't think he believed me. I was assigned to a therapist who talked nonstop 900 miles an hour. She touted the benefits of yoga for depression and stress. When she finally paused to take a breath, I quickly inserted that I wasn't interested in yoga because it conflicted with my Christian worldview. Many sentences later, the therapist ended the session teaching what she called "left nostril breathing." Afterwards I looked it up and it's actually called Surya Bhedana (Sun-Piercing Breath) - a yoga breathing technique!

I called the group's office and explained maybe a different therapist was in order. I was told that "the supervisor" needed to approve the change. This made it sound like "the supervisor" was similar to the banker on Let's Make a Deal. Several days later and "the supervisor" was still reviewing the request. With no hope for immediate help, I felt the pit sucking me in deeper each day. The top was closing. In desperation, I looked for a therapist on the insurance company web site, but those I called either weren't taking new patients, were too far away, or no longer were taking my insurance. In desperation, I called the insurance company directly and obtained a printout of their current therapists.

Within a few minutes someone was identified who was 1) on my network, 2) taking new patients, and 3) nearby. I really hope she helps me find my way completely out of the pit. Disappearance of the letter "F" from my forehead would be a bonus.



My new therapist holds great promise.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.


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