I can’t do it all:
I’ve been at a breaking point for weeks now. It seems like when you think you can’t handle one more thing, five more things are forced upon you.
All of the things that I’ve been going through over the past few weeks are related to having a brain injury, and it has made me SO angry, and so upset because there is nothing that I can do about it.
I’m stuck living with it, and there’s nothing more that I can do to fix it. Don’t get me wrong, I am trying to fix it still. I’ve just started taking several new medications to help with the things like pain in my hands, cramping, shaking, etc. I’m going to start taking medicines for ADHD to see if that will help with my focus, and I will start taking anti-depressants to see if that can help make me happy that I have a brain injury and have lost everything I was working so hard to achieve over the past few years.
You know, I’m just going to say this. I think people, doctors, therapists, all believe that when life hands you shit, you should smile about it and exclaim how fantastic it is and not feel horrible that you’ve been handed a whole load of shit.
If you lose the love of your life or a child, and spend the next few months crying over that, they believe that you need antidepressants. They believe you are depressed. I wonder what people did before they had antidepressants?
They mourned, and it was an expectation. They wore black. They stayed inside. They didn’t participate in normal social activities, but somewhere along the way, we began denying ourselves this process, and began to feel that if you were upset that the man/woman you lived with for 50 years died, that you should start taking antidepressants to help get you through it.
Now, I don’t have all the answers. I don’t. I could simply argue that people would have used anti-depressants if they had them available. We have advancements in medicine that make these wonderful new medicines available, so why shouldn’t we take advantage of them?
But, I think there is a need to find the middle.
For weeks, I’ve been struggling with the stress of dealing with lawyer stuff, family issues, work issues, health problems and then the disheartening realization that I am still unable (at this time) to return to studying for the MCAT. AND it really hit home this week that this totally SUCKS, and it’s completely unfair, and there is nothing that I can do about it.
I have SO much stress directly related to having a brain injury, and it could have been prevented. It SHOULDN’T have happened!!!
No matter what happens, I will never receive enough compensation to make up for what I have lost, and at this point, I don’t think I’ll receive any compensation for what I have lost.
So, I was at my cognitive therapist appointment and tearing up at the idea that they want me to do more there as well. I’m just so fried mentally, emotionally, etc that the idea of doing these worksheets that a 7 year old would have no problem doing about caused me to have a complete breakdown.
And then to make it even worse, my therapist looked over at me and told me that I would need to start taking antidepressants or I would need to give up things that I was already doing or wanted to do. She told me that I needed to stop doing things in order to get better because if I was so overwhelmed when I came in to work with her, then I would not be able to do anything that they needed me to do.
Of course this makes sense. If I’m so stressed out that the thought of doing mental tasks that they require me to do sends me into a tizzy, then they really can’t do anything for me.
This ramped up my anxiety and stress by 80. I mean, my therapist understands me, and she has helped me so greatly over the past several months. She KNOWS and UNDERSTANDS what I’m going through. She has the answers, and she’s a fantastic person and a wonderful friend, and if there is anyone who is going to help me get back to “normal” then it is her.
What am I going to do if I lose her too?
So, I’m left with the choice of going on antidepressants or stopping therapy. There really is no choice. I’ve already made the call to my doctor.
I have to say that even I don’t cotton to the idea of going on antidepressants, I understand why my cognitive therapist wants me to do it. I’m functioning on the edge of about completely losing it every day. She can’t work with that. And, I spend a good portion of my therapy time discussing how crazy my life is and how stressful it is, and that adds extra stress to her life.
As she put it, she sees a younger version of herself in me (sans the brain injury), and it is physically and mentally exhausting to see me make the same mistakes that she made.
In the end, she said, I can’t do it all, and I spent the night wondering what was I supposed to give up. How was I supposed to give something up? I can’t very well go home, and say to my kids or Tom, well, I’m sorry. I’m unavailable for anything any longer, fend for yourselves. I can’t call the lawyer and say, sorry if you need answers to the questions that you want me to answer, figure it out on your own. I can’t call my disability insurance company and say, too bad if you need medical records, I have brain damage so screw you. I can’t walk into work and say, I’m just going to stare at a wall for the next 5 hours, don’t bother me.
So what am I supposed to stop doing? I have no flipping clue.
That night, I went to my psychologists office, and I’m going through all the same stressful things that I went over at my cognitive therapists office. I was overwhelmed. I am overwhelmed. What am I supposed to do?
Can you imagine my surprise when she told me that I needed to start taking medicines for ADD? She felt that I had a long standing issue with ADD, but that the brain damage has just pushed it over the edge. She believes that taking medicines for ADD would really help ground me and help keep me on task.
At this point, I will try anything. Truly, I think I will try anything. So, I added that to the list of things to see my doctor for. But, then she told me something else, she told me that I needed to give something up, that I can’t do it all. It was hard enough for someone who didn’t have a brain injury to try to accomplish what everyone wants or expects me to accomplish, so I shouldn’t put that extra pressure on myself to be perfect or to do everything that everyone wants me to do.
Here it was, two people, two extremely smart, extremely wise women telling me that I was going to have to stop trying to do everything. I have to accept that I can’t do the same things that I used to do, no matter how unfair it was. I have to stop telling myself, I used to be able to… Having that mentality, holding onto the past, will keep me from moving forward in the future. Wow, right?!
I have to learn to accept and be able to say: I can’t do it all.
- What Are Antidepressants? (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Enzyme worsens traumatic brain injury (futurity.org)
- Lessons from the TBI Community (addandsomuchmore.com)
- Acquired Brain Injury – What is it and What Can Be Done? (handtutorblog.wordpress.com)
- Antidepressants for Nerve Damage (entireworship.wordpress.com)
- What chronic stress does to your brain (thestar.com)
- Key Ideas In Antidepressant Therapy And Medication
- The Problem With an Antidepressant-Addicted America (health.wealthwire.com)
- Mass Murders And The SSRIs Connection (beforeitsnews.com)
- Standard American Pill Plan…Don’t Be A SAPP (wholefed.org)