CW: depression (detailed), suicide ideation/self harm mention (not detailed)

my doctor appointment was today. all told, we were out of the house for six hours, and it was a long day.

we left at 1 because the commute from our out of the way house takes ~40 minutes to get out to a metropolitan area (Redmond), then travel from there to wherever the appointment may be. got halfway down our dirt road and realized i’d left the paperwork for the appointment. retrieved it and we were on our way.

our doctor has changed which clinic he’s at (now in Bellevue instead of the outskirts of Redmond), but the new location is just down the road from Gana’s psychiatrist, so we’re very familiar with the area. parking there seemed to be a challenge at first, but i learned that there’s a garage underneath with elevator access, so we’ll try to park there in the future.

since this is my first appointment with our doctor since assigning ourselves to him two years ago, i had new patient registration to take care of. the paperwork they sent asked me to be at the office at 2 so i could take care of any other paperwork before my scheduled appointment time at 2.30. i got in to the exam room at 2.15, and thanked profusely by the staff for being early/on time (good karma!). the medical assistant was weirded out by my glittery ribcage tank.

our doctor is a great guy. we really like him, otherwise we’d have ditched him for someone else in the two years Gana’s been seeing him. he listened to what i’ve been going through and let me cry without any judgement (i’m actually really surprised i cried that much, i guess i really try and repress my own feelings as much as possible). i explained that for the past several years, my mental health has been in a decline, and as much as i want to think i’m getting stable again, any time i try to get a job, my mental state tanks again and i stop being able to go to work. all of this puts stress on me for not being a contributing member of the house (i get $75 a month from Patreon, $60 of which comes from my family, and i haven’t posted any finished art there since the beginning of the year), and i feel like i’m just a financial burden, which makes me feel worse.

we talked a little about harm/suicide. i don’t consciously self harm, and my only thoughts of death are more vague, like things would be easier if i weren’t around to be a money-sucking void.

i mentioned that my sleep cycle is shitty (case in point: i’m typing this out instead of sleeping), so i’ll either go to bed at a reasonable hour and lay awake until midnight, or i’ll be up until 3, and i’m forever tired. this could be the depression, or could be something else, so we did some lab work. we’re pretty sure it’s not apnea, since i’ve never really had any suspected bouts of it.

similarly, my diet is shitty. not that i don’t eat well, but that i don’t really eat. most days, dinner is my one meal, with a couple of snacks before. for a while, i was doing really well and eating breakfast, but i’ve not had the energy/stamina to really prepare food for the past couple of months. maybe medication will help with that, too. the pot doesn’t seem to affect my appetite much, no matter what strain.

i’m either laser focused on what i’m doing, or i can’t focus at all. i may have a slight ADD/ADHD that’s never been diagnosed (because let’s face it, girls* don’t have ADD, and definitely didn’t in the late 80s/early 90s when it probably would’ve presented), but then again, it could be the depression. we’ll never know without testing.

*at the time, i still identified as a girl. i wouldn’t really start figuring out gender identity until high school. currently, i am a genderqueer femme who has an anxiety attack if asked to label myself as boy/girl/man/woman

depression is rampant in my family. both my parents and both my sisters have been diagnosed. it’s really no surprise that i also have depression. we talked about what medication options i have. i’m a blank slate, because i don’t have any allergies, and haven’t been taking anything regularly. before going in, i did a lot of research into different classes of antidepressants, and had my thoughts on what would probably be the best fit for me. i had initially thought about alprazolam/Xanax, but decided that i wanted to focus more on stabilizing the depression first, then focusing on the anxiety as it comes up. instead, i’m starting a course of bupropion/Wellbutrin. i start tomorrow morning, and have a followup in three weeks.

the lab work was fast, their vampires are good. they took two large tubes and one small tube for testing thyroid/liver/kidneys/checking for PCOS. i’ll have results in 2-3 days.

i’m also going in to see the clinical psychologist the day after tomorrow. hopefully we get along.

finally, a full hour after my half-hour appointment was supposed to start, we left. i made my car payment for the month (only 13 more months to go! /sobs), and we headed toward home with thoughts of stopping at McDonald’s for something to eat.

the plan was: stop at McD, stop at the pharmacy to pick up ‘scripts, stop at Starbucks for some well-deserved bevs, go home. the problem: the McD on the way home was closed due to “staffing isues.” the rumour from the folks standing outside was that the assistant manager walked out. saddened, we rethought the plan: stop at the pharmacy, stop at Starbucks, drop drink for Nonna off at home and go pick up dinner from the other side of town because now i just wanted Jack in the Box. instead, we stopped at the pharmacy, then Starbucks, and then went to Monroe to retrieve what was now dinner. McD for the Sib, JB for Nonna and me.

and that’s how we spent six hours out and about. so, progress and adulting. i’m hopeful. i want this to work.