Monday, September 17, 2007

It's Hard to Ask for Help, But I'm Doing It

Posted by Lara at 9:08 PM
I totally don't have it in me to give you anything good or happy tonight. I feel like shit. Full-blown shit. Depressed to the level of, oh, let's say... December or January. Part of this is because I've been trying to go cold-turkey without my meds for about a week. (This is not something I recommend, but without insurance, I'm really afraid to figure out how I'm going to pay for the psychiatrist and prescription.) And part of this is because I can't seem to convince New Boy to like me and so we're going to "just be friends" now I guess.

But whatever it is, it's getting me down. Way down. And I need help.

I feel like a nobody. Like the worst kind of nobody. I feel like there is just no hope for me in the future, but worse than that, I feel like I'm worthless in the present. It's far too easy for me to look around and just wish I were dead, because really? What good am I? I feel like I can look around and see so many great and wonderful people out doing good things in the world, and I'm just not one of them. I feel like George Bailey, except when I say, "I wish I'd never been born," there's just a telling silence in the universe, as if an entire world of people were thinking, "Eh, wouldn't bother me."

And on the one hand, I keep thinking that I should have done better. I keep thinking I should have been a better friend to those around me, led as a better example in the world. I should have been a better blogger even - HBM is always changing the world around her with posts raising awareness, or support, or even money. So where's my change? What the fuck have I ever done for anyone or anything?

I hate myself and my life.

So I could just keep quiet and cry myself to sleep (well, I'm sure I'll be doing that soon anyway), but instead, I'll be posting this on the internet. And I'm asking for your help. For myself. Not for some worthwhile charity, or some beautiful wonderful deserving person suffering a stroke of bad luck. No, I'm selfish enough to ask for myself. To say, "Please tell me I'm not worthless. Please tell me I have some value in this world. Please tell me I deserve something good in my life."

Please tell me I'm not a nobody.

45 comments:

franz the mouse said...

Yikes! I suppose I'm hardly the first to point out you'd better stick to your prescription. Is it really the case that, once off your medication, anything we in Internet Land write to you could cheer you up?

You're a preschool teacher. Boom. Positive impact.

But I know what you mean about feeling like a nobody. I feel that way all the time. It's just that my feeling of being a nobody isn't mixed up with depression because I'm lucky enough not to have depression.

I'm glad you have a roommate with whom you're so close.

hanlie said...

My dear friend

You are not nobody. You are very, very special. A sensitive soul in a boorish world. You are so much more than I was at your age, and I really admire that about you. Your blog title says it all - while you are learning your way around the world, which can be a harsh and painful enterprise, hundreds of readers are sharing in your exploits, cheering you on and yes, learning from you.
You have a very important job... I had two pivotal teachers in my life and their influence has been immeasurable. You matter. Every day.
Don't measure your worth by men... especially when they're still young. They don't know what they want and they are "careless". Don't let them use your life to find theirs.
Weaning from anti-depressants should be a gradual process. But in the mean time, find some time for gentle outdoor exercise. Going for walk or a bike ride every day is a good idea, because you'll be releasing "feel-good" hormones and getting fresh air. Sugar is also a big culprit when it comes to mood-disturbances and depression, so try cutting down. You're doing well channeling your feelings into something creative like blogging and photography.

I am forever editing my blogroll, but Lara is there to stay! Because I think you're great!

alyndabear on 4:18 AM said...

As tough as things get, deep down just remember that you are NOT a nobody. You are a friend, a sister, a daughter, a teacher, and so SO many other things, and you're loved and appreciated by people world wide. Myself included, miss. :)

Love to you - and I am always here if you need me. I found you when you were down last year, and if you're down again I'll still be here! xo

Jackie on 7:18 AM said...

Hi Lara. I don't know you at all. I stumbled upon your blog by accident. But I think I should tell you that the reason I keep coming back is because I find so much value in what you have to say. I admire you for being brave enough to post about things I feel but can't bring myself to say to the world. You make a huge difference to me because I feel less alone, like there is someone out there, someone I don't even know, that struggles with the same shitty feelings I struggle with. Don't give up.

Dee on 7:52 AM said...

Oh dear, you do make an impact on this world by sharing yourself with us. Everyone has dark days and unfortunately you seem to have more than your share (But please get back on your meds! Cold turkey is not a good thing!). But, I want you to know that on some of my dark days you have cheered me up with a simple positive comment on my blog. You are beautiful and kind and have a heart of gold. You are not a nobody. You have touched my world in ways that you will never know.

Major Bedhead on 7:57 AM said...

Could you talk to your doctor about getting samples of your anti-depressant? Samples enough to last you a couple of months?

I've done the cold turkey thing with a/ds and it's not fun. I think it makes the resulting depression even worse.

You are not nobody. And screw the boy (not literally). It's his loss if he can't see what a lovely person you are.

tali said...

It's not being selfish - it's having the wisdom to know when to ask for help.

You are a gifted writer, gorgeous singer, loving friend, nurturing caretaker, budding photographer, amazing dancer, beautiful woman and much much more.

Even when you believe that you've made mistakes, never forget that you deserve to be happy. Make yourself another sign if you need one.

And call me up any time.

Justin on 8:59 AM said...

The universe is not silent when you cry out - we're all here, ready to tell you how you've made an impact on our lives. I hope you're willing to listen to the universe.

Darn universe ;)

Jill B on 9:24 AM said...

As someone who coordinates with free clinics and services, and used to work with foster kids, and in a therapist's office, you should definitely let your Primary Care doctor, or find a clinic, or SOMEONE to help you with the meds (pharmacist?), because even the ones who are jerks, underneath it all, are there to help. Samples often abound - major bedhead is right. And doctors understand what a problem insurance is, and may be able to refer you to a program that assists with pharmaceuticals (ask your pharmacist - they're full of wisdom) or help you wean of, even if they wish you could stay on.

Beyond that gut-reaction, it IS hard, and I'm sorry for your pain. Do whatever you can do in a day, and try to keep things from swallowing you. Some days you just have to crawl through.

And listen to these other folks, who are full of great things to say about you.

ali on 9:38 AM said...

i wish i was with you to take you for a pumpkin latte (mmm...) you are not a nobody. {hugs}

Amanda on 9:46 AM said...

Lara, you changed my entire perspective with a picture of a rose. I've sent other people to your blog, knowing the kindred spirit they would find in you. You are more than I'd ever be able to articulate in this little comment box.
Couple of things, boys are dumb, new ones, old ones, whatever. Don't gauge your worth from that. Ever. You think Jitta would hang around if you were worthless? You are a daughter and a sister, you are a friend, and, dear Lara, you are someone's mom. Out there in the hazy pastel blurs of your future, there's a family. A little baby that will be placed in your arms, a beating heart and hands, seeking you out. You have so much and so many waiting for you. You'll catch up to them, but only if you keep trying.

(((((not sure how to write hugs))))

Natalie said...

You've done a great deal, old friend. You have loved honestly and well, you have encouraged many friends, you have well taught many children.

Still and all, measuring your worth by what you've accomplished is a good way to make yourself feel worthless. I would hate to meet the person, however much they've "done" for the world, who thinks that their accomplishments make them worthwhile. You can change the world till the cows come home and it won't make you any more or less worthwhile than you are right now. The truth is, the same goes for how well and how many you love, and how well and how many love you. You can love more people than anyone else who's ever lived, and love them better too, and it won't make you any more or less worthwhile than you are right now. You are worthwhile because Jesus loves you, dearest Miss David (I'm sorry to say it on what has become such a public forum, but it's true). And that means your whole life will be spent not becoming more worthwhile but discovering that all along you've been more worthwhile than you realized.

I love you forever, not because of what you've done, but because I do. Give your ring an absentminded rub and a twist for me.

Tori on 10:40 AM said...

Oh my darling, you are a huge somebody. You are the brillant you! I hope that are able to get some help right now. New boy is missing out...try to let that go.
I sympathize my dear Lara...I hope that you can hang in there.
Sending love and thoughts.

Mrs. Higrens on 11:05 AM said...

It says much more about my laziness than your writing and your life that I have have not added your blog to my list of favorites since I always end up here by a link from another blog.

Ditto anyone else who has said that you should not measure yourself against others. You are not a nobody. Just because you haven't made it to VP of a national company or spent a year living with the natives in the Congo at this stage in your life does not mean that you have not made a difference in someone else's life or that you are not a success. (see my own issues which I have been too chicken to post on my own blog)

You spend your day teaching other peoples children - that makes you a hero in my book. And no one (men or woman) should need convincing to like you.

And please, if you need the psychiatrist and med's to be able to deal with your overlying demons, find a way to keep them in your life. So that you do have a life.

mayberry on 11:08 AM said...

Listen. You are important. You add a great deal of beauty to the world through your words, your photography, your dancing, your very presence. You are important to your friends, your family, and all your students, past, present, and future. And you are smart enough to ask for help when you need it.

Lots of love and I hope you find some lightness soon.

flutter on 11:53 AM said...

Baby, not only are you not a nobody but you don't deserve to feel this way.

You are good, you are bright and you are nothing less that wonderful.

Teacher Anonymous on 12:02 PM said...

[internet hugs] Feel better!

Of course, what would really make you feel better is to get back on the drugs. That's why my dad never wanted my sister and me to take anti-depressants during my parents' divorce--you just wind up lower than before when you go off them (Particularly cold turkey. You're very brave to have tried it).

As to your impact on the world, well, your blog was in a dream of mine recently. You had changed the name and address of your blog, so I decided that it must be okay if I did the same with mine.

gnomesque on 2:26 PM said...

Lara, I've been reading your blog for a few months now, and I've never commented before. But there's a reason I keep coming back. You are so brave, to write about your life the way you do. I can only dream of being that open and honest with even my closest friends, let alone the whole world.

If you can make a difference in my life, imagine what you must mean to your friends and family.

Chad Oneil on 5:04 PM said...

Lara,
Wow. I'm very sorry to hear that you've been feeling this way.

It looks like a lot of people have already spoke up. I just want to get a word in too even though I feel like there's not much I could probably say to make you feel better.

I will say this though. First of all it seems that you have some great people in your life that you mean a great deal to. I'm sure that your students enjoy having you as their teacher as well.

I don't know the real you, but I'm sure that if I did, I'd see a person that has a big sphere of influence in this life and is loved by many people.

Your very candid post really conserns me for you. I pray that you will begin feeling better soon.

Caffeinated Librarian on 6:15 PM said...

Of course you matter, sweetie. Get back on the meds, 'cause if you can't even get out of bed in the morning then you can't go to work, or date, or take pictures, or write, or eat chocolate, or buy new shoes, or hang out with your friends, or talk to all of us on the blog. And that would be a travesty.

On the guy front, dating is crazy-making for everyone, so cut yourself some slack there. And while it sucks that it didn't work out between you two, at least he had the guts to tell you. The really bad guys would just keep you hanging on forever (I know, I've dated them), so at least he's not a creep. That said, be wary of the whole "lets be friends thing" - if you have feelings for him (and you obviously do) you'll just be torturing yourself. And you deserve better than that.

I'll be pulling for you Lady.

Lisa on 6:47 PM said...

I feel so heartbroken for you right now. I know I don't really know you and I know I only recently stumbled across your blog, but I also know that I truly love reading your writing. I love your pictures. I love the honesty and raw emotion you share on your blog and I wish I could be more like you. Stay with us. You are amazing. Just by being you. You have impacted me.

Jeri on 7:11 PM said...

Ask and it is given. Hugs and feel betters...you are courageous and bright and creative...fabulous attributes. Depression sucks and it will tell you many things that are not true...keep writing...let your own words and voice ring out against the tyrant in your mind. I know there are resources available in SF that can point you in the direction of low cost meds...

Jill B on 8:29 PM said...

And,

Thank you for being honest.

And, I re-read and caught on better the second time, so:
You're not worthless, at all (or, "you have great worth").
You have some value in this world (or, "you're very valuable").
You deserve something good in my life (or, "Good things are DESTINED to come your way").
You're NOT, not a nobody (or, "you're a SOMEbody, alright.").

dancing dragon on 8:56 PM said...

Dealing with both together at the same time sounds like a lot to handle. I wish there were something I could say to help, but I don't know what (and I'm not that great at helping people). You, on the other hand, always seem to be helping people and giving. (And if you are wondering about your worth, I wonder what I and other people should be thinking about ours....) I could tell you that you are a wonderful teacher, writer, dancer, and that you'll be a wonderful wife and mother, but I think you already know that.

That said, changing medication suddenly can really skew thoughts and feelings on top of whatever else you might be dealing with. That itself concerns me. A number of people have already suggested talking to your doctors about the financial issues, and they do often have a lot of free samples to give away, or maybe cheaper options.

Graham on 11:05 PM said...

Not to be all late on a bandwagon here, but +1 to everybody's comments. And as much as I agree with what Natalie said about being worthwhile regardless of accomplishments, I'll still thank you for two things in particular: (1) inviting me to your arts-n-crafts day exactly when I needed help being creative, and (2) letting me sing along with you any time I listen to Echoes. Little things, I know, but they make me happy, therefore the world is a better place. :-)

*Hugs*

jittacatgirl on 12:12 AM said...

thanks everybody for supporting lara in the blogosphere. :)

Sandy on 4:15 AM said...

I didn't think that I had anything of value to say to you. I usually come to your page and read when I am down. I may not know you but I value you a lot. Your words are like therapy for me and at the end of your post I seem to feel relieved and refreshed. I'm going through a difficult time and to see that you made it out just fine gives me hope. YOU ARE SOMEBODY!!!!

Guilty Secret on 5:30 AM said...

I think you're fab! Your posts certainly brighten up my days, anyway.

Be patient, this feeling will pass.

Trina on 6:12 AM said...

You are an inspiring person Lara. That you have the courage and wisdom to ask for help in the midst of turmoil tells me you will pull through this all right. Just from the number of sincere comments left on this blog, it's clear there are a ton of people out there profoundly impacted you, not only by your words, but by your life and soul. We are cheering you on, celebrating you, and even though I have never "met" you beyond these cyber-walls, I can tell, you are a kindred spirit. I may be on the other side of the country, but know that you are in my thoughts often and that periodically throughout the day, I will look west and shoot laser beams of joy out of my heart and into yours. Be blessed Lara, you have and continue to bless so many :)

nutmeg on 2:14 PM said...

I didn't cry until I got to Amanda's comment. And I have nothing to say that could possibly help you more than her words - you are somebody's mommy.

I've been where you are now - really, we all have to a degree. If there wasn't darkness, how would we ever see light? Write about it, Lara. More than just here. You have books in you. So many of the best writers start from pain.

I know it's cliche but it's also so f**cking true - Love yourself and then someone wonderful will love you even more. (If you just can't do it, start pretending and it becomes real!) I'm convinced it's the only path!

I should be on Oprah, really.

Betsy on 3:08 PM said...

Get back on your meds, Lara. It's normal to have the blues, but these are not the blues. And if Jitta is reading this, I hope she gets on your tail.

You are not nobody. That is your depression talking.

You are special.

You are beautiful.

YOu are wanted.

You are needed.

Get your meds.

Tense Teacher on 5:29 PM said...

Anyone who can work with preschoolers, day in and day out, is far from a nobody. Anyone who can take such beautiful pictures of the world around her is not a nobody. Anyone who asks for help for her friends is by no means a nobody. And by anyone, I mean YOU.

Now, to repeat what everyone else has said, you need to get back on your meds, even if that means having to auction off some of your shoes (and you KNOW I love the shoes).

Anonymous said...

You are not a nobody. I hope you can move through your pain and realize you are a special person.....

BetteJo on 9:50 PM said...

Oh Honey. I can SO recognize unmedicated from medicated, and I've never seen this with you before. I guess I'm new.

But I recognize how incredibly different you are - which highlights the absolute need for meds. Purely chemical need. Car washes, bake sales, whatever, you need the meds.

I speak from total experience and I tell you what - the things you were saying - what good is it - what good am I - those are things I felt most of my adult life because I didn't seek help sooner.

I get my meds from my Internist, because I did all I could with the shrink, mine is a chemical problem. Not that I don't have any issues! But it's a lot less expensive that way - if you have a primary care physician who will agree to give you the prescription - you don't have to pay by the hour.

I hope you find a way because it's obvious that without the meds it's like turning off the light switch. That's the way it is with me too.

You are SO worth caring about, SO worth reading, and SO worth being here. And you're still adorable, although I wish it was without the tears.

Take care~

Lara on 10:31 PM said...

thank you.

thank you, thank you, thank you.

a thousand times, thank you all.

Angela on 5:57 PM said...

Whoa whoa whoa -- you're most definitely not a nobody. I only read blogs from the most awesome people, which is why I always find myself here. Take care of yourself and get back on those meds!

Sandra on 6:50 PM said...

You know I think the world of you.

You are not selfish ... a selfish person would not be going through something so huge and still take the time to send a sweet supportive email to someone else going through a rough time.

You Lara have a huge heart, and a stunning gift of writing with such profound honesty, and a beautiful wish to make a difference in the lives of children... those you teach and those you will mother one day.

You matter. To me, to your family to so many of your readers. This is rotten but it will pass. It will.

Sending big, supportive, squishy hugs to you.
xoxox

Lindz on 2:34 PM said...

OMG, I'm so sorry I have been a lame blogger and don't keep up to date because my life is chaos. lara, I don't even know you but I do know what it's like to try to go off of meds cold turkey and all I can say is DON'T DO IT!!!!!!!! So bad for you. It messed with me the same way and luckily I am back on them because your body just can't go through a change like that. Anyway, don't let your thoughts consume you, it's just your body FREAKING out though I do know you have had previous experiences with depression. Hang in there, you are an amazing, artistic, talented and successful person.

Anonymous said...

This is the first time I've checked your blog in a few days, and I'm so sorry that you're feeling down :( I listened to your radio show on being a preschool teacher after it had aired, and I learned a lot from it - you were a great speaker, and I'm sure you reached a lot of other people too. So if that says anything at all, you are most absolutely a somebody - and not just any somebody, but LARA! Do not ever think otherwise!

-cc

Miss A on 8:09 AM said...

I know I'm late in this conversation, but, you are so totally worth it! Totally! You are such a beautiful person inside and out. I look forward to reading your posts and hearing about your life. Because you are interesting, fascinating with a great sense of humor. Although you are without your meds, I hope my internet enouragement will give you a little cheer. Maybe I can send you my meds that refuse to take--are you on Welbutrin XL? LOL. I know thats illegal; but hey I'm trying. . . Wishing i could give you the biggest hug. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Also, if it makes you feel better, I give you permission to correct my grammar at any time. ;) (((((Lara)))))))

Anonymous said...

I am a nobody myself, and you don't know me--in fact I think I came across your blog from one of those random searches you can be so amusing about. But I kept reading because I admire your spirit. I have a lot of trouble asking for help for myself. You are a beautiful example of how it can be done with grace and courage.

What you do, and what you are, inspire me, a stranger elsewhere in the world, to do better.

That makes you a somebody.

PS--you're a great photographer, too--those self-portraits are amazing.

mks on 4:30 PM said...

This is a week late in coming but let me say this....come across your blog a few weeks ago made me smile - want to know why? You are real and down to earth and have a beauty about you - that other women like myself can admire without being jealous (I am not even sure what I mean here) I just felt comfortable reading your blog. As for making an impact you are a teacher, you are a friend, you are a anything and everything you want to be. I have been on meds for depression for years, in therapy and the whole rig-ama-roll. I know these times are tough. Hang in there and get your meds however you have to. I am going to read some more posts in hopes that things are better now - a week later

Anonymous said...

When you feel down, it's hard to remember that it's not the act, but the thought that counts. Many people donate to charity, but few actually start them. Few people, like you, really want to try for the greater good of the world and your own life. People like you, are an inspiration to others.

janet on 8:46 PM said...

I know I'm like....ohhh 2 weeks late here. But I just want to say that the fact that you had the courage to write that post means a lot about who you are. I hope you get the help and love you need, and in the meantime, us bloggie gals are here to listen!

JAM on 3:01 PM said...

As the 45th commenter, I'll just cut to the chase.

Without insurance, many physician's can cut you a deal on their visits and then prescribe you something that might work for you that has a generic version. Both of my daughters are now off of my insurance and still see our doctor once every six months for a checkup, at a reduced price due to paying cash and they get six month's prescriptions that we can get the generic of at walmart for four dollars a month.

Hang in there, and please look at other options.

I've been on anti-depressants for years. I only see my family physician because I have security clearance issues at work that might not take kindly to me starting to see a psychiatrist. She has been a major help to me and has worked with me patiently for years to find and help keep me on the right stuff for me.

Don't give up!

Many, many general practitioners will see you for a cut rate with cash and you don't have to do it very often if you can find the right med. Do you know if the one that you had been on is available as a generic? Then you could get it for cheap at some places, and that would allow you to stay on it.

I tried to get off of mine but it didn't work so well and have been back on it for several years now.

 

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