Is this thing on? What I’ve been up to09/23/2012 at 2:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
Tags: blogging, depression
Hey readers, this is your blog mistress K speaking. It’s been over six months since the last time I updated Feminists with Female Sexual Dysfunction. That’s a long time for a blog to go inactive without warning, though not entirely unheard of.
So why the long pause? The short version is…
I told you I had a history with depression.
I mentioned it on this blog in passing a few times. I didn’t go to deep into my history with depression since it wasn’t an issue for awhile… My primary health concern for the last few years was addressing the vulvodynia and the vaginismus. But then, suddenly! (Not so suddenly) sexual dysfunction & depression changed places!
Although I’m feeling good physically and sexually, depression eventually did become a problem again. I’ve always felt like I had to look over my shoulder and wonder when it would appear again, and I finally got my answer: Right about now. It doesn’t feel as familiar as I thought it would be – the form & content of my current depression are different from the last time I went through it. I’m still dealing with some of the old unresolved issues I had when I was a teenager, plus a few new ones as an adult.
The good news is that I’m not completely alone; my partner is still supportive. I reached out for help and I’m seeing a therapist who accepts my insurance, so I am working on my issues under professional guidance. For better or worse, I’m still not on anti-depressants. I think I would do really well on them, but SSRI’s can cause sexual side effects – and I already have enough sexual dysfunction to deal with, thank you very much. (Note: I am fully aware that Bupropion has a better track record as an antidepressant with minimal sexual side effects; however I decided that the ~7% to ~22% risk is still unacceptably high at this time.) I want to try light therapy, if only to help me sleep… but I’m not doing that either, since it might not be a safe option for me – I have an elevated risk of developing serious eye problems later in life.
So I’m stuck with in-person therapy alone, for now. I’m worried and self-conscious that my progress thus far has been painfully slow. I keep reminding myself that when going through depression, you go at the rate that you go and you feel what you feel (but then what does it mean when you don’t feel anything? Am I doing enough?)
I’ve been writing as though the depression came up again from out of nowhere spontaneously, but that’s not entirely correct. A lot it is work stress. There’s no question that the stress of working at a dead-end job did and continues to exacerbate everything. The corporate culture stirred up memories of growing up in a toxic home environment and community. But work covers my benefits, so I cant leave without having something better lined up. My job search stalled out too once it became clear (after multiple heart-breaking post-interview rejections from companies I’ve wanted to work with for years) that I need to continue my education beyond just a bachelor’s degree if I’m going to be able to compete with my peers. Combine these ingredients all in a blender on medium setting for a couple of months and sooner or later, you get a depressed K.
What this all means is, now not only do I have to spend my free time on therapy stuff, but I also have to dedicate a lot of my free time going back to school! (Note that school in this case means online classes.)
And what that means for the blog is that, I haven’t had any time (or motivation) to write about feminism & sexual dysfunction. My interest and desire are still there – I’m not burned out. But I’m in a bind. This blog and writing are still deeply important to me. However, I can’t balance a full-time job, therapy, continuing education, and blogging. Something had to give.
So what happens next? Well, I don’t know. I want to write but I should focus on the self-care and education stuff first. (I keep on rationalizing, doesn’t writing count as self-care? Sure but on the other hand, shouldn’t I be doing the writing exercises suggested by the therapy book? Don’t make me choose!) Once again I’ll restate that if’n you have a guest post that would be appropriate for the blog, then you can leave a comment here saying so and I’ll get in touch with you. I’m keeping the blog up since the archives are pretty good and I want to return to it again later as time permits. But just be aware, the next 12-18 months of my life are going to be Hell. Thank you for your patience.