Game Face

This week was my second week of Spravato treatments and my last week on the starter dose. Next week we increase. I’m nervous.

On the low dose, I’m able to function through the effects of the medication. I keep my game face on; I work, see a few clients, teach my yoga, and attend to other obligations. Tuesday, I had treatment and then went straight to a photoshoot for the practice where I offer yoga and therapy services (completing my practicum hours). I was feeling the post-treatment heaviness that’s starting to establish itself as “normal” but I don’t think you can tell in the photos.

I think my smile was convincing and I think my silliness seemed genuine. This is often why I feel like Psychiatrists don’t believe me when I say how bad my depression is, because they see the game face. I can look at the smile below and see that my eyes don’t really communicate happiness. But, if a person wasn’t looking, would they be able to tell?

It’s easy to hide pain behind smiles and playfulness; people are happy to see what they want to see. The Spravato, I’ve decided, amplifies all of my feelings. Yes, I feel more empathy, more warmth, more joy. But, the opposite is true as well. The sadness is heavier. The hopelessness is suffocating. And, unfortunately, it seems like no matter how hard I work to cultivate positive experiences, the painful feelings are around more often than not. I’m not sure what the rest of this month has in store for me while I continue to test out this new medication.

The Psychiatrist I see was quick to tell me, “you’ll be the only person I’ve ever had on Spravato who didn’t get better.” Statistically, I know this cannot actually be true. It was a shitty thing to say. I can’t be mind-tricked into believing something is more effective than it is. And, I won’t be pressured into saying something works better than it does. I want this to work. I truly do. I’m exhausted.

My body is exhausted. I was sent home from work Wednesday because I had a fever. I felt sort of run down but I didn’t think much of it until they made me take my temp. It steadily increased as the day went on and then lasted until today. I don’t feel sick though (aside from a headache which I always have and an earache). I understand the purpose of a fever, to fight infection. But I can’t help but wonder if there is a mental health correlation here. I can’t help but wonder if my brain has convinced my body that it has had enough.

4 thoughts on “Game Face

  1. Lovely photos. Yes, a sensitive therapist has encountered many people with “false-faces.” It might take more than one session, but such things are recognized. Good luck with the meds.

    Liked by 1 person

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