Friday, January 18, 2008


I feel as though I am in limbo. But it makes me wonder, what is limbo anyway? I see now, it's a Catholic origin. The description fits, but I'd rather have a Jewish term.

All I know is that I am not in a bad place, but I am not in a good place either. My meds are keeping the depression and anxiety at bay for now, which is a very good thing. The anxiety has been tolerable and while I have times of higher anxiety and negative self-talk, the majority of the time it is manageable.

My sleep is another issue altogether. I'm still taking 4mg Lunesta a night but it takes 1-2 hours to fall asleep and I wake for the first time after only 3 hours, then nearly hourly after that. My mind isn't racing or busy. I'm calm, relaxed. Just awake. There used to be only dark circles around my eyes; now there are bags under them large enough I think they're going on vacation.

I would call to change this, but I can't. A couple of months ago, my primary psychiatrist, who prescribed this for me in the first place and said I could take up to 4mg/night left the clinic where I'm seen. That was okay, because my regular monthly med checks were with the psychiatrist's assistant. But she left the clinic last month and I'm waiting to get an intake with a different psychiatrist's assistant--supervised by a different psychiatrist--and until I have that intake, there is no one to sign off on any changes to my meds.

This has had me a bit stressed. I liked the women I saw before. I don't know how my relationship will be with these new people. And I have trust issues.

My intake is currently scheduled for next Monday. I'm going to tell her all about the sleep issue. It's only been this way since I increased the Prozac from 40mg/day to 50mg/day so I am hoping I can increase the Lunesta a bit to compensate for the increase in Prozac.

Meanwhile, I go through my days dazed from lack of any quality sleep. Last night, for example, I took my Lunesta at 9:30pm. I finally fell asleep at 11:00pm. I woke at 1:00am and thankfully was back asleep within 15 minutes. I woke again at 3:11am and did not get back to sleep until 4:30am. I woke again at 6:00am, fell back asleep, and woke at 7:37am when I finally got up.

But I am dizzy and forgetful and stumbling and I have a big day today with many things to do before Shabbos and today is a day I am actually glad we do not have company coming over because I simply couldn't handle it.

And so I am on some sort of edge (limbo). The edge of sleep, the edge of sanity, the edge of complete consciousness. I don't know. I only know that while I've been in worse situations and baruch HaShem I'm not there now, I'd kind of like to not be in this one either.

I (day)dream of sleep.


Leora said...

Good to hear from you. I looked up limbo in my Hebrew-English dictionary and found gehenom. That won't do at all. I thought of waiting, like Waiting for Godot. No, that won't work at all for you.

How's this:
Tehillim 102:8
"I lie awake; I am like a lone bird upon a roof."

Take care.

Keli Ata said...

Hi Rivka :)

Glad you're back. I have a friend Daniel, too. He once wrote about Mincha and how it's a bridge between Maariv (rest) and Shacharit (rejuvination).

True, Limbo is a Catholic doctrine. But the word limbo (small l) derives from the Latin word "to hem" or "border."

It sounds as though that's literal in your case--you're on the border of feeling well and less anxious/depressed and also on the border of restorative sleep. While at the same time, hemmed in so to speak by the anxiety and depression that is keeping your from it.

So Limbo might be a good word after all. Or you could say your between Maariv and Schacharit.

I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers when you meet with your new physician's assistant. That uncertainty is probably contributing to your feelings of being in limbo.

Kol tuv, and again, it's good to see you back and blogging again :)

Keli Ata said...

Another observation, isn't it interesting that during the Amidah of Tisha B'Av the special bracha "nachem" is recited only during this bridge prayer time--Mincha?

Leora said...

I am also reminded of the period before Shabbat is over, when one might sing Mizmor L'David. There is anxiety about the upcoming week and sadness that Shabbat is almost over. But we say "Ata eemadee", with family and/or friends next to us.

A new psychiatrist would make me anxious, too. They tend to be more clinical than psychologists or social workers. Not always the greatest listeners.

Keli Ata said...

It's Sunday, 11:45 p.m. I'll keep you in my prayers tomorrow morning :)

Rivka said...

Leora: yes! Lone bird. That's me.

Keli: very much on the border. I think of the time between ma'ariv and shacharit on Shavuot. A time of closeness, of possibility, of potential.

Thank you both for your prayers.

Keli Ata said...

Don't forget to recite the bedtime Shema. I know some people who think it's only for kids but it's for all of us.

I found this on it online. A bit long but beautiful to remember:

"The recital of the Shema immediately before retiring is perceived as a protection against the dangers of the night." One section of this bedtime Shema invokes four archangels: Michael, the messenger of G-d, Gabriel, the emissary of G-d's strength, Uriel, the light of G-d, and Raphael, generally known as the healing power of G-d . As well, the prayer ends with invoking the Shekhina, the feminine presence of G-d, which is envisioned as a woman with white wings, who hovers over the bed like a canopy. One recites the following:

"In the name of HASHEM, G-d of Israel, may Michael be at my right, Gabriel at my left, Uriel before me, and Raphael behind me; and above my head the presence of G-d.

Each of these angels has a specific purpose. The angel Michael, whose name means "Who is like God," has the job of guarding the children of Israel.

The angel Gabriel, whose name means "God is my strength," has the job of lending us strength and courage, Uriel, whose name means "God is my light," has the job of lighting our way through the darkness of night, and Raphael, whose name means "God is my healer, " is responsible for our physical and emotional well being. The Shechina is God's "female side," God's nurturing aspect."

I hope that wasn't too long.