Politics vs. Prose

I should have seen it coming, in retrospect. My anti-anxiety medication, which I normally take on an “as needed” basis, and hadn’t been needing all that often,  I was taking the maximum dose at bedtime every night for months, and wishing for more during the day. I was tense and having trouble sleeping and watching the news obsessively and living on Facebook, posting meme after meme after meme about Trump, Hillary, and all things political, not caring who I offended or bored. My husband was perplexed, to say the least. He tried to reason with me. “Why do you care so much? Why does it matter to you?” I couldn’t come up with an answer, only a question. “Why don’t you care?” He does care, but “they’re both criminals”. And this nation is going to hell and yada yada yada, I can’t discuss this with you, don’t you have a headache, anyway? Seriously, he told me, “You are only one person. All you can do is put your message out there and sit back and wait and see what happens. We are not driving this train.” And my therapist agreed. She asked me  how much attention I give to politics and I explained to her that it was about as much as I would give a job. She said, “That’s a little obsessive.” And I realized she’s right. I’m on disability because too much stress makes it impossible for me to hold a job with my illness. And here I am heaping stress on myself on purpose. But I love politics. It’s in my blood. Perhaps I could take it down to a part time job? This seemed like a good suggestion to the therapist. More drugs is not the answer. I’m already medicated to the max. A change in lifestyle is required. And besides, I’m supposed to be a WRITER, not a political strategist. Whatever happened to that? OH YEAH, that. Not just a blog now and then, but the real writing. What’s going on with that? Well, not much, frankly. I’m working on a memoir project, but I haven’t touched it in two weeks, so I can hardly say I’m “working” on it. I have an idea for a novel, but I have been procrastinating outlining it, probably because deep down, I know it’s a dead end. In fact, when I pitched the idea to the therapist, she laughed and said it sounded like one of those “what do you call it, that channel with all the movies with women in trouble?” And I said, “Lifetime?”  “Yeah, that one, ” she chuckled. (BURN!!!! OUCH. Truth hurts!) And I have a ton, quite literally a TON of reading to do. Just got in three new books and I haven’t gotten through the last two months yet. Who assigned these? Why, I did, of course. I’m doing a DIY(do it yourself) MFA (Masters in Fine Arts degree) program on my own and it requires a lot of reading. It’s legit. Look it up. DIYMFA.com. It’s for people who can’t or don’t want to spend the money and time going to school and have the self-motivation and discipline to create their own program of reading, writing and building community. So I signed up for that and I have a plan, but I haven’t been working the plan very hard. I’ve been obsessing over Hillary and Trump and I’m afraid the next few months are going to be even worse. But I am going to make a very concerted effort to STOP THE MADNESS. Yesterday, as I explained to my husband when he got home from work, I took a mental health day. I did laundry. I never turned on the news. I got on Facebook and shared a few things but mostly stayed away from politics and edited and managed my profile and photos and chatted with a few friends. It was a peaceful, quiet day, and I remained calm and anxiety-free throughout.

In the interest of full disclosure I have to confess that I have recently added well over a hundred, probably close to two hundred new Facebook friends based on politics alone. Just went down the list and added people with Hillary profile pics, building myself a support army for the coming months. It’s lonely being a blue girl in a red state. Also I deleted a few people based on political differences, and I don’t feel one whit guilty about it. One posted “BS” when I posted a pic of Obama wearing a hat that said “I’ve already made America great”. She was an old friend and coworker, and I felt a little twinge but then….nah. The other was a person I liked quite a lot but who unfortunately fell victim to some Hillary conspiracy theories and she was getting a bit psycho and hysterical. If she had been in the room, I would have slapped her just to get her back to reality. I couldn’t deal. She had to go.

I made two commitments. One, to defeat Trump, and two, to get Hillary elected.  So, although I’m sure I’ll have my moments, and I’ll depend on you all to call me out, expect to see a little less of me and my obsessive rampaging on Facebook. Oh, I’ll be there. Don’t you worry your pretty little head about that. I’ll be skulking about. Just dialing it down a notch, that’s all. I’ll be around. My work is not yet done. 😉

 

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depression…part three: Prozac Princess

May 1, 1995…This is the day that everything changed in my depressed world  It is the day that my ex-husband and I (FINALLY) separated, and the day I filled the new prescription my psychiatrist had given me for a new drug called PROZAC. I had never heard of it, but the doctor said it was fairly new and initial results were promising. So, why not. The demise of my marriage had proven to me that I was clearly NOT OK on my own and I hadn’t liked the weight gain that had come with my old anti-depressant, so I was game. So, I asked. How long does it take this stuff to work? Doc said I might start feeling a little better pretty quickly but it takes a few weeks to get into your system, about a full month before you start feeling the full effect. He was correct. I did feel better, though almost certainly the cause was psychological, separating from my miserable marriage and moving in with a fun friend from work and planning a new life for myself. But I felt more energetic and cheerful in those first few weeks. Then, almost a month to the day, I remember the moment I felt “IT”.

When I left our old apartment, I moved in with a friend from work, Darlene. Darlene was a party girl. Darlene was fun. Darlene was a bit of an alcoholic, I think, but I loved her to death. Good times! Her complex had a pool. We worked together at JC Penneys at Perimeter Mall and both worked night shift and sometimes we would get up in the morning and lie around by the pool before work. One morning, we did this, right around June 1st I believe, about a month in on Prozac and it was a beautiful, warm, breezy morning, and I floated on my back in the shallow end and closed my eyes and felt the heat of the sun on my face and body and the cool water under me and I spread out my arms and sort of took it all in and a wave of something nameless washed over me. It was like happiness, but it was more. Like everything was right with the world. Like bliss…like euphoria…and then I thought. “That Prozac is some good shit.” And it didn’t go away. It lasted, for days, for weeks, for months. I went through some bad days and I didn’t feel euphoric, but I felt OK. Like I could handle it. Like I could take whatever life dealt me. I stopped crying. I found that I COULDN’T cry, even when I felt like it. That was the strangest thing. I used to cry over the least thing, like a commercial or a movie , and then all of sudden, nothing. I worried briefly that the drug was changing my personality. I decided it didn’t matter. I liked the new me. I felt bolder, more confident, and more positive. I had always been so pessimistic, so negative. The new me could do things, make things happen.

After  several months, I made the decision to go back home to Cullman, and from there try to get back in school. I remember the day I left Atlanta with my dad driving me home, moving all my stuff. I didn’t cry, naturally. I played a tape of Stone Temple Pilot’s “Interstate Love Song” over and over all the way home and drove my dad crazy. I was pumped! Prozac and I had my future all planned out. No looking back. My ex and I were separated, but as far as I was concerned we were over. I just wasn’t giving in. I told him if he wanted a divorce he would have to file and pay for it. It took him a year and a half to do it. Meanwhile, I went back to school and got on with my life and when he finally sent me the divorce papers, I signed them, put a stamp on the envelope (the only thing I paid for) and went out to celebrate with friends. I had done my grieving during the marriage. Thanks to Prozac, I stayed pretty evened out and made pretty good grades. And then I got stupid. I succumbed to some faulty reasoning that plagues many well-intentioned mentally ill people. I thought I was cured. Prozac has cured me, I thought. Therefore, I DON’T NEED IT ANYMORE. So I stopped taking it. And for a while I was OK. Prozac stays in your system for a little while. I didn’t tell anyone what I had done. I didn’t tell anyone until the night I called my mother up talking about wanting to die. I think I may have called my dad too, I can’t remember. But I was deep in depression  and desperate or I never would have called her. In my right mind I would never say a thing like that to my parents. That’s just a bell you can’t unring. Once your mother or father has heard you say you want to kill yourself, they don’t forget it. and they never look at you the same way again. Every time they see you, every time they talk to you, they wonder if it’s the last time, and they wonder if it’s their fault. And you did that to them, and you have to live with it. Their guilt is your guilt. A parent shouldn’t have to wonder these things about a child they brought into the world. So I promised my mother I would go to the psychiatrist and get back on Prozac. And we joked about me signing a contract stating I would never go off my meds again.  I got back on the Prozac and was feeling better within a few weeks. But things were becoming more complicated. The doctor no longer felt Prozac was enough.It was becoming standard to have patients on a “cocktail” of drugs designed to treat their illness and I began taking more drugs. I started taking medicine for anxiety, ADD, extra drugs for depression.  I started to feel like a guinea pig. I was constantly coming home from the doctor’s with samples to take, dealing with side effects, going off and on new medications. I would get to a combination that seemed to work for a while, and then I would start getting depressed again and we would try something else. Always, the Prozac stayed the same, because whenever we altered it, I became extremely depressed. Was I addicted to it? The doctor said no, you can’t be addicted to anti-depressants, but I had my doubts.

During this time, thanks to Prozac, I was able to overcome a major obstacle in my life, a severe debilitating phobia of driving. I was in a terrible accident with my mother when I was five years old and had blocked out most memory of it but was left with this terrible fear that I didn’t realize until I  had to take driver’s ed in high school. Even in the simulators in class, I was terribly nervous and my performance was awful. When I had to get in the car, just sitting in the driver’s seat gave me panic attacks. I drove once and scraped the side of a bridge near school and never went back after that and failed the class. So my entire adult life up until I was 30, I had to rely on someone else for transportation. It was embarrassing, humiliating, inconvenient to myself and others, and really caused problems in my relationships, especially my first marriage, because I was so dependent. The fear was so strong that I couldn’t even try to overcome it. But after I started taking Prozac, I started feeling strong enough to at least try and I began to practice using an old truck of my dad’s. Finally at age 30, I got my driver’s license! Once I started driving, I couldn’t imagine how on earth I had survived up until then. How had I made it through all those lost years? How would they have been different if I could have been driving and independent. I probably would have never married my ex at all. But all we can do is look ahead. Eventually, I got my own car and haven’t been the same since. In recent years, I’ve had periods of illness where the fear has crept back in and I’ve had to stop driving for a while or take anti-anxiety meds but today I am fine and savor my freedom. And Prozac is still part of my daily drug “cocktail”.

I did learn the hard way over the last few years that Prozac can build up in my system and stop being effective, and when that happens, I have to replace it with something else temporarily and  get it all out and then restart it later. I say “the hard way” because I became depressed a couple of years ago and went to the hospital and the doc there took me off of it cold turkey and substituted something else and sent me home a few days later. A few days after that, I was back at the hospital, suicidal, and a different doc put me on something completely different. It was a few months before everything got straightened out and when I started back on Prozac under my private doc’s  care , it worked just like in the beginning. So, about that contract my mother was talking about…:)

depression…part two: medication

“Have you taken your meds today?” Sometimes this question is a serious inquiry made by medical professionals in a formal medical setting. Sometimes it is a (lame) attempt at humor by a friend who has noticed that you are a little off your game or maybe a little more serious question from a loved one who is concerned that you aren’t quite yourself. It’s one I’ve heard many times, one I’ve even asked myself in moments of confusion, honestly wondering if I had, in fact, swallowed the allotted pills in my daily pill organizer, that thing that one usually associates with senior citizens who take dozens of pills a day, a separate little compartment for day and evening of each day of the week. Believe me, that thing is a lifesaver. Without it, I never would keep my  meds straight. Yeah, that’s “meds”, short for “medications”. That’s the lingo in this business. Glad you’re keeping up.

There are far too many people in the world suffering from mental illness that are untreated, tragically, but most people with diagnosed depression and/or bipolar disorder are prescribed some kind of medication. Some choose to take it, others prefer to wing it on their own, not liking the side effects, or fearing becoming someone else other than themselves on the drugs. I am considered an ideal patient because medication has worked for me at least some of the time and I trust it and my doctor, to a degree. I know that bad things happen when I try to go off meds entirely and that I will likely be on some form of medication for the rest of my life. I can live with that. Whatever keeps me far away from the deep, dark abyss of depression, I am committed to that. When I talk to people who are going off their meds, I congratulate them on their bravery, but inside I’m thinking, “FAILURE! DOOM! DON’T DO IT!CHAOS! HELL! MISERY! SADNESS!” and I pray for them. I don’t want to hear about another suicide. I’m a believer in pharmaceuticals, because they have worked for me, sometimes.

I first began taking anti-depressants as a freshman in college. I was depressed before then but never got professional help until I was on campus at the University of Alabama. I was dating my future ex-husband, and my ex-boyfriend, whom I was still in love with came down to visit me and told me, in one breath, that he was joining the Navy, his girlfriend was pregnant and he was getting married. I didn’t cry. I just hugged him and said it was ok, everything would be ok. Later, I cried, and apologized profusely to my current boyfriend, swearing I only loved him and I didn’t know why I was crying. Then I didn’t sleep for two weeks. So I went to the student health center and saw a psychiatrist and a psychologist and was diagnosed with depression and given a prescription for Pamelor, an old school trycyclic. This was pre-Prozac days. I finally got some sleep and started feeling better and started talking to a therapist and realized I had been depressed since childhood. This was sad, of course, but in a strange way made me feel somewhat better.  I wasn’t just weird. Something had been wrong with me. and it had a name, and now I was getting help. I felt hopeful. Over the next few years I was fairly stable with a few adjustments to the dosage level of my medication. Then I dropped out of school and got married and moved to Atlanta and instead of looking for a doctor there, decided as many wrongly do,  I was all better and didn’t need meds anymore. I had worked out all my childhood traumas in therapy and I was fine. I didn’t need any help. I wasn’t suicidal, so I didn’t think I needed meds. I convinced everyone around me of this and no one argued. Within 6 months of marriage, I was miserable. We both were. It was a disaster, for reasons I don’t have room to write here. Just that our relationship had run its course before we had gotten married. We never should have done it. We had broken up before and should have stayed that way. But there we were. He decided to be as bad as he could be to make me divorce him. I was not brought up to believe in divorce so I clung to him like a snapping turtle. I was determined to make my marriage work. My husband started seeing a therapist and got a prescription for Zoloft. That same day, I got a call. He was on the top of the parking deck at his work threatening to jump off. He was taken to the psychiatric hospital where I was allowed in while he was admitted. They gave me his belt, his tie and his shoe laces to take home with me. They asked him what was going on with him that made him want to take his own life. He looked me right in the eye and said “My marriage.” Thanks for nothing, you bastard, I thought. Rather be dead than live with me? Fine. I asked if there was anything he needed. He wanted me to call his parents and tell them but ask them not to come. I agreed, but told him I couldn’t prevent his mom from coming over. That was the hardest thing, telling his mom over the phone. She thought I was about to say he was dead, so she was a little relieved but, the hurt in her voice when I said he wanted to die. And then that he didn’t want to see anyone, not even her. She probably blamed me. That’s ok, if it made her feel better, may she rest in peace. I went home and got the best night’s sleep I had had in a long, long time. It was a peaceful few days that he was gone, but it had to end. He came home, and all I can say is Zoloft may cure depression, but it doesn’t make you a better person. It just made him more of a self-absorbed jackass than usual. He became the “victim” in our relationship, according to his therapist. I was the bad guy, though not quite sure what I was supposed to have done, since he was the one with other women on the side and I was just working and trying to be a housewife, the latter of which has never been my calling. We inflicted ourselves on each other another year until he forced a separation by giving notice on our apartment, knowing I couldn’t afford rent by myself. I resisted. We fought all night. I remember throwing a Bible at him, screaming scriptures at him. “God hates divorce!” Then I found a leftover bottle of Pamelor and took what was left and swallowed it and went to hide in the closet. He dragged me out and took me to the hospital, more angry than concerned. The nurse there caught his vibe and asked when we were alone if he was abusive. “Not physically,” I answered. I convinced her I hadn’t taken enough to harm me and she let me drink charcoal instead of pumping my stomach and he took me home. We separated a month later.

On May 1. 1995, the day I separated from my ex-husband, I took the first pill of a new prescription called Prozac and my life changed forever….

to be continued in  depression…part three: Prozac Princess

 

Aging Gracelessly

Facebook post from yesterday: 

Well, I’ve had a lovely birthday….kind of blown away by all the birthday wishes here on Facebook. Had a delicious breakfast from Cracker Barrel brought to me by my sweet husband, Steve, Then we went to the movies for the first time since our first date and saw Bad Moms (totally raunchy but hilarious….I needed a good laugh!) and now we’re winding down the day with some chocolate birthday cake from Publix. Big piece of cake, tall glass of ice cold milk. It doesn’t get any better than that. By the way, this is an important birthday for me. This year I start counting backwards. I have some lost time to make up for from the last several years. So, without giving my exact age, I can tell you by the time I turn 50, I will be turning 40…again. 🙂 It’s like…magic….

Yes, I decided “growing old gracefully” is for the birds. I plan to be dragged into old age kicking and screaming. So as of yesterday, I am growing younger by the day, until…until I change my mind and decide it’s time to be old. I’m simply not ready yet. I don’t feel XX years old and therefore I am not going to be. Over the last several years, I have suffered a major breakdown and lost a job that was precious to me and spent the better part of a few years almost entirely in bed. So I feel I have to make up for lost time. Some tell me that’s impossible or unnecessary. “You’re only as old as you feel”. Fine. I find that I do not feel as old as my driver’s license claims I am, so I refuse to be it. Looking in the mirror, I find that I am no longer passing for a twentysomething,  but my true age is still hazy. At least one friend my age has sworn not to tell if I don’t, so that’s something. It’s no big thing. I’m not going to cringe and cry if someone finds me out. The truth is, I never thought I would live this long, suffering from depression and being often suicidaI. It’s kind of a miracle really, to find myself here….at my age…whatever it may be.

I know I can’t avoid aging. Every single day there’s another reminder of that. But I can fight it for a while. I don’t have to give in so easily. I don’t have to do like some people and wake up one day and decide to be old and just give up. And if I live to be 102, I don’t ever plan to GROW UP. I plan to be childlike until my dying day. As innocent as possible in this screwed up world, pure and simple. Not childISH. That’s a different thing. Not immature and bratty. Despite my leaning toward realist/pessimist views I want to remain open to things that are new and different and good and positive. Peace and love and kindness and all that hippie stuff. To quote my favorite actor, the late Alan Rickman, “When I am 80 years old and sitting in my rocking chair, I will still be reading  Harry Potter. And my family will say to me, ‘After all this time?’ and I will say ‘Always.'” Yes, I will be reading Harry Potter and other children’s books the rest of my life. And coloring in coloring books, and playing with animals, and children when I get a chance. Anything to “rage against the dying of the light”. I will not “go gentle into that good night.”

And I challenge the older people in my life not to give in so easily, no matter what the calendar says, no matter what the doctor says. What does your heart say? Do you still have the heart of a young man in a wizened body? A mind full of wisdom, even though you can’t remember where you left your phone? You still have lots of living to do, lots to offer the younger ones. Hang on, as long as you can. You are so loved, and your life matters.

 

Do not go gentle into that good night

Dylan Thomas, 19141953

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

God Bless Donald Trump!

I’ve been under the weather lately, physically and spiritually,  and I’ve had trouble getting going in the mornings, which is disappointing, because I had been showing some improvement after a long time of being down. I had a newfound enthusiasm glowing within me, and the main reason was because of my sweet husband, Steve, creating my writing space in our living room, a place for me to finally get serious about reading and writing and not spending all day in bed depressed. (Of course, this coincided with the onset of a new medication regimen, so it all works together, you see.) Bursting with joy (literally giggling uncontrollably) at the sight of my own desk and chair and books and computer, and bolstered by the right combination of pharmaceuticals, over a period of weeks I began to feel better. I stopped sleeping all day. I slept half a day for a while, then gradually, I eliminated almost all day time sleeping except for days I had migraines or stomach problems. Steve got used to seeing me at the desk when he came home instead of in bed, something I know had to make him happy. He told me once that coming home to find me in bed was kind of like coming home to an empty house. I remember thinking how sad that was and that I had never considered what it was like for him. How lonely it can be sometimes, to be the loved one of a depressed person. I made up my mind to try to be more sensitive to his needs after that, but I’m sure I have failed, as having a mental illness renders you quite self-absorbed. But I try. I know when he vowed “in sickness and in health”, he did not know then what he was agreeing to endure. But now he knows, and still, he endures.

I think this started out being something to do with Trump. OH YES! Trump! GOD BLESS DONALD TRUMP!! Why, you say? I hate Trump, don’t I? Well, hate is a harsh term that I hesitate to use. I really don’t like hate. I don’t consider myself a hater. I believe in love. I love all of God’s creatures. I catch spiders and bugs and throw them outside instead of killing them. Seriously, I do. OK, I have killed a few. But I try to save the ones that aren’t attacking me. I don’t like Trump, and if you follow my profile, then you know all the reasons why. First, he’s an imbecile. He’s just not bright. He thinks he’s a genius, but he’s not. He speaks on a fourth grade level and probably reads on an even lower level. He’s a racist. He’s against African-Americans, Latinos, Jews, Muslims, basically anyone who isn’t white. He’s a sexist, chauvinist pig. He hates women, treats them like animals, considers them disgusting. He’s a pathological liar. He lies just as naturally as he breathes. At some point, I may devote a blog simply to his lies. Trump’s Lies. He cheats in his business dealings. He has ruined many a small business just to avoid paying his bills and bankrupting and he won’t release his tax returns. He has a violent temperament, completely unsuitable for President of the United States. He has no class, no honor, and no soul. He is wholly UNFIT FOR DUTY AS COMMANDER -IN-CHIEF.  BUT GOD BLESS HIM!!

Because of Donald Trump, I have a reason to get out of bed every day. There are still weeks to go to the election and the polls are showing Hillary Clinton with a sizable lead over him, but that doesn’t matter, because this is American politics and anything can happen here and as long as there is the SLIGHTEST chance that this IDIOT, this raging, tiny-fingered, Oompah Loompah might get elected, my work is cut out for me. As an active member of Facebook, it is my duty to peruse the newsfeed each day and see what new trifling nonsense about him has been posted for the masses to read. As I read, I have on MSNBC news in the background, listening for headlines and snippets. Because as clear as it is to me what Trump is, apparently millions and millions of people out there think he’s simply WONDERFUL!! ( I know. Go figure. ) Facebook does not disappoint, because Trump speaks often and the media loves him,  no ,  ADORES HIM, and prints something every time he opens his mouth no matter what comes out! I’m gonna build a wall! No more Muslims! Hillary is crooked! Where are her emails? Hey Russia, can you find them? I like soldiers that weren’t captured. I want a Purple Heart! I get along great with “the blacks”. I mean, the stuff he says, it should be enough to bury him with, but people hear it, and they still say, “Yup.voting for Trump!” Like it’s something to be proud of! Or even better. “Not as bad as Hillary.” As if Hillary has ever said or done anything remotely close to anything Trump-like. I consider it my duty also to promote my candidate, Hillary Clinton. But mostly, I feel duty-bound to discourage as many Trump voters as I possibly can between now and Election Day. Why? Everyone has the right to vote their own mind, their own conscience. But my conscience will not rest until I have swayed as many people as possible AWAY from voting TRUMP. This is the vote of a lifetime. Several Supreme Court justices could ride on this vote. This man is more than just a moron. He is a DANGER and a THREAT to our country and our way of life. He has no clue about foreign policy, no idea how to handle foreign leaders, except for his “buddy” Vladimir Putin. He will almost certainly get us into war with Iran, and probably other places as well. WE DON’T NEED ANOTHER WAR. Let me say that again. WE DON’T NEED ANOTHER WAR.

So what’s the latest? Now he’s trying to discredit the Clinton Foundation, a charitable organization that has done so much good, raised millions and created hope where there was none, something he wouldn’t know about with his own “foundations”. Trying to make Hillary out to be the crooked one. Projecting much, Donald? And trying to work up some bogus bad health information about her after her own doctor has already cleared her as fit and ready to serve. Weak, Donald. Give it up, already. She’s gonna crush you like a bug in November. You know it, and I know it. But I know you won’t give up. That’s why I’ll meet you back here tomorrow morning, ready to take on a new day and all the crap you bring! BRING IT, DONALD! And God bless you!! Goodnight!!

All I can do is all is all I can do.

Question to myself from a private journal:

Why am I always worried about what others think of me? When did I become such a people-pleaser? Why doesn’t anyone worry about what I think?

Answer:

Because you are WEAK. You seek others’ approval to build up your low self-esteem. You always have and you will do this until you learn to love and approve yourself. And no one cares what you think, love.

(True enough.)

The thing is, I could please people more if I would stop being quite so much myself, if I could tone THIS down a bit, maybe. Posted less politics and opinion and more Harry Potter and cats. Then more people would like me. But then, why don’t people worry about getting along with me? Why do I always have to be the one to change? Well, I’m not, that’s all. I will pick and choose my battles and decide what’s worth fighting for and what can fall by the wayside. I just have to give up this juvenile desire to be loved by everyone because it ain’t gonna happen. I’m never going to please everyone and I have to stop trying. Some people are easy. Give them a smile and a kind word and they are good to go. Some people are never going to be satisfied with me no matter how hard I try or what magnificent feat I pull off. I have to cut myself some slack and stop trying so hard. All I can do is all I can do, as the song goes.

 

 

 

depression…part one: suicidal thoughts

It seems only fair that I should follow up my “worst manic moment ever” story with a story about my worst moment of depression. That is something I simply cannot do. I’ve simply lost count of the times that I have been suicidal. I have bipolar II  which is mild to moderate bouts of mania alternating with moderate to severe episodes of depression.Even well medicated I spend most of my time on the depressed end of the spectrum, usually somewhere in the mild  to normal zone.  I can narrow down the number of actual suicide attempts, but just to take you to the brink of death with me would not be helpful for either of us.  I want to talk about what psychiatrists call suicidal ideation or suicidal thoughts.  If you ask a depressed person how they are doing they will most likely say “OK”, even if they clearly aren’t.  From my own experiences, recorded in journals, let me show you a window into the disturbed mind of the suicidal soul.

August 3, 2008

I am going to kill myself. It’s just a matter of time, means, location. I can’t do it right now because my apartment is a mess. I don’t want my body found here surrounded by junk.. Maybe it would be better if my body was never found. I’ve done everything else in life half-assed. I’m going to get this right. I’m going to think this through, plan it down to the last detail. I am going to be in control, for the first time and the last time in my life. There are decisions to be made, which is ironic. I’m terrible at making decisions. I change my mind so easily, and nothing is more final than death. Or is it? I can’t even decide that. I don’t know what I believe anymore. My faith used to be my ultimate protection. I believed in God, God created life, only God can take away life, etc. And most importantly, if I take my own life, I’ll go straight to hell, right? But is that really true? Would God really do that? Is there a Hell to go to? A Heaven? Is there even a God listening to me or have I been talking to myself all these years and calling it prayer? Ugh. I’m already in Hell.

(undated)

 

WAYS TO KILL MYSELF

DRUGS   this would be the simplest since I have plenty, but I’m not sure it’s enough. They’re stingy with samples at the clinic and I’d hate to end up taking only enough to make me sick or a vegetable. Too bad I don’t like to drink. Alcohol could certainly speed things along.

Lately I’ve been thinking of more violent ways to kill myself, I think because I feel like I should be punished. It’s strange that even though I hate myself and feel I deserve pain and suffering, I’ve never gotten into cutting myself like some girls do. I have dreams, images of it, but I can’t bear the thought of it. Does that mean that deep down , I really want to live? Why, then, does it seem acceptable to me to endure seconds or minutes I might experience if I jump off of a building or in front of a train? Even though I’ve considered these things, so far I’ve been too chicken to take such drastic action. I believe one can be passively suicidal and that’s where I’m at. I’m too scared to do it myself, but I have a definite death wish. Ideally, I would like to die in some manner that I could not be blamed for. I find myself jealous of other people’s cancer diagnosis. How sick is that??? Or when I hear of someone killed in an accident, I think, why couldn’t it have been me.If I die in an accident , from a disease, or at the hands of another, my family and friends will grieve for me and remember the good things about me, and they would accept it and in time, move on.They might be able to believe it was God’s will or that it was my time to go or whatever. If I kill myself, they will be heartbroken and will despise me forever. Will I know, when I’m gone whether they love or despise me or whether they ever did? I need a plan. I need to decide when and where and how. I need to clean house, put what’s left of my  life in order. I don’t want to leave a mess behind. I need to find homes for the girls. I’ve heard of people killing themselves and killing their pets too but I couldn’t do that. They don’t deserve that. They can bring joy and comfort to someone else, like they have to me…if only it was enough. Do I have enough insurance to pay for a funeral? Imagining a funeral brings up a whole lot of other problems. Maybe it would be best if I just went missing and my body was never found. Would that be more or less cruel to my mother? Not to have a body to bury. But if I die here, someone has to find me here. Someone, most likely, from work. Which shift, which officers? Which dispatchers would be working? How can I possibly think of doing that to them? I don’t show up to work one day and I don’t answer my phone. How long do they wait before they come over, force entry? How could I do that to my friends? Who would notify my mother, my mother  who loves me more than life. My father, my sweet father. My brother and his wife. My nieces and nephew. The rest of my family, friends. Who would post on my Facebook? I think about each of these people. Imagine every individual reaction. Force myself to imagine the misery caused by ME. All because I couldn’t hold on another day. Couldn’t find something to laugh at. Something to be grateful for. Something to get out of bed for. Something to live for. But there they were, all along.

I may kill myself one day. But it won’t be today. Not as long as I have people to love and people who love me. Not as long as I can find something to laugh at. Something to be grateful for. Something to get out of bed for. Something to live for. And maybe it’s just the Prozac talking, but I think there will always be something. 🙂

 

 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1 (800) 273-8255  US only

 

http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html