Settling in, sciatica and suicide

I’m struggling to settle into my new home. I feel like a visitor in a self-catering unit. Everything feels foreign and I don’t remember where I’ve packed stuff away and haven’t the slightest clue as to where to start looking. The result…. a grown adult spending countless hours wandering aimlessly about the flat in total bewilderment, mumbling to herself.

I still don’t have internet in my new home. So I have very little contact with anyone and am becoming lonelier and lonelier. I expected the upheaval to result in depression, which it has. But I didn’t expect such high anxiety or panic attacks. And its all the more difficult experiencing it alone. Learning so much about codependency and boundaries, I cut off the only two friends (I use that term loosely) I had. Details for another day. It’s a time of great upheaval, mourning of what’s passed and a heart-clutching-fear-induced anticipation of what’s to come.

And then Life threw something else at me. My back went wonky (slipped disc/sciatica) hanging the new kitchen curtains. So for the past 2 weeks, I’ve been clawing through each day in incredible pain wondering how the hell my friends with chronic pain manage. But a bit of morphine, a bit of codeine, a drug induced daze and the sweet escape of sleep. All is okay for that brief period.

I have been entertaining thoughts of suicide. Everything I am, compounded by the physical pain, has made it an appealing option.

Bipolar risk boosted by accumulation of rare versions of genes

We are rare, special and entirely unique


kb_bipolar_graph_freeRISING RISK  People with bipolar disorder are more likely than others to have several rare versions of genes that control how much nerve cells fire. Width of the shapes in the graph indicate how many people in each group had a given number of rare gene types.

A buildup of rare versions of genes that control the activity of nerve cells in the brain increases a person’s risk for bipolar disorder, researchers suggest in a paper posted online the week of February 16 inProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“There are many different variants in many different genes that contribute to the genetic risk,” says coauthor Jared Roach, a geneticist at the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle. “We think that most people with bipolar disorder will have inherited several of these risk variants.

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I am depressed. There’s no concealing the fact. Within the space of one week, Ulla’s suicide coincided with my move and an ugly incident with my father. Its been a difficult time. So that’s where I’m at. I’m not suicidal, but personally, it feel as if Ulla’s death has sealed my own fate, somewhere down the line in the future. My father hates me, Ulla’s dead and I’m having a difficult time moving on and embracing life and all that.

Suicide – a commitment to death

Bipolar can kill you in one of three ways. Firstly, the actual medications used to treat the illness can kill you. Will most likely kill you. Simply put, pretty much all of them will cause organ failure over time or left unmonitored. And if your organs fail you die.

Secondly, people who have bipolar are at a higher risk for substance abuse and addiction, the complications of which can kill in a myriad of ways.

Thirdly, if the illness is left untreated for long enough – whether it be undiagnosed or treatment resistance – you die. You don’t die in the same way you’d die from organ failure – the more socially accepted way to die. No, you die by your own hand. You take your own life. You commit suicide. It is greatly frowned upon (and misunderstood) by ordinary (ignorant) folk who whisper “selfish” and “weak” in dishonourable contempt of the world we, the mentally ill, occupy.

I want to deconstruct this terminology – committed suicide. Selfish? Weak? Not at all. The very nature of the word ‘committed’ highlights the profound intent behind the act. A commitment takes effort, planning, energy, courage, faith, motivation, confidence, determination, ability to follow through. So to not only want to die, but to want to succeed at dying, one would have to be extremely committed to the cause. Think about it – committed suicide. A commitment to death.

I’d call that honourable and courageous.


My friend has gone and I don’t know what to do, what I should have or could have done.  I know the logic – there was nothing I could do.  But it remains that I am, as we all are, left with survivors guilt and the broken heart of the ones left behind.  I understand, respect and support her decision.  She has fulfilled the ultimate act of self-care, and removed herself from this nightmare of a world where she endurde a daily, torturous struggle against which there is no cure.  Now she has peace and joy and can laugh again.

Her path ran parallel to that of my mother’s – med resistant, ECT, suicide.  So much loss, blame and anger lies at the feet of bipolar and the medical community who prove time and time again to be inept in treating this illness.  Making money off our desperation.

Blahpolar had an immense effect on my life.  I doubt she even realised how much.  She walked beside me on my own journey even as she carried the weight of her own demons.  She said two words that redefined my life – you matter.  Two simple words that changed my life.  And now, I am at a loss for words.  Because she mattered to me, and to you and to us.  Words escape me.  All I have are tears.

I am still waiting for someone to contact me and tell me this was all a big mistake.  That it’s not true.  But it is true and her death has shifted my world slightly off axis. And I know that it will never turn quite the same again.

I won’t be joining you all on the 10 Sept.  It’s not because  I didn’t love her.  Its because I loved her that I can’t participate.  I will be taking my grief into isolation.  To be completely honest, I’m not sure I will return to blogging.  We all make such deep connections here, there is so much support and friendship and advocacy.  But despite the wonders of technology, we are still left alone and helpless in the face of bipolar.  I don’t know if I want to be vulnerable to anymore loss.  I just….. I don’t know what to say.

This was one of her favourite songs….. (PS – can someone please tell me what has happened to her dog?  Please I have to know)