suicide

Blogging makes my heart break

Blogging has been difficult for me this year. Within six months I’ve lost two close friends. Ulla (Blahpolar) died in September 2016, and Johnna (Painkills2 from All Things Chronic) earlier this year. Johnna played a significant part in supporting me through my grief over Ulla’s passing.

Johnna and Ulla were active and involved blogger.s Their avatars were everywhere. Their part in my life has made me a better person. And now they’re gone. And as life evolves and changes, it seems the ‘old crowd’ has scattered to the wind. I open up WordPress and feel the impact of those departed – the ones that faded quietly away never to return, the friends who kindly bid farewell as they moved on with life. And then the dead. Nothing is the same anymore and the bloggosphere feels so foreign and empty. I don’t adapt well to change. And I form attachments very quickly. While I have since made wonder new friends and know there are plenty of new friends to be made, loss is still so fresh that right now, I’m not sure what direction I will take with my blog.

Not to mention I can barely keep up with following everybody else. I feel so guilty. That I’m not present, reading and interacting like I used to. Life doesn’t leave me with too much spare time. There’s work, which is a mammoth undertaking, exhausting keeping up and avoiding mistakes because of my poor memory. Since my L5 lumbar spinal surgery, its difficult after a full day of sitting at work, to come home and sit and blog. I’m not a laptop-lying-down kinda person. And then there’s my bipolar personal management plan I try so hard to keep to – routine, vigilant for triggers and combating them, lots of sleep etc. Its hard work trying to be healthy.

Stay, go, limit interaction, change the purpose of my blog. I’m not sure. But when I figure things out, you’ll be the first ones to know. In the meantime, know my friends, I love you all and will do the best I can for now.

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Suicide should bear no shame

There’s a woman my age at work who has lived most of her life with one kidney. A transplanted kidney. Now its old and failing her. She’s been on the transplant list and on dialysis for more than 6 years. Over time she’s fallen ill, been in and out of hospital and come close to death. Yet to look at her you’d never say she was sick. She still works. She is always cheerful. I’ve never heard her complain. Never bemoaned her fate. She’s active, pursues a physically challenging hobby. She lives and loves without restraint.

I walked past her today, and overheard a piece of conversation. She said “I don’t want them resuscitating me, you know, you put your life into their hands”. This was said within the context of – she doesn’t want to die. She doesn’t want events to deteriorate to such a point where she would have to be resuscitated. She wants the surgery to run smoothly. Kidney failure or no kidney failure, she wants to live.

My immediate thought was one of jealousy, envious of her close proximity to death. Because I don’t want to live anymore. And so I became ashamed. Thoroughly disgusted by myself. While she fights to stay alive, I dream, plot and scheme about my own death. My thoughts roam hour by hour in an endless loop from hanging to drowning to guns.

So I told myself I was a terrible person for entertaining suicide as much as I do. For being selfish. For being ungrateful. For being lazy. For being a poor, useless excuse of a human being. But then I thought – while there is dialysis or an organ transplant for failing kidneys, there are no such options for my brain. While her blood is cleansed, there is no way to clean my mind of these suicide-thoughts. Thoughts that are purely symptoms. I have a brain that’s sick, with no way to be fixed. We are both ill. There should be no comparison. We just suffer in different ways. And there is no shame in that.

My mother killed herself when I was 19 years old. Today would have been her 74th birthday. Happy birthday, Mom.  I love you xx

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3wKzyIN1yk

What lies beyond fear

I’m 44 years old. The only thing that’s stopped me from committing suicide is the fear of the unknown. No one has come back from the dead to tell me what lies beyond. What punishment, if any, lies in wait.

On the other hand, it is fear of the unknown that prevents me from living. And I mean really living, not just existing. Embracing life. Instead, I seclude myself from the world and all participation in its activities. Because I don’t know what will happen next. I can’t predict the outcome. The result of my action. And that scares me. It frightens me to the point that I don’t engage in life. Except for the bare necessities of the daily grind. And then I am left alone. With my thoughts of living and not actually living, and dying and not actually dying.

Fear of the unknown. Such irony. It stops me from killing myself as much as it stops me from living. So what lies beyond this fear? Life. Or death?

The fight

Every morning I paint my lipstick on

and I con the world into believing that I belong

I smile and joke

and try to float

the current to the end of day

trying, trying to pave my way

to seamlessly behave

as is expected

living others’ perspective

then home, where I’m alone

my lipstick washed by tears

the pressured load to please

its finally released

and I can breath

now freed

to mourn my desperation

for this depression situation

and with each tear that falls

you’re a failure” Life calls

ungrateful and lazy

pull yourself together you crazy!”

failure, failure, failure echos

as death solemnly smiles and beckons

but still I wake and put my lipstick on

I might be done but I won’t be gone

a tug of war Depression and Life

I’ll participate, butI don’t walk away from a fight

The difference one day makes

On Monday my fascination with stop motion video was all consuming. I barely managed to get my work finished for all the you tube videos, websites and scrawled notes I was collecting for my storyboard. The fact I didn’t actually have a storyboard or a subject in mind was a minor detail.

My mind screamed as it took flight in all angles of progression with new ideas bursting to the surface. I WAS a stop motion video. I had BECOME a stop motion video. My projects were going to be born from brilliance. I could barely contain myself for the workday to be over so my new venture could begin.

Let’s add some perspective and step back one day.

On Sunday I wanted to kill myself. I planned. I wrote something brief. Life was, and still is, unmanageable. I would have taken the step had I not been so afraid. Afraid that the follow-through would not be completely successful, or that it would be unthinkably painful. The fears we all have while chasing the desire for death. So I packed the thought away for another rainy day. I cried like a Justin Timberlake song…. cry me a river and then went in search of my Big Girl Panties. But they were in the wash. Typical. Story of my life!

So there you have it. The splendor that is Rapid Cycling. It’s exhausting trying to keep up.

Empty

My bipolar meds make my balance wonky and I’m clumsy. It was how I came to have sciatica in the first place. I fell over doing yoga. So I’m officially calling sciatica a co-morbid condition of my bipolar.

Friday was a good day. I had contacted my psychiatrist. He advised me on what I could and couldn’t take making allowance for my depression. Having had pain from my waist down to my ankle for 8 weeks, on Friday I only had pain in my lower back, the source. I could sit and walk pain free. What a joyous moment. I was healing.

But clumsy on my feet, I took a tumble on Saturday night. I tripped and to break my fall I took the full impact on my sore leg. I just lay on the kitchen floor and cried. It’s now worse than the intial pain. And of course the first thing to follow is suicidal ideation. I decided I would do it. Then I’m scared to do it. So I haven’t done it. My meagre budget battles to cover the unexpected extra expense incured by sciatica. I really don’t see the point of living like this. I work and come home. That’s all my salary allows for. And now I’m doing that in constant pain. I had hope on Friday. I lost it on Saturday. I have cried so much I actually don’t know how my body generates this incessant liquid.

I just desperately want to die. Be dead. Kill myself. Whichever way you want to say it. But don’t worry I won’t kill myself. My belief is as long as I’m talking about, I won’t do it. Its when one is depressed and stops talking about suicide, they’re serious and planning and won’t mention it because their mind is made up and don’t want to be talked out of it.

So life goes on, despite the tears and the pain and the wanting to die. I am so fucked. I love you all, but please don’t comment. I wouldn’t know what to say.

Why am I quick to jump to suicide?

I’ve noticed a trend with the way I react to challenges or problems in my life. I don’t know if it’s a bipolar thing, or a ‘me’ thing? Feel free to comment, I’d love to know I’m not the only one, uhh, I hope I’m not. Here’s the deal: when faced with a problem/challenge/change I tend to bypass logic and reason and head straight to suicide as my only solution. But death is permanent. There’s no going back once executed. It’s such a scary place to go to, so….. why do I?

My thinking goes:

PROBLEM ——–> OVERWHELMED ———> CATASTROPHIZE ———–> SUICIDE

instead of:

PROBLEM ——–> KEEP CALM ——–> FIND A SOLUTION ———> ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES

I often don’t even have a concrete intent to do it. It’s just comforting to know I have an option, an out. Kinda like having a safe word against the onslaught of the world. So while I’m wrestling with the PROBLEM, which I tend to CATASTROPHIZE , I am mired down in OVERWHELM and keep SUICIDE in my back pocket, you know, just in case…..

Anywhooo, in the meantime *sigh* I forget where I packed my nail clippers. I hate having long nails. So as Life has presented me with a PROBLEM, I’m going to KEEP CALM. As for the SOLUTION? I know exactly where the nail file is! See Life…. I win that one! *gives Life the filed-fingernail-finger*

No, Bipolar, I said no!

*trigger warning – suicidal ideation, but it has a happy-ish ending*

I’m rapid cycling at a fast pace. Over the weekend I was in good spirits and had plenty of rest to ease the sciatica pain. Then came Tuesday when I made another nose dive into suicidal ideation again.

My boss had pointed out a mistake I’d made. My kind of mistakes cost the company BIG money and I’m well aware of how much my bad memory and confusion is affecting my work. But so far I haven’t made any irreversible errors. But this time I have, and combined with Thursday’s diagnosis of ‘decline in cognitive ability’, I felt worthless, incapable and frightened for my future. I decided then and there I was going to kill myself that night.

I went to the bathroom and cried. I cried because I’ve lost the ability to do my job seamlessly. A job I’ve been doing for years. A repetitive job that I used to know how to do with my eyes closed. But I can’t anymore because I can’t remember, from one click of the mouse to the next, how to do my job.

And then I cried because I didn’t want to live anymore. It’s too tiring – the stress, the struggle. Fear, uncertainty. It’s a scary place to be when you’ve set a date, time and method. Its desolate. I cried most of the day. When I got home I lay on my bed looking out the window at the bright blue sky and thought – I’ll never see a blue sky again.

My mind began to wander – I’ll never see my home renovations to fruition, or a yellow daisy, an ant carrying a crumb of bread, another sunrise. I’ll never feel warm, soft beach sand under my feet. I’ll never get to enjoy a crescent-shaped moon, or a chocolate milkshake; music, stroking a cat’s silky fur, or playing fetch with a dog. No more swimming in the sea, diving under the foamy waves. Never again the warmth of a hug, a laugh with a friend, the smell of vanilla incense, freshly shampooed hair, a roasting chicken, sea breezes, or a man’s cologne. No pizza. Ever. I’ll never write another word or take another photo; never cook, eat, clean, iron, smoke a cigarette or have sex. Ever again.

And so I changed my mind. And as if to confirm my choice, the very next day I read this post by fellow blogger, Scott Williams – clinical therapist, life learner, storyteller. You must follow, he’s a gem of insight.

There is so much more I want out of life than the misery I live in at this present moment. I always try to tell myself – nothing ever stays the same, change is one of the constants in life. I’m not going to let bipolar be a thief in the night and steal my life. I’m going to keep grinding through this episode, with one eye on the crescent moon, sipping on a chocolate milkshake and laughing with a friend.

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.

Stuck

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.