Editing nightmare, writing, and other things

Editing nightmare, writing, and other things

Earlier this week when I was editing, I noticed that one story had given each paragraph its own page. I fixed it and thought that would be it. Tonight, I went to the next story and there was a similar error. I went to the next and found the same error. I panicked. I knew what I had to do to fix it but it was a lengthy process and would take some time and effort to sort through. It was more than 50 pages of work to sort. I had nothing better to do so cut and pasted I did. I fixed the book and in doing so, “lost” 20 pages. I am up to 125, without edits as I still haven’t inputted them but at least there are no formatting errors, least none that I can see right now.

Because I thought I was up to at least 150 pages of work after putting in some dedication and acknowledgement pages, I figured I could publish the book. Now I can’t because it’s too short for my taste. I really would like to get it up to 200 pages, minimum. It’s probably going to take me another six months or so to get another 75 pages written. I am so disappointed. So close yet no cigar.

My mother annoyed me tonight. I told her I was in pain and she said “well you are going up and down the stairs alright”. WTF She doesn’t fucking get it. The other day when my sister was here she was telling her that I go down the stairs “carefully”. But she said it in a mocking voice. I just can’t win with her. Tomorrow she wants me to clean the stairs, both flights. I will clean the bottom stairs first as those haven’t been done in quite a while. Then we’ll see about the other flight.

I just took a strong pain pill because I couldn’t stand the throbbing in my ankle anymore and the regular pain pills aren’t working. I hope I am not up every fricken two hours. I am really tired. It’s funny, when I want to sleep I can’t and when I need sleep, I do. There is no medium. I know part of it is my fault because I am on my bed most of the time so when I feel the need to lie down, I do and usually sleep, no matter what time of day it is. A sleep doc would have a complete fit if he knew my sleeping habits or lack there of.

It’s extremely windy and it is shaking the house. It kind of scares me because I fear the house will fall in. I know it won’t, sort of, but it still scares me when the house shakes. I hope the wind dies down by the end of the night. I don’t need anxiety on top of pain to keep me up. That just isn’t a good combination.

I talked with my aunt tonight. It didn’t go well. She didn’t know who I was and then started crying. It broke my heart. She wanted me to visit her. I wish I had a car to see her but I don’t. I would have to go by public transportation and it’s a pain because I would have to take two trains and a bus to get to her house. It would be worth it to see her though. I miss her terribly. She is the last surviving sibling in the US on my father’s side. I have one uncle in France but he has dementia and is not doing too well. I don’t talk to him because of the language barrier. He doesn’t speak English and I don’t speak French or Italian.

Shneidman’s Psychache Theory

“From the view of psychological factors in suicide, the key element in every case is psychological pain; psychache. All affective states (such as rage, hostility, depression, shame, guilt, affectiveness, hopelessness, etc.) are relevant to suicide only as they relate to unbearable psychological pain. If, for example, feeling guilty or depressed or having a bad conscience or an overwhelming unconscious rage makes one suicidal, it does so because it is painful. No psychache, no suicide”. Edwin Shneidman, Suicide as Psychache p56


Psychache is the unbearable guilt, despair, hopelessness, shame, pain, depression, and press one feels when thinking about suicide. It is the corner stone of what this paper is about. The pain of the mind can cause constriction, a narrowing of view of things. It can also lead to perturbation (an unrest that causes one to feel like doing something to alleviate the uneasiness one feels) and also to press, which is also known as stress or the pressure and weight one feels under. The combination of these three things, press, perturbation, and psychache is what is known as the cubic model of suicide.


The cubic model of suicide is a 1-5 rating of the three things I just mentioned. The higher the rating, the higher the likelihood of suicide. The worst rating is a 5-5-5 scenario and suicide will be imminent. It is important to rate these items when dealing with a suicidal person. It will validate what they are feeling and make them feel at ease in talking about what is causing them to feel so pressured and hurt to make them think of killing themselves.

When dealing with constriction, the dichotomous thinking that a) suicide is the only way out or b) things are always going to stay the same, it is important to always bring in more options to the person so they can see things differently. In his book Suicide as Psychache, Shneidman gives the example of a young pregnant woman who was thinking of killing herself with a handgun. She couldn’t have the baby so therefore in her mind, suicide was the only way out. After discussing several options with her (calling her parents, having the baby and giving it up for adoption, discussing the situation with the baby’s father, etc.), it was agreed that the woman would call the baby’s father. Suicide was no longer the number one item on the list. To prevent a mishap, Shneidman did take the gun away from the woman. An excellent example about means restriction.

In almost every suicidal thinking, there is some measure of lethality and perturbation. You can have high lethality and high perturbation, but you don’t always have high perturbation with high lethality. Perturbation, as described above, is very much like anxiety. It is a perturbed feeling that causes one to feel pressured to do something. Lethality is the doing something.

Also in every case of suicidal thinking is the frustrated needs that bring about the suicidal feelings.

ABATEMENT The need to submit passively; to belittle oneself

ACHIEVEMENT To accomplish something difficult; to overcome

AFFILIATION To adhere to a friend or group; to affiliate

AGGRESSION To overcome opposition forcefully; fight, attack

AUTONOMY To be independent and free; to shake off restraint

COUNTERACTION To make up for loss by retrieving; get even

DEFENDANCE To vindicate the self against criticism or blame

DEFERENCE To admire and support, praise emulate a superior

DOMINANCE To control, influence, and direct others; dominate

EXHIBITION To excite, fascinate, amuse, entertain others

HARMAVOIDANCE To avoid pain, injury, illness, and death

INVIOLACY To protect the self and one’s psychological space

NURTURANCE To feed, help console, protect, nurture another

ORDER To achieve organization and order among things and ideas

PLAY To act for fun; to seek pleasure for its own sake

REJECTION To exclude, banish, jilt, or expel another person

SENTIENCE To seek sensuous, creature-comfort experience

SHAME-AVOIDANCE To avoid humiliation and embarrassment

SUCCORANCE To have one’s needs gratified; to be loved

UNDERSTANDING To know answers; to know the hows and whys

These twenty needs are what Shneidman has called the essential ones when people are suicidal. Most of them are not all twenty but five or six as it pertains to the individual. “The prevention of suicide with a highly lethal person is then primarily a matter of addressing and partially alleviating those frustrated psychological needs that are driving that person to suicide. The rule is simple. Mollify the psychache”. (p53) Shneidman believed that these frustrated needs are what caused psychache.

I believe there should be another need, validation. Everyone needs to be validated in order to feel secure and feel okay. Without this, most people feel shamed and dumb, that what they are feeling or experiencing has no meaning or purpose. They may also feel empty and alone as no one understands what they are going through. This need when frustrated or thwarted can lead to suicide.

Shneidman, Edwin. Suicide as Psychache. 1993. Jason Aronson, Inc.

Blog Post 1496

I didn’t have a good sleep. I was tossing and turning most of the night. I didn’t bother looking at the time as my room was still dark. I finally got up when I got successive text messages around 0830. It was a combination of Twitter and the T messages. Twitter was telling me people were liking and retweeting my tweets and the T was telling me of bus delays. I should have put my phone in “Do not disturb” mode. I didn’t have my phone on the charger so I had to put it on. While my phone was charging I decided to have some breakfast and make coffee. The coffee I made a little stronger than I usually do. I thought I would be ok with rounded scoops but I guess not. I know that for next time.

As I was waiting for the water to boil, I decided to put away some dishes in the strainer by the sink. Now I wish I hadn’t as my thigh is hurting me. I wasn’t planning on doing anything today except to write and read. I guess since I am in pain, I can take my pain meds but I hate taking them when I just wake up only to go back to sleep. Maybe if I “wish” the pain away it will. I am just going to be relaxing on my bed anyway, least till lunch. I really want to try and finish the American Gods, but that book is starting to creep me out. The author kills the characters in cruel ways. One character gets sucked into this story after his wife died because she was having an affair with another man. Then comes back from the dead to save him from some men who were good but very bad. She ends up killing these men. It’s all very strange. I have no idea where the story is going or what is going to come next because the main character just got killed. There are still over a 100 pages to read so the story must go on to something. But it’s very creepy and I am not one for creepy. I’m just glad I don’t fall asleep right away after reading this stuff or I think I would have nightmares.

After midnight last night, I emailed my psychiatrist to tell her I survived another day when I really wanted to end my life so badly. I felt like she had to know my struggle that I deal with these days as she is not around. I am still angry about my therapist making me promise to be around this week for her benefit. There was nothing more that I wanted to do yesterday than to take at least four bottles of pills and see what would happen to me. I know the likelihood of me getting sick would be greater than me actually dying. Now that I am still alive, I am feeling ten times more nervous about my appointment with the neurosurgeon tomorrow. Last week it felt like it was ages away and not it’s a little more than 24 hours away. I know nothing is going to happen, least not at this appointment as I need an MRI to determine the course of action. I am not looking forward to the MRI because I have to lie flat for at least 45 minutes and then be injected with contrast. I have bad veins so I need to be hydrated as possible for them to find the suckers. Otherwise, the MRI is useless. They won’t be able to tell new damage from old. The whole thing is just nerve racking, no pun intended.

Next week, I will have a break from my therapist. I am kind of mixed about this. In a way, I like having a breather from her and in another, I know I am going to miss her. It’s going to make the week longer because I won’t have our time to break up the monotony of the week. It might mean I go to Starbucks earlier. I hope to get some writing done. Last night I was working on my “roots” story. I got it up to about 1,300 words and then had to stop as it was close to 0100. I was tired and couldn’t think where else I wanted the story to go. I keep playing with it and try not to repeat myself as I go along. I had a friend of mine read it and she said that it was a good story. I took out the pieces that I pasted in there, thinking it would mesh but it didn’t. Now I got to write another two hundred or so words to make up for those two paragraphs that were worthless.


Quote of the Day 17 Oct 2015

The single most dangerous word in all of Suicidology is the four-letter word only. Edwin Shneidman The Suicidal Mind