about suicide

I had worked on Ramblings 15 today but have decided not to publish it because it is a rant more than anything. I have not been in a happy mood the past few days. Not that I am a happy person to start with, just that I have not been able to sleep at all the past week. It is driving me crazy. I sleep every few hours. It sucks. Last night I finally was able to get at least 5 hrs straight but I still am not in a good mood. I am not suicidal just crazy with sleep deprivation.

I did part of my Christmas shopping today. Now I am worried that I won’t have money to get my license renewed. I still have to pay off one more citation before I can get it renewed. Stupid laws in my state forbid any parking tickets or citations not being paid before renewal. I have to go into town sometime next week to pay off my last one. It’s not a huge pain in the butt but it kind of is. I am not sure if this place allows money order or cash. Some places don’t allow personal checks because they don’t want to deal with them bouncing.

The Savage God: book that I am reading, slowly, about the history of suicide. I find it very disturbing at times and have to read it in increments. It is a good book, just when you feel suicidal it kind of revs you up while you are reading it because you know exactly what the author is writing about.

Speaking of suicides, I recently read an article ( http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/11/27/175710/in-suicide-epidemic-military-wrestles.html ) that a friend of mine posted about how the military is now dealing with the problem. Court Martials and prosecution. Just what the mentally ill needs. I find it abhorrent as the suicide prevention has been set back by 150 years. Just when you think our military has been through enough, they can’t even try and take their own life without consequences. The message is, to me, do it right and die an honorable death. Fail and face prosecution. It is sickening. I don’t think it is going to help the rise of suicides post military service and I don’t think it is going to help those who work in suicide prevention and those that are trying to reach out for help.

South Station

This subway station always gives me a hard time. It is the Penn Station of Boston. I always take the wrong escalator to get to where I need to go. I rely on public transportation to get around as I don’t have a car. Today someone had their butt in my face as I was sitting on the train. Boston has the rudest people. I am, fortunately, not one of them. I tend to always give to the Spare Change people. They are legitimate homeless people who collect a buck or two for their newspaper. It is a legitimate way for the homeless to collect money without panhandling.
Tonight I am going to Stoughton (south of Boston) for dinner with some good friends. I really don’t feel like venturing out in this cold and rainy day but it is a chance to get out of the house so I can’t complain. I am feeling kind of weak for some reason but it is probably because I have not left the house since Saturday and the fact that my sleeping is still messed up.

I tried to get out of my therapy appt tomorrow but my therapist nixed it. I hate it when she does. I recently saw an episode of CSI NY that had a patient go after his therapists other patients so that he could prove his love for her and she could feel the pain that she caused him when she tried to transfer him to another male therapist. He had developed feelings of love for her and I figured that seemed like a good way to get out of my therapist relationship without having to deal with the countertransference/transference piece but it didn’t hold any water. My therapist knows the feelings I have for her and I know the feelings she has for me. I could say we are a match made in heaven but it is strictly on a professional level and nothing more. I am in love with her, though nothing on an intimate plane. It is a very curious relationship we have. We both have feelings for one another yet we know nothing can really become of it. It is a safe relationship.

It is supposed to snow this week in Boston. I hope that my pain levels don’t skyrocket. I never know how the cold is going to affect me. Sometimes it doesn’t and sometimes I am paralyzed by it. It really sucks when I am paralyzed by pain. I can’t do anything but stay in bed and relax.

My new glasses are still causing me problems but I think it is starting to be a medical thing as my vision has been blurry for no reason and will cut out more so without the glasses than with. I have not had any migraines so it not because of that. I will be contacting my PCP soon, probably tomorrow to try and make an appt to try and figure it out. I hate it when things like this happen to me.

Addmendum: on my way home I almost lost my wallet and had panic that I think caused a mini heart attack you get when all is lost. I had put the wallet in a pocket I never use, in this case my back pocket. I kept on checking my front pockets because why would I check the back? I can be an idiot sometimes…

a phone call

One crazy day at work I received a phone call from a number I didn’t recognize. I let it go to voicemail as I figured it was some bill collector. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Not only did this person leave me a message for me to call him back but he said that it was urgent to do so. This man was Dr. Edwin Shneidman, the father of suicidology. He was a man I deeply respected because of his work in trying to understand psychache and suicide. He was the first pioneer to create a suicide prevention center in the United States. He has spent his life trying to develop a scale for psychache and psychological pain assessment. Psychache is the unbearable psychological pain (despair, grief, guilt, hopelessness, frustration, perturbation, and pain all rolled into one). It is this pain that he and I believe causes people to think about taking their life. I sent him my paper “Is suicide caused by psychological pain?” and he wanted to talk to me about the pain scales I had mentioned. He was fascinated that there was a scale to measure physical pain but (as I argued) not for psychache. He was always thinking about how to have a psychometric assessment to gauge a person’s psychache.

Dr. Shneidman began his career by interpreting suicide notes. He began collecting them after he was sent to the morgue for confirmation of suicide autopsy. He and his colleague Farberow lead the early work of this important tool in forensic suicidology. In addition to this, he also co-founded the Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Center, the first in the United States to have one.

His message to me was for me to return his call and quickly (he wasn’t in the best of health). I didn’t know what to say to him or what he wanted of me. I was extremely nervous. Looking back I don’t remember too much of what we talked about. I know that we were on the phone what seemed like a half hour or so. I was too stunned to really remember anything but I know that he talked about his ill health and that he wanted to know what the physical pain scale was so I printed some off for him and sent them post haste to his house in LA. He died about a month afterwards.
After our conversation, my therapist was convinced I was going to be the next Shneidman. I would continue to follow in his work and in a way I have in my own way. I have book or downloaded/printed every article he ever wrote on the subject. I have scores of files on him. I also have the same on David Jobes but that is another matter.

about sleep

Sleep is a wonderful thing unless you don’t get it.

Past few weeks I have been having some major troubles sleeping. I don’t know why as I take enough meds to knock out a horse. I sleep in 3 hr increments so I had a total of nine interrupted hours of sleeping, this is after I fell asleep at 6 am this morning. Now it is nine o’clock and I am still tired and want to go to sleep but I know that I won’t.

I knew I wouldn’t do much of anything today once it hit 4 am and I was still awake. I had something to eat, peas and rice, and now I am so full. I guess that is why I am so sleepy. For the first time all week I don’t have heartburn.

Tomorrow starts my motivation of a friend. I hope that I will be able to keep to task. My friend has faith in me so I hope I don’t let her down.

Going to finish watching M*A*S*H. I love the show. I got the whole season collection at a good price. Now I can watch it any time I want to, wish is now.

Until tomorrow and thank you for reading.

Holidays: struggle between meaning and hope

Our lives are filled with charades and facades. If you are depressed and don’t want anyone to know, the façade becomes even more ingrained with the self. On the outside, people see you as happy, maybe even without a care in the world while inside you are dying and hurting inside. It takes all the effort you have to make it through the day. At the end of the day, you are more tired than you were when you woke up. The mental exhaustion of a façade cannot be underestimated. This is the face of chronic depression at its worse.

What can really bring one to their knees is the holiday season, a time that is supposed to be filled with love, joy, giving, and happiness. How are you supposed to feel that when you feel like the scum of the earth most of the time? It is very difficult to hold two faces, the face that everyone sees with friends and family, coworkers, etc. and then the face that no one sees when you are alone at night, away from the demands of life. I have struggled for years with this façade and it has taken its toll on me. I think it takes a toll on every one. We cannot allow ourselves to feel down because we have to be the one that is strong for everyone else. It is this internal battle that we face, the “I feel sad and lonely inside but I have to pretend to be happy and feeling connected to others”. That is the struggle that leads to more hurt and pain on the inside. The hope for us is that tomorrow will be a better day, even though there is a part of ourselves that know that it won’t be. We cannot hide the pessimism. It is the real self that always shines through no matter what kind of happy façade we are pretending.

With the holidays, this struggle becomes more intense and the more intense it becomes, the more the disappointment we feel. If we act like a Scrooge, we are treated like a Scrooge and told to lighten up, if we act like Bob Cratchet, hiding the need for help, we end up losing Tiny Tim, which leads to depression of spirits much like the story goes before Scrooge intervenes in the end. Scrooge is one of my favorite all time movies and I think it really captures what it is like to be humble like Crachet and grumpy like Scrooge.

We all don’t always feel miserable all the time but there is a stress in the holidays that always seems unbearable. Psychiatric hospital admissions go up, the requests for detox goes up. Everyone wants to make a new start to the new year. And with that the hope that things will change. That the misery that is felt today will be gone tomorrow. That is the struggle those of us with chronic depression deal with every day and sometimes even those without depression have it as well.