Is it possible to be happy while being horribly suicidal?

Is it possible to be happy while being horribly suicidal?

Today while waiting for the bus, I was listening to my music. It wasn’t the normal playlist I usually listen to but I was playing all my songs in my music file. A few songs came on that I really love and I caught myself singing along and just feeling happy. It got me wondering what the hell was going on because the past few weeks I have been so suicidal. Hell, last Friday was my death date that I didn’t go through with and yet I still feel the urge to end my life. Yet here I was, singing along to the music like I didn’t have a care in the world.

I know people feel relieved once they make the decision to end their life. It’s like a burden is no longer on their shoulders. That the tasks that were impossible are now possible because things are going to end soon for them. I know this because I have felt it. I have gone through it. Yet somehow, some way, I have managed to survive the death dates and the horrible suicidal thoughts that have plagued me since I was young. My therapist calls me the exception to the rule. I some times call myself a coward for not going through with my plans. After all, I always keep my promises to other people but I never have been able to keep a promise to myself, and that include ending my life at some future date.

I wonder if I have finally lost my mind because I was happy this afternoon. How is it possible to feel joy and happiness after a suicidal episode? It didn’t last too long. Just for a few songs and then I started thinking about writing this blog because I think it’s important to talk about. Suicide claims over 40,000 lives each year in the US alone. Today happens to be “World Mental Health Day”. So I find it even more fitting to talk about suicide.

I’m not going to talk about statistics and data that I could bore you with about suicide. I have just my experience and knowledge that I have learned since studying about this epidemic the past 8 years. When I am not suicidal, I try to learn as much as I can about the treatments for it because it might help me through another episode. There is a lot of research out there. The top ones are CAMS, CBT, and DBT. I have given DBT a try and didn’t like it. That was more than 17 years ago and it has evolved just like CAMS has evolved over the last 25 years.

CAMS (Collaborating and Assessment of Managing Suicide) was developed by Dr. David Jobes and is by far, in my opinion, the best way to manage suicidal episodes. It is comprehensive, easy to administer and score, has a treatment plan, and doesn’t involve more paperwork than regular clinical administrative stuff. That is what I love about this tool. In it you use the forms called the Suicide Status Form to assess suicidal plans and also develop treatment strategies with the client instead of for the client. It’s a collaborative approach because everyone’s suicidal episode is not the same. What causes me to feel suicidal is not going to be the same for the next person.

Brief Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been shown to help those with suicidal thoughts and attempts. It can be used in conjunction with CAMS after assessment has been made. It’s important because this therapy helps with the cognition of suicide better than any other treatment. See the work of Craig Bryan for more information about this.

Despite my happiness lasting for a few moments in time today, I still feel a little content, which is better than I have felt the last few months. I don’t know why this has changed and I hope it’s not the bipolar in me shifting to mania. I always get worried when I am not depressed because it is what I am so used to. But I will take it. Tomorrow maybe totally different than today. Hell, tonight might be totally different than what I feel right now. But I don’t feel like taking my life today, and I think that is a good thing.

Jar of Frosting

Jar of Frosting

The other day I made pumpkin cupcakes, with the hope of taking them to my therapist today. I have half a jar of cream cheese frosting left over. I think I am going to have it for a snack, along with the cupcakes. I feel totally miserable. My back is still out for whatever reason. And what is worse, is I am out of my regular pain meds. I was supposed to call today to have the appointment moved to Friday as next Tuesday is no good. But after therapy, I just went back to sleep and didn’t get up again until my mother called me for dinner.

I didn’t do anything today. I just rested my back. My sister is going to pick up my prescription at walgreens. I couldn’t go today because I could barely stand up straight, let alone walk to the store and back. I really hate the temperature changes and I know my back is out because it was 70 degrees yesterday and 50 today.

I got the refund from Zipcar for my cancelation. I plan on getting another Zipcar next week so I can see my therapist. I hope to make her the pumpkin fluff I want to try. I just need to get vanilla pudding. I have been feeling paranoid lately so I have been trying to take the trilafon a little more regularly. I forgot to take it this afternoon when I was on the phone with my therapist. I just took it now after dinner, along with three Aleve to see if that helps my back any. The other NSAID that I take doesn’t really help me at all. I have stopped using it. I wish Ketoprofen still worked for me. It worked really well for a while and then stopped for whatever reason. It was really good for back pain.

My therapist talked a lot about food today, even without me bringing it up. I thought it was strange. She felt bad that I didn’t see her today but she understood. I told her I didn’t get much sleep last night because of pain. I don’t think I went to sleep till around 5 and then I woke up around a half hour later to pee. I also was hungry so I had some cupcakes. Then I went back to sleep until my damn mother called me wanting me to put something in the freezer. I was so out of it, I don’t even remember what she wanted me to place in the freezer. Luckily, I woke up a half hour before my therapy appointment.

I told her about the CBT. She is supportive about it and hope that it helps. I told her flat out that it’s my last hope, which I also emailed my psychiatrist at god knows what time in the morning. I know I wrote a blog in the middle of the night to help me sleep. Pain was causing me such havoc. It was more so with my ankle than with my back. My therapist wanted to know why I chose that form of therapy and I told her the research supports it. I found a long PDF about chronic pain and CBT but I couldn’t read it as it was late and I hate reading PDF’s from the computer screen. It was 124 pages so I didn’t want to print it out. I will try reading it later today, if I am up for it. I am still sleepy.

I told her our schedule might have to change when this resident calls me. I don’t know what the availability is. I am hoping it is a day that I don’t have therapy. But we’ll see. I told her I will stress that I want this for chronic pain and not depression. If this resident doesn’t do chronic pain CBT then I will have to look elsewhere, though it will be another setback.

Cooking and Baking Pumpkin Goodies and other things

Cooking and Baking Pumpkin Goodies and other things

One thing I love about Facebook is that people share recipes of all kinds. I have found some really good pumpkin recipes over the last two years. One is a “Better than Sex Pumpkin Cake”. The first time I had it, I must have eaten half of it and made myself sick. I couldn’t eat anything pumpkin for a while. It was so damn good, I couldn’t stop myself, even without the cool whip on top. I was going through my “memory” thing and I found this recipe again and have decided to make it again next weekend when I have all the ingredients. You are supposed to put like caramel sauce and Heath bar bits in it but I found it scrumptious without that stuff. Just having the sweetened condensed milk on top was sweet enough.

I also am going to make my pumpkin cupcakes again. This time I will share them with my therapist so they don’t go to waste. I am the only pumpkin eater, so to speak, in my house and I can’t eat all of them. My brother in law likes pumpkin too but he doesn’t like sweets so he’ll have just one or two and that will leave me with the rest of the batch.

I also will be buying some pie crusts so I can make pumpkin pie. This time I will remember to put sugar in it! My first time making it, I forgot. It didn’t taste that great. I thought the condensed milk would be sweet enough but I was wrong. Live and learn!

I really love baking more than I like cooking, but I hate clean up. If I didn’t have to clean up after I baked or cooked something, I probably would do it more. I guess it’s good that my mother cooks dinner because otherwise, I don’t think I would eat supper. I probably would stick with the basics of a sandwich of some kind or hot dogs.

Hot water heater update: I found out that my brother in law is waiting for a part to come in and that is why we still have no hot water. Why the hell he just didn’t go to Home Depot to get this part is beyond me. I really need to take a shower as it’s been almost a week since I last took one. I feel disgusting. Doesn’t help that it’s muggy out so when I leave my room, I sweat. I plan on trying to take a shower tomorrow morning at my sister’s. I will take my cell with me just in case something happens. I really want to go out tomorrow. I am craving espresso with soy milk, and a burrito. Thursday, I am to meet up with a friend for coffee at Starbucks. I really can’t wait. I haven’t seen her since a few weeks after my father died. Her husband had died maybe a month or so before my father so both had suffered losses. We really tried to stay upbeat and we laughed more than we cried. She is a good friend.

Friday I see my psychiatrist. It’s wicked late in the afternoon. It was the only time she had available so I took it. I haven’t really emailed her since telling her about the CBT intake calling me back. I know she might ask me what my date is. I had emailed her the blog posts concerning it. I haven’t even let my therapist know what the date is. It is soon and I am not taking it off until I know the CBT is on or not. It’s my last chance of dealing with the pain. I just hope there isn’t a shit load of paperwork involved but there might be. I might have to grin and bear it. It’s going to be a tough thing to do because I hate the mentality of “if you don’t do this, you aren’t going to get better” attitude.

Ankle Chronicles 13

Ankle Chronicles 13

It’s after midnight and I can’t seem to settle down. And it’s not because the Sox won tonight. I wish it was from my excitement but the game ended like two hours ago. Nope, I am up because of pain. My foot started hurting me and the pain has now spread to my toes. It’s excruciating. I just took some Neurontin and some pain meds. I have to wait for them to kick in before I can think about lying down.

I think it’s time I try something like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) to help me deal with pain. It’s not a cure but it might help me manage in better ways. There was a place in Brookline but they don’t accept chronic mentally ill patients like me, specifically those that have suffered any type of abuse or need long term care. So I am going to try and find a therapist where my psychiatrist works. I have to call the intake and be put on the “CBT wait list”. I don’t know how long that will be. I have no idea how this is going to do down. I am going to have to enlist the help of my psych to see if she can expedite the process. CBT is not something I believe in, but it has been shown to help those with chronic pain, so I might as well try it again. I just hope it isn’t a bunch of paperwork and shit. I can’t imagine filling out papers while in the middle of a flare up. I already want to rip what little hair I have on my head (I have short hair) or cut off my damn ankle.

If the list is a long wait, I might not last. I have 3 weeks before my death date comes. I am willing to postpone it if the wait is not longer than say two months. I don’t think I can hold out longer than that as the flare ups have become so unbearable. I hope that my suicidality doesn’t hinder me getting in to see someone. That will really fucking suck and I will feel so dejected. I also hope that because I have an established therapist, they don’t say see ya. This is a specific treatment and one I am willing to give a try if they will just give me a chance. I am really nervous about this because it has been so long since I have gone through an intake process. That is why I am hoping my psych can help with the process a little bit.

I am so damn tired and really want to lie down and sleep. But I know that if I lie down, the pain could get worse and then I will have to sit up again. I kind of wait until I can no longer keep my eyes open and then I lie down. I am usually out by that time. I don’t really sleep very well or very long, but it beats having to lie down and then sit up. It’s a game I play most nights and it’s not fun. It drives the voices crazy because they want to keep talking to me and if I keep popping up, they want to talk more. Or the music in my head gets really loud and I have to play music to drown it out, which then keeps me up for at least another hour or so.

I can’t escape this stupidity. It drives the suicidality all the more because I just want to escape from it all. The pain, the voices, the depression, everything. I was writing to a friend about my troubles and she said that I need to do something, like get involved in something or get a pet. I couldn’t handle being responsible for a pet. It’s a big responsibility, even if my mother allowed it to happen. I know my friend meant well and all, but she just wants me to stick around for a long time. She also doesn’t want to lose me. She understands my suicidality. She knows that my suicidal ideation is not over something trivial.