surviving depression 23 June 2006

June 23, 2006

I know what you are going through. Sometimes I think that everyone would be better off without me. The only thing that is keeping me alive these days is my word to my therapist that I won’t go through with my thoughts. The pain of living is just too much to bare right now. My therapist often asks me how I get through this. There is a quote that I keep telling her that I got from one of Kay Redfield Jamison’s book, “Only one option left, to suffer”. She is my inspiration as she has bipolar disorder, tried to die by suicide, and is one of the leading researchers/teachers of the disorder. I know it doesn’t make sense to suffer all the time but millions of people out there do it everyday. We few that are in this group do it every day, though it is most difficult and we come from different backgrounds and sections of the world. I know it sucks, but the trick is to realize when we feel this way, it is NOT our true selves, it is the disorder that is talking. I know we all feel like scum of the earth for no reason other than for being allowed to breathe, to be something called alive that we wish we didn’t have to be. One reason why I have read so much about depression and there are a lot of good books out there, is that you have to know the disorder, understand it, then you can know what to do, sometimes when it isn’t hitting you on the head with a 60 lb hammer. Sometimes knowing the demons is better than not knowing them. I know that it isn’t always easy when our physical bodies wreck our lives and we are no longer feel apart of the human race because our b&b are not functioning and we have physical pain that is driving us insane. But things aren’t always going to be this way. One of the books that I had read said that suicide is complete in 10 minutes and if you wait out those ten mins, you will survive. The same thing goes for depression. Though instead of 10 mins, it’s more like 10 days or more. But it doesn’t last. Eventually it lifts, and we return to “normal” functioning until the next episode. The HARDEST part of this fucking disorder is that we forget that we have survived the worse of it. Every time we are stuck in an episode, we think it is for the first time, that we are NEVER going to feel better, ever. I am telling you that you are. No matter how hopeless you feel right now, tomorrow might be a better day and if it is not, least you survived today. Worry about tomorrow, tomorrow I’ll be here for you. Count on it.

About the mood stabilizers, I suffer from bipolar depression, which is a little different than major depression. I sometimes have periods where I am really hyper, don’t sleep, eat, think I am on top of the world, talk excessively, and can’t stand still. These periods don’t last too long, maybe a week or two, then I either have a period of being normal and/or crash big time. I take Trileptal for it and it has helped some with the Cymbalta. Trileptal is an anti-convulsant that is used a “mood stabilizer”. There are other drugs that are used, but you should be seen by a psychiatrist for evaluation. Most GP’s don’t have a clue about psychotropic meds and it isn’t a good idea for them to play around with it if you don’t have the diagnosis.

Fear of suicide (revision to blog of 6 Feb 2013)

Fear of suicide.

This statement can be taken one of two ways. The first is that some people are afraid to talk about suicide for fear of sparking ideation or thinking about suicide. The second is that when
someone knows you are feeling low and have attempted before, they are afraid of losing that person and react in ways that may or may not help that person. Suicide attempters are at higher risk than non-attempters.

I’ll talk about the second interpretation first. I have a friend who is having me motivate her into
writing by having me contact her every day for six weeks. What sparked this was, she read my blog about my recent near-suicide attempt. Now her ulterior motive is to keep me alive the only way she can think of, by having me write to her every day. In return, she has to write at least two pages a day for her own well-being. She needs my help to pursue her writing, which is important to her more than anything. We are also guarding a human connection that is valuable to us. My writing keeps me alive, and because she doesn’t want to let me down, that helps her to write. She has this idea that people need human connection in order to stay connected to what they truly need to do, even if that connection is between polar opposites. She is bubbly and athletic, a motivational speaker, while I’m someone who is in chronic pain and disabled because of it.

I have to say that since I have been writing, I have been in better space. I would not say that I feel more connected, but I don’t want to let her down, so I try and write a little each day. Our rules are to email each other when we are done, and we are allowed our birthdays and Christmas off. For days where it is not possible for me to write because of whatever reason, we have given each other three passes on writing. Sometimes, because my pain or sleep deprivation is intolerable I find that it can help me be creative and write about things. I don’t have a censor when I write. Whatever I think at that moment, I write it out. Sometimes I find that writing it on paper helps more than writing in a word document.

I sometimes feel exposed because I am bearing my soul to this person I met through a friend on Facebook. We both belong to the same organization for suicide prevention. I am guessing that because she thinks of me as a sibling, and she did lose her sister to suicide many years ago, she does not want me to end up that way.

I write often because it is an outlet for me and my emotions. I am anonymous when it comes to my blog but not too much, as I pass these blogs on to my personal Facebook site, where my family members can have access to it if they were inclined to read it. Most often they do not because they are not online as much as my other friends are. I do not tell my family what I am doing. It would be heartbreaking and awkward for them to read what I write and then get asked at the dinner table what I meant by something I wrote. To be honest, half the stuff I write about, I forget. It’s an outlet like no other.

I am not going to lie and pretend that I don’t think about killing myself every day. It is a constant struggle, and I think that I worry a lot of my close friends who actually get to know me or who read my blogs about my struggles. But I think the reason why my blog has been so successful is because people can relate to what I write.

As far as the fear that talking about suicide can bring about a suicidal crisis, that is a common myth. Talking about suicide can actually prevent one, but some people are just not comfortable with the subject, and so they will say stuff that they think the person who is miserable wants to hear, like. “You have your life ahead of you,” “Don’t be so down, things could be worse,” or my favorite “You have so much to live for.”

People don’t understand the pain that is involved in depression or in thinking about suicide. I have problems. Quite a few. I have mental illness and chronic physical and mental pain. Both make me want to take my life. I have been thinking about taking my life since I was 8 years old. I was in a lot of pain for some reason or another, and it never got taken care of. Today, I think that pain stems from the fact that I am really a male and not a female. I knew at a young age that I was different, and back then, there was no expressing how I truly felt. I really think that if I had gotten help sooner, this would have come to light sooner, and I wouldn’t be in this pickle today about what to do with my transition.

I’ve started a new journal. And like every other journal before it, the first thing that goes into it is my crisis response plan which is the following (taken from the Air Force Guide to Managing Suicidal Behavior-Appendices)

When thinking about suicide, I agree to do the following:

Step 1: Try to identify my thoughts and specifically what’s upsetting me
Step 2: Write out and review more reasonable responses to my suicidal thoughts
Step 3: Do things that help me feel better for at least 30 minutes (examples can include trying to sleep, playing internet games, listening to music, etc.)
Step 4: Repeat all of the above
Step 5: If thoughts continue or get specific, and I find myself preparing to do something, I will call a suicide hotline or someone that I trust sometimes hotlines aren’t so helpful but calling a friend is
Step 6: If I cannot reach the above, I will call my therapist or psychiatrist
Step 7: If I am still feeling suicidal and I don’t feel like I can control my behavior, I will go to the ER or call 911

I have found having this useful when I have been hospitalized because it provides a plan of something that they need for discharge, and I always carry my journal.

discouraged and fatigued

I have serious mental illness that disrupts my thoughts and shifts my mood to hopelessness and suicidal in an instant. I lose motivation to do things. Just getting out of the house is hard. 2 this condition is flat out driving me insane.

I asked my physio what are the goals of therapy and she laid it out for me and stressed I need to be doing the home exercises to regain what I have lost. It is stressing me out that going to my appts and then having to rest the day after or two is not working. I’m still in pain. She wants me to go to some functional program. But it takes full commitment, 2 or 3 days of being there 8-2pm. I honestly don’t know if I can do that. Some days I can’t get out of bed because I’ve been up all night in pain. Monday’s are worse because I have to walk to my therapist’s office. I just don’t know what to do. I just want to lay around the house and go to Starbucks and write. But pain is limiting me to even do that. I’m not adequately controlled with my pain so how the hell can I do these exercises if I hurt. Just fed up and want to quit everything.

I don’t know what to do anymore. My PT emailed me with goals and wanting me to go to a functional program at a different SRH location. My depression makes doing anything hard. Pain compounds this. I haven’t been doing much with the home exercises because I am exhausted after going to an appt the day before or even going to PT appt. PT is saying I need to commit to the therapy to regain function (haven’t had function in my ankle for 17 yrs mind you) and decrease fatigue in my foot/ankle. I’m starting to feel like a failure but I am not getting adequate pain control and I don’t know if I ever will. Just making breakfast today and taking out the trash hurt me. Making the squash killed me. Going up and down stairs hurts every single day and I do that a lot. Add the PT and it will overflow me. I feel like I am drowning. I am out of the house at least 3 times a week. I just can’t keep up. I move I hurt. I don’t move I hurt. How can I win?

If I don’t get adequate pain control soon, I am just going to end it. Why bother?

Can anyone understand??

Can anyone understand?

So flipping fed up. After I made my squash and was putting it away my whole ankle and foot seized up. Told my mother I wasn’t sure how I was going to go upstairs. She says I need to rest until the pain goes away. Frack!! Really? I could rest for days and it will still hurt. Then she says I go up and down the stairs sometimes like it is nothing. No. It still fracking hurts. I still have pain. Then she says not to yell at her, it’s not her fault. JFC. So fucking done. Taking an Ativan. Can’t deal anymore!! No one fricken understands. If resting worked, I should be cured by now.

I watched cat and dog videos after I sent this to my psychiatrist. I am just having a bad pain day. I am so stressed out. I am worried about tomorrow as I will be seeing a new doctor. I have no idea how it will go. I have been trying to stay together just for this appointment. If it goes poorly, I don’t think I can handle it. I feel like there is no understanding anymore. I am skeptical this doc will allow me to get hormones to be the man I know I am. It is just so difficult. I have chronic pain that is driving me insane and the walk I got to take tomorrow to get to the building is a ways from the station. I plan on making a detour so I can get my Starbucks before the appointment. I wish someone was going with me but at the same time I don’t think I could handle company. I have no idea when the bus will come as I usually don’t take it that early in the morning. My appt is at 0830 and I got to be there early as my name has changed since I was there. I have decided not to use Medicare as my insurance, just keep my BCBS. I think it will be easier that way. I am paranoid that if I use Medicare for my transition, I might be on a list of some kind and the government will get me as long as Cheeto is in “charge”.

I made the butternut squash, as I said before. I used too much brown sugar so it is really sweet. I used half a cup. I should have went with a quarter. Oh well. It was still good. My mother is making a stir fry tonight with rice so I will have it as well. I bought a Pyrex loaf pan with a lid so I can make the zucchini bread and have a place to store it. My mother is using both her cake storage containers so I don’t have a place to store the bread once I make it. I will see how I am Saturday, though I plan on changing my sheets then. All depends if this pain settles down some. I can function if it is below a 7. Right now it is close to a 13 and am just crying. I took my pain meds though I didn’t want to. I really don’t think they work for me anymore. I am just dependent on them. Either that or my pain has just been so bad there is nothing to take for it. It is a new pain, not my normal kind of pain, that I have been experiencing.

I emailed Dell to find out if I could get a memory upgrade or if I am stuck with what I have. I think I can upgrade my hard drive but I am not sure. If I can’t use the memory that I bought, I will sell it on Amazon or someplace. I doubt I can return it. Still mad at myself that I bought a cheap laptop to stay cheap. I only need more RAM so I can run Facebook without the memory flag going off. So stupid.

I think I am going to put on some lidocaine. It might not help 100% but it might just bring my pain down to bearable. Fucking 13 is not fun. I seriously am thinking of cutting it off, and probably would if I had the implements to do it.

I forgot to take my morning blood pressure pills when I woke up this morning. I will take the night dose. I have been checking my BP to make sure it doesn’t get high or low and to keep an eye on my pulse.

paranoia and other fun things, not

Paranoia and other fun things, not

I met with my therapist today and told him that I have been increasingly paranoid the last few days. I am not sure if it started with my email being hacked or not. I just can’t shake the feeling I am being watched by someone/thing. It’s making me feel really uncomfortable. I also have been feeling like my psychiatrist and PCP have been conspiring against me and putting things in my medical record as well as watching me. When I told him, he thought my meds should be tweaked and I should call my psychiatrist. I was scared of calling her, because she is out to get me. I said I would when I got home.

I came home and got a dizzy attack. I think it is probably because I am dehydrated because despite it being cold, I have been sweating. I wore a heavy sweatshirt and when I walk, I just sweat. I was expecting it to snow or rain so wore my winter jacket. I was also roasting in my therapist’s office. It was way too warm. I broke down and called my psychiatrist. I didn’t want to email her because I knew that would feed into my delusion of her feeding my medical records. She called back and we talked. She told me she wasn’t watching me or adding stuff to my medical record. I felt a little better but wasn’t 100% convinced. She didn’t want to do anything med wise but wants me to call her in a few days. I am tempted to take some trilafon but that hasn’t helped with paranoia at all. Helps with my delusion and voices but not the paranoia. I really don’t want to increase the Invega anyways because that will just mean weight gain. I still haven’t been able to lose the weight I gained since starting it. Course I haven’t really tried either. But that is another story.

I haven’t had dinner yet. My mother called me when I got to the station just as a train was pulling in asking when I would be home. I told her I was on my way home and she said dinner was ready. That’s nice. Least I will have food when I am hungry later. I think once the dizzy spell subsides, I might be hungry.

I’m feeling really scared because of this feeling of being watched, even when I am alone in my room. I am tempted to close the window and drapes but then it will get hot in my room. I really hate this feeling and I can’t shake it. Music has been helping as a sort of background noise for me. I don’t know why, but it helps. I guess it just takes my mind off the feeling and I feel something else through the music. I think it’s kind of weird that since this has started, the music stuff that normally plays in my head has stopped or isn’t as loud as it was. My voices have stayed the same, no new ones. I hope that doesn’t change. It’s awful feeling like you are being monitored, even when you are alone. I might close the window and just turn on the ceiling fan. There has been a weird light that shines in my room and then goes off which hasn’t helped my suspicions.

I need to go to the LGBT website to see if there are papers I need filled out before my appointment with their doctor. I can’t believe in less than two weeks, I see him. It felt so far away before but now is becoming a reality. I just hope there isn’t some medical or psych reason to prevent me getting testosterone. I can’t live in the body like it is. It is driving me crazy because I feel like a man and stuff and then I look at my chest and it just crushes me. It hurts so bad inside and makes me just want to crawl under a rock and die. I know I won’t be able to handle any rejection about this. It will kill me. But I am trying not to think about it or it may feed into my paranoia. Last thing I need is to reschedule the appt because of a hospitalization so I hope this passes soon or at least doesn’t get worse.