An idiot, I am

Pain got the best of me this morning. Early this morning I was ready to doze off finally after being up all night. Laid down and within 15 minutes, pain got worse. I had enough so I got the elixir out. I wasn’t sure how it was going to taste. I took a swig. It was peppery and I checked the ingredients to make sure it didn’t have pepper in it or my stomach was going to reject my attempt. I kept taking shots but nothing was happening. I waited an hour. Nothing. By now it was like 6 am. I maybe dozed off for an hour or two, not consecutively though. By 0700, I gave up. The stuff wasn’t causing a reaction. I was mad and pissed and a jumble of other emotions.

I texted my therapist at midnight saying I wasn’t going to see her tomorrow. She thought it was today so allowed me to cancel. Mood was all over the place. Then she texted saying she couldn’t see me because she was really sick. That was the last text I got from her. I sent her a few more but got nothing. I went about my day.

I went to see my friend at the Navy Yard. We chatted for a few before he had to go back to work. I then went off for my appt with OT. We discussed the caths and stuff related. I asked her what would be best in cathing in bed and she told me it might be easier but I could get too comfortable with it that it would be the only place I would. Right now I am just planning on doing it when my ankle is 12+ level pain so I don’t have to go downstairs. I got a urinal and she showed me an type of catheter with a bag from the same company that makes the ones I use. She is going to recommend them to my uro so she can order them for me. These will be so much easier as then I don’t have to worry too much about wetting the bed with an accidental miss. Throughout the conversation I was having trouble keeping it. Concussion symptoms were in high gear today. Memory was finicky at best and my thoughts were not always on point. I would forget mid-sentence what I was saying and then totally blank out completely. Didn’t help that I sleep deprived.

After the appt, I went grocery shopping. I wanted burgers and turkey bacon. 4 things and I wiped out when I got home. I wanted to nap but couldn’t. I asked my mother to make burgers. She did, almost using the two pounds of meat I bought. I told her not to use all of it because I wanted to make dirty gravy. Now I need to buy more meat, which means going out in the storm tomorrow. Fucking fuck. I am so pissed she just did what she wanted with my stuff.

The only side effect from my failed attempt is a sore throat. I haven’t officially told anyone. I feel more hopeless and useless now than i did before. I put in a call to the NP as the therapist wanted me to involve her in this. She (NP) never called me so not sure when or if she will. I texted the therapist about it. Still got no response so she must really be sick. I don’t know if she is going to figure out i duped her with appt days. I did ask saying if there was an opening to let me know. I cannot see her Thurs but will if i have to. I see the behavioral med psychologist then. I cannot see the therapist and him on the same day as insurance won’t allow it.

I really don’t want to let on I tried to end things today. I feel like I will get in trouble if I do or worse, get placed back in the hospital. I will know more tomorrow if the therapist is feeling better.

Wed morning I see the concussion specialist. I am being evaluated for a TBI, which is what a concussion is, a traumatic brain injury, though a mild one. I am having a lot of symptoms so hope they can help. I know I have been bad about screen time and resting my brain. It is so hard though doing absolutely nothing sitting in the dark. I wouldn’t mind if I was drugged out on something or maybe I just need an ativan to help me sleep while my brain recovers. I still am getting headaches and pain at the back of my head where I banged it. Short term memory is shot. I can’t remember things like i used to and i have to write stuff down. The OT suggested I have an alarm set to start being on a bladder schedule so i know when to pee. I think i am going to put it in my med app as i can order it for every 6 hours or so without disrupting the time schedule. Trick would be at night so i don’t wake up in the early morning hours just to empty my bladder. But if i should have to, i now have the urinal and obviously the caths to do it. The OT also gave me a few higher quality chux pads. That was really nice of her. Now I can order them through Amazon. I haven’t decided if I should get disposable ones or washable. The price is pretty much the same, except for washable you get 4, disposable I think is 50. If I get the washable, I won’t have to reorder them, which would be nice.

I am feeling pretty worthless about failing, again. I guess I am just not meant to die. And this bothers me so much.

Psychache scale

hello,

I am probably breaking the rules but this is my version of the Holden psychache scale that he used in this paper Development and preliminary validation of a scale of psychache.
By Holden, Ronald R.,Mehta, Karishma,Cunningham, E. Jane,McLeod, Lindsay D.
Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science / Revue canadienne des sciences du comportement, Vol 33(4), Oct 2001, 224-232

I modified it from the original to suit my needs. You can get the original scale by getting the article. Here is also a blog I wrote on the research article (click here)

PS blank

About suicide hotlines: My thoughts

About suicide hotlines: My thoughts

some hotlines: Crisis text line 741741, National Suicide hotline 1-800-273-8255, Trans Lifeline 877-565-8860, Trevor Project for LNGTQ 866-488-7386

After a 9 year old that came out as gay to his friend and then killed himself, there has been an increase in sending out the suicide hotline numbers. While I know that sending out and calling does help people, there are other that feel too hopeless and alone, maybe feeling ashamed, maybe feeling no one will understand, and therefore won’t reach out.

One thing that is often said in hindsight of a suicide is why? Why didn’t I see the signs? But knowing the signs are not enough. Often when confronted, people with suicidal thoughts or maybe even planning a suicide, will deny it. It is a sensitive issue. A private issue. I know when my best friend told me at the age of 11 to seek help, my response was “I am not crazy”. With stigma, it is hard to approach someone who is suicidal. Often, there is the thought, no way this person is thinking of suicide, not my child, friend, co-worker, etc. They may deny it and say they don’t because it is against their religion or maybe the person who asks, frightens their friend or family member for fear of being stopped or if they do say yes, the person who asks responds with “don’t do something stupid” or “I will kill you if you do this”, which further alienates the suffering person. I’ve had this experience from two different people. I’ve never understood this logic. I still don’t.

My point of all this is people who are depressed ad suicidal need to feel safe in order to talk openly about their feelings. Often calling a hotline takes a lot of effort to even pick up the phone or dial the number. It is so scary because they are afraid they will be turned away and that holds people back. Or maybe they have phone anxiety like me. The Crisis Text Line is super for those people. But it is still scary to admit they are having suicidal feelings. They don’t know what will happen when they call or text.

In this case of this little boy who apparently was bullied, I don’t know if he would have had access to a phone to reach out and seek help. We often think those under the age of 10 cannot think about suicide but the numbers are growing. I know when I was eight I started having suicidal thoughts and made my first attempt at age 10. I didn’t tell anyone about this besides my best friend. He was probably sick of me talking about it so told me to reach out and then I shut down. I stopped talking about it but the thoughts were still there. When I was 12 I did reach out to Samaritans. I talked to a nice British speaking lady. I was very scared to call. I never had another good experience calling a hotline again. I was often rushed off the phone once I mentioned that I was suicidal.

About Therapists

About therapists

I have been thinking about writing this for a while, just an overview about the many therapists I have had from all different degrees and orientations. I started off seeing a school counselor. She was getting her degree in counseling, though I am not sure if it was as a school counselor or a social worker. We only saw each other for a few months and then when school started again, I started seeing a social worker that worked at another school. She was good. Had the idea that I shouldn’t use drugs or alcohol. We had a “safety contract”, which my first 10 or so did. It mostly said I wouldn’t kill myself until the next meeting and if I did feel like acting to go to the emergency room or call 911. I only saw her for about 10 months. She left and I saw someone new, a person who was also seeking their degree. I basically feel like she took advantage of me and was only interested in collecting my insurance. Nothing got worked on. I was hospitalized every three months, the last one was when I came out as “gay”. Transgender was never talked about with any therapist until the one I saw prior to my current therapist.

As I had state insurance, therapists were coming and going. By the 10th one, I was tired of them leaving so I left the system for private as I then had private insurance. Only problem was that this therapist didn’t take my insurance. When I switched in 2001, we saw each other for a month before my disc blew and then I didn’t see her again for another three months. We kept in touch by phone. It was a lot to go through. I didn’t talk about my psych issues as I just had my physical health jeopardized. We worked together for sixteen years. All throughout, I was suicidal. But I had the odd hospitalization because we worked on stabilizing using frequent contact. We saw each other sometimes three times a week when I was bad. Then we saw each other twice a week. She moved offices until she moved 30 miles away from Boston. It was tough because I didn’t have a car. I did but it broke down. We just had phone therapy. This went on for about five years. I would get a zipcar once a month to see her but that took some planning around my pain and weather.

The suicidal ideation I had made my therapist nervous. We tried different things, but she never consistently held me to them. I chided away from it because I knew what she was looking for or rather had an idea. I knew it wasn’t going to change. During the last year of therapy we had, we were constantly fighting over my suicidality. She just wasn’t listening to me anymore. I couldn’t explain why I was suicidal. I just mentioned it and she would “hog” the rest of the session with her endless talk, which I just took as her anxiety. It was interfering. I found out she was seeking consultation over me and I felt threatened by that. Eventually we just called it quits. I didn’t see anyone for few months. I had to collect myself. She gave me a few therapists but they weren’t taking on new clients.
Enter my current therapist. He had called back within a few hours of me leaving a message and we had set a time up with in a few days. He sent me his paperwork and other insurance stuff. All throughout seeing the previous therapist, we had tried different suicidal safety planning and scales and whatnots. This guy was not for it. I think the less paperwork, the better. And it bugs me! He just wants to talk things out. For the first six months I didn’t know if this was going to work out. But I had no where else to go. I was tired of searching for therapists only to be told no when I revealed I had a suicidal history. He wasn’t afraid of me talking about suicide and I ease up. Even when I told him I had a plan, he didn’t freak out on me. He understood why I felt that way and we talked it out. It decreased my feelings so I didn’t feel like no one was on my side. I often felt better after sessions but there were a few where I was more frustrated. I texted him a few times and got supportive responses, something my previous therapist did not do, at all. She only responded if we had to change appointment times.

I have been seeing this guy for 16 months. I still find it totally weird that we have an understanding of why I am suicidal yet there is no plan in place, so to speak. He is okay if I live and okay if I die, as long as I don’t do it in his office. He hasn’t taught me things I don’t already know. He would like me to be more social, but that is kind of hard with my physical pain. I like being alone anyway as noise can irritate me, like it is today. Hell, just being in Starbucks when their music is loud is enough to have me leave after I finish eating or when I am ready to write. He doesn’t try to pin things down and my biggest annoyance is when he says we will work on something but doesn’t go further than that. And then when I bring it up next session (I have to bring things up, he won’t), it still doesn’t go anywhere. But I have had that happen with the last therapist I saw, too. She would say we need to work on this and we never did.

I don’t mean to write this to defer you from seeking therapy, that isn’t my goal. I just wanted to write about my experiences with therapists and how they react to suicidal thoughts. Everyone is different. And maybe you started seeing a therapist and then the suicide thoughts started happening. The therapist freaks out and you are then forced to see someone else. Or you attempted and now the therapist doesn’t want to work with you anymore. That is sad and unfortunate but I know it does happen. Suicide is like an elephant (or hippo as someone called it that the other day) in the room that you both know is there but don’t want to face. Or maybe your therapist is trained and does work with you on the issues as long as there is a safety plan in place first with contact numbers and you collaborate on what will work and what will not work. The focus has to be on YOU not the therapist’s comfort level. While my therapist does that and gives me the time to try and work things out as well as support me in any way he can, I still sometimes feel like he just doesn’t get it or dropped the ball on an issue that is never going to see light of day again. I know they are busy people. They have lives outside the office. They see so many patients per day and then deal with the wonderful insurance that can or cannot accept their claims. I don’t know. I am not making excuses for them but if you have a therapist that cares about you and takes your suicidal thoughts seriously, works with you on keeping you safe, and the chronicity of the matter, great. I just am still trying to work with someone and cope with a therapist that says you can kill yourself as long as it isn’t in my office.