Tag Archives: suicide

World Mental Health Day

This is going to be negative but I don’t care as it is my lived experience: I’ve been in therapy since I was 15 because I self-harmed. Seen a wide range of therapists from social workers to psychologists to psychiatrists. Most have ended treatment with me for various reasons. I am now on therapist number 14. First 6 months I didn’t think I was going to stay with him. He is a psychologist with supposed experience with trauma and suicidal ideation. He took me on knowing this. Now since the MeToo, I’ve been having intrusive memories. I tell him about it and he shrugs. Seriously? Why am I seeing you if you don’t know how to deal with trauma when you said you had training? I feel like the system has let me down, yet again.

Before I even saw him, I must have talked to at least 5 different therapists. None would take me on because of my suicidal history. I thought I could shove it aside and just have this guy because he returned my call and wanted to work with me. Now it is a year later and I am finding it so difficult to deal with him. I am once again looking for therapists and I am wondering why. I live in a large city. There shouldn’t be just 1 therapist in my 5 mile radius that deals with suicidal histories. Suicide is its own can of worms. I understand from a suicidologist standpoint. Not everyone is cut out to deal, it isn’t taught in school yada yada. I get it. But where is the compassion in therapy? Are too many good therapists burned out? Am I ever going to find someone to help me through suicidal crisis and chronic pain and all the other shit I deal with? Or is that too much because I don’t follow god or help myself?

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.

What if I live?

What if I live?

Been thinking seriously of ending my life in a few weeks. I plan dates. It helps me cope knowing I have some date to look forward to so I know the misery will end. Usually this happens in a state of despair when my pain levels are high and all I can think about is death.

But the next morning, after a few hours or more of sleep, I feel differently. Some mornings I cannot believe I sunk so low. Yet usually there is some record of it—a blog or email or social media post. It brings me back, temporarily, to that place and I wonder what if I live rather than go through the plan to die?

I have few events coming up in the next few months. Something to look forward to, so to speak, yet on the nights of despair, they are far from reach, unable to be thought about. Someone said that I should write goodbye letters. I wrote one to my psychiatrist. The other 19 people on my list is a little harder. I don’t have all my ducks in a row, so to speak, to end my life like I had planned way back in March. I was supposed to die in June. It is now the middle of July and I am still here. I do’t feel that getting help would be helpful to me. I have been in therapy for 27 years, that is nearly half of my lifetime. Yet I still remain as suicidally trapped as I did when I was 15 years old and wanted to seriously end my life then.

What if I live?

I don’t know the answer to this question. I just keep going, hoping the day won’t come where I’ll say I’ve had enough and go through with my plan. I don’t want to live. I am in too much physical pain. CRPS has taken so much from me. Might as well take my life as well. I’m not worth living.

I feel like I am crying wolf too many times. I don’t think anyone believes just how serious I am this time. But even I am not 100% convinced I will end my life on the day I planned. What if I live? What if I die? What if I am rescued in time? No one knows my plan. Hell, I don’t even know it completely. I’ve been too afraid of putting it forward because that will make it more real. Do I have to end my life? I feel I have to. I feel no one cares how bad I hurt. And not one medical professional wants to see my suffering end. I’ve had enough of fighting for my care. I had to do this since I was 16. I can’t do it anymore. I’ve run out of gas. If I live, I’ll continue to suffer just so my family and friends aren’t in pain. What kind of life is that?

I’ve been pushing through trying to hang on. I know the demons will pass in the morning. Hence I live to see another day. Hence I live, least until despair grabs a hold of me once again.

What if I live?

PT, power outage, and other stuff

I finally was able to sleep around 0430. My med alarm went off around 9. I wanted to throw my phone. I shut the thing off and was drifting off back to sleep. I caught myself and then took my meds. I went downstairs to use the bathroom. I washed my face and for some reason, forgot to brush my teeth. I will have to do so tonight, if my foot pain lets up.

I made breakfast, fried egg and toast. My mother was in the kitchen before pain made her leave. I finished my breakfast in silence and then went back up to my room, only to realize, I didn’t make coffee. I went back downstairs and made it for me and my mother. My mother said I didn’t make it good. It is shit coffee anyways. I don’t care. I made my coffee a little too sweet with the creamer that has sugar in it. I am going to have to buy the Natural Bliss one again. I’ll probably get it on Friday when I am out again.

I was getting itchy just waiting around. My friends on Twitter hadn’t responded to the blog I wrote at the midnight hour. I think they did while I was on my way to PT. I left an hour early because I couldn’t stand being in my room anymore. It was so fricken hot. I brought my Kindle to read while I waited. My PT took me early and did her thing. She was happy that I was doing my exercises. Ya, cause they didn’t involve my ankle at all!! Just upper body and my hips. She did myofascial release again and this time it bothered my thigh. It was in the last minute of it so I let her finish. Don’t know if that was wise or not but I figure why not.

I found an easier way to get back to the station. The end of the building that the PT office is leads to the street that has a bus stop about a block away. I walked it and a bus came pretty quickly. I just got to the station and was able to transfer to the bus home! Score! I checked my message as there were a few. The suicidologist that I have been followed had given me a website to look at the next time I feel like talking to someone that isn’t going to be judgmental or call the cops on me because I have suicidal feelings. It is a chronic suicide group. I told her I would check it out. I did when I got home, once my power got back on. It was out for about a half hour. I was sweating when I came home and had no fan or AC to cool off. It was stuffy in my room. I was holding out for it to come back soon and when it did, I cooled off just enough to go downstairs to have something to eat in case the power went back out again.

I have brought my portable charger on my bed in case I need to charge my phone. Getting back in bed wasn’t good. The pressure I was putting on the mattress to climb in caused a flare. I can’t take any meds. I had already taken a breakthrough med about 2-3 hours ago. I did take some ibuprofen as my back is hurting. Between my foot and ankle hurting, I want to take some Ativan and call it a fucking night. Guess I won’t be hearing the Sox play tonight. They did good last night. The pitcher, Rick Porcello, hit his first double, bringing in three runs. It was awesome. Usually a pitcher strikes out or maybe gets a hit or a sac fly. He came through and helped himself to a lead. The Nats slowly worked their way up but Betts hit a homerun and we kept the lead, thank god. It might have gone to extras otherwise.

Pain has once again brought out the suicidal me. I had sent my blog that I wrote in the midnight hours to my psych but when I emailed her asking her if she read it, she said she didn’t get it. Guess that is why I got no response. I sent it to her again. Hope she gets it this time. I am kind of scared because if she freaks out, what am I going to do? I don’t want to go back to the hospital and I won’t because it is a waste of fucking time. I will page her every hour if it comes to that. Fuck the hospital. I can’t believe just getting on my bed cause my ankle to go completely berserk. That with my foot pain, I am in a “wonderful” mood.

On the way home, I played the lottery because the pot is $270 million. My gut has been telling me to play since it was $210 and today it got really strong. I played my father’s and godfather’s birthdays. I will be happy with a free ticket. I was surprised the cost of the ticket went up. Crooks. It is now $2 when it used to be $1. I don’t know when it happened as I don’t play often, only when the pot is big. Hope I win. I will then move to Canada to avoid another US civil war.

What I started writing yesterday and stuff I did today

What I started writing yesterday and stuff I did today

So this is what I wrote yesterday:

I am so flipping enraged. Just came from seeing my pcp. He was interested in how I was doing with the med change. Jerk said he was extremely skeptical about opioids helping me at all. Well take this chickenshit, my pain is reduced 50% aside from flares, which nothing seems to help. He was glad he was wrong. But can you imagine the big “I told you so” if I got no relief? I can’t believe the ignorance. Totally dumbfounded and hurt I would left to deal with excruciating pain and nothing to treat it with when there is something to treat it. So anyone who says opioids don’t work for CRPS, THEY ARE FULL OF CRAP!! So I then tell him my back has been acting up due to weather changes. My lumbar spine and sacrum do not want to move. Asked if taking ibuprofen was ok and he says it has risks of heart problems and hypertension. But mostly stomach issues. I should use it sparingly. Why the fuck is this over the counter if it causes so many problems? And doctors prescribe it like candy or more potent NSAIDs like naproxen or diclofenac?? Idiot. I just rolled my eyes. I cannot believe this idiot is practicing medicine at a world class hospital.

Today I find out that he is worried about my sodium levels as they dropped again since the last time I had them checked. He is going to talk to my psychiatrist and has ordered blood and urine tests to rule out what is causing my blood sodium to drop other than medication. I wrote back to him and asked what the tests were (I am a lab geek, after all) and if the PCOS I have might be affecting my pituitary, thus messing up my blood levels. I don’t think I will get an answer tonight as I thought of this around 1900. He did tell me that if I felt ill to go to the urgent care.

I spent most of the day clearing off my bed so I can change my bed sheets. I had to do it in increments because my back kept flaring if I stood longer than 10-15 minutes. Then I couldn’t find my reacher on my bed so finally cleared off nearly everything except my office essentials like my journal, laptop, and book that I am reading. I made pancakes this morning and then had buffalo wings for dinner. I was so sleepy after dinner that I had to lay down. I was hoping to sleep but I couldn’t.

Tomorrow, I will be able to change my sheets. I plan on washing them and my blanket. I have another set of blankets that I will put on. They won’t be as warm as the Red Sox fleece I am using now. I think I am going to put the hospital blanket on and then the Red Sox. That should keep me warm and if I am too warm, I can always take it off. I have to keep my leg warm because the AC might make my foot cold. Plus I get cold and like to get cozy under the blankets at night.

I was feeling really down last night. Pain was elevated and so was my suicidality. I wrote a blog. When I finished it, I sent it off to a couple of suicidologists, including the president of the American Association of Suicidology because something she posted on Twitter bothered me and I had written about it. She tweeted me in the morning and we had a discussion but I could tell she wasn’t getting what I was trying to say. It amazes me that these people want to prevent suicide yet belittle the thoughts of those who actually live with chronic suicide ideation. She had written a study that had showed more than 132 people are affected per suicide. It was dispel the thoughts that Dr. Shneidman had that at least six people were affected. He said this but never studied it. No one knows where he got this number and he is deceased so we will never know. Her study was important. But what the bereaved suicide loss persons don’t realize is that saying loved ones will be hurt and others will be affected, some how guilt trips them into staying when they do not wish to live anymore. I was trying to explain this and we weren’t getting anywhere. Depression already caused excessive amounts of guilt. Add this information and it is overwhelming, which is what I was trying to get at but obviously wasn’t explaining right. She is a very intelligent person but I really think that lived experienced people and others who think of ending their lives might be too painful for her to deal with and so gets offended. I have seen it happen to me one too many times. Yes, it does make you stop and think of who you are hurting when you are thinking of taking your life. But then you (the suicidal person) have to wonder, is my suffering greater than those I love? And if this was a physical, terminal illness like cancer, would they still feel the same?

It just bothers me so much that people who are already suffering from huge amounts of pain, physically and mentally, still go on with their lives because they basically feel trapped. I know I do. I feel trapped by not want to cause pain to my family and friends with my death and the pain I already have that I was so desperately to end. It is tearing me apart some days, especially when the dawn approaches and I no longer have such intense feelings of ending my life. One of the suicidologists was glad I had made it through the night. She was the only one that said that. I am sure the others would have thrown my ass in the hospital if they could. I write a lot about my feelings because I don’t have a lot of support. It is also cathartic for me to write. If I lose this, for whatever reason, I know I will die. I think I even emailed my psychiatrist last night about why am I still around? Why am I still here. And will she let me go? I was half expecting a response or a phone call. I got neither. I see her next week so I know I will talk about it, least I hope to if I am not chickenshit. She sometimes scares me because she has this way about her that when she says something, I have to listen and “follow orders”. I have never not done what she said when she says it in that tone she has. She has known me for a long time. I respect her a lot and she respects me a lot. She looks up a lot to me because I have been through so much.

Next week is going to be difficult as I have a lot going on. But right now, all I care about is changing my sheets and reading Harry Potter as well as keeping track of the Sox. Oh, almost forgot, the blog that I wrote early this morning was chosen by some paper and published on their platform. Pretty cool!