I don’t need to be

What’s the point of anything anymore? Why do I write in here at all? Just to hear the sound of my own voice I suppose.

I ended up back in the hospital and now face losing my job.

Am I ready to work again? No. Do I need to work? Yes. But I’m terrified to go back in any capacity. My moods aren’t stable and for once I’m 100% compliant with my medication. I vacillate between stable, numb and moderately suicidal – an improvement according to my psychiatrist.

How the fuck is having my husband hide the mags of his gun under his side of the bed, having nightmares of me killing myself and waking up in a panic a fucking improvement exactly? Oh, I see. Because I’m not manic anymore my mood swings aren’t a major concern. Not like I was ever truly manic to begin with. Let’s be very fucking clear, people – I experience hypomania. Not full on mania. Totally different.

Right now I’ve lost the ability to give any fucks. I don’t care about anything anymore. I don’t care about life, I don’t care about death, I don’t care about you – the same as you don’t care about me. I. Don’t. Care. I’ve tried to explain to my husband – who probably wishes he’d choked on the phrase “I want you to share everything with me; we shouldn’t have secrets” – if for some reason I was in a severe car accident and a call to the authorities was the difference between saving my life and not, the call would never be made. Because I don’t care enough at this point to make the effort to go out of my way to survive however have no thoughts or plans to harm myself at this time (let’s be clear with each other, shall we?). I don’t take the meds, I end up in the hospital. I take the meds, still feel like absolute shit. What fucking incentive do I have to continue to work towards wellness here? Absolutely none.

I went to lunch with my mom and my favorite uncle. He knows about what’s going on and has been hospitalized himself. He asked me how I was doing. I told him: “You ever step in dog shit? Ever try to shake it off the bottom of your shoe but it just doesn’t come off – it’s just stuck there no matter how hard you shake? I feel like that piece of shit.” He just stared at me, no words. What can you honestly say to that? Nothing. I feel like a car windshield under a power line most days recently.

I know I need to go back to work because I need the money. My husband says it will be okay and he’ll take care of us, but that’s a hard sell. He falls asleep while he’s driving home. He falls asleep while we’re having date night. He falls asleep while we’re watching tv. He’s exercising almost daily to lose weight. He’s going to school online. He’s working full time graveyard shift. He’s breaking his back and without my income, we’ll have maybe 100 whole dollars at the end of the month – you know for incidentals like doctor’s bills and, you know, food.

So I have to work no matter how unstable I am. But then I get fed this bullshit line: “you have to take care of you, Alison. Your health comes first.” Bullshit. You know it doesn’t. My mother doesn’t give a shit – she wants my money. Always has her goddamned hand out. She asked me for gas money the other night because her car isn’t as economical as mine and we were on a family outing. A family outing! I told her to get bent and a non-Luxury car that takes regular. The night before I went to the hospital I told her I only didn’t feel like dying when I was at work because my mind was occupied; the minute I’d step in the house I’d want to die. She told me it would behoove me to go work – I’d feel better eventually. [But, like, a bitch has to come home sometime though, right? And be in my own thoughts? The ones that wanted me to die? Does that not worry her? No? Ok.]. No one gives a good goddamn.

So I repeat: what’s the point? I don’t think there is one. So why bother.

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I will dance so freely/holding onto nothing

*TRIGGER WARNING* *SUICIDE*

It’s been a while. I seem to take a break from here when I’m doing well and come back when I’m doing either fair to middling or poorly. Today I’m not doing well at all. I did it again; I went off my meds. I was toying with the dosages; I was doing well with taking them every other day and then it spiraled into ever few days. I went on vacation to Las Vegas with the husband – our first vacation alone – and with all the sightseeing for the 2 weeks we were there, I think I took my daytime dose maybe 3 times. By the time I got home I was slowly slipping into a manic phase.

I was unstoppably horny. I was eating candy like none other. I was restless and couldn’t just sit still. I was loud and mean. I said some of the most cutting things – just no inner monologue. I couldn’t take it anymore. On Friday night I started taking my meds again.

Saturday afternoon I woke up groggy as hell. My nighttime meds have a way of knocking me out cold. I woke up and I was not just feeling lethargic but utterly drained, as though the floor had sucked out my energy, had swallowed my soul. My affect was blunted – I lost all emotion in my voice and face except pain and I could hear it and feel it. It hurt to try and smile. I knew I’d plummeted into my deep hole of depression.

I was crawling around in the dark, trying to find a ladder but it wasn’t there. My husband noticed immediately and threw me a rope to climb out, but the only thing I could think to do was end the pain with it. I was tired of climbing. I am tired of climbing. I’m tired of the calloused palms, I’m tired of the burning hands, I’m tired of the fiberglass feeling you get in your fingers after you’re done swinging on the rope, I’m tired of looking up and seeing how much farther I have to go.

I’m. Just. Plain. Tired.

I’m tired of begging for the rope. I’m sick of needing one at all. I’m afraid for my daughters – that one day they, too, will need one because of me. This pain is fucking real and I’m tired of swinging. I want it to stop.

What do you do when you want to use the only escape route you have to end it all? Knowing you don’t really want it, but you feel painted into a sick and twisted corner? Like you’ve no options left?

I’ve stopped seeing the forest for the trees. There is no big picture for me anymore. I’m hanging on by a spider’s thread. I keep seeing my husband remarried with children of his own – a chance to start a new, normal life with someone who doesn’t have all these complications. Someone who will treat him the way he’s always deserved to be treated. I see him finally making strides to be the best in his field – something I hindered these past 10 years because of my anxiety and insecurities. With me out of the way, there is no telling how far he could go.

My father and siblings wouldn’t ever notice I was gone – they don’t give a shit that I’m here. My mother’s early-onset dementia is progressing slowly; she’ll forget it all over time. This hellish creature inside me would finally be put to rest and I could be free. They could all be free from my ups, downs and all arounds.

I am not doing any good here. Needless carbon dioxide. Usurper of oxygen. Waste of space. Full seat on the train. My mother and husband keep saying I can’t leave my husband here but I can’t hear them. I don’t hear them. All I can hear is the depression telling me I’m not fit to be here and all I can see is this interminable fog.

I came to work last night and this morning – both jobs. I’m trying to stay out of the hospital. I’m taking my meds again as directed and I’m trying to stay supervised. I don’t want to be here anymore but I’m trying not to go back to the funny farm either. It’s either stay at home with all my artillery or keep my mind busy while I wait for the meds to work. Staying in the hospital while they treat me like I’m sub-human away from my family while my psychiatrist is on vacation isn’t going to help me. I need my bed, my dog, my phone and my family. I’m trying my damnedest at home not to act on my thoughts and I’m being watched like a hawk. The minute I’m not safe I know they’ll throw me in my car and drive me to the ER without my consent; they’ve done it before.

I’ll be OK; one way or another I guess.

Angels lie to keep control

Hopefully this is the darkest I’ll ever get on here, folks. 

Hopefully this is the darkest corner in which you’ll have found me and the deepest within the forest of depression I’ll ever hide. 

Before I finished my last post was the first time in a very long time I had come to suicide.  The sheer amount of stress and depression was all consuming and swallowed me whole. 

I’m still fighting my way out, but at least I’m able to function right now. Over the weekend I wasn’t taking care of my hygiene, wouldn’t get out of bed, ate my husband’s entire birthday cake, 2.5 pints of ice cream, and wouldn’t engage in day to day human activities like talking. I blew up on my mother for asking me to pick up something off the floor. 

My husband says I don’t treat him like he matters when I’m this depressed. He says I don’t treat him like a husband but like a buddy or a friend. It comes from years of pushing people away. Every time someone gets close to me, I step back. It’s so strange to never live in the same household as my father and pick up his traits.  

I have 2 friends – Alissa and Elizabeth – who are both very close to me. I’ve known Elizabeth for over 20 years. We reconnected a few years back and have grown closer since. She’s truly a good friend. She tries to psychoanalyze me at times which I’m not the biggest fan of (not qualified to do!), but I know she means well.  Here’s the deal: for every inch she scooches closer, I pull back six. It’s not something I do consciously, it’s just done. Moving closer would make me too vulnerable and I’m in no position for that.  

My other friend, Alissa is also a counselor. She suffers with depression (I personally think she’s got more than depression, but I’m not in the business of diagnosing my friends) like I do so we commiserate together. We both work in the same area with the same population so, again, we commiserate about work stress and drama. She and I have grown very close. As she grows closer or needs more support, I fucking run – I don’t understand why.  When I need support, I hide from her until I feel well enough to express my feelings without being under suspicion of being suicidal. I’m always afraid she’ll petition me or send the police to my house to check on me because she’s a counselor. I refuse to go into a hospital involuntarily – I know what they’re like and I’m not ruining my career by sitting next to a patient in a group session. Fuck that shit. I’ve always gone voluntarily. 

Back to the husband thing, I always back away. I told him I distance myself from everyone because it’s habit at this point and – as much sense as this doesn’t make – if I did commit suicide, I will have put so much distance between me and everyone else, it’s like it wouldn’t have mattered much if I was gone. Just a buddy, not a wife. 

H: “That doesn’t make any sense.”
Me: “Depression doesn’t make any sense. What kind of disease has you thinking that in order to survive you have to die?  Our purpose as humans is to propagate the species. We can’t do that if we’re dead.  Depression isn’t based in any reality; my thinking isn’t real.  It makes you focus on what it wants you to focus on – which is mainly your depression, nothing else.  But you always matter; you’ve always mattered.”

I explained that it’s difficult talking to him about my deepest and darkest thoughts and feelings because he’s never been there. While I’m delighted he hasn’t, explaining what Hell looks like and how it felt versus describing how it feels to someone who’s already been there are 2 separate things. (I can’t go to support groups – I may run into patients there.). So I keep to myself. I understand my Hell and I know my pain. I’ll get through this if it kills me – whether by my hand or G-d’s. 

I can’t destroy what isn’t there

TRIGGER WARNING – RAPE

I met with my psychologist this past Monday. Aside from reminiscing about all my psychiatrists of the past (and their behind-the-scene proclivities), we talked about the moment I went nuts …no I was right. Went nuts is totally appropriate here.

She said that age five, I tried to kill myself. I know; I was there. I don’t remember the circumstances, only the where, the when and how. I remember my disappointment in it not working and my becoming even more depressed. I tried a few times. As a child that size, your resources and vocabulary are limited. I felt this deep overwhelming panic, anxiety, sadness, loneliness, hopelessness, anger, fear and helplessness and felt I had nowhere to turn and didn’t have the right words to express any of it.  So it appears, according to my psychologist’s theory, that my brain’s chemistry changed the first time. My body’s arousal system and my neurotransmitters went nuts.

I was majorly depressed and disordered by age 6 with at least 2 suicide attempts under my belt.  By age 16 I was full-scale self-injuring on the daily; it looked my dermatologist was Edward Scissorhands.  My mood was all over the place due to my hormones and my outright refusal to take medication until the next year when I was almost hospitalized for suicidal threats and increasingly intensive self-injury of which I still carry the scars.

I went to college at age 17, fully medicated for my safety and for those around me but it had little effect.  I went to a very large, very competitive, pseudo-Ivy League school.  I had very little social support and many of those I met didn’t fail to remind me of my social and racial status.  Yes, I was a part of the 49% of the students receiving financial aid and yes, I’m black.  (No, asshole – I got here on merit, not affirmative action.  In between slicing and dicing I managed to pull a 3.9 GPA out of my ass in high school.  I actually had people make comments in class about this shit to my face.  Unbelievable.)

Anyway, let me back up a bit.  Welcome Week, freshman year.  Exciting for kid fresh out of high school – getting to party in college!  I had arrived.  I was grown as far as I was concerned.  I could stay out late, meet guys, new people – have a blast!  My best friends from high school, now attending the rival college, were coming down for the weekend and we were going partying together so I was excited.  The four of us get some food at a local hangout near my dorm and start walking around campus to find a party that looks cool.  One of my friends, Tom, was a sophomore so he knew everything about frat parties since he was a frat member at Alpha Chi What-The-Fuck-Ever so we followed his lead.  We walk into this relatively jumping party – just wall to wall people, a DJ, jungle juice, the whole shebang.  Jim and Raquel start dancing (they were dating) and vanish into the mist of the crowd.  Maya, a sophomore at our school, fucks off somewhere, probably trying to find a rich white guy (she has a type – has since high school) and leaves me dancing by my lonesome.

At a frat party.
My first night on campus.
Awesome.
Well, this is the start of a Lifetime movie.

Boy did I call it.  This fucking guy comes up to me, introduces himself as “[inaudible due to the loud music played by the DJ]” and points toward the center of the dance floor.  I nod “okay.”  There’s 60 goddamn people on this dance floor.  I can’t be abducted in the middle of a crowd of 60 people.  It’ll be fine.  So we start dancing; no big deal.  He then moves behind me and puts his hands around my waist.  I can tell he’s drunk; I’m not having a good time anymore.  I need to find my crew and get the fuck out of here.  I’m looking for my crew so we can di di mao.  Before I get a chance to break away, he puts his hands down my underwear and ::ding-dong:: WELCOME TO COLLEGE.  Unwanted sexual contact.  I grab his hand and pull it out of my pants and walk away.  Of course NOW my friends are ready to leave and find another party.

Right before we go, this asshole gives me his number.  He wouldn’t leave me alone until he could put it in my phone.  He was too drunk to spell his name right.  Unless he was actually named after a tennis shoe.  I never told my friends – he was drunk, right?  No one’s fault – blame it on the alcohol…  I never told anyone.  Just buried it along with everything else.

Ah sophomore year.  This one’s gonna be tougher to talk about.  I met this gem on the back stoop of my dorm at the beginning of the school year.  We went on 1 or 2 dates.  He dropped me off at my dorm room and when he hinted that he wanted to take things further than a kiss goodnight, I told him I had a rule: 6 months of monogamy before sex.  He seemed outraged.  I made it clear I didn’t care – those are my rules.  Next date, we decided to stay in, were watching “Law and Order” when he said he had to tell me something: he was on parole for armed robbery.

Uhhh.  He knows where I live.  He knows where my family lives.  He’s 6’2”, 245 lbs – all muscle.  I was 5’4”, 145 lbs.  I was fucking terrified.

Someone tell me please: When an armed robber comes to your living quarters every few nights for several MONTHS, what do you do?  When you feel like you’re not given many options considering their size and tendencies to be ARMED?  Fucking terrified.  This went on for 3 months.  During that time, I isolated from my friends and family, I was “stealthed” countless times which resulted in a case of (CURED!) chlamydia.

When I finally broke down and spoke to the only person who I thought would listen, my ex-boyfriend Anthony, he helped give me the strength to leave.  I left and the man stalked me in my dorm room for a few months.  It took a key card to get into the building but somehow he would get in and leave messages on my door calling me “bitch,” “slut,” and “fuck you.”  I reported it to campus security but it was useless.  I moved out of the dorms into an apartment with Anthony the next year; we got back together after this.

Anthony is a story for another time.

So the intimidation-rape is trauma #2.  Trauma #1 was whatever happened at age 5 that triggered my suicide attempt – that is a mystery to me as of yet.  I’ve told my psychologist I’m considering going to a hypnotist because I’m tired of this Swiss cheese stuff – this holey memory of mine is ridiculous.  We either figure this out or we don’t.  My psychologist said something that has been weighing heavy on my mind all week.  She said that her theory is the chemical imbalances that have been caused by trauma can be reversed by re-training the brain.

…Excuse me?  If I’m understanding this correctly, bipolar disorder can be reversed through behavioral or cognitive behavioral therapy.  Are you shitting me?  

I’ve just been in limbo all fucking week, letting that sink in.  Think about it: if that is true, I’ve been able to fix myself this whole time.  I’m like Dorothy at the end of Wizard of Oz.  She had the shoes throughout her whole walk through Oz — the bullshit with the Witch, the Monkeys, the talking head of the Wizard, all of it — and she could have gone right home.  Unreal!  While I understand in Wizard it’s a little different – she needed to understand how good she had it in Kansas.  Someone tell me the point of walking this shit-brick road?  Where’s the fun in french kissing death?  There is none!

If this is true – what if I don’t get better?  It’ll be just something else I’ve failed at.  Can’t kill myself right* and can’t heal myself, so I’m stuck in the middle.  Fucking perfect.

*Ok, I may have lost a few of you there.  As a mental health professional, that’s a horrible thing to say and hear.  However, as a someone with a mental health disorder I can say that I may speak for a few people out there who have felt this way. when they wake up in the hospital, alive.  I did – I was pissed off.  You feel like a failure because you didn’t complete a “goal,” however this isn’t a goal – long term – you want, even if your depression says otherwise.  When I say I didn’t do it right, I mean that I failed and there’s no escape from this disease on either end – through death or living.  It’s fucking maddening and it makes me feel hopeless for a painless life.  While I appreciate the empathy I have gained for others like me, I wish for a life like anyone else’s.  I wish for happiness.  I’ve never known what that’s like because even what I’m happy I’m always wondering when the feeling is going to end.

message from a.c. lerock

They fucked up and let me see some of my  chart. Lordy lord… this is what I bug the husband with in the middle of the day. 

And he stays. 

And I misspoke. There’s a space under the diagnosis that allows for clarification, as being depressed all the time negates a bipolar diagnosis but what people fail to realize is depression is my baseline.  

Sorry. My lack of chemicals, since a very young age, is all I’ve come to know. I’ve started back in therapy and I went back to the source: my childhood therapist. I worked with her from age 5 until my sophomore year in college, when I was raped. She said that I disappeared too soon – I had only scratched the surface in dealing with the rape and given my presentation, it seems that my mind hasn’t recovered. 

My body is now paying the price. 

So I spent a week between that session and the next thinking about everything: the rape, the aftermath, my life since then – my progress, my failures, my detours – everything – and it all made sense. My therapist was right: I stopped taking care of myself long ago.  I can’t do that anymore. I have a family, I have a husband. I have a life. I have a life I don’t want to lose. 

I told her that I have frequent suicidal thoughts with plans and access and means. But I have a huge protective factor: my husband. I told her that my husband lost his mother when he was 22 and he crawled inside a bottle to numb the pain. A year later, we started dating – he had one foot out of said bottle. I told him he’d have to stop drinking for us to date (at the time, I was a tee-totaler) and he quit. I will never send him back to that life. I will never leave him destroyed like that. He told me once that the only reason he attempts to get better paying employment is because of me, otherwise he would just live at home working a dead end job with no purpose. That leaves me to believe that I give him purpose. He gives me purpose and hope. 

I was hospitalized so many times during the first 2 years of our relationship that my own family stopped visiting. My (now) husband visited everyday, without fail. He never missed a day. Even when I didn’t want him there, he came. He’d sit through my nasty attitude and come the next day.  I finally thought to myself: Stop. Just fucking stop. This guy sees something in you. Something that’s good; something worth saving. Isn’t it worth it, perhaps, to stick around and find out what it is?  Otherwise you may never know. 

I still want to know. But if I keep hiding behind this trauma, I’ll never know. So it’s time to process it and move from victim to survivor. 

The only way around in this life is through. 

Never pay the Reaper with love only

 

Two weeks ago, I was very depressed suicidal.  I had the means, plan, opportunity.  I told him and my mother.  Now, I’m fully aware that my mother has washed her hands of me; there is only one star to the show here and if it’s not her, it’s not a show she’s going to watch.  But I live in her house.  You’d think finding your daughter’s bloated and clammy body would inadvertently make you the star of the show…  Oh no, that role would be played by the grieving 35-year-old widower.  Damn, she misses out again.  Rats.

I don’t think my husband gets it yet.  By “it,” I’m referring to my illness.  We had a long conversation after I was coming out of my suicidal state and I was able to distance myself from the severe depression that was tying me to those thoughts.  He didn’t seem – and still doesn’t – to understand how the mind, how biology, can fight so hard to keep us alive as a species yet the mind can turn on itself.  One thought becomes a fixation that can lead to total destruction of oneself.  Here was this woman he’s known for 25 years – since childhood – and he never saw her pain then (I studied to be an actress – I was good at hiding most things), just a normal kid like him.  Fast forward two decades and all that’s written on my face when the curtains are closed and the doors are locked is pain and fear.

I told him I know where his guns are and despite being a pacifist, I know how to load and fire them.  I just didn’t want to leave a mess for him and my mother – it’s a new carpet.  I didn’t want to get found by the dog and have her eating me – she’d need to be put down.

I know the nearest access to the local river – our property is 1 mile away from a cliff that plunges straight down to it.  I was warned about it as a child and I found the passage there a month ago.

I have access to my roof.  I can tie a noose.  Cut “down the road, not across the street.”  These are the pathetic and desperate methods you teach yourself and you learn along the way when the pain seems too much to handle.  And some days it is; I’m not going to sit here and say “hold on, it’ll get better!” because some days are worse than others.  But guess what?

I’m still here.  Clearly.

Why?  I honestly don’t have a great answer.  I’d love to say it’s 100% because of my husband, but it’s not.  That’s a shitty way of staying motivated – to have my entire life swing in the balance of someone else’s.  How much pressure does that put on him, do you think?  Every drive to work would be a nightmare for him: “Stay away from me – if I get a scratch on me, my wife will kill herself!  She has nothing else to life for!

Fuck no.  I’d say 45% is him.  The rest has to be something else…

A-Ha!  I got it!  I’m a movie buff!  I love comedies, rom-coms, cartoons, psychological thrillers, docu-dramas… anyway – I love a good ending.  I usually Wikipedia that shit because I can’t wait 2 hours to find out what happens; I am not a patient person (I am diagnosed with ADHD as well).  If I die, that’s it.  No Wikipedia.  No Reader’s Digest.  No Cliff’s Notes.  No nothing.  I’ll never know if Mom gets remarried.  If my sister ever finds happiness.  If I ever have kids.  If Savage Garden will ever get back together.  How does this story end?