Sunday, March 24, 2013

Living in the Dark - Guest Post for My Daily Jenn-ism

The following is the blog post I wrote for Jenn for her March Mental Health Awareness Month Guest Blog posts. Thank you Jenn for opening up your blog and giving a voice to the many areas of mental health this month (and often). If you've not been to My Daily Jenn-ism. head on may just want to go check her out.

Readers of my blog know that I’ve struggled with various forms of depression and suicidal ideation off and on for several years.  Consistently since my youngest was born in 2002. The intensity spiked up ten notches after I had gastric bypass and the ability to absorb medication properly came to an abrupt halt in 2004.
Some days I believe I am the Queen of Suicidal Ideation.  I imagine my psychiatrist believes the same thing.  Several years ago, shortly after I was released from a short inpatient hospitalization, she said to me “Do you really believe you will eventually kill yourself?”  I can’t even tell you what my response to her was.  What she said next, I know I will never forget.  Ever.  It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to process.  I didn’t process it.  I didn’t even let it affect me.  She was right.  I knew it.  And just like many other areas things in my life...I stuffed what she said...deep down in the ‘don’t go there’ emotional bin.  

It wasn’t until about 18 months ago, when she said it to me again, that it dug deep. Even deeper than the first time. When I left her office, I spent another hour sitting in my car.  Processing what she said.  The depth of her comment.  And how incredible hard it was to hear.  

“__, I’m not convinced you won’t kill yourself.  And that haunts me each night.”

This was a continued conversation regarding medication, the lack of being able to take them, being at the end of another failed attempt, and pure frustration for both of us.  

I had no hope at that point and the pros/cons of being hospitalized was thrown around. To hear Dr. KSB confirm she didn’t have that hope, was a bit devastating.  Initially, few years earlier, it didn’t have the same effect.

I contemplated never going back to see her.

I made an appointment with a psychiatrist that specializes in gastric bypass, whom I had seen when I was in the hospital, whom had done an evaluation on me prior to my WLS, and whom even though I didn’t like...I did trust his knowledge was extensive.  It was a 6 month wait to see him.  I was desperate when I scheduled that appointment.  The appointment came and went.  He confirmed that I was seeing one of the best psychiatrists and that I needed to continue my treatment with her.  He gave me his recommendations and sent them to Dr. KSB.  Telling me to follow-up with her in a week or two.  He also, added several dx to my permanent chart.  That appointment was a year ago.  None of his recommendations were options at the time.  Dr. KSB has left the one recommendation as a last case scenario.  Agreeing that the only way she would suggest it being an option, would be if there was an attempt to end my life.  It would be, as he said...”LAST CASE SCENARIO”.  
And so...I continue to see her.  
She knows me. I know her. She trusts me (I think). I trust her.  
And she knows that filling me with all sorts of medications is not an option.  
At my last appointment with Dr. KSB, we discussed the current state of my marriage.  My husband and I are both patients of hers.  Once again, she told me ‘my gut tells me you would not survive a separation or divorce’.  Damn as much as I know that. It is harder to hear it.  Once again, I sat in my car for a good hour after my appointment trying to process what she had to say.

Currently, mental illness waxes and wanes in my life.  There are a few good days here and there.  There are suicidal days where I’m holding on to the last bit of the frayed string, trying everything in the book to stay alive.  Some days all I can do is lay on the couch and watch my dogs play, listen to my children's voices, fighting against everything to hold on to their sweet voices.  Praying and hoping against all hope that the depression will lift.  Leave me alone.  At least for a day.  

A few weeks ago, I wasn’t suicidal.  I had more than an entire day without the constant thoughts of hurting myself, the bad thoughts, the self hatred, and self harm impulses.  Just sadness.  Sadness that this is my life.  The next few days, I wasn’t so lucky.

That is the nature of this beast.  The last 18-24 months this has been my life.  It is a constant battle to get up every day.  Some days, the darkness lifts.  

Everybody Hurts by REM rings a bell.  I woke up thinking about this song this morning.

And so....I leave you with that.

Everybody Hurts.
Everybody Cries.
Hold On.


And I will add I've had a bad week of suicidal ideation.  Self harm crap has been sky high.  My BFF informed me I'm to negative and need to try to increase positive in my life.  And while I know she is right, when every ounce of my energy is taken by going to work....there is nothing left.  Excuse?  Sure as hell is.  Bit it is where I'm at.  I have went as far as have plan in place and need to be talked down off the ledge by one of my Orlando Moms.  She gets this place.  I know she does.  And somehow that makes it that much harder.

Jenn added the following to this post. And I will do the same.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

No matter what problems you are struggling with, hurting yourself isn't the answer. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to talk to a counselor at a Lifeline crisis center near you.

Someone loves you and someone WILL miss you.  I promise! 

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