10 Months Off Meds And Loving It?

I was in the middle of writing another post on a similar subject when I realized it’s almost been a year off of psychiatric medication and then I had to double check because that seemed like a lot of months to me considering I’ve spent the last 8 years going on and off medication at least three times a year. The most months I’ve stayed on medication was about nine. And that was 7 years ago. Let’s just say I’ve been as consistent with medications as I have been with this blog.

Throwing shade at myself.

I stopped my medication in the first place because I was sick of being tired, I was angry, hurt, and frustrated over a break-up and I just wanted something to alter my state of mind. Now that I look back on it, I can see that was my intention: distract myself from reality by overloading myself with a different type of reality.

I was on Abilify and Trintellix this time, with a psychiatrist ready to switch me from Abilify onto Vraylar. I think I ripped up his prescription though.

The Abilify I’d been on many times before. It’s the only antipsychotic that my body would tolerate. I have a theory about why, but I won’t go into that. Trintellix however, was very new. Not just new to me, but new to the market, and I agreed to try it because I’ve tried the majority of other SSRI’s and SNRI’s and hated each one. Psychiatrists liked to tell me SSRI’s were supposed to help with anxiety but that shit ain’t ever do shit. Straight up.

I figured the only way to get a real anxiety medication, like a Benzo, would be to prove I wasn’t an addict and the way to prove that was to be compliant with their plans first.

I’ve stopped every SSRI, SNRI, mood stabilizer, and antipsychotic I’ve ever been on abruptly. And by abruptly, I mean cutting my dose in half every week for about a month. There are studies coming out now that show you should reduce medication by about .25mg or less every few months in order to safely come down. I was cutting miligrams by the fives and tens (if applicable). Quickly. And I’ve never had an adverse reaction from it, even if I was on them for 6+ months.

*I do not recommend anyone do what I’ve done, or come off of medication without the watchful eye of a medical doctor who can pinpoint physical consequences easier*

But with a new, and very under-tested SSRI, I should have been a little more logical. I didn’t spiral immediately, it took about another month to feel the effects. I woke up depressed, more depressed than I’d ever been (and that’s saying something) and I remember a lot of dissociating and voices. Mind you, I stopped both medications simultaneously. I laid on the couch eating chocolate cake and chocolate chip pancakes during the days and spent the evenings drinking whiskey and heading into downtown. Oh, I also went to work. How? WHO KNOWS.

But eventually something had to give and I ended up in a bathtub with my clothes on arguing with my voices about killing myself. Good times. I didn’t pull myself out of that situation, in case you’re wondering.

But, I also didn’t end up in the hospital. And I’m glad I didn’t.

For the next few fuzzy months I went into an outpatient program, stayed at the mental health program I currently work at (little bit of conflict of interest there, but it worked out) and for a couple weeks was back on the medication. Then, I stopped it again and discarded of them.

What resulted from that was strange. A lot of depression, even the depression I experienced before I stopped my medication, lifted. I felt great. Not manic great, not even hypo-manic great. Just . . . content. That continued steadily and increased once I completely changed my diet and exercised (I’ve lost 35 pounds over the last four months).

It was only a couple weeks ago did I notice my mood become a little wobbly. I started noticing things, strange things again. People kept knocking on my room door and my walls, breathing through them, talking through them, and I could never catch them. I started distracting myself more often, which I didn’t notice until a few days ago. If I wasn’t listening to music, I was watching YouTube or television or playing video games–loudly. Sometimes I’d do all of it simultaneously. Sleeping has become more difficult and I went from getting 8 solid hours to 5, and more recently, 2. I started feeling touches on my arm and legs at night and when I spoke to people I misheard them. I mean, really misheard them. It’s not like when someone says something and they stumble over their words so you think they said cat when they said car. This was people saying full sentences and me hearing “you don’t know what you’re doing at all” when they really said “how have you been today?”

The mumbles have come back too, the hearing a crowd of people talking but not really catching what they’re saying, and so have some familiar voices, particularly one of the softer deep ones who has generally been kind. While I was struggling to get to sleep the other night listening to all the other shit, he told me “I’m proud of you” and for whatever reason, that helped. Me and him, we’re on the same page.

Now that it’s been ten months off medications, I understand why this is happening again. I think the real test begins now. Most of the medications are the lowest they’ve ever been in my system in 8 years and this will basically be me bare-assing my mind around.

My brain has a big ass and the meds were pants three sizes too small.

I’ll have to find new ways to deal with all this, and not get caught up in paranoid thoughts. Constant music and videos has helped keep my mind less focused on all the chatter, but I can’t live life like that all the time. It’s why I haven’t been able to read or write or stay motivated in general.

I recently got a new therapist. She hasn’t known me for longer than a month and a half. In our first session I told her I hadn’t heard voices consistently for a few months, so we’ll see what her reaction is tomorrow when I tell her

Conclusion: meds aren’t always the answer. Not taking meds isn’t always the answer. What works is what works. Will this work? Who knows. But I’d rather try and find out than never try and wish I had.

A Rant A Day Keeps the Psychiatrist Away

Must. Vent.

Ass. Hurts. From. Sitting. But. Must. Belt. Out. This. Post.

My last post consisted of my complaining about something or other, a career or whatever, abandoning my people, becoming a no-good-foul-traitor, but all of those worries have been eradicated. I will be pursuing another degree in physics while simultaneously keeping my connections to the mental health community by remaining employed as a peer counselor, participating in trainings, and eventually getting involved with NAMI: In Your Own Voice. So, all that complaining I did in the last post? Yeah, ignore that, I figured it out.

This post is a different kind of complaining. This post is more . . . hmm, what’s the word?

Seriously, what’s the word? How about you read the post and then tell me in the comments a word that sums all this shit up.

It’s been . . . five months? Six months off medication? I’m not exactly sure how long it’s been. I haven’t heard any variation of voices since the night I tried to kill myself (a post about that wonderful experience here) and my mood has been relatively–relatively–stable.

I feel like I need to re-customize this blog. The fact that the titles of the post don’t show up on the homepage literally makes me want to kick a bird.

I would never do that, I love animals.

I do this with my cat on the daily, and 99% of the time she fucking hates it

And this is the type of energy I’ve had since I quit those godawful medications. A warning to anyone attempting the Trintellix route: BE CAREFUL. It’s very understudied, still very new in terms of psychiatric medications go, and it fucked me up when I got off of it. My blood would have been on that companies’ hands.

I did have a bit of a breakdown yesterday, the first major one in five months, and that’s what’s prompting me to write this post. Just when you think you’re through the thickest part of the forest, you turn west and an abundance of pine trees cover your path in thicket.

While writing a different post for a different blog, I recounted my childhood in relation to school, specifically math classes. And while writing I got this overwhelming sensation, this bombardment of pain, a deep pain, a subconscious pain, one my conscious mind couldn’t comprehend. I couldn’t type anymore, the words were so muddied it felt like every sentence sounded like jumbled shit.

I couldn’t identify any other emotion besides pain. I couldn’t recount what kind of pain it was. I was sad, hurt, frustrated, confused–it felt like I was one of those Russian dolls that have smaller dolls hidden inside of it, and one of the smaller dolls was screaming in agony while simultaneously being burned alive, raped, and verbally accosted.

I’m sorry for that picture, but that’s the depth of the pain.

School is generally shit for most people. Very rarely have I met a person who said: “I liked everything about every year of my school and I don’t have one embarrassing or bad memory related to it”. If you are one of those people, comment or email me, because I want to hear your story.

But school wasn’t that horrible for me. I didn’t talk, suffered through Selective Mutism for a while, then paralyzing anxiety. I had trouble making friends, I was shit in math, and I was an outcast. No one really bullied me because I was tall, athletic, and hung out with kids who brought tasers and drugs to school. Home life was hard: surrounded by domestic violence, drugs, alcohol, emotional torment. And while I recognize all of that as a sort of systematic trauma, I thought for sure my awareness of it would cut down on the effect it has on me. Apparently I was wrong.

There must be some memory–or memories–of which I’ve either repressed or I just ignore and refuse to explore because there is an inner child, an inner part of me, that is consistently crying, screaming, cowering. It never stops. And sometimes there’s a “trigger” that ignites this part of me, like writing about my childhood.

A therapist I had at the Outpatient group I attended insisted I get in touch with my inner child but the closer I got to speaking with her the more distant and dissociated I became. That was another catalyst for that wonderful get-in-the-tub-and-kill-yourself incident you can read about in the above linked post.

Another trigger for me is when teachers say “Alright, we’re going to do an activity today” or “We’ll do something fun today”. The word “activity” alone sparks my fight and flight response whether it’s at a team meeting at work or a class or a workshop or a training. Or, when people say “you’re so quiet.” Even when they mean it in a good way.

Speaking of training, I have a three hour one on Wednesday of which has been really fucking with my head. I don’t do well around large groups of people and if I’m forced to do a role play in front of even five people I will spontaneously combust. I will.

I’m scared to touch my inner child with a ten foot pole because it seems like a volatile, unstable, nuclear ball of energy. I know I need to do it in order to properly heal, but I haven’t found anyone who can help me through that process yet. The last therapist I had who I paid for not only discounted my job and my skills, but insisted I get a second job even through I was curling on her couch crying my eyes out every session. I could barely hold my head up, and she wanted me to push myself harder.

I’m done with those kind of people in my life. Sometimes it’s not about pushing through the hard stuff, sometimes it’s about holding the hard stuff.

It feels good to post on here again, a real post. Not a whiny, woe-as-me post, but a thoughtful, reflective rant.

The word to sum up this post: Fuck.

The Night I Tried to Kill Myself

I don’t quite know how to put this experience into words. I haven’t written for some time again, due to feelings of inadequacy, depression, and general brain fog. I can’t seem to form coherent sentences as quickly as I used to, nor can I focus for long periods of time on something that I have a deep love for.

Thursday, 10.25.18 I remember walking into the outpatient center I attend for a therapy session. I remember the feelings of utter hopelessness attending with me, like a sack lunch I was carrying to school. I had made the decision to give up. I was tired of fighting, I was tired of trying to fight, and I was tired of the only option being fighting. I was tired of fighting myself, I was tired of, for the millionth time in my mental health career, coming off of medication, and I was tired of hearing I needed medication to thrive.

I was taking 10 milligrams of Abilify and 10 milligrams of Trintellix and I couldn’t find the energy to finish homework, or get out of bed, and I didn’t have the luxury of feeling any emotion at all: happiness, sadness, inquisitiveness, passion–nothing. And so I did what I always do: stopped the medication.

This usually happens without consequence. For the most part, I’ll stop cold turkey after a couple of months, struggle through a few physical withdrawal symptoms, and get on with my lifestyle. The last time I stopped these two meds, I regained my energy quickly, breezed through four classes, and managed happiness until the opinions of those I care about convinced me to try the medication again.

So I tried again, For maybe two and a half weeks. Then I stopped. I stopped and I noticed my energy did not come back. My mood was stable until it wasn’t. It plummeted. I focused a lot on what was wrong with me, the disappointment of my relationship ending (yes, I’m still stuck on that), and the worries of the future regarding my education, where I’m going to live after December, and the simple fact that I struggle taking care of myself. Those are the surface issues. There are deeper issues I don’t think I’m in touch with yet.

I’ve struggled with depression since I was ten years old. A low mood was nothing new to me, in fact I welcomed it because the darkness was comforting. It was an old friend, a sinister reminder that life is suffering and suffering reminds us that we’re alive. I was thankful for this friend to return because on the medication I didn’t feel alive.

I started planning fun things to do to keep me from falling further: A concert, an overnight trip to San Francisco, Halloween plans and costumes. I got excited: the week of the 21st would be marvelous.

But I started separating from myself.  I don’t remember when, and I don’t remember how, but part of me blacked out. I know I was around and talking to people because I went to work, had laughs, made plans. I don’t remember much of it, but I know I was there.

By Thursday, the 25th, I was moving slowly, not comprehending where I was, no hope or vision for the future, and I’d even lost interest in Halloween, my favorite holiday. I confessed to the therapist that I didn’t have energy to care much about my life, nor could I answer her questions. I didn’t tell her I’d made a plan to (somehow) kill myself after Halloween. It wasn’t fully developed yet, an undercooked chicken in the oven.

I don’t remember much about the session other than the ending: a mindful meditation seeking to locate my inner child. I remember a lot of pain resurfacing, so deep and profound I had never felt it before, and I snapped. I was gone. She asked me how I felt, and I told her dissociated, separated from myself. I remember that. She made me do some grounding activities to bring me back into my body. I don’t think they worked.
That night I went to a concert. It put me in a seemingly better mood.

Friday and Saturday I spent the days in San Francisco at the Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, Six Flags, and around town. Saturday evening, on the drive back, a sinister part of me reminded me of my plan.

I’m not a stranger to hearing voices. I don’t hear them every day, and I haven’t had a bad episode in a while, not since my last hospitalization last year, but this time was different. This time I heard nothing external, and everything internal.

We all have an inner voice that reads to us, thinks for us, and we are in control of that voice, we dictate it. I’m dictating it now as I read back what I wrote, and as I write. But what I listened to that Saturday evening was not of my own doing. A different voice, a male voice, one inside of my head that I had no control of, which directly told me I needed to kill myself. He instructed me to open the door of the car and jump out in traffic–on the highway–and end it. He addressed me as “you” and I addressed me as “I”. That’s the only difference I can pinpoint right now. When I had a thought of my own, I said to myself “I need to calm down”. When I didn’t, he said “you need to do this. There’s no reason for you to live, you don’t deserve life.”

Was this a demonic entity interfering with my thoughts? I didn’t know. I sat paralyzed in the rental car my Ex drove, crying consistently for an hour and a half. The torment wouldn’t stop. “You don’t deserve to live. There’s nothing good about you. Jump out of the car. End it. When you get home, kill yourself. Hang yourself in the closet, no one will even find you.”

I had plans that evening with another friend, so I did not act on those commands. I did, however, drink quite a bit of whiskey and wander around the downtown city. When I got home, I drank more whiskey and fell asleep.

In the morning I awoke instantly crying. The day was Sunday, 10.28.18. I turned on Breaking Bad: I’ve never seen it before. I don’t remember much of the episodes because my head was so loud: “hang yourself in the closet. Take a knife, slit your wrists. You will never amount to anything. You don’t deserve to be on this earth, you don’t contribute to anything.” I joined in: “I can’t write anymore. I can’t enjoy things anymore. I don’t see this getting any better”.

It was 6pm that night when I finally stood up and searched my apartment for something, anything to hang myself with. I didn’t feel in control of my body, I was just going along with the motions.

“Fill up the tub, get in the water, slit your wrists.”

I grabbed a kitchen knife from the drawer and filled up the tub. I remember this part more clearly than other parts because my heart was beating out of my chest, my hands were clammy, and I couldn’t get a grip on myself, I felt like I was losing myself to someone else.

I got in the water with my clothes on and fought the noise in my head. I tried to give myself reasons to live–family, my cat, work–but it was always overpowered by that other voice. I spent a half an hour sawing at my wrists with a dull blade that could barely cut a tomato. I pressed as hard as I could and my skin barely broke. Eventually, I threw the knife. I remember a lot of crying and banging my head on the wall and hitting myself. The noise wouldn’t stop. I ripped out the string from my leggings I had on and wrapped it around my neck and pulled and pulled and pulled. Thinking back on it, I would probably pass out before I die, given my hands are the one pulling the strings, but in the moment I just needed to cause some sort of harm to myself. I kept trying the knife in between strangling myself and I sent one text message that I don’t remember.

It was a couple hours before I stopped. My neck was sore and I had stopped crying, but I wasn’t back in my body yet. The water was cold and I heard the front door open and footsteps running in.

We spent a couple hours talking, and I was gone completely. I don’t remember an ounce of the conversation. I remember seeing through my eyes my body stand up and go for the knife, go for the string, and my ex preventing me from doing so. I remember telling him I didn’t want to traumatize him.

There’s a block on my memory of the conversation, what I said, what he said. I remember being on the couch wrapped in blankets, soaking wet, distraught, eating pizza. I didn’t remember the last time I had food. It couldn’t have been too long. I took a Seroquel. I only had three or four left. It’s a shame I didn’t have a full bottle, or I would have just swallowed them all and called it a night.

The next day I didn’t awake until 1pm. I could barely move, my mind was paralyzingly loud, and I turned on more Breaking Bad. The urge to die was so strong. People took turns watching after me, texting me, calling me. I refused to let anyone call 911. The hospital is not a place to be when you’re in a crisis.

Today is Halloween. My head isn’t loud. I came back into my body and have trouble remembering what the depression felt like because I feel I wasn’t the one to feel it–this entity within me, whether it’s paranormal or just a fractured part of my self, is hell bent on destroying me.  I haven’t experienced a dissociative experience so destructive since high school.

Am I still depressed? I think. Mildly. Or it’s so severe that I’m incapable of comprehending the severity of it.

I didn’t learn to love life from this attempt. I didn’t learn to appreciate the little things or find new meaning or purpose. I still feel lost and confused. A hospital visit isn’t going to change that. What I did learn is that I’m more committed than ever to never taking psychiatric medication again in my life. After 7 years of being a guinea pig, I’m done.

My outpatient group counselor asked me why I despised medication so much. I told her it’s poison. She asked in what way. I told everyone in that room that long term treatment results in heart issues, liver issues, physical ailments that permanently scar your internal body and shorten your life span.

She said okay,  well, then would you rather kill yourself now and not have a life to live, or have some little problems a little later?

I said that was a dumb question, and that heart arrhythmia’s aren’t little problems. I said I’d rather kill myself than subject my body to synthetic chemicals.

And through this experience, if it’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the only two ways I will die is by my own hand or nature’s hand. I will not slowly die at the hands of greedy monsters making a profit off my death. If anyone is going to shorten my life span, it’s going to be me.

Should 911 have been called on me? Probably. I’m worried what I will do after Halloween–my original plan–and where my mindset will go. I’m worried I won’t be able to receive the support people are offering because I don’t know how. I’m convinced there is nothing left for me and that the only thing keeping me alive right now is fear of the unknown and a low threshold for pain. I’m worried this depression will slide past, unnoticed, and sky rocket into something more. I’m worried I’m not going to find a purpose again, that I’m not going to find a reason to live. I’m worried I’ll never feel passionate about anything again, or optimistic. I’m worried I’m shutting down, like the last stages of liver cancer. I’m worried I’ll pass as functional and be in misery for the rest of my life, however short or long that is. I’m worried someone will convince me to go back on medication. I’m worried that the only thought in my head right now is that I give up.

I’m worried that, recently, every time someone offers their help, my response now is “I don’t want it.”

Loss

Eleven years old was the first time I wanted to kill myself.

I remember the day pretty well. We were living with a family in their house behind Burger King. We’d been there maybe a few weeks, and had a room to ourselves–my mother, father, and me. It was better than where we were a few weeks before, which was some hotels and a tent. The woman who owned–or rented, I’m not sure which–the house worked as a worker at an animal shelter and liked adopting and fostering different kinds of animals. At one point there was at least four+ dogs in the house, one of them as large as a medium sized bear. The PitBull puppy they brought home they named DeBo (think about the movie Friday) was six months old and he helped me overcome my fear of dogs. I’ve loved Pitbulls every since. They are a bunch of sweeties.

But the day I wanted to kill myself DeBo wasn’t there. I was with a small white kitten who loved me. I can’t remember what they’d named him. But he curled up next to me on a bench they had shoved underneath a tree in the front yard. I was listening to fucking Chamillionaire’s “Rain”, writing, and crying. I remember the words coming into my head: I should kill myself. What did I have? I didn’t have a home, I’d lost all my stuff (what we couldn’t fit in a small storage unit, we had to toss in the dump, including my bed), I didn’t have friends at that point, my father was drinking a lot, and my mother worked all the time. I didn’t see prospects of the future, and I certainly couldn’t see me sitting here at 23 writing about this.

I remember feeling hopeless, feeling worthless, feeling confused, and listening to a depressing song really wasn’t helping. I don’t remember what I did the rest of that day, a lot of crying, a lot of writing, a lot of music. It’s like the moment is just a snapshot in time.

This was before the woman’s daughters and her friends slashed the tires of our car and put a sign on our door that said they didn’t want us there. Because we really wanted to be there, with her mother drinking a bottle of Jack Daniels and taking pills and threatening to kill herself every weekend. Yeah, great environment, I really, really wanted to stay there.

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Anyway, we lost that car to their ignorance.

I think I’m thinking about these things because my therapist called our conversation out on being too logical. I don’t speak with a lot of emotion often, or include a lot of emotion when I talk about things that have happened to me, or things I have done, or pain I’ve been through. I think it’s a coping mechanism I learned over the years that needs to be broken. But it’s interesting to feel as I write this the same sense of loss I felt as a child. It’s weird for it still to linger and still to be so ingrained. It feels like I’m eleven again, sitting on that bench with that cat. It feels like I just learned they slashed our tires and one more thing that I loved dearly (it was a 1972 Ranchero) was being left behind and therefore taken away from me. Something I’ll never get back. It sounds silly, but I didn’t think three years of running around living from place to place could have this much of an impact on me as an adult ten years later. That’s trauma, I guess.

I suppose this is why I don’t think about things emotionally, or talk about them emotionally, I can never handle the emotions that surface. I’m trying to stay present to finish this post, but the tears are heavy and the dissociation is real. Emotional flashbacks, I’ve learned these are called.

I guess the conversation yesterday that I overhead about people’s depression and when it started got me thinking about my own depression. It’s interesting that these feelings mimic those feelings of loss I had when I started getting paranoid and lost all my academic abilities. There’s been a lot of loss in my life, over and over again, as I’m sure it is in many people’s lives, and I’m curious how other people deal with it in a healthy way. I’m not sure I know how. I don’t think I ever learned.

When did your depression start? How have you dealt with it? How do you deal with loss? Those are questions I wonder about you, reader.

And that’s today’s mental truth: loss is a bitch.

Two Little Pills

I have a poem for you all today about something I’ve been struggling with on an astronomical level. It’s something that’s been hounding me since I first started on this journey when I was 16 or 17. Take a read.

Take it, they say, and I do.

It’s for the better, they say, and I pretend

to believe them.

But there’s no better medicine than human connection,

than walks in nature

where the fireflies conjure

and the Cougars roar.

There’s no better medicine than a domestic cat’s purr,

than a puppy’s head rub,

or the bloom of a rose.

But take it, they said, and I do,

for I understand the consequences of moods

that are self destructive,

that cause more pain than happiness,

that force me to believe

everyone is against me,

even as the evidence proves otherwise.

Two little pills will not dictate my life

but they hound my moral conscience mercilessly:

“You’re feeding the demon, Big Pharma,

going against what you believe in,

what Karma

will that produce at the end of your life span

here on Earth?

You’re hurting your liver, your kidneys, your organs.

How will your heart feel after 21 years of torture

by two little pills?

Don’t you remember Prolonged QT,

or have you forgotten you’re getting a science degree?

It can cause a fatal Arrhythmia after prolonged use of anti-psychotics

and who knows this but you?

A psychiatrist won’t tell you,

a physician won’t tell you

and yet you take those two little pills

against your very own will.

This is all the voice in my head

the one that used to constantly want me dead.

Now he begs for me to save my life

by throwing away those two little pills

that cause me so much moral strife.

 

Check out this poem and more on my Booksie account here.

Murder-Suicide Close To Home

I’ll catch up on the challenge post tomorrow. There is something I feel that needs to be said that has a little more priority, simply because of the context.

The town in which I live is relatively small. Tourists come from wherever they come from (hell, I think), and there are about four or five different . . . regions? I don’t know what to call them. I live in an unincorporated area of the town, but I’m still part of the town. That makes sense.

There was one man who parked his truck in the cliffs a while back. I guess the police had been informed he was feeling the need to end his life and before they got to him, he’d shot himself through the temple. I have no clue if the police knew where he was or not. This was maybe five minutes from my house, and probably a few months before or after (I can’t remember) some other guy was running around swimming in the nasty lagoon with a gun trying to hide from the cops. I don’t think he could hold his breath or stand the stench long enough to NOT get caught, because he got caught.

Yesterday there was a shooting at the mall about ten minutes from my house. A woman, her husband, and daughter had been shopping at the mall earlier in the afternoon, and now the woman called the police about her husband making “suicidal threats”–he was still at the mall with their daughter. I don’t know if the woman had left or not, the story is still rocky.

Regardless, the police didn’t make it, and I guess mall security isn’t trained and/or wasn’t notified, because the man shot himself and his daughter in the back of their Kia Soul in the middle of the parking lot. The girl was 8 years old. They both died in the car.

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Crime scene investigators survey the Capitola Mall parking lot Sunday, where a man killed himself and his 8-year-old daughter. (Stephen de Ropp — Contributed).

I’m not going to blame anyone here for anything. People can nitpick at the speed of the cops/security, they can nitpick at the man’s wife, and most likely they’ll nitpick at the man too. But the truth is, we’ll never really know why this man shot himself and his daughter or if anything preemptive could have been done.

Instead of blasting suicide hotlines at you, I think this is a perfect opportunity to remind everyone how hidden these feelings can be, and how serious the consequences are when they’re hidden for too long. People can blame it on “mental illness” or whatever you want to call it, but there’s much more too it. People can say he should have been shoved into a hospital, but even statistics knows 50%-70% of people who go in feeling like they should end their life come out feeling they should end their life tenfold. It’s not about being a sick bastard disturbed enough to kill his daughter. It’s about being a person who got fed up with whatever he got fed up with, or was struggling in some other way perhaps no one knew about, so he turned to the only logical thought in his head at that time.

It’s logical because it’s about taking control of things that are out of control, and that’s what he did. That’s a very human response. It’s not the response we generally like to hear about, nor is it the response I wish anyone to have, but it’s a human one alright.

That being said, had the cops arrived, would what they have done prevented anything? How much do they know about wanting to end their own life and what would they have said to him? Would the man have shot his daughter anyway, so they shoot him? What difference would that have made? Where the fuck did the gun come from? I didn’t know people who drove fucking Kia Souls were gun wranglers, I’ll never tailgate another Prius in my life.

There are so many assumptions to be made here, and that’s where the danger and the stigma and the stupidity starts, especially in murder-suicide incidents.

People get scared when the ones around them are spewing things like “suicidal threats” and I think that’s because of the panic and the fear that comes with losing someone they care for and the thoughts of what could happen. That’s also a pretty human response. But I think it’s also helpful to remember in that time that this person is telling you these things for a reason, and it’s not always just to let you know what their plans are.

That’s a lot of pressure–for someone to come to you and say they’re going to kill themselves. Now all of a sudden you feel it’s up to you to stop them. Is it? I don’t know. I don’t know if anyone has any kind of responsibility for anyone else’s life. What I do know is that if you’ve experienced that kind of despair, or even if you have experienced any kind of deep pain at all, for any reason, you know how hard it is to see past it and how lonely it is. Maybe it’s not really about stepping in to save their life and be the hero walking away from the fire.

Maybe it’s not about convincing them to stay alive or being responsible for them, maybe it’s just about using what you know, what you’ve felt, to connect for just a moment. Maybe it’s not your responsibility to make them change their mind, maybe it’s their responsibility to change their mind and maybe you can support them through that change.

I would consider this situation at the mall very high risk and that’s why I say I don’t know if anything would have changed had the police reached that man and I’m not going to sit here and criticize people for things they should have done: that doesn’t bring either person back to life. I don’t know what kind of threats he said to his wife or how long he’s expressed these kinds of things. Maybe he never has. Maybe a slow growing brain tumor finally cut off some blood supply to a specific area of his brain and suddenly he didn’t want to live anymore and no words could have ever made a difference. You don’t know.

You can’t save everyone. That’s not meant to sound morbid, just truthful: some people have made up their minds and you could be the best connector in the world and they’ll still put a barrel to their temple.

But, a good try is better than not trying at all–or, you know, chalking it all up to being “sick”.

How Do You Feel About Safety?

What’s your experience with this? With suicide hotlines, or being interviewed about it with a mental health professional?

Because I feel there’s a major flaw in this system, and I’ve thought about different ways it could be fixed, I’ve thought about ways it could be improved, internally and externally if that makes sense–everything is internal and external with me–, but what I’ve yet to do is ask others who have similar experiences to me how they feel about this.

The last time I used a suicide hotline or service thing, I don’t know what to call them, I was halfway going to do it. I pretty much led the entire county and hotline on a wild goose chase. I was teasing them about trying to find me before I die, while simultaneously trying to find a place to either jump off and break my neck or jump down far enough to die on impact. That’s hard to do when you’re avoiding overpopulated places like bridges. Maybe I picked a hard way to go for a reason. All I knew was 1) the trees weren’t talking to me anymore 2) I didn’t see any point in anything and 3) there were no more butterflies, and that’s a problem.

Eventually some county social worker and a sheriff got me. My boyfriend had got to me first, because I told him where I was. I’d told the hotline people where I was too, but in cryptic language and they must have decoded my message.

Anyway, my point is the whole reason I fucked with those hotline people, and pretty much myself, was because I hate, hate, hate when I get asked “can I help you get safe tonight?”

What the fuck does that mean. What does it mean? Can someone tell me? I don’t know what it means and I don’t know how to answer it. If I say I have a plan, they freak out. If I say I don’t have a plan, they say well, let’s keep you safe tonight and then suggest I listen to music or write.

I have different reasons for suicidality. Sometimes I’m just overwhelmed and can’t handle my emotions because I don’t know how to do that efficiently, so I say I’m going to kill myself. Sometimes I half-mean it, like when I sent them on a wild goose chase, and when I really mean it I tell no one, I just try. TRY. Because I’m shit at killing myself too. People say that’s a good thing, and being in my right mind right now I say it’s a good thing too. The creepy thing is I got the same treatment in the hospital, I got the same run around.

I also got a lecture. Remember? Remember that LCSW I posted about? My God, 45 minutes of fucking her repeating what depression is and ignoring the fact that I’d said several times I didn’t feel depressed, just overwhelmed, e.t.c and then at the end of it all, after I stopped talking for thirty minutes, she got concerned and said “I hope some of this resonated with you”.

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Who knows, it could have been more than 45 fucking minutes, THERE’S NO CLOCKS, HOW THE HELL SHOULD I KNOW.

Whatever. The point is, nothing got resolved because everyone just wanted me safe and I didn’t know what that meant, and they seemed to feel that means leaving me alone for two days and I don’t know if that’s what keeps me safe or not, I don’t know. Because when they asked me in front of the entire room if I still wanted to kill myself, I lied very angrily, pretty much through clenched teeth, “no.”

So is the goal to just stop people from killing themselves, or to actually resolve the feelings of wanting to die? I didn’t want to say yes and get my rights taken away. I saw it coming from a mile away, I didn’t trust them an ounce. I don’t trust anyone. I was pretty much convinced the two women who were talking to me actually wanted me to kill myself, legitimately, like they were working together, which is partly why I didn’t sleep on top of the last week and a half of me not sleeping, and why I refused the “sleeping medication” they wanted to give me. Sleeping medication my ass. Fucking cyanide. And I wouldn’t have dared to mention that or anything about the trees, magic, or voices.

So my question is, since different people have different experiences, what do think about your “safety”?

Does helping you stay safe do anything for you?

Do you find yourself giving answers as empty as their questions?

*Some food for thought. Or thoughts for food.*

 

Apathetic Annie Ate Four Awesome Apples.

Ignore that title.

Sometimes people get this mixed up, so I decided to give a little explanation.

Apathy does not always accompany depression.

Contrary to what people have been believing these last five days, I am not depressed. I do not feel sad. I don’t feel like my life is horrible. That is not why I was pushed towards suicide.

There is a difference between being fed up and being depressed. I was fed up and hollow. Not depressed.

Contrary to what the LCSW said, I do not have low self-esteem. I’m actually a pretty arrogant prick, and in some respects to certain talents, I have a reason for it.

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And no I’m not arrogant to make up for my low self esteem. Because I don’t have low self esteem. I’m confident in what I can accomplish. I’m aware of the things I suck at. And I’m okay with both.

This indifference has been following me around for a couple weeks now and it’s what has been putting a damper on all of my school work, I know this now. I was not crying in front of the damn social worker and sheriff because I was sad, but because I was incredibly, incredibly angry. I was angry I don’t have an explanation or answer for all of this. I’m usually pretty good at having answers. I stopped crying pretty quickly, within about two minutes of starting. I arrived in the intake place monotone. I think that’s why the LCSW started throwing out all her feelers trying to break me for 45 minutes. Didn’t work.

This really puts a damper on shit. I’m used to this shit lasting a few days because I decide to say “fuck it all, I’m too stressed!”. I’m not used to it not being spearheaded by me consciously.

I just don’t care. I can’t be bothered to take a shower or eat or get out of bed and make it to class. If I do make it to class, I couldn’t be bothered to give two shits. My anxiety can’t even break through these walls: I’ve been wandering outside and into stores in leggings, socks, and a sweater with the uncombed rats nest that is my hair, and I just don’t care that my neighbors cut quick glances in my direction.

I don’t care that Walgreens calls a code into the speaker after I make eye contact with the clerk and then suddenly I’m looking for soap and another employee peers around the corner at me and smiles and leaves. Yeah Walgreens, I’m really going to steal soap.

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I don’t care if people think I’m rude for not making eye contact with them. I don’t care if I don’t laugh at your shit joke. Maybe if it weren’t so shitty, I would laugh. Ever think of that?

I’m usually a hypersensitive person, and that’s no different when I’m depressed. When I’m depressed, I’m crying a lot but I’m feigning a smile. When I’m depressed, I’m listening to sad music and thinking about how shit everything is. When I’m depressed, I feel like a failure. When I’m depressed, I tell myself I’m worthless. When I’m depressed, I want someone to hug me and tell me everything is alright. When I’m depressed, sometimes keeping busy actually helps keep myself out of my head and makes me feel better.I have a lot of experience with depression.

Granted, I still can’t get out of bed, I still sleep a lot, and get to class or keep up on work, but it’s because of the overwhelming feeling. That’s the key point in all of this.

I’m not crying; I’m not sad. I’m not happy, but I’m not sad. I’m nothing. I’m not feigning a smile, I could care less to appease anyone at this point. I’m listening to Michael Jackson and dancing a bit in my seat. I don’t feel like a failure. I don’t want anyone to hug me for fucks sake; in fact, I’d prefer it if people stayed away from me. Keeping busy hasn’t changed anything. I actually went to work. I went to work hoping a couple of specific people were there but turns out I decided to go insane the week none of them were.

It was worse the days leading up to the hospital, and the days after. It wasn’t until today that I feel a little break in the fog: I laughed at Kim Jong Un banning sarcasm is North Korea. That’s huge. A laugh is huge.

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I guess I laughed at the hospital once, at the guy who crawled like a spider across the floor. But that was more sad and disturbing than funny. And I laughed a little uncontrollably for about five minutes. The girl next to me kept staring at me. I should have said bitch turn around, you in the same place I am, don’t act like you ain’t never seen someone laugh for no reason for five minutes straight. 

 

 

As I walked through the mist tonight in my same sweater, same leggings, same socks, I have been for the last five days, I was taking a look around. I think briefly I’ve talked about my disassociative experiences. They’ve been flaring up again. And as I walked I was trying to figure out why the world looked so different to me now. I was looking for some fascinating, descriptive words to make me sound like an exquisite asshole–I mean exquisite writer–but all I could come up with is “video games”.

Life feels like a video game now. Everything around me doesn’t seem like real life, it seems controlled. Things look different, people seem different. Like they’re all players, or puppets maybe.

You know the way GTA 5 has real looking facial features and nature features, but you can obviously tell it’s not reality? That’s what the world looks like to me: really good graphics that aren’t good enough to fool me.

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Trevor was by far one of my favorite video game characters by the way. The black people in these games are always way too stereotypical though.

For those followers who have been with me for a couple months, do you remember when I said as a joke that this blog has steadily become a diary of my descent into madness? I think the madness is here.

The Sound Of Silence

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After the events of the last couple days, and of the last few weeks in general, I went on a search for a place to find solace.Class is not one of them, so I did not attend classes today.

There are several national parks where I live, open to the public and free.Why I never explore them is beyond me.

But today I needed to be in nature. I needed to hear the trees talk to me and the moths tell me everything was going to be okay. The more I think about it, my manager from work is 100% right: moths are totally fairies.

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I’m terrified of things that flutter. They are loud and erratic and stress me out. But if I think of them as fairies my fear dissipates. It reminds me of my childhood when a neighbor girl and I were obsessed with them. We went fairy hunting and bought each other fairy accessories (like magnets) with stories about the different types of fairies and the different types of good wills they bring with them. They watch over us, almost like little angels of nature. Ever since my stress has reached monumental peaks and I’ve been cracking at the seams, tons of fairy-moths have been huddling on my room door, outside of my apartment, and laying themselves flat all over my car.

There was one this morning that I talked to for a little while and he rode with me until the wind got too intense and he fluttered off to take care of someone else. They’re busy little creatures.

Anyway, I dragged my boyfriend and his sparkling white shoes and clean clothes into the dust and ruckus of the forest seen above. He hates when I do that.

The picture above was the main road because there are some people who live up on the tip of the mountain.But when you veer off onto the dirt paths through the trees there’s nothing but silence, fairies, rushing water, and the realization that life is more simple and beautiful than we let it be.

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I go into the trees when I want to kill myself–not to kill myself, but to not kill myself. See how that works?

Nature and I have a special pact with each other. We understand each other on a metaphysical level. It speaks to me and I speak to it and we both realize we’re in this journey together for the long haul. I feel both good and bad for the redwood that stands for hundreds or thousands of years. That’s a lot of change, a lot of pain, and a lot of time.

As much as I would like to take a bullet to the temple, when I sit next to a stream and listen to the water and all the thousands of years worth of knowledge it has, and when I sit next to a broken stump of a tree twice the length of my 5’7 body, and listen to the pain it’s endured from tree rot or loggers or whatever, it all tells me not to take the bullet.

None of these feelings are gone. But I know the universe is there advocating for me if no one else is.

We came across a large tree stump that my boyfriend thought looked like a large bone of an animal. I said that was because trees are the bones of the earth.

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They also–hold onto your hats–receive messages from the universe. That’s how I see it, at least.That’s why they talk to me in the silent way that they do, and they hug me in the non-tangible way that they do.

That’s why the leaves were as bright as they were today. That was a message in itself. That’s why there was as much silence as there was today in those woods. The universe knows where I am this moment, it always sees it coming before I do, and it’s sending its condolences through soft breezes and fairies across my car.

I have not recovered yet from my shutdown or my meltdown. Everything aches. My mental health and my physical health. I can barely lug this body around from my room to the bathroom and the nausea is killing me; it’s always the same. I do not feel well. My classes are suffering once more and I’m sick of falling into the same old cycle without any insight into why.

I might consult the trees again tomorrow morning, if I can wake up early enough.

Some people were walking their horses through the trails and I almost fell into tears because I could not give the horses a hug or a pat. Their eyes are always so telling and I know they had a message for me too, but I couldn’t get close enough to them. They were beautiful though.

I jumped on the tree branches, I climbed some, I sat in the dirt and I got us lost. We went further down into the depths of the mountainside, away from the residential main road where the real silence was.

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An aerial view of the park, courtesy of Google Images. I’m probably someone in one of the grooves, swinging from a tree branch.

If we paused we could hear a creek trickling downstream and the distant hooves of the horses.

I feel bad I did not spend this time getting caught up on all the homework I haven’t done, as well as all the studying for my test tomorrow. I feel like I am an expert at wasting time in these frilly states of mind. But I also feel like they are necessary. They’re how I understand the world. They’re the only way I know of, besides hospitalization, that would keep me from blowing away my skull. They are the only reason I’ve never been hospitalized.

If I didn’t think the universe held me on a pedestal, I’d have killed myself long ago.

So the nausea is still rampant, both my hands are sore and a little swollen from all the hitting and punching and throwing things, my skin is irritated from all the self harm, and my mind/body is exhausted. My homework is left undone, my participation points in class have probably plummeted, and I’ll probably fail that test tomorrow.

But I’m alive.

I’m trying to figure out of any of this is worth the effort I’m putting in.

I’ve always wanted this blog to be informative. I’ve also always wanted it to be real. And this is as real as it gets. Fairies, voices of the universe, and a bullet in my head.

Cheating Death

Is it sad (as in pathetic, as in petty) if I consider my Chromebook’s ability to function at half capacity an analogy to myself and my life?

moronYou see, I am an idiot. People say I’m smart, they tell me I have all these wonderful qualities and characteristics, that I’m hilarious, that I have common sense and a gift for connecting with people who also hurt internally. But in the grand scheme of things, I must be an utter moron.

What do I expect to happen when I leave juice next to an electronic device, and then decide to flop down on the bed like a whale?

The keyboard is shot and I’m hoping I tipped it upside down, stuck it in rice, and hair-drier-ed it quick enough that the motherboard won’t be affected by some sugary, monstrous after-effect.

It’s a touch screen, luckily, and that still works. But it’s not the same.

Its short life flashed behind my eyes the moment the liquid slid over the flat keys and seemed into all the little crevices. I remember the first day I got it and the freedom it provided me from this over-sized desktop.

But essentially me and it are connected in another intimate way. It looks like a 700 dollar laptop (it wasn’t anywhere near that price) but it functions at the capacity of a 40 dollar laptop now that half of it is disabled.

Generally, when I try hard enough, I can look like a million dollars. But I function at a capacity worth less than a penny.

I realize I am generally a disappointment to the people around me–whether or not they are willing to say it to my face. I realize I am a bit of a burden to people. I can’t handle much noise or people and I often shut down if I’m put in that situation–or I just embarrass myself trying to blend in to the crowd. I say odd things, make odd jokes, and have trouble relating or connecting to people on an emotional level. I’m not exactly the kind of person you bring home to your parents, either, because chances are I won’t talk to them.

I’m essentially the human version of y=sinx:

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And regardless of whether or not I enjoy that, I’m aware it creates a kind of pressure upon people I’m around.

You can say “well, those are the people you shouldn’t be around”.

But that’s every person. Whether they are willing to say it or not, whether they let it bother them or not, they are taking on extra baggage by simply being involved with me.

I weep randomly like an abused toddler.

But if you asked someone who knows me in a general sense, they would tell you I’m always laughing and cracking jokes and the majority of them have probably never seen me shed a tear, even if I hurt myself. And they may call themselves my friend, and I may call them my friend as well, but the connection they have with me will always be undoubtedly more shallow than others they may have.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Because for them, they have many kinds of connections with many people.

'Why must you keep building barriers between us, darling?'Through my eyes, I see myself distanced from everyone, consistently cut off from humanity. I agree I may contribute to that consciously a bit, but I believe a lot of it is unconscious behavior that I know nothing about.

So naturally I’ve contemplated suicide many times in my life, and I still do.

I think it’s a normal behavior for many people. Some people want to end it because of a job, because of an issue at school, because of an issue with their family . . . none of them are ill, or disordered for God’s sake, they just want a way out; they’re feeling trapped.

I’ve always felt trapped and I believe to some extent I always will be. Humans are not exactly a species I understand on an emotional level. I try to relate but I can’t. I think the act of trying so much as made me even more distant.

So when I’m feeling claustrophobic within my own mind and my own space, and when I’m planning the best way to leave earth without much pain or gruesome clean up, and when I’m contemplating what day and time I should go, who my belongings should be inherited by, I try and think about the things I will miss.

I ignore the thoughts of all the people who would supposedly miss me, not because I’m insensitive and not because I don’t care for those people, but because I want to find a reason to live for myself. I’m sick of having to endure things for the sake of others, and life is one thing I’ve been enduring for others.

I live for everyone else, constantly. I do what they wish me to do not because I’m comfortable but because I know it makes them happy and I would like to make as many people happy as I can.

Don’t confuse this with being a push-over. Ask anyone I know and they will tell  you if I don’t agree with something I will give a full hour lecture on the stupidity of it all. 

But when it comes to actions, things that I know other normal people do, I try and agree to them because I want to lessen the burden of my “oddness” upon others and instead place everything on my own shoulders. I suck at giving gifts, but if you want me to go to a movie with you on premier night, I probably will.

e08701a15e288ec622a52e51ef4f5ad2I try and think about the birds and how weird it would be to never hear them chirp again. I try to think about the clouds and the sky and how weird it would be to never feel rain on my skin again, how weird it would be to never feel a headache again (of which I have right now), how weird it would be to never heard another laugh or to laugh, to never hear or feel wind, or thunder, to never pet another cat or get licked by another dog.

Do I want to give up an opportunity to experience all of that?

This doesn’t stop me from feeling trapped or like a burden or useless or any other negative thing I associate with myself, but it does stop me from doing anything rash.

And isn’t that what life is about anyway? Aren’t we always trying to find new ways to cheat death?

My brain has been living in emotional survival mode the moment I spotted another human being outside of my immediate family. That’s 21 years of constantly fighting, and it’s tired.

I might not remember anything about my childhood, but I do remember feelings. And there isn’t a moment from my childhood I remember feeling comfortable with the world around me or the people around me. I was aware I wasn’t like them and no one told me that was alright. That’s a lot to deal with as a 4, 5, 6, year old.

They told me I’d grow out of it all.

I’m still trying to figure out what they meant.