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.”

Anyone?

I’ve a question for all of you out there who are fellow sufferers of what is commonly called “intrusive thoughts”. In fact, I have several questions.

What I hear most commonly around intrusive thoughts is their connection to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. From my understanding, on a clinical standpoint, those intrusive thoughts are usually repeated and have a resulting compulsion. Correct me if I’m wrong, I don’t have any real connection personally to OCD, so if the experience is completely different please feel free to blast me in the comments below.

Or just politely explain it. Whichever you prefer. The last time I was offended by someone’s comment on the internet, T-Rex’s roamed the earth. And yes, I’m that old. No wrinkles. Want the secret to my everlasting youth? Stay turned until the end of this article.

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What was I talking about?

Intrusive thoughts. Yes. Yes. Another way I’ve heard them described is thoughts that come out of no where and invade your brain space and fill it up until it feels like it’s about to burst. Usually that get’s explained by someone’s anxiety and worries or brought on by stress.

I’ve experienced intrusive-like thoughts throughout the majority of my life, as well as intrusive images? Does anyone else go through that? Most of the images I see either appear in front of my eyes or on the back of my eyelids when I blink or close my eyes. They’re not pleasant. Usually gruesome images of demon babies, demons, mangled corpses, skeletons, e.t.c. I don’t know where the depictions are coming from?

(# Government satellites circling the earth transmitting messages to my brain).

Anyway, most people’s intrusive thoughts are spoken with the dialect and accent of the voice in their head–you know, the little guy who chills with you everywhere, who you hear-think when you’re reading a book silently, the one school helped you develop by forcing you to read silently rather than out loud. Mine have never been in that voice. Anyone else experience this?

Mine have developed into other people’s voices, that’s how I can distinguish the thoughts provoked my anxiety (in my own voice) and the ones that seemingly develop from thin air (in other voices).

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, because I’ve been reading more and more posts about anxiety, depression, intrusive thoughts, and voices. I believe these are a result of stress and different anxieties, but are expressed as something completely unrelated.

For example, when I first got my kitten, I posted all the lovely pictures of her and how much fun she is. I did not mention that as I watched her play on the ground, this thought person told me I should snap her neck. I should step on her. I should throw her in front of a car.

I’m used to having stupid thoughts about stupid things in some other stupid voice. I might be thought-told to murder someone or run over a biker while I’m driving, maybe even something as disturbing as violating a child.

They’re not repeated thoughts. They don’t make me avoid things. Compulsions don’t result. I don’t “worry” constantly I’ll become a murderer, because I’ve always been away of these thought-voices, I know what they suggest are pretty dumb and vile. They come and they go and I move on. Usually I’ll just remove myself from whatever situation I’m in (i.e, leave the room my kitten is in) and do something else.

My problem is finding someone else who totally gets what I’m saying. Someone who knows what I mean when I say “thought-voice”, in that it’s internal dialogue not in my “brain-voice”. I usually tell them to shut up if they start showing me images/memories I don’t want to see, or curse me out, e.t.c. It’s like there’s two other people living inside of my brain.

Sometimes it’s not frequent. Sometimes it’s very frequent. Sometimes I feel a little distant from things and once my brain settles down I feel like I’ve just woken up from a coma or something. Everything is clear again. I have a hard time remembering what went on in the last few days or weeks. I’ll remember things, but not well I guess I should say. What I remember very well is the feeling of being distant.

Can anyone relate? Leave a comment or email me if you don’t like personal things in a comment section.

For now, I’ll just go with my Government theory: they’re zapping our brains with specific plots of theirs, so that we develop into mass murders and then get sent to prison and then make millions of dollars for the prisons, e.t.c, e.t.c. And I’m a test subject. Cool.

Oh yeah, I haven’t developed wrinkles because I’m immortal. So, just get some immortality and you’ll be fine.

Thoughts #2

We’re losing all the icons man, Prince dead at 57, wasn’t expecting to wake up to that this morning. Soon we’re going to be left with Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift and Skrillex as our icons, and the majority of the kids of the next generation aren’t going to know the satisfaction of playing a real instrument or experience true talent beyond someone pressing the space bar on a laptop or flicking the auto-tune button in a studio.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about this kind of stuff lately, the fragility of human beings. Not in a nihilistic or depressive sense, I’ve just been thinking about it.

It’s one reason I do admire my philosophy professor.  She’s very open about the way she thinks and believes in the reality we observe every day without paying any mind.

The password on her computer is over twenty characters, supposedly to keep out hackers, students, or hacking students or student hackers. Perhaps even colleagues, I don’t know. When she screws up on a key, we have to wait another five minutes for her to type it out. That’s how long it is.

I too share the paranoia of hackers–and it’s well justified these days. If I had a dollar for every time Nigeria and China hacked one of my damn Gmail accounts, I’d have enough to fund the L.A trip I’m taking this summer. 

She doesn’t like being video taped or recorded in any sense. Because my college is small, and the professors are surfers and pot heads even if they don’t identify as them and are usually chill about being recorded, I’ve never came across a professor who loathes it as much as this woman. She allows students to do so only if they’ve given her early notice and even then she lets you know how much she hates it.

One kid tried to sneak in a phone video and I thought heads were going to be chopped off. He’d slouched in his chair with his Iphone 6+ (yeah, the 5.7 inch one) and the camera light on facing her as she went on one of her infamous energetic rants. She caught sight of the light out of the corner of her eye and fell silent abruptly, pointed at the dumbass and said “Are you recording me?”

He shifted in his seat and lowered the camera a bit. She repeated herself and the room went cold.

Every fight I’d conquered in BloodBorne flashed behind my eyes at this moment. I was hoping we’d be bathing in student entrails.

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He said, “Well, It’s just because I think you’re so great. It’s a compliment.”

She didn’t buy his excuse, shuffled on over to his side of the room, leaned over the balcony in the front of the lecture hall as close to him as she could possibly get, smiled, and calmly informed him she would snatch his phone and smash it to pieces on the concrete, she’d done it many times before and wouldn’t be afraid to do it again.

The best part about all of this was the student had really white skin, so his entire self turned into a beet. 

I too hate being video taped. Perhaps not to that extent, it’s pictures that bother me the most. I’ve had my share of moments I’ve threw someone’s phone to the ground because they wouldn’t get it out of my face.

does-time-exist-blabberpoShe’s just as forgetful as I am, in terms of the things people called “important”. You know, like time. And dates. She’s never late, but she always forgets which times our class is at, what time it ends, and what days they’re on, even this late in the semester. She’s had this problem since she was a child, she said, because she doesn’t believe time exists, nor does she believe reality exists. That was the introductory sentence to our class. She wouldn’t explain why, much to my dismay, and if I didn’t have social anxiety I would be in her office hours asking her her theory and justification to see if it overlaps with mine. Because I tend to believe the same.

If there’s a yell or a shout or a loud noise somewhere, or even someone’s phone ringing, she always pauses in the middle of the lecture, stares at us for a moment, and asks us if we heard that. We all say yes and she continues. I laughed the first time that happened because it’s true, you can never quite know how real something is when you don’t believe in this reality. I think everyone else thinks it’s just some weird quirk of hers, and I think she plays it up for entertainment purposes in terms of class, but I understand the logic behind it, that’s the most entertaining part for me.

She goes on tangents too, that’s the best part. Sometimes they’re relevant, sometimes they’re irrelevant, and sometimes they’re just plain nonsensical but in a relevant way if that makes sense.

But attending her lectures and moving on in life always gets me thinking about how much we don’t know, and how much we think we know. It gets me thinking about how centered we are on ourselves as a species and how strange it is we’ve developed so many different ideals and cultures and languages and how much stranger it is that we become so self-centered we feel we have a right to tell someone else their behavior is abnormal.

I just think it’s all weird.

To be quite honest, I’m bored, that’s my problem.

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I’m bored with people who think money is valuable for anything other than survival, I’m bored with working, I’m bored with our “education”, I’m bored with standards, I’m bored with rules, I’m bored with “normality”. Maybe it’s just my twenties talking, just as my teens spoke well in the language of nihilism.

But this boredom isn’t like “Oh i’m bored with rules so let me go steal a car and stab someone in the eye”.

This boredom is like “Why am I not allowed to steal a car and stab someone in the eye? Why is that bad? I’m confused“.

This boredom is like “why do people waste their time with this petty reality? What gives them the confidence that this reality is reality? I haven’t seen any proof to convince me anything existing in this moment actually exists.

This boredom is like “What allows us to plan for a future we’re not guaranteed? Why do our brains just casually skip over the fact that we could all drop dead right now? I bet it’s hiding something from us. What prevents me from dropping dead this second?”

This boredom is like “Where are the fucking aliens? I’m bored of humans.” 

This boredom is like “I can’t even ‘go against the grain’ without being clumped into a whole other group ‘going against the grain’ so am I really going against the grain?”

Humanity bores me, basically. Jobs and family and material things and enjoyment and sadness and everything is labeled as significant without any proof of any of them being significant. I’m bored with that. Life gets much more interesting if I try and construct it through the eyes of someone who sees no significance in anything, but only sits back and observes the chaos.

 

College and Knowledge

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As our first assignment, my philosophy professor published a question online in which we could comment on. She asked us “what do you expect out of this class?”

I’m not new to philosophy. I read it as a high schooler (particularly Kant for some reason) and I’ve taken the college courses in it. I feel I’ve had a metaphysical mind since birth; the concepts of reality and our perceptions and the nature of reality are things I get weird looks for when I talk about them. Some people just have a hard time wrapping their head around something that isn’t tangible.

As a child, I lived outside of this physical world and inside of my mental world. I have no problem with fantasy, theorizing, hypotheticals or thought experiments. I don’t take very many things seriously, meaning I don’t believe what I see or what I hear, because my perception of it could always be wrong. Not in a hallucination way, but in a reality way. You know, the color of the desk is only that color because your optical nerves can only receive specific types of light. Were you a Mantis Shrimp, you’d see a whole new world.

Our brains, as complex and as sophisticated as we like to think of them as, couldn’t handle absolute reality. It restricts us from certain perceptions for a reason.

half-life-of-learning-3So I thought for a day on what I expected out of this Ethics course. It made me think about what I want and what I expect out of all my classes. It made me think about the reality of education in general.

There are core reasons people take Calculus and Linear Algebra and Differentials: it fits their major. Physics majors, math majors, engineers, computer scientists, some chemistry majors, e.t.c. In my mathematics based classes, I’m surrounded by those people. They’re all going into the “hard” sciences, and when I say I’m a psychology major they give me that look. 

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Confusion, essentially. Perhaps a little pity.

It’s as if people have forgotten majors are not the only thing you’re allowed to study.

I could have stopped at Trigonometry if I wanted to, and transferred to a school that didn’t care whether or not Calculus existed. I could have stopped at first and second semester calculus because the university I’m transferring to only requires the first semester. But I keep on going. Why? What am I expecting?

There are core reasons people take Physiology and Pharmacology: it’s a requirement if you want to be a certified nurse or social worker or an extra education requirement if you’re a drug counselor in this county apparently. Why am I taking it? What am I expecting? I’m not apart of the HSERV (Human Services) program. It doesn’t even transfer.

Besides the obvious “to get a degree so I’m not a lonely, loony bum under the bridge that smells like rotten urine and bad heroin”, what do I expect to get out of college?

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Hmm.

If there’s one thing that has bothered me before I even understood the power of knowledge was the fact that people abuse it.

I’m not talking about all those C.E.O’s I spit shit about all the time. They’re not abusing their knowledge of the system, they’re taking advantage of it to serve themselves.

I’m talking about the people who are capable of learning and understanding and acting who essentially do not. Some of those people are the reason those self-serving leaders get away with what they do. To hold your knowledge and understanding from the world is, in my eyes, an abuse of the aforementioned.

To never learn is an abuse of the self, in my eyes.

To take everything in life absolutely serious is an abuse of life, in my eyes. People who are offended by cursing and dark humor baffle me.

So what do I expect out of college besides crippling debt? Whatever I want. I take the classes that are relevant to my career interests and my personal interests. And money will never come in between me and my interests.

Stock PhotoI’m a firm believer that if you are going into a position which serves the people, the last thing you need to do is avoid classes and life experiences which teach you more about people.

So why am I taking so much math? I’m not going to be asking future clients to integrate equations with me, but the action of math on the brain has profound benefits. Depending on its applications, sometimes it’s black and white, sometimes you need a little creativity, sometimes you have to expand your mind and think of something you wouldn’t normally associate with the problem. That’s a good skill to master in a field where the majority of information is coming from ambiguous and sometimes warped sources.

People will come with different problems and different mindsets. Prescribing Ritalin to every single patient who might experience ADHD symptoms is like trying to make a U-Substitution to solve every integration problem imaginable. You can try, I guess, but you’ll be making life pretty difficult for yourself.

You’ll be scratching the surface, but you won’t ever hit the root. Sure, you could use a U-Sub, but you also might need to integrate by parts. There are a million things you might have to do and if you don’t consider them, you’re short changing the math and your brain. You’re also risking an F in the class.

And an F in life.

You short change math, math will short change you. It’s a ruthless bastard. Just when you think you’ll never have to do it again in your life, you have to do it and then some. And then suddenly you’re enjoying it and you find yourself questioning the meaning of life.

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There’s a reason thought-experiments are fairly common with great scientists and mathematicians. Because the result makes a hypothetical into a reality. I think that’s what’s most beautiful about thoughts and knowledge and understanding.

Tangible items have bounds and limits. That’s why I don’t focus too much on what I perceive, I don’t like focusing on the physical world and instead have always, since I was a child, focused on what I thought and felt and understood. No one can bind those.

 

I enjoy knowledge for the sake of its application. I don’t care about being a know it all (that’s impossible anyway), even though I feel like I should be given the reputation I’ve created for myself with classmates and professors.

It’s healthy to think about something other than yourself every once in a while. It’s healthy to ask yourself a random question and spend some time hunting for the answer. It’s healthy to realize you’re not just an organism living under a roof with a job and a family, you’re also a living organism with the ability to wonder about your own existence, about space, about “time”, about the universe, about what’s happening out there in the vast blackness that you’ll never get to see in your physical lifetime.

I don’t know why people get freaked out thinking about it. I honestly enjoy the disconnect.

I don’t know what the point of this post was. I know I haven’t posted in a day or two and it’s been eating away at my soul. So I decided to return for a quick night, even though my hands are stumbling across the keyboard with exhaustion.

That’s right, exhaustion. Before midnight.

I might actually sleep tonight.