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Tag Archives: Death

Depression

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I don’t know if anyone has noticed that I haven’t been around as much lately. I have been extremely depressed. I know everyone’s depression is different. We all experience it differently.

Mine has been so bad. And when I am in the middle of a depressive spell, I can’t tell anyone. I don’t even recognize it as depression. I think that I am just awful and miserable because my life is terrible and I have no friends. I think I just suddenly hate my job and myself. I think that everyone would be better off if I wasn’t around.

I have had a really bad two weeks. I keep thinking that this blog is pointless and that my life is pointless. And that I really shouldn’t even be alive anymore. I don’t want to kill myself, but if I could just stop breathing or stop living, I would.

I have been doing so well for so long, I almost forgot what it looked like to be in the middle of a depressive spell. And the forgetting, made it so bad. I couldn’t understand why I was so unhappy.

My life is actually going really well. Which made it even more confusing. Why was I thinking about killing myself when I had finally met someone I liked? Why was I wanting to call out sick and sit at home alone all day? Why wasn’t I writing?

And I haven’t been sleeping. Which makes me feel terrible physically too. I’ve been having horrible anxiety at night. I’ve been sitting awake in my bed with a baseball bat for hours instead of sleeping.

Last night, I kept jumping at every noise. I thought there was someone in my apartment (even though I logically knew there wasn’t). And this next part I feel ashamed to admit. But it’s the truth and this is all anonymous anyway.

I thought someone was whispering in my ear. A man’s voice was saying something. It was rhyming words over and over. They were nonsense sounds. Like ooh, boo, woo, too. That has never happened to me before. It really upset me and freaked me out. I also felt like something was crawling up my back. Like a hand sliding over me. But I was alone. That has also never happened before.

Maybe I was dreaming and just thought it was happening. Sometimes my dreams really like to mess with my mind. But if I wasn’t…

I don’t know what it means. It might sound funny or silly. But it really upset me. Am I having auditory hallucinations? I never have before. What does it means? I don’t know.

There is no need for anyone to worry at this point. The very fact that I can write about it is proof that I am feeling better. And I’ll be back to my cheerful self in no time.

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Life and Death

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As you know, I have suicidal ideation. I think this gives me a different perspective on suicide and depression. I know many of my readers also struggle with this issue. And I have a few friends in real life that do as well.

One such friend, was recently going through a difficult time in his life. His relationship had ended. He was going through a vicious custody battle. He suffers from depression. And he had once been hospitalized for previously attempting suicide.

We all know that nobody kills themselves just because they are sad. Or because something bad happens in their life. The story is never so simple.

This friend confided in me that he was starting to think about suicide. That it was on his mind all the time. That it seemed like a reasonable response to what was happening in his life.

I was glad he told me. He is the first person that I have ever talked about my own suicidal ideation with. I was a relief to hear him tell me all these feelings that I myself have felt. And to know that I could speak to him from experience.

I was very concerned for his well being. He asked me to promise to not call anyone. He did not want to be Baker Acted. I made the promise. But he doesn’t know how close I came to breaking it.

I felt that being hospitalized would only make him more apt to kill himself. That does happen sometimes. But I was determined to help him.

I called him every day, multiple times a day. I let him talk for hours. I stayed up till late into the night and early morning, listening, giving him advice, sympathizing.

He came close several times. Maybe even closer than I know. Once he called me in the hopes that I could talk him out of it.

But I am happy to say that he is still with us. And he has since told me, that him being hospitalized would have been the worst thing for him. And that knowing I was available to talk any time helped. That knowing that I was there, listening, letting him feel his feelings, was more help than any doctor could have given.

I know he is not out of danger. People with suicidal ideation will always be in danger of acting upon it. I have tried to get him to go to therapy. But he has resisted.

I urge anyone that is feeling these feelings to tell someone. Talk to someone you can trust. Get help if you can. But talk if you can’t. Sometimes our feelings really are a matter of life and death.

Explorers

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I have been thinking about being alone. Not loneliness, some of my most lonely times were when I was in a relationship. But actually, just being alone.

In a weird way it helps to think about other people being alone. Like, I know we are all alone, but we are alone together. I know none of this is particularly insightful.

But when I am falling asleep at night, I lie in bed, and I stare up at the ceiling. And I think about the thousands of times that I have laid in bed, staring at the ceiling, listening to someone breathing and asleep next to me. And I realized that I was just as alone then as I am now.

No matter how happy or serious my relationship is, I’m always going to be lying in bed, awake, and alone with my thoughts. And sometimes, I like being alone with my thoughts. Some of them aren’t even things I can share anyway.

And that also got me thinking about dying. Lying in bed alone in the dark makes me think about dying fairly often. I’m not afraid of dying. Mortality is just an interesting subject to me. And I enjoy speculating.

What if you are still self aware after you die? But you have no ability to influence your surroundings. It would be like being a table. It would be like lying in bed, alone in the dark forever.

Which brings me back to the point I was originally wanted to make. Ultimately, we are all going to be alone in the end. Death is a journey we will all have to make alone.

I don’t mean this to sound scary or depressing. In fact, I think it is just the opposite. I like to imagine it as an adventure into the unknown. Not something to be afraid of. Even if there is no consciousness there, I’m fine with that.

Nothingness won’t hurt. Not existing didn’t bother me before I was born and it won’t bother me after I die. But we won’t know until we get there.

It’s one of the absolute last unexplored frontiers. We’re all like Lewis and Clark on an expedition to discover America. (I’m Lewis, the depressed one). We just don’t have a way to report back our findings the way they did. Death is more unknown that the deepest oceans of planet Earth and more mysterious than the universe.

I am fascinated by the idea of something so unknown and mysterious. And knowing that someday, I will 100% know what happens with absolute certainty when we die. I may not be able to report back to anyone else. But I will know for me. And while I am not in any rush to find out, I am very curious to know. Someday.

Crying x2

I feel like my parents have really taken away my ability to have a satisfying cry. I hear other people say how crying can be a release.

Not in my experience. I know I probably feel this way because my parents used to punish me for crying. But that doesn’t make me able to stop beating myself up for it.

I feel like I am weak when I cry. I feel idiotic and childish. I feel like a total wuss that can’t manage my own emotions. I feel like I am not a grown up.

So not only am I upset about whatever is making me cry. But I am totally beating myself up the entire time.

I usually feel even worse if I am crying in front of someone else. I feel like they are thinking the same thing I am thinking about myself. Even when I know they aren’t. Even though I don’t think those things about someone else when they cry in front of me.

I also beat myself up because I never think my issues are ‘bad’ enough. It’s an issue I have also discussed with my therapist. Like, maybe I don’t have ‘enough’ problems to need therapy. Or bad enough problems. And that I am just kidding myself. But my therapist has assured me that my issues are very real and bad. So that’s good. I guess.

I rarely cried at all in the past 20 years. Like, less than 20 times. Even through losing friends, getting a divorce, being abused, being raped, having surgeries, and facing my own death. And I could barely cry.

I’m starting to think that this was one of the worst things my parents ever did to me. Denying me the ability to cry. To express my emotions. To feel the release of tears. Even now, when I actually can cry.

On Being Strong

I sometimes get tired of hearing people say how brave/strong I am. I know I am bad at taking compliments. But more than that; I don’t feel brave or strong.

I didn’t have any other choice. Believe me, I would have taken it if I did. I didn’t have the luxury of falling apart. I’ve wanted to. Many, many times in my life. But I couldn’t.

When people heard that I needed heart surgery they’d say: ‘You could die. You should go do everything you’ve ever wanted to do.’ Thanks for reminding me.

I would have loved to everything I’ve ever wanted to do. But I couldn’t quit my job because I needed the insurance so I could afford the heart surgeries. And I also needed money to do almost everything I ever wanted to do. Going to New Zealand might have proven difficult with $83 in the bank.

If lying down in the middle of the road would have helped; I can assure you, I would have. I was tempted to sometimes. But I didn’t. If refusing my prognosis would have prevented those surgeries, I would have refused it. But it wouldn’t have.

I had to keep going to work every day. And do my job. Knowing that surgery date was looming. Knowing that the 8 hour day I worked in a job I hated might be the last Monday I’d ever see. It might be my last August 3rd ever. But there was still work I had to do.

I think knowing it’s coming is one of the hardest things. Just having to sit and wait. Knowing that every moment takes me closer to that one that might be my last.

I mean, I know that every moment IS taking me closer to what will be my last. But I hope that last moment is many years away.

It was hard to plan for my own death. I had to make a living will and an advance directive. I had to decide what I wanted done with my body. I had to write goodbye letters to everyone I loved. And that was made even harder by my indifferent or dismissive partners, and the refusal of my family and friends to talk about it.

I WANTED to talk about me dying. I needed someone to talk to when there was a very real possibility of it happening to me. I know it’s hard for some people to talk about it. But I was about to have heart surgery. Nobody could let me talk about it? I had to keep all my fears and anxieties bottled up because nobody would give me an outlet.

And I wanted to know that everyone was emotionally prepared for me dying. I wanted to force them to realize that I might not wake up from surgery. That if they had something important to tell me, it was now or never. But they didn’t.

That was the hardest part. Having no outlet. Having nobody to talk to. Doing what I had to do wasn’t that difficult. I had no choice. But doing it alone was that difficult. Because I wasn’t alone. I was just made to face it all alone.

Emotional Cloud Storage

I have been thinking today about where emotions go. I think we all have seen or experienced that couple They are hot and heavy and passionate. They are “in love” and “soulmates.” (I have never had first hand experience of this but have witnessed it many times).

But then, a few weeks or months later; they split up. What happened? Maybe they weren’t really in love. But whatever intensity and passion they had was real. Where did that go?

Where does love go when it’s over? Or anger? Or sadness? Nothing lasts forever. And though I have known those last two emotions; I can feel them starting to leave.

It’s kind of like asking what happens when we die. Except we may never know where our emotions go. But we will all have a definite answer to what happens when we die. Someday.

I personally don’t believe anything happens when we die. We are just dead and gone. That thought doesn’t disturb me. I’m not afraid of it. I’ve thought about it enough to be comfortable with it.

But, for some reason, I like to think our emotions go somewhere when they leave us. I’m sure this is just me being uncharacteristically sentimental. Or maybe I am just being too literal. (Or maybe I just don’t get how emotions work).

I like to imagine all of our collective emotions are still out there somewhere. Like little pieces of our souls. Our emotions persist even when we have forgotten or outgrown them.

I like to imagine them hanging out with each other in a sort of cloud storage. (Which I do imagine as an actual, literal cloud).

I like to think my emotions have distinct personalities. Which leads me to believe that all emotions have them.

All of my emotions recognize that they once belonged to me. I am their creator. They don’t all like each other. Or me. But they can be cordial at parties if they have to be. They have genders. But the genders of my emotions are specific to me.

My anger is quiet and serious. He rarely smiles or goes out. He has some acquaintances. But they are mostly other people’s anger. He doesn’t really like being around them.

My shyness is very sweet and friendly, and surprisingly, not shy. She’s kind of the mother figure as she has been in the cloud longer than my other emotions. She has tried dating a little, but keeps going for the sadness types. And the relationships never last.

My sadness is very shy and funny. He’s tried to make friends with my anger, but my anger never laughs and he makes my sadness too insecure. So he hangs out with other people’s senses of humor. And they are all so bitter!

My emotional pain is severely morbidly obese and depressing to be around. She and my shyness are kind of friends. My pain doesn’t know why my shyness even bothers. Frankly, my shyness is just about over my pain’s attitude. But she is too nice to say so.

My fear is foreign. Nobody understands him and he is constantly frustrated by that. He’s kind of boring, honestly. So nobody bothers to try to understand him.

Possibly it is just me that feels this way and thinks these things. But I don’t really know. Does anyone else imagine their emotions this way? Are your emotions friends with each other too?

Purpose

I have never felt there was any reason for anything that has ever happened to me. I can barely register cause and effect sometimes in the abstract, let alone some purpose for my life.

I don’t think I got sick for a reason any more than I think there was one in me getting better and not dying. I don’t think I was “saved” by anything more than medicine and technology. And not for any reason other than that I was lucky enough to afford it and living in a time that offered it.

I am starting to be able to see the beginnings of all the threads that have led me to where I am now. I can see all the good things that have come out of all those bad things. I can even see more threads in front of me, leading down the path I want to go.

But I don’t feel any sense of meaning in any of that. Sometimes people tell me that I am alive for a reason. That god had a plan. And all I can think is that it would be nice to believe that.

But I just don’t. I can’t. I’m no more deserving of life than someone else is deserving of death. Because that is what these people are saying to me. That when my friend SL died of a heart attack, he wasn’t as deserving of life as I am. That I am somehow more important than a husband and father of two.

I guess I have just experienced so much in my life that seems so arbitrary.

I think we have to create our own meaning in life. It’s up to each of us to decide why we’re here and if there is a greater purpose. For some it’s religion. For others, it’s their family.

Some people never seem to figure out what they need to be their purpose in life. And those are the people that seem kind of sad and lost.

I don’t really know what my greater purpose is. Right now I am focusing on getting better. And that’s a big enough project for me for right now. It’s enough to occupy my time and energy. But I know it’s something I’m going to have to figure out someday, though.

I’m starting to think it might be writing. I have been journaling for the past 20 years. It has helped me through some hard times. I write a lot. Almost every day. And I don’t stop at journaling. I also write fiction, which is surprisingly helpful when you are trying to figure things out.

But it is so different to put all these thoughts and feelings out into the world. Even if I only had one reader, I think it would still have helped me. Maybe even if I had none.

I feel that every post I write is a weight lifted off my shoulders. I used to imagine my baggage as the weight of the world, something I carried wherever I went. Like Atlas. And now I feel I am unburdening myself with these words. It’s almost like all this stuff is evaporating into the atmosphere.