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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.

Lying to Myself

My brain doesn’t know when to stop lying to me. I’ve never been a good liar. And I guess my brain isn’t either.

When I get depressed, it starts out mild:

You are alone. And I think, well, that’s true.

You keep fucking everything up. And I think, maybe not everything. But it is hard to argue with that. I’ve made a lot of mistakes.

You’ll never find someone. And I think, well, I’m not sure if that’s true. But I’ve proven to be terrible at predicting my own future.

You’re ugly and awful and stupid. And I think, I may be unattractive (and awful). But despite having done my share of stupid things, I am not stupid.

You should kill yourself. And sometimes I think I should, and sometimes I think I shouldn’t.

You’re unhappy. And I think, I am unhappy right now in this moment. Maybe it’s because you are telling me awful things, brain.

You are always going to feel this way. And I think, now you’ve gone too far, brain. I have an excellent memory. And I KNOW I won’t always feel this way. Because I don’t always feel this way. You are a liar. And you can’t trust anything a liar says. You’ve probably been lying about everything. I don’t know why you do that, brain. But you’ve been caught. It’s time to stop now.

And it does for a little while. Until the next time. But luckily, my brain doesn’t know when to quit. It always takes things too far.

Postcards

I know I thought I was done with it, but I have been thinking about suicide a lot lately. I have been feeling pretty depressed. I don’t know if it is the time of year, or the book I have been reading about suicide.

I just keep thinking about how awful my year was last year. And how alone I am. Not just alone for the holidays that have passed, but alone in general.

I’m single. And I’d be okay with being single if I had a family that was close, or reliable, or just not bad people. But I don’t have that.

And I’d be okay with being single and having an awful family, if I had really good, reliable friends. But I don’t have that either.

Most of my friends are good people. But they also have their own problems. And they don’t really have much time for me.

I keep wishing I could just throw my depression and feelings back into that locked room in my head. And I can. But that’s not what this past year has been about. All this stuff was so much easier to deal with when I wasn’t dealing with it.

I know this suicide stuff is just my brain malfunctioning again. I feel so detached from it sometimes now. The suicidal ideation comes and I know it isn’t me that wants that. And I think “Here are my thoughts of suicide, but I already know I want to be alive.”

And then I tell myself that my brain is lying to me again. And eventually I start feeling better. As intense as my suicidal ideation is sometimes, I also feel like it is happening somewhere far away.

Like my brain is sending me postcards from Europe. Usually they are happy and upbeat. Sometimes they are deep and philosophical. Other times they are amusing or interesting. And, a few, times a year, they are depressed and suicidal.

But those postcards don’t compel me to act in any way. I can just read them. Think about them. And then continue on with my life. Thinking of it that way is really helpful.

Self Harm

I don’t know why, but lately I have been thinking a lot about self harm. Not in the way that I think about suicide. Thinking about suicide is soothing and abstract. It calms me down and feels like doing a brain teaser or a word puzzle.

But my thoughts of self harm are not like that. I’ll just be going about my day and a thought will seem to suddenly pop into my head. With an accompanying image.

For example: I was tweezing my eyebrows the other day. I had my face only a few inches from the mirror and found myself staring into my eye. I had the sudden, violent urge to plunge the tweezers into my own eye. Of course I didn’t. I put the tweezers down and walked away.

Then, yesterday, I was at work, walking with a pair of extremely sharp pointed scissors. As I was walking with them when I got this horrible, gory image of stabbing myself deep in the meaty tissue of my thigh.

These aren’t the only instances. Just the most recent ones. They are quite upsetting to me. I don’t know where they are coming from or why. I don’t know what is wrong with me.

I brought it up to my therapist and she compared it to my suicidal ideation, very dismissively. But I know this is totally different.

Enough

I was thinking about suicide and suicidal ideation earlier today. I was thinking about how much I actually think about suicide. And I was wondering what was honestly stopping me.

I mean, if I want to die so much all the time and I think about it so much, why don’t I just do it? For a second I thought about how much my family would miss me. But then I realized that was total bullshit. My death would genuinely not affect their lives much.

So then I really sat down and thought about what my life was actually worth. Not a whole lot, it turns out. Some people would be sad for a very short time. And then, everyone would just move on with their lives. I don’t have children. My death really wouldn’t affect anyone for life. And even if it did, they’ll be dead in 100 years too. So who cares?

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t thinking this in some emo “nothing matters and nobody cares about me” kind of way. That’s what happens when everyone dies. It’s ultimately kind of meaningless. My death would be so insignificant, it would barely have an affect on those closest to me.

So then I started wondering why I was even still alive. What is keeping me here? And then I started thinking about the thousands and thousands of things that I experience on a daily basis that I enjoy.

And I realized that I was keeping me here.

Because I totally do not want to die. At all. I just want all my problems to go away. And I know that dying is the only way that will happen.

Being alive means having problems. And I have A LOT of problems. I like to think that’s because I’m more alive than other people. Or maybe I’m more alive because I have more problems.

Maybe I have bad luck. Maybe I am doing this partly to myself because I avoided facing my past and letting all of this go.

But I do get to start choosing how much I allow my past to affect my future. This is not how I want my life to be at 30. This is not how I imagined my life. And I don’t want to realize it at 40. I don’t want to waste another 10 years stuck in the same old patterns and afraid of the same old things. Being the same old me.

I like me, most days. But I want to be better. I want to stop being so scared all the time. I want to stop worrying so much about the end result.

I want to stop obsessing over what everyone else feels and thinks and wants and I want to start obsessing over what I think and feel and want. I want to stop blaming myself for everything. I want to stop being afraid of being rejected, especially physically.

Because all these limitations I have been imposing on myself, they are actually limitations that were at one time imposed on me. By first my parents and then one abusive man after another.

I’m tired of letting all of them win. Because allowing them to continue to dictate my life and how I feel about myself is letting them win. It’s still allowing them to abuse and control me.At this point in my life, I am the only one that can abuse me. I am the only one that can let my past continue to harm me. And I am the only one that can say “No. That’s enough. No more.”

I can’t say I’ll never think about suicide again. But the thought of it seems to have lost whatever appeal it had. At least, for now.

Suicidal Ideation

I want to talk about something hard today. I want to talk about suicide and suicidal ideation. It’s where I got the name for my blog. It’s the one thing that I have the hardest time sharing with real life people. It’s the reason why I wanted my blog to be anonymous. For my sister’s sake.

Suicide. I think about it all the time.

In high school freshman year, I was thinking about it every day. But I wasn’t just thinking about it. I had reached what I thought was my breaking point.

I made a plan. I chose a method. I wrote out a note. I picked a day. It was only five days away.

I had to make sure I did it on a day where there was no possibility of my body being discovered by my little sister. It was literally the only thing stopping me. She was going to be spending Friday night at a friend’s house and I knew I could do it then. She would be safe from finding me.

I even did a test cut to see how much it was going to hurt. It turns out, not as much as living did. It was the only time I’ve ever intentionally physically harmed myself.

On the Thursday before the big day I ran into a guy I knew after school. It was urgently hot that day and he was wearing a long sleeved shirt. I asked him if he was cold. He shook his head and said he was embarrassed.

He pulled back his sleeves and showed me the bandages on his wrists. We weren’t close friends, and I’ll never know why he opened up to me that day. But he told me all about how he had tried to kill himself. He told me that he knew he was going to try again.

I convinced him to get help. We spoke for several hours that day. And I think, in convincing him, I somehow convinced myself to stay alive too. Though it would be another 14 years before I got any kind of help for myself.

I heard, several years later, that he had successfully committed suicide. I still think about him from time to time. For as long as I live, I will never forget, sitting on that stone wall, sweating in the hot shade, the empty hallways of the school like a ghost town, talking things out.

But, I still have those feelings inside me. I still feel hopeless sometimes. I wonder why I am alive. I wonder why I bother getting out of bed. I wonder if anyone would truly be affected by my death. Or even care.

I start thinking about death and dying. Is it the long dark sleep I imagine it to be? Does it hurt? Is it scary? Is there anything else? Is there even a point to life if it is so easily and quickly ended?

I don’t think about committing suicide the way I used to. But I still think about it. All the time.

Now I think about things happening to me. Intentional accidents. Like stepping in front of a train. Driving off a bridge. Falling off the roof of a tall building.

I think about them abstractly. Figuring out the mathematics. Wondering how it would feel. How high is high enough? I don’t WANT to do these things. Most of the time. But thinking about them is oddly soothing. Like a bizarre type of meditation.

It’s like a brain teaser I turn over and over again in my mind. A puzzle. The intention is long gone, most days.

It makes me feel better to know there is an option. A back up plan. If I need it.

I mostly feel happy. I mostly feel grateful to be alive. I mostly want to live. But I can’t stop those other feelings. The rise up from the depths, like corpses. Haunting me. Demanding my attention.

I know it isn’t good. I know it isn’t normal. I know I can’t stop it. And I know it isn’t my fault.

In the words of one of my favorite bloggers, http://thebloggess.com/: “Depression lies.”

Sometimes that’s enough.