Tag Archives: hopeless

Chest Pain


This afternoon, I have chest pain. Not the heart attack kind, but the depression kind.

Meds are still doing their dance of adjustment. Take more of this, weaning off of that.

When I stay busy unpacking in my new surroundings, I’m not as bad, but as soon as I stop, I remember that I’m in debt with a credit card, now have bipolar2 disorder, am spending too much per month on this rent house, and am eating up my savings just to live (and have been for four years). I was supposed to have graduated from college two years ago with a nursing degree and be in the thick of things.

Instead, the God I had known allowed an alteration in my brain chemistry. It happened when I experienced severe empty nest. What I didn’t know at the time . . . the reason I ran away from home and can now never go back, was hypomania had set in. My life had changed forever.

For two years, hypomania ran my life. I spent too much, flunked out of college twice (I tried. I really did), and I did many other “classic” things that the internet and books give as bipolar2 symptoms. I had them all. In the midst of it, though, I had no idea what had happened to me.

My family and friends kept asking me what I was doing – what I was thinking. I just said, “I’m going to fly. I have a new life. I want to see the world. I want. . . I want . . .” I had no idea where I was going. I just knew EVERYthing had changed. I was euphoirc, and didn’t quite know why. My off-kilter mind led me.

After two years of acting like a teenager and losing forty pounds in just two months, depression hit me – slowly at first, then I hit a wall and texted my family good-bye notes. I got in my Jeep, sobbed over my steering wheel at the realization that I had to kill myself. . . . . . Again, I wasn’t aware that an out-of-whack brain chemistry led me to all of it.

I drove, seeking an interstate I could speed on and then drive off of. A high one. But, some little flicker of life inside me said, “There MUST be an alternative. Is there? I want to talk to my friend, but she’s at work, and she can’t really get me out of this.” Then, I knew. As I drove near my doctor’s office, I exited the highway and told her I was suicidal. I’d been on depression meds and was adjusting them at the time (I also desperately needed a mood stabilizer). It was an all-encompassing stress-filled and helpless time for all.

I dropped and dropped, new antidepresdsant didn’t work. None of them did. At first, they were fine. What happened?

So, I moved to Dallas, Texas, in hopes of finishing a shorter degree in funeral science. I’ve always loved that field of study. Depression, real depression, dropped on me. It was a heavy blanket made of cinderblocks. I couldn’t get out of bed, gained back the forty pounds plus another forty. Ate complete crap – and didn’t get any movement – just lay in bed, too low to watch TV or read. No talking on the phone. Texting for help was all I could do. Thankful for my dedicated mother and daughter.

I began investigating depression blogs. I came across one that shocked me. It was a woman with bipolar disorder. She spoke of highs and lows – in extremes. I didn’t have such highs, though. But my low had dropped me at the door of suicide. Every single day, for months, I wanted to die. I planned ways of going. Where would I do it, so that a loved one wouldn’t find me? How could I be sure I’d complete the suicide? I didn’t want to be rescued.

I kept reading related blogs, and I kept seeing myself more and more often. I thought I might be experiencing the bipolar, type 2 I read about – deep depressions that are almost impossible to get out of and light mania (well,mine was enough to ruin my life at that particular point).

My Psychiatrist listened to my questions and asked me why in the world I hadn’t told her about the first two years after I had left home. I answered that I didn’t think that was pertinent to my depression. “I would have had you on a different course of treatment,” she said. I was so fatigued, sad, and hopeless, I’d had trouble even keeping that appointment, and I’d driven SIX hours to see her.

So, she added a mood stabilizer to a new antidepressant.  —— I’ve been seeing improvement – finally. Who knew the two long episodes were related?!

I’m getting off of the highly addictive Xanax (2 mg per evening) that my GP had me on (for sleep) and increasing the mood med, slowly.

Different parts of my day mean different moods. I was energetic in the early afternoon. Now, I blog because of a heavy chest, tears as I write, and a feeling of sadness. However, no more suicide compulsions. Just hopeless at present.

One of my blog posts in the recent past said – “When the money runs out, I run out.” I have limited funds and worry constantly about whether I’ll have enough to pay for school, living, food – before I can graduate and get a job. Stress, stress, stress.

I see very clearly, in hindsight, what this disorder is. That I had it all along. I even suspect when I got it. When my daughter left home to pursue a new career and fiancee three hours away, I entered her pink room, closed her door, surveyed the empty bedroom, and sat down hard on the pink carpet – among pieces of discarded paper and childhood tokens -a plastic ring she had kept, a necklace from her grandma, a Bible School bracelet she had made with colorful beads.

And I cried harder than I ever had before. I cried loud, wailing sobs into a washcloth. My breath almost leaving me as my diaphragm screamed from overuse. I hadn’t cried so desperately and hard even at my father’s funeral (a suicide at age 44). My  mind swam in a dirty puddle of muddy, nowhere water. I don’t know how long I sat there, but no one came in to soothe me (husband or grown son). Alone, I grieved my loss as a “Mama.”  I’m sorry if you don’t understand, but my two children were my life. Nothing had touched me like my children.

I don’t remember anything about the following three weeks. Only that I woke up one morning in a very, very good mood – knowing I was going to hurridly leave my husband and son at the family home and find my own way, my freedom.

Within three months, I was in my own townhouse – a completely changed woman. Everything was new, different, and it was an exciting but scary time.

There it began. This “new life.”

I still sometimes feel lost, aimless, helpless, and often hopeless. Sometimes I still think, “When the money runs out, I run out.”

The reason I stay is my mama and my daughter. I can’t do that to those wonderful women.

What is left today? Chest pain and tears. That’s nothing new.


Suicide: How Can I Help You?

(Photo credit- Wikipedia)

My friend, Becca, wrote an exceptional blog. I copied and pasted it below. Also, here is the direct link to her post! http://moorestorms.com/2012/04/25/suicide-how-can-you-help/

Thank you, Becca!!

According to Suicide Prevention, suicide is among the top 10 causes of death per year. 34,598 deaths are attributed to suicide, 34,598 preventable deaths. That’s 11.3% deaths per 100,000 people. 11 attempted suicides occur per every suicide death. Those statistics are both staggering and disturbing.

Two of the main reasons for suicide is Depression and Bipolar Disorder. You can find symptoms for both of these here Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder.

It’s important to respond to the person with strength and courage. If you are afraid to talk about the topic with them, then you are likely to lose out on your chance to help them. Please realize that suicide is not some flaw in a person’s character, nor are they weak and they are absolutely not cowards. These feelings do not just go away and treatment is necessary.

The symptoms mentioned in the link above, combined together could lead someone to consider suicide. Reminding the person that recovery is possible can be encouraging to the person contemplating their own death. When someone is going through depression, they often use something called “selective memory”. This is where the person only focuses on the negatives in their lives. This is a symptom of their illness and requires attention and treatment.

With treatment the person can find hope to push through this difficult time.

Recognizing the Signs

  • Feelings of despair. The person may talk about their situation as being unbearable or overwhelming. They may express self-doubt, self-blame or guilt for something they have done. The more someone talks about these things, the more they are contemplating suicide.
  • Taking care of personal affairs – For instance, making sure family members will be cared for once they are gone. Taking out life insurance policies, assigning beneficiaries, settling trusts and custody arrangements for their children.
  • Rehearsing their suicide.
  • Discussing certain methods.
  • Talk of suicide come and go in an attempt to build up to the impulsive action.
  • Drugs and alcohol abuse as a way to help them with the impulsive action.
  • Beginning to feel better – with affairs in place, knowing the end is coming soon, most feel better and at peace with their decision.

How can you help someone contemplating suicide:

  • Take them seriously. Do not blow them off and think they are just venting. This is NOT the case. They are reaching out to you for help.
  • Involve others – friends, family members, their psychiatrist, their therapists, the crisis hotline
  • Express your concern – Give concrete evidence that the person is contemplating suicide.
  • Listen closely to the person, hold their hand, hold them close to you and comfort them.
  • Ask direct questions – Try to find out specific details of their plan, determine which method they are considering using.
  • Offer reassurance. Remind them that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Remind them that there is help available to them.
  • Don’t promise confidentiality. A true friend or close family member will seek out help for the person they love, the person that is in crisis.
  • Take all guns, medications and harmful objects and put them some place out of reach. This includes ropes, knives, plastic bags, ect.
  • Don’t leave the person alone until they are in the hands of a trained professional.
  • Express sympathy – Do not play therapist. They don’t want to be told what to do.
  • Talk about it – Talking about suicide does not plant the idea in the person’s head. It lets them know you are there for them and not afraid to talk to them about their concerns. This is a oppurtunity to explore how they are feeling, their thoughts and actions. This can provide you with valuable information to your friend who may be depressed. Take any mention of suicide seriously!
  • Take note to when, where and how the person plans on following through with their suicide.
  • Describe behaviors and events that bother you – How they have changed. This could strike up the conversation enough for them to open up to you about how they are feeling.
  • Work with professionals. Call their pdoc, tdoc, crisis line. Don’t be afraid to call for an ambulance if your friend or family member isn’t willing to go to the hospital voluntarily.
  • Stress how important the person’s life is to you. How devastated you and others would be if they were to take their own life.
  • Be prepared for them to be angry with you. They may feel betrayed, but later may thank you for saving their life.
  • Be supportive – They may feel guilt and shame. Assure them that you understand it’s their illness.
  • Take care of yourself

I have contemplated suicide many times in the past. I can count 2 attempts that didn’t get me the help I needed and numerous threats that have also not gotten me the help I needed. It wasn’t until I reached out on my own before I got any serious help. I urge you not to put someone else in that position. They may feel as though their pleas for help are going unheard and they may act. Do not make yourself wonder what you could have done when all these examples are in front of you.

If someone you know is in crisis, please, reach out to them, offer them support, call the crisis line at

1-800-273-8255. If the person is in serious danger call 911 and have an ambulance sent and them taken to the closest Emergency Room. Once a suicide is completed, there is no turning back.

Until next time…..

Becca ♥


Major Depression: What Does it Feel Like?

“What does it feel like?”

That is what my daughter asked me a couple of days ago – referring to the crippling depression I was feeling. My daughter is 27, happily married, finished with two college degrees, and raising her first child. Her life is full of hope and dreams for the future. I hated to explain to her what my own colorless days were like. Downer!

Outside of my counselors, I don’t think anyone has asked me the question, “What does it feel like?” When Sarah asked me that question (via text), it touched my heart. To know how much she must love me, I mean.

So, I texted her back honestly, but briefly.

She said she wished she could do something to help me.

My mother texted me the same thing (wanting to help me feel better) yesterday. I told her to just keep loving me and letting me vent to her now and then. 😉

I love my family. They are what keep me putting one foot in front of the other.

What does it feel like, you ask?

Chest aches and feels heavy. Tears fill eyes and fall when the pressure hits red. Emotions are hopeless, futureless, aimless, apathetic, sadness, goal-less, joyless, fatigued body and mind. Not enough energy to even bathe (but I do, so my boyfriend doesn’t leave). Think grieving, but the loss is your own identity and autonomy.

So, there it was, and here it is. Today is about a 4 on a scale of 1-10 (one is the saddest). Yesterday was a 3. I guess I’ll go to the store. I need cat litter and cat food and to mail a letter.

Au revoir, mes amis!

Greener Grass on the Other Side – A Poem

Think, blink, on the brink.

Inhale, exhale, both a chore.

Why try? I’m bone dry under black sky.

Can’t die because of small fry.

The grass is always greener somewhere else.

Brain, slow – slower still.

Every movement is uphill.

Pop a pill, screaming’s shrill, dreams unfulfilled. Salty tears spill.

There is no controlling the coming walls of waves

In the midst of hurricane in my brain.

Dry, wet, there’s no difference.

There exist no greener grasses.

Squeaking By With Depression


I have gotten used to never being happy. I’ve grown accustomed to only being “moderately” depressed each day. Some days (more lately), I force myself out of bed to go to schoool. I’m not studying like I should, and my grades will show it. I made the honor roll/fraternity last quarter in school. That made me proud. 91 was the cut off grade. My grade was 91. Skin of my teeth ~

I took certification for operating a cremator (in a crematory). I will be faxing the 4-page test this week. CANA certified to operate in a crematorium. That is a longtime goal of mine. I reached two goals this week. The honor roll and the certification. It was like pulling teeth to even attend three days of classes this week. Damned depression.

I’m wondering if there is a pattern to my mood episodes. I was “manic” after my divorce. That mood lasted 17 months. Then, I dropped into depression. I was on antidepressants, and they worked fairly well for about a year each time I had to change. More recently, these meds aren’t working but for a few months or, in the case of Prozac, my current med, not at all. I was on 20 mg for two weeks and have been on 40 mg for over two weeks. No change at all. I’m as freakin’ depressed and down as always.

I can’t afford the pricey meds, so I was hoping Prozac would do the trick for me.I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. Okaaay . . .

Bipolar 2 has been on my mind again. My dad had a mental illness that was late in life diagnosed as bipolar. He subsequently completed suicide a few months later at age 44. I’m almost 48 and trying NOT to follow in his footsteps. It’s hard to keep getting up each day.

Instead of studying for an exam (2 actually) on Monday, I surfed the internet for real estate in sunny Florida, on a beach. As much as I love the ocean and sand, surely that location to live and work would make me happy. Sunshine, water, fish, water sports, seagulls, sandpipers, breezes. The sound alone of the ocean rolling in makes me supremely contented. However, after surfing areas, homes for sale, and attractions (oh, and possible job opps), I realizled something pretty sad. I am still going to be living with myself no matter where I am physically living. Beach, mountains, lush valleys, lakes – it’s just scenery change. I’ll still battle my depression demons wherever I am. THAT made me sick. I can’t out run it , hide from it, deny it, or kill it. Damn!

I suffer, not always in silence. I cry every day. I don’t smile much anymore. I don’t want to do volunteer work (out of character for me), and I find no joy in anything. Plus,I’ve gained 50 lbs in the last 6 months. THAT is depressing by itself.

I think my mood would improve if I lost weight. Yet, I’m so apathetic that I really don’t give a crap. I’m pathetic. I truly am.

I just want to stay home, alone, write on my book and maybe on a few short stories for publication or contests. I want to sit by the apartment pool and soak up sun and have no worries, financial or for my future. Lazy? My daddy used to call me lazy, brainless, and dumb. Maybe he was right.

I miss enjoying things like painting on canvses, writing daily, coffee with friends, studying my favorite school subjects, and reading for pleasure. I used to volunteer at the literacy council as a tutor and class teacher. I delivered meals on wheels for years.I was on the Washington County Water Authority Board of Directors. I owned and operated a large antiques mall for several years (and had a talent for it). I managed a jewelrly and purse store, worked retail at CATO, worked hospice and psych. Many fulfilling jobs in addition to raising two children and being a stay at home momma.

Now? I’m lucky if I make it to school between  7:30 and noon. I’ve stopped getting my embalming cases for outside of school. I have 7 of 10 done thank goodness.

I’m going to make an appt with an MD specializing in psychiatry this week. It’s time for some major reevaluation on my meds situation. Its this Major Depressive Disorder or Bipolar 2?

I need to know, so I can find the proper med to make me feel better. I hate mental illness. Makes me feel weak, less than others, pitiful, unuseful, stigmatized, untrustworthy, and just plain freakish.

Do you, my lovely and intelligent readers, have ideas or opinions to share with me on this situation?

Love you all~

Cry and Send

I need to cry.

I try not to post my most tender feelings on my blog, but today is an exception.

I’m typing and wiping ~ tears flow as the iPhone plays soft songs. It’s 12:30 p.m., and I’ve only been out of bed to go to the bathroom. It’s a sick day for me. Began as a physical nausea. When that passed, my mind and chest showed the real origination of my ill feelings. Dealing with depression and intermittent grief over life-changes exhausts me. I want out. I just want out.

I can’t get out because of my kids. My mama. I can’t do that to them. They don’t know how much I hurt sometimes, though. They keep saying that I am loved and that life will get better. I’ve waited for four years. Life is better, but not “better.” I miss my kids every single day. Not a “lonesome” like other moms seem to experience. Mine is a longing that shreds at my insides. I can’t look at old photos or videos. I’m a pathetic jumble of emotions and dysfunction.

I’ll put on a mask, walk outdoors, buy groceries, attend classes ~ almost fooling myself into believing that I’m enjoying life. Later, I see it was a temporary situation.

I’ve been enjoying the embalming cases I’ve worked in the prep room. Though I wonder how much of that is adding stress to my life. I dreamed I died last night. I drowned in my car. Bubble, bubble . . . . I was surprised that when I took a deep breath underwater, I felt no pain. I was transported to a different environment. Always being tested on my behavior by “those in charge,” who could decide to banish me into an existence of pain. I cheated – doing things to help other women in my same position. Getting them food, etc. Very sad and stressful dream. I can’t even escape anxiety in my sleep. I evidentally don’t stop nurturing in my sleep, either.

I suppose I’ve now cried enough to release this episode of pain. Do I post this or erase it? My therapy. I’ll post it. Writing is a release. Publishing is just metaphorically sending this pain into cyberspace. Feels good.

Be gone, grief. Be gone, sadness. Be gone, hopelessness. Be gone, apathy.

Be gone – everything just BE GONE.


Divorce, a Living Death

I have come to the conclusion that I’ll never have proper closure of my divorce. I don’t know why I expected it, really. How many divorced people find adequate closure (i.e. answers to why, when, how)? It’s been 3 1/2 years since I moved out of my now-ex-husband’s home. He and I are hugely less communicative than we were when the shit first hit the fan. Go figure!

Time doesn’t necessarily heal. It also estranges. Time can foster resentment. I realize I’ll never know why my ex won’t have a friendship with me. Yes, I am the one who left the marriage and was the first to break our promise of faithfulness after we’d decided on divorce. However, I did deceive when I moved out. I was too fearful to tell the truth. Sad time.

That was so long ago, and I was very different. Today, I’m on hormone therapy and an antidepressant. Plus, my life has a plan. I know where my goals are and how to reach them. So, why can’t I get the answers from my ex-husband that I so desire? Maybe it’s one way he can have the final upper hand. I’ll live with that. I’ll have to.

He has put all of the blame for our split squarely on my shoulders. He accepts no guilt for the failed union. THAT is bullcrap. But, whatever. I’m good.

Divorce is like dealing with a living death of sorts. It keeps causing me grief, even though it is over. It won’t actually die!

I hope my readers will respond publicly and share your experiences. I need your insight. If nothing else, I need to know I’m not in this boat alone.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Treating Low Self-Esteem

When I gather info from this blog and see what my readers choose to read, I see they are interested most in mental health matters – with poetry in second place. I wouldn’t have thought such. But, there you go. Statistics don’t lie.

I think I’ll write toward my readership tonight. Plus, I love scientific research.

(Thanks to Milton Spett, PhD and his 2005 N.J. Psychological Assn Conference information)

Self-esteem = Self-judging. The opposite of low self-esteem is self-acceptance. We can break down low self-esteem into two components.

1) Recognizing and enjoying strentghs and successes.

2) Recognizing, being comfortable with, and not berating yourself for weaknesses, mistakes, and failures.

The mere act of trying to do better IS working on your self-esteem. Low self-worth is situational; no one has low esteem in every situation.

What to do –

1) Each week, ask yourself, “When did I criticize myself this week?” Was it warranted?

2) Objectively evaluate your real weaknesses, mistakes, and failures. Ask yourself, “What is the harm in that mistake?” Usually, the only harm is in berating yourself.

3) Each week, ask yourself what criticisms others gave your during the week. Were they erroneous? Valid? Accept the valid criticisms without berating yourself.

4) Recognize, believe, and enjoy compliments you receive. Say, “Thank you.”

Sufferers of low self-esteem tend to experience successes as neutral events. They also see neutral events as failures and failures as catastrophes.

Enjoy your successes. Don’t attribute them to luck or anything but your own competence.

The only way to develop a skill is to practice it. Avoiding uncomfortable situations never allows you to improve your dealing with the situation in a more healthful way.

Don’t hide your failures, weaknesses, and mistakes. This intensifies the negative feelings and shame you experience.

Don’t try to be or say what others want you to. Be yourself and let others either like or dislike you. In addition, rejections and criticisms from others provide you with practice in accepting yourself when others don’t.

Do you have an upcoming situation in which your low self-esteem may be an issue? Prepare and rehearse self-accpetance messages you can use in that situation.

You WILL get used to all of the above behaviors. You would greatly benefit from a friend or counselor to talk with. Someone who can be objective and honest with you.

Stop avoiding. Stop denying.

Start living ~

I Turn on a Dime ~

That’s what a new friend told me. My mood “turns on a dime.”

THAT’S great to hear from an objective bystander. She’s correct, of course, but I didn’t want to HEAR about it! I’m inside this body, and I’m aware of the hormonal/chemical shifts which occur.

Today, for the first time in about 12 weeks, I had a bout of severe depression. It’s not as bad as it’s been before. I cried twice – once so hard that I lost a contact lens (found it on my shirt).

I felt such an urgent need to be heard and to release my pain, that I took my iPhone and started the video. I cried and talked into the camera . . . watching myself as the emotions exploded and unfolded. Well, when the amazing bout was finished, I looked down at the phone/camera to see that I’d forgotten to push “record” when I began. So, I’d sobbed and spoken to NO ONE.

So, on top of feeling like hammered shit, I also had attempted video therapy to no avail. I was a dumbazz for not pushing the stupid red button.

Gawd. I can be so pathetic.

Feeling about 60% better now. I only want to overeat and not die.

Chow, my cyber friends.

Depression: There IS hope

Since my initial post on major depression and my struggles in finding help for it, the traffic on my blog has increased almost 100 fold, and I’ve received interesting emails.

There are many of us out here in the world who struggle with incapacitating sadness,  hollow, yet aching chests, suicidal feelings, and many more symptoms.

Please understand that I offer no medical advice and that I urge you to see a doctor (or two or three). Tell him/her your issues. Hold nothing back. Be honest. If you feel like dying, tell him/her. I did! That is how I finally got the help I sought.

I’m here to support you and to welcome your comments!

Please share ~ others need to hear.