I look at the laptop screen . . .
How do I forget the pain in my heart?
Another shopping stop?
I stare at the glowing screen and wish
that Google knew how to mend my heart.
I look at the laptop screen . . .
How do I forget the pain in my heart?
Another shopping stop?
I stare at the glowing screen and wish
that Google knew how to mend my heart.
I have come back from the brink of suicide. I have visited that place several times. During the depression years, before I changed my life circumstances and also found a med that helped, I felt mostly heaviness in my chest and was hopeless, tired, and apathetic. During those 6 years, I “knew” I had no future. I couldn’t hold down a job for longer than 12 months, so I’d be on government aid and not enough of it to actually live a semi-comfortable existence. Severe depression is crippling and scary. I was often afraid I would never find my real self again. Was she in there somewhere or had this helpless slug of a woman taken over completely?
“When I was suicidal, it was because every single day was literally the worst day of my life.” Thoughtcatalog.com (13 Heart-Ripping Testimonies of How it Feels to be Suicidal)
I married at 19, and it lasted 25 years. We had two fantastic children who are now successes in their careers and family lives. For reasons that are saved for another blog, I ran away from home and husband at age 44. I ran wild for almost a year before my mind slowed and reality appeared. I was without a degree, training for an occupation, and had no previous work (to speak of) to complete a decent resume. Employers want to hire 20-somethings or 30-somethings. I was past prime, and it showed by the employment rejections. Depression became worse over each year until I came very, very close to speeding my car off of a high , multi-level interstate system. I drove, cried, and considered my options for type of demise. However, there was a tiny flicker of light still within me because before I chose the moment I could jump in front of an 18-wheel truck traveling 70 mph, I turned the steering wheel and exited the freeway. It was my gynecologist’s office exit. I knew Sally would try to help me. She was always empathetic and helpful. It worked, and the emergency feeling lowered to just plain depression masked with humor. Always crack a joke and no one will know you hurt inside, right?
(In same article on Thoughtblog.com, the following testimonial was given) “I understand that feeling of utter hopelessness that can so easily consume a life. I’ve suffered from depression on and off for most of my life. My mother suffers from bipolar disorder. As a result, both of us have struggled with suicidal tendencies. It’s hard to go through life when your own brain has turned against you. Getting out of bed is a struggle. Taking a shower is a struggle. Looking in the mirror is a struggle. Ah, I wish I didn’t understand. Honestly, for a long time I thought that suicide was the nicest thing I could do for myself. I knew it was selfish to put my loved ones through, but at the same time it was so goddamn difficult to stay alive just for the well-being of others. I could easily rationalize it and say that they were better off without me. God, depression is a bitch. It has taken so much intense therapy and self-reflection and, yes, even medication for me to realize that giving myself a chance to heal was the kindest thing I could do for myself. So I guess I’m trying to say that I empathize with suicide victims. When your own mind betrays you it’s hard to get back up again.”
Today, 8 1/2 years from the time I ran away from home for a different life, I’m on an antidepressant, remarried to a kind man, keep 4 precious kitties, and enjoy my family and friends again. I live in a house again and not a tiny apartment or noisy duplex. I get to decorate this home and even have the desire to do so. I now drive a 2 year old car instead of a 15 years old one with no sun visors or key fob. We’re going to Hawaii next month and to New York in December. Life did a 180 for me, and it happened quickly! Before meeting my current husband, I had zero hope of gaining the strength to break up with an emotionally abusive boyfriend, moving out of an undesirable location, or having a regular income. Then, a new friend helped me leave the codependent relationship I was in, and I soon (and unexpectedly) found love. Life is settled. The depression isn’t crippling and no more suicidal thoughts. But guess who has moved into my home?! Perimenopause! Ugh. I’m dealing with up and down mood swings – like way down. I still take an antidepressant and keep Xanax on hand for anxiety or insomnia. I’m very thankful that summer is at its end. Not so many hot flashes!
If you find yourself in a depressed state that doesn’t fully leave and that often (or always) confines you to your house or bed, have hope. I’ve been there and stayed there for years. However, you can find the strength to change your life situation – even if you were like me and saw NO way to do that. It just took someone who took charge and helped me jump a few hurdles to make changes for the better. My one take-away from this blog is this: don’t try to kill yourself. It turns out that “they” are correct . . . nothing lasts forever, and you will be happy again. Yes, it’s an every day climb but it’s very worth it. It’s your very existence we’re talking about, right?
I’m here if you need to talk or have questions. Leave a comment, as well. Love to you!
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
A painter uses color, texture -tangibles – to express herself.
I use words. My mind purges its stresses on white pages.
I sometimes think in gray.
Cloudy skies are the shade of sadness.
Sadness has shades, if you didn’t know it.
I’ve had sadness in blue shades. Blue, more intense than gray.
Gray has no passion, is sleepy and without great expression.
Blues offer bite. When dark, it’s angry sadness.
Light blue leaves room for improvement. Hope.
Black. Ever felt black?
Absorbing all light around you. Reflecting none.
Lack of light is black. I’ve felt black. I’ve lived black.
Black was the height of sadness, and all was dark.
Are you beige? Beige is boring. Not ugly but boring.
I lived beige for several years. It was a color of denial.
Same old. Same old. Beige. Sad but denying it.
Currently, I feel green. New growth is everywhere.
Soon it will be spring. Life has changed.
Green feels nice. Cooling and hopeful.
No sadness blankets this life.
But now and then, I do have other-color days.
Life is, after all, a rainbow of colors.
Sadness can be in many colors and shades
But joy can, too.
(photo from deviantart.com)
Maybe if I cry hard enough for long enough, I can get rid of ALL of the toxic feelings inside my chest.
Maybe that knot will go away. Just maybe the gnawing will subside.
There are toxins in our tears. Did you know that?
Tears of stress or grief . . . release toxins and bacteria.
I should be clean enough to stop the pain I carry but it hasn’t happened. How do I cry enough? I’ve shed more than my share of tears. What IS my share?
So, I fight the inner feeling that makes me think there is no beauty in the sun on the autumn lawn or the soft music coming from my laptop.
The fall leaves don’t matter – yellow or red. Used to be my favorite season. Now, I wonder if I’ll see another autumn and realize I don’t really even care.
I am better today. That was yesterday.
Oh, the difference a day makes.
Have you ever felt emotional pain so great that you thought your heart were crushing in on itself and pulling the perimeter of your chest wall with it? (mix a writer and a scientist, and that is the sentence you get)
Ever know that the “right thing” was to leave a relationship but it didn’t mean you weren’t suffering heartache from that residual love still in your body? I say “body” because I don’t WANT to feel this way. An attachment (not all together a healthful one) was formed, and now breaking it is more than just “deciding” in my mind to do so.
I see his glaring faults. I see his strengths. These used to weigh differently on my scales of decision but still . . . we all weigh and measure our partners, determining the value of the relationship. Yesterday, we rounded a new corner in this continuing saga of separation. I was biding my time before this point – trying to delay the upset of the actual physical separation, which includes much emotional pain, too.
I admit something that embarrasses me and makes me feel pathetic – I can hardly stand being alone. I’ve always been that way but hate the trait. Still, it is what it is. I have been in varying states of aloneness over the last 6 months but it is time to face the ultimate one – being physically alone and having no clear prospect of that changing.
I’m not sure why I can’t locate the “right” man for me. I don’t ask for much, really – nothing out of the ordinary. He just needs to be kind, honest, and loving. He should be affectionate and not ignore me. I need for him to be financially stable so I am not expected to solve all of his problems. I have a lot to give a partner. I am these same things that I ask for in a mate. I am very nurturing and kind. I’m generous and a loving soul. I’m honest.
Sounds like I’m writing a singles ad. Yuck.
Are relationships really worth all of this struggle? I have so much love to give – for me to be unable to share it seems a sad waste.
A wonderful blog post I just found. Take a look!! I like the first sentence in number 15!
Relationships, the romantic kind, make me sick.
My marriage started out wonderfully and lasted that way for almost 20 years. The last six or so were the years I failed to see the pings, knocks, and engine light being on. By the time I actually saw the problems in our relationship, it was far too late to do much about it. Not that we could have fixed anything if we’d caught it several years before . . . it just would have been nice not to have been blindsided by the truth when it hit.
Now divorced for almost five years, I have a boyfriend. We started out wonderfully (sound like the paragraph above?) but are pinging and knocking. The engine light isn’t on but I wonder how long until I’ll either need to take this rig by a shop or sell it.
Romantic relationships make me ill. I’ve had severe depression, much anxiety, and ongoing apathy about my future – all since I woke up and realized life isn’t fair and won’t stay static. Everything’s always changing. I don’t like change unless I initiate it! So, I find myself wondering if this man who’s living with me is a person I’m supposed to be with.
I stopped going to church, something I had done three times a week for two decades, almost five years ago. Actually, I lost all faith. That is saying something big, as I was a Christian to the bone. It just died, and I can’t seem to get it back. I long for those days when I had faith . . . when I was sure what life was and was sure who God was. I was sure the Bible held all the answers I would ever need. Then, the “break” happened. My mental break from the life I was in. Boy, what a mess I made of everything. Anyone whose life touched mine was affected; those poor, poor people.
So, back to the romantic relationships ~ I’m so disappointed that this one doesn’t seem to be working out. We had so much fun and so much the same types of feelings and interests. Now, the small things he does (or doesn’t do) irritate me, and he is a different man than the one I got to know and love a few years ago.
I’m wondering if I should go to a church service in the morning. Mother’s Day is tomorrow. Services will likely be busier than usual. Maybe I’ll wait.
I came home from running errands to find my love interest is gone. His son is living here for a while, and they are gone. No note, no text, nothing. This won’t last for long. I’d rather be alone than living like this.
Relationships, the romantic kind, make me sick.
Change – it happens every day. Whether change is positive or negative, it does one thing every time . . . it makes you re-evaluate your current position and either find a new path or alter the current one.
Let’s talk about big shifts ~
1) Some changes happen quickly but take a long time to work through afterward.
2) Other changes occur over a longer period of time and allow you to acclimate to those changes as time passes.
Abrupt changes are tough. They slam you in the face and say, “HERE! Sort through THIS!” That’s what happened to me when I realized my marriage of a quarter-century was slow-swirling in the bottom of a shallow well. A sudden realization of the enormity of my problems and the likelihood they’d not be resolved while in the marriage . . . well, it made me sick. I became mentally sick and there was an urgent need in me – I ran away from home and didn’t go back.
Let’s talk about metamorphoses. I knew what started my mental upheaval. It was my first child moving out of our home. The two “kids” were my life – literally. That nuclear family had cracked down the middle and was threatening to drop me into the abyss of whatever lie on the “outside” of that shelter. After seeing, for the first time, that I had to make a radical revolution in the way I lived, my mind went numb. Autopilot kind of took over.
So, those of you who are new subscribers (about 80 of you), now know a little about my recent past. Here’s a quick lo-down –
Year one – Manic behavior. Spent a lot of money, promiscuous (had a boyfriend at the same time I was going through divorce), flunked out of college twice, drank (I’m not a drinker), smoked (yuck), did other stuff I shouldn’t have (nothing serious), and other classic symptoms of mania. Started anti-anxiety drugs. Aimlessly wandered. Felt blind.
Year two – four – Mania settled and depression visited. Depression is a sneaky thing. At first, I had “bad days.” I couldn’t hold a job, couldn’t keep my mind working, so instead of finishing nursing school, I became a nursing assistant. Was so disappointed in myself. Just attending a few classes a week was tough. Gained 40 pounds, and tried half a dozen antidepressants. None worked well. Finally, I didn’t leave the house and barely left my bed. I didn’t attempt suicide but came extremely close twice. My support system kept me from leaving life. I was eventually on Bipolar II drugs.
Year five (present) – I have weaned off of all meds because I chose to do so (first time in five years!) with the help of my new doctor. I have FINALLY found a counselor that I click with. I’m back in college and making As and Bs!! My decision-making is better, my memory is better, and I leave the house on a regular basis. 😉
I want to share my life with you because it’s been such a strange and difficult ride, and I hope it might shed light on some of your own problems. Three different people (friends and my mother- who doesn’t give accolades where they aren’t warranted) have called me courageous and brave. I didn’t see those traits in myself until recently.
It can be done, my friends. Wherever you find yourself at this moment . . . if you aren’t happy or healthy or satisfied . . . things can change. If I can go from Life A to Life B (two completely different existences, I promise you), then you can, too. It wasn’t a quick accomplishment. It wasn’t seamless. But, by gosh I am doing it. The little flicker of light inside me that REFUSED to give in or give up – well, it got me through and brought me to the other side. It’s where I am feeling thankful, stronger, and full of hope for the future.
Just a year ago, I was a patient with a Psychiatrist. I took mood stabilizers and antidepressants. I read about my disorder and saw many of my symptoms as classic. Just a year ago, I cried in my king size bed, avoided people, and wished to die every day. Just a year ago, I hated everything I was, saw no redeeming value in living, and planned how to make my savings last so I could continue being disabled and disconnected. It’s all I had.
Note: Not everyone who is going through a difficult life-change necessarily has developed a permanent mental disorder. I was just grieving the loss of my life and staring in the face of a new one that I didn’t know how to live.
Change . . .
It’s evil ~ and it’s heavenly
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.