the other shoe

i’m waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak. i’ve been going out with my bf for about 8 months now. and things are fine, more or less. i’m doing a lot better over all. successfully moved and starting to settle into new place in nyc. don’t really miss boston too much. but then was i waiting for something bad to happen? for a while everything was perfect, well almost perfect. then i started crying on consecutive days and not due to my reproductive cycle, thank you very much. and couldn’t stop crying even when my bf was with me.

so all that to say, is happiness really only a phantom of the imagination? maybe it’s something disney and hallmark and the marketing people at various places conjured up so they could sell movies, cards, chocolates, flowers, etc.

i was always unhappy. i was depressed. totally utterly in despair. that i can deal with. well, except when things got really worse then i couldn’t cope anymore. so then when i started feeling better after 5-6 years of really bad depression, i was skeptical at first. many changes took place that could explain why i was feeling better. i stopped working with the therapist i had for about 5 + years without miraculous improvement or anything. doctors on my treatment team tweaked with my medication. i started dating my current bf. i hadn’t dated anyone in over ten years before i started dating him. i mean, i dated. but i didn’t have a boyfriend for i don’t even know how long actually.

spring of 2002 to end of 2008 (my second depression episode) utterly sucked. only thing that was going to make it worse was to be treated with ECT (eletro convulsive therapy). my old psychiatrist recommended that and was banking that ECT was my only hope of coming out of deep deep depression. well, i wasn’t going to have my brain fried. so i fired her. moved on to a new therapist, new psycho-pharmacologist, and continued on with DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy). well, for about a good 8 months i had consecutive days of non-suicidal ideation or urges which had never happened before since the depression of 2002 started.

lately, however, after months and months of not wanting to die anymore, i can smell it in the air. the muse which beckons me to death, to take matters into my own hands, it is slowly but surely making her move on me. past couple weeks, i cried, overdosed mildly couple of times, drank, and thought about whether there is really a point to my life after all. yes. the question that i could not get out of my head for about 6 years, not even for a single day, it came back to me. and i started wondering, what’s the point? why work so hard at recovery? why try so hard to feel better? it’s not going to last anyway. life sucks, right? and being depressed and feeling pain and suffering in life sucks even more!

so today i told my psycho-pharmacologist that i’ve been thinking about what’s the point of my life. i told her i had been dancing with suicidal thoughts. maybe for now it’s enough just to admit that i’m unhappy. being happy for the 8 months or so, well, maybe absence of utter despair is like happiness. but now as i’m feeling better, it isn’t good enough just not to feel pain. i want to have a meaningful life. yes, i want to have a life worth living. a life worth staying alive for. not sure i’m there yet. or that i’ll ever get there.

is it time to give up again? i’m not sure. all i know for sure is that while in the past i was happy just to see my bf, now i cry even when he is there. i cry because i want more. i don’t just want to hang out, i want some kind of certainty that things mean something. i’m not happy just to read some articles here and there, or to just send applications out even on slim chance that someone might look at my resume. i want a job. i want to go back to school.

but wanting things, that’s what leads to disappointment and pain. so i decided i think, subconsciously, not to want any of it anymore. so again i am where i was before this bit of relief found me after years of stormy darkness. i don’t want to be here anymore if being here means i’ll be unhappy and if it means i live to testify to the happiness i don’t have.

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quite an unusual day

since i got out of the hospital (basically since the last post), i have been traveling a lot. it’s good that i was traveling since i am not sure i would have done any better at home. i saw family and friends and was kept busy, meaning not contemplating or deliberating on how to gracefully exit my life. somehow after the last hospitalization, i came to terms with the fact that depression is something i have to live with, work around, and accept, for now at least, if not the rest of my life. then i started thinking that if the rest of my life is going to be like how it’s been in the past six years, that i would much rather not sign up for more. then recently, parts of the puzzle i’ve been thinking of when i was not feeling well started coming together. i decided that if there is a next time i attempt to end my life, that i will be more successful.

for a brief period during the hopelessness, i started looking forward to life like i had never done before as i was getting to know someone. i never met anyone that i wasn’t afraid of getting to know better, spending more time together and it was strange but really nice. anyway, it was a brief but lovely pause in my ongoing dark hopeless days.

so as i saw the end of my life approaching, sooner or later but probably sooner rather than later, i wanted to prepare for the end. and most of the time when i am alone, which also seems to be times when i’m not feeling good, i try to make progress on planning my last attempt. as i have been consumed with thinking and planning about the end, i told a couple of friends and my psychiatrist. yes i did.

incidentally, my psychiatrist is planning to retire sometime in the near future. so she wanted me to find another psychiatrist so i could start transitioning as smoothly as possible while she was still working. and now she hopes that the new therapist will be able to do something different, say something different than she was able to and hopefully facilitate my recovery. last time we talked, she mentioned ECT (electro convulsive therapy) for about the third or fourth time and seemed quite upset that i wasn’t even willing to talk to someone to gather more data about ECT. as far as i can tell, we’re going to try one more medicine. then as she sees it, ECT is the only thing we haven’t tried and would be the next on the treatment plan, so long as i was willing.

after i talked to her, i did some data gathering on the internet. for most people whose depression is medicine resistant, ECT treatments are pretty effective for relieving symptoms of depression. so i can see how ECT would be recommended for people when relieving them from depression seems urgent enough (like if a person is planning to commit suicide).

but at what cost? it seems like keeping someone alive would trumph any other considerations. most people just have short term memory loss and confusion for weeks or months. but some people lose long term memory and even some cognitive capacities. i agree that a lot of people would be protected from the grief of losing a loved one, if someone is kept alive by ECT treatments. but as for me, i don’t know if i would choose life over death if the quality of life wasn’t good physically, mentally and/or emotionally. if i had to choose, i would choose to live as me, with or without pain and suffering. so i figure ECT treatments are out, unless someone forces me, like a judge for instance.

everyday since i got out of the hospital, i think, breathe, obsess about finally exiting and being spared from depression. on some days, it’s painful to be conscious. but today, for some mysterious reason, i did not think about the end of my life. today, i thought about what i would do for the rest of the day and found myself hoping to accomplish things in my life which i thought i no longer cared about! i don’t know how long i will stay hopeful and free of pain. all i know is that today, even in this very moment, i am living life, not as i had done before when i was just waiting for the end of my life, but living life as though i will live tomorrow looking forward to the next day and the day after that and the day after that.

note to self: top five reasons for not killing myself

1. there will be no self/consciousness as i know it. sure enough i believe in an after life (a happy one at that – one with jesus). but will “life” after death be of the same kind as life as i know it? i don’t think so. (and this is a bad thing?)

2. people will have to tell my nieces and nephews that they used to have an aunt who loved them alot! i mean a lot! and my family members (especially my siblings) and my friends would be heart-broken. (but would they prefer a living aunt/sister/daughter/friend who is suffering immensely from depression?)

3. family reputation (especially that of my mom and dad) will be ruined. (i see no way out of this one.)

4. if i should fail in killing myself i will once again end up in the ER then in the psych ward for only god knows how long. and my doctors might decide to do ECT on me, what is left of me anyway. (the best deterrent for not killing myself if there ever was one)

5. i can’t think of the fifth reason…maybe god would be disappointed? (i don’t really believe that god would be disappointed. i mean, isn’t god permitting me and apostle paul with the thorn on his side and all to suffer?)