will to live

it’s strange.  in the past few years i have struggled to find the will to live.  fighting against myself to stay alive, or fighting against myself to end my life.  and somehow i have managed to stay alive despite all the attempts.  and today i feel proud of being a part of this country.  i don’t have many things in my life that i look forward to, especially when depression gets bad.  but today i am looking forward to the next four years!  when things are bad, you don’t want things to be the same.  change is better than the same when things are bad.  when i don’t feel good too often anyway, it sucks that the world around me seems to be going in the wrong direction.  but i feel hopeful that things may turn around for this country.  and i feel hopeful that things might turn around for me too.  maybe there will come a day when i can think about my life, how to live it fully, rather than spending time and energy on how to end it.  

Obama is my new president

i voted today.  and i am so excited that barack obama won the election!  even though i voted for obama i didn’t know for sure that he would win.  this is the first time that a candidate that i voted for became the president of america.  wow.  i have hope that the next four years are going to be as good as it can be.  i really do.

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.

believing

i have just a hint of belief and faith that maybe there is value in what one chooses to do with one’s life.   maybe when bad times keep coming at you, you just keep fighting and one of these days, you’re just one foot ahead of the dark times.  something’s working.  i don’t know what it is, but i want to keep doing what’s working!

i want to stay off as much psych meds as possible.  i feel that maybe the meds have kept me from thinking clearly.  it’s truly a balancing act to stay mentally healthy and also to maintain clarity in one’s mind.

top five reasons 2008 is going to be great!

1. it’s not 2007! 2007 was a hard year for me. i was in and out of the hospital. i didn’t do well over all. i continued to gain weight. i kept getting triggered by by various things, even while watching the elf!

2. new community? i may take a break from my current church to make new connections. and my church is also getting a new pastor which will be refreshing.

3. romance! i feel ready to date again. i’m hopeful about this. i don’t know why. i just am. and since i have lots of knowledge about what i don’t want, figuring out if the relationship is worth keeping will be a piece of cake. 🙂

4. my niece is turning 4! she’s a little girl now. she’s really thoughtful and just lovely. i’m looking forward to spending more time with her.

5. DBT group – okay. so i’m not totally looking forward to joining a group therapy that is going to be so intensive that it’s going to kick my butt. but i think the work will pay off in the long run. i’ll be able to cope with feelings and impulses better. and hopefully that will translate into fewer hospital visits.

new president in south korea!

people (including my mom and dad) are excited about the new president in south korea.  the market is up.  and even i feel like things are looking up.  i have no clue why i would even feel this since i don’t even know what the president looks like and i don’t even live here.  in any case i’m excited for korea. 

i really must stop on-line shopping.  i just can’t stop!  it is really addictive. 

since i got an extension for the final paper for a class i took last semester, i feel pretty optimistic and hopeful about my life.  it’s funny how that works, isn’t it?  one part of your life gets better and rest of your life looks better too. 

i haven’t done anything exciting so far since i got here.  i had really good sushi today.  that’s about it.  oh, and tangerines are excellent here.  my hands are going to look orange soon!