accidental overdose

i was putting off blogging so that i wouldn’t have to process all that happened in the past week.  well, now it’s time to process.  and i process best by writing.  so  you see how this blog is practically necessary for me.

after i wrote the last blog last wednesday night, sometime after that and sometime before i fell asleep, i got rid of every last sleeping pill that i had.  it all went down my throat somehow.  i only remember the first batch.  i didn’t intend on consuming anymore.  i discovered two days later that i couldn’t find a single sleeping pill.  i searched my trash can and the best of detective work tells me that i took every last sleeping pill that was in my reach.

i don’t know how i woke up the next day, albeit the sun had already gone down.  i woke up to a phone call and rushed out the door to show up for my dinner appointment.  i got there by car too.  at the time, i didn’t know i had taken all the rest of the sleeping pills.  so i drove myself to and back from my friend’s house.  i only started suspecting something was wrong with me when that night i started throwing up everything i could until i had nothing more to throw up.  my friend was fine when i inquired about his health the next morning.  so i figured it wasn’t the food that was the problem.  something with me was the matter and that’s what kept me up all night and why i didn’t feel well.

most of the time, after i abuse over the counter or prescribed medicine, i call someone and get help within the first couple of hours.  but this time, i didn’t call for help.  i didn’t think i needed help.  anyway, i was way beyond any kind of coherent state of mind by the time i actually fell asleep.  and by the time i woke up, the pills had probably done all, if not most, the damage it could have done.  and so for sure, two days later when i realized i had taken way too many sleeping pills, that i was still alive amazed me and i seemed to be doing relatively well physically.  psychologically, i was in shock, disbelief, scared, and lost.

i always wondered what accidental overdose is all about.  now i know what it means and how it can happen!  after i realized what happened, i didn’t call my therapsit to tell him what had happened, what i had done, and how i was doing.  i was scared that in my incoherent state that i continued to take pills.  why?  why did i keep taking the sleeping pills?  sleeping pills don’t put me to sleep anyway for the most part.  i wasn’t trying to sleep so i don’t even know why i took them in the first place.  i wondered, does my inner most self that lies beneath the surface really want to end my life?  at the very least, it wasn’t trying to look out for my health!  i concluded after some thought over the next few days that i wasn’t trying to kill myself knowingly or accidentally.  it’s the list of things that i didn’t do that makes me conclude that i wasn’t trying to kill myself.  i didn’t drink alcohol which was easily accessible which would have intensified the effects of the sleeping pills.  i didn’t take my prescribed medicine, not even a single one.  i only took sleeping pills that night.

part of me wants to live.  part of me wants to not live if the quality of life sucks, as it has been for me in the past 6 years with severe depression.   so if the quality of life can’t be improved, then the only choice left, it seems to me at times when i am under extreme excruciating pain, is to stop the pain and if life is what allows for the pain to continue, then it must end.  anyway that’s something like what my mind runs through when i am not doing well.

i told my therapist last night about what happened.  he made some interesting observations.  actions i choose, when they harm me physically, psychologically, or spiritually, set me back from recovery.  he said we could choose to work on whether to die or not to die, the impulses i have, and how i cope with the impulses when i experience them, etc.  or we could work on how i might live life, life where the quality of life is desirable.  anyway for now he said he could and would hold all of hope for both of us that i might/will get better.

so practically what does this all mean?   i mean, if i can’t kill myself with all the sleeping pills i took last week (believe me i had a lot of sleeping pills and i took them all!), i don’t know what will get the job done.  either i am unbreakable or God keeping me alive, protecting me from myself at times when i am most vulnerable.

what do i do next?  i guess i probably will do things as i have been doing without major changes.  but i will at least be aware as i am choosing an action, whether it will promote or hinder my recovery.  i don’t know about the value or quality of life in general, for others.  but my life, as it has been, is unacceptable!  i don’t want to live the life i have been living.  that life, i want to end!  i will fight to end that life for as long as i can, even if it kills me.  through therapy, through medicine, through prayer, through support, and coping skills, for now, i will fight to bring an end to the crappy, painful, life that is soaked in despair.  if depression can’t be managed, then i, with my unrelenting depression, may have to say farewell to this world.  but if somehow i can find some breathing space, some wiggle room, and ways to fight back the depression, i’ll be here that much longer.  as my friend keeps reminding me, the battle remains to be fought, it is on-going, and the towel shall not be thrown in, not even if it takes my last breathe to continue the fight.

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strangely

for a long time, i felt distant from god and couldn’t pray as i had before. and then when a friend told me last week about her health condition (that she may find out in a week whether she has a limited time to live), i started praying for her and am finding that i feel different when i pray.  in desperation i prayed as i felt the urgency of the need for god. i mean, i had been praying before but maybe without the sense of urgency, like if things were a matter of life and death. and these days at morning prayer, we really do pray for the life or death of our friend. and something in me has changed. of course i can’t heal my friend. i’m not even sure how much the doctors could do even if they discover that she needs treatment. whether for good or bad, i feel a sense of peace. no doubt, last week when i heard the news i was really disturbed. but now i feel that we are all going to be fine.

petitionary prayer and faith

as i have done for the past three years or so, i went to morning prayer today. and i wondered, why should any of the prayers we pray matter? why should god who created the universe care or help me to finish my semester at school or to have more wisdom?

a few years ago, i wrote a paper on petitionary prayer. my thesis was that petitionary prayers play an indispensable role in our sanctification process: as our prayers get answered (or not answered) we learn about the character of god and as we pray we experience god of the universe as our god.

i don’t know how job or st. paul kept up their faith in god. sure when things are going well, you can believe that god is for you. ironically, at those moments you might forget about god because you don’t need god to help you. but when things are going badly and take a turn for the worst, people tend to turn to god and ask god for help. and in such difficult times, god may be more real to you and you may rely on god more for everything because you can’t rely on anything else.

but what happens when a bad thing happens and another bad thing and another bad thing happen to a person? i don’t mean that things that happen have to be viwed as “objectively” morally a bad thing. but when someone feels that gods is not with them, that god is not for them, what happens to one’s faith?

i’ve been told in the past to seek god more in times of trouble: read the scripture, spend time in prayer, and rely on your community of faith. but what happens when those things fall through as well? then i suppose, you still read the scripture, pray to god more even if you are praying that you don’t know what to pray, and tell others to pray for you.

i’m reminded of prosperity gospel – people counting on god to bless them b/c they believe that god is good, and perhaps also b/c they believe their works warrant their blessing. most people would say, no god never promised happiness just that god would be with us through it all, the good, the bad, the happy as well as the sad moments. but what does it take for one to say, god is not for me (as opposed to god being for you, showing you favor). more importantly, when you have been pushed to the edge, to your limits, how can you turn back to god?

god doesn’t test us more than we can bear, right? the bible says so. probably god knows what your limits are. but when you feel that you have been pushed and pushed to the point you can’t bear the pain, suffering, disappointment, despair anymore, what then?

i believe – help my unbelief

wow.  time is passing by fast even when i am visiting my parents in korea.  today is christmas eve and it’s just another day, well, except that i’ll be spending the night at church.

yesterday at church, the pastor said the meaning of christmas was christ worship.  and i wonder how many people even know that’s what the word means! 

lately, i have been reflecting on whether, how much, and in what nature i believe in God.  it’s been super difficult to pray to God.  part of the reason is my recent struggles with depression.  i seem to be doing worse, not better.  and part of the reason has to do with what i’m reading/learning in my theology class.  i was brought up to believe in god who wants to bless us, loves us, and cares about us.  that is to say i believe/d in a personal god.  but the more i study theology i realize that the god i believe in is boxed in my what i want god to be, and not actually who god might be.  i mean who really knows what god is like anyway right?  but some theories sound more convincing than others, that is for sure. 

i still pray, prayers half-filled with unbelief.  i go to church but reluctantly, wondering what worshipping an impersonal god means.  can one maintain one’s faith while the conception of god which one previously held on to is going through radical change?  it seems that there is/must be a kind of a suspension in belief.  while the belief in god is going through radical revisions, it’s difficult even to know what one believes in. 

so as for the meaning of christmas, to be honest, i’m not sure what i believe or feel about it.  presents have been exchanged already in my family and tomorrow morning, we’ll rush to get to church and then head out for a family trip.