sadness is creeping in like a spider under the moonlight

two days ago, as i was driving home with a friend, i told her that i felt like i could cry.  she said, go ahead, cry.  but i couldn’t.  i felt sad.  i felt like i could cry.  but i really couldn’t.  i came home and changed into what i called “moping clothes.”  i crawled into bed and lay there motionless.  a little while later, my sister came in and asked what i was doing, so i told her that i was moping and that i felt like i could cry.  so she said something, something like, why don’t you just cry then?  whatever she said it turned on my tears that came and came for the next hour or so.  i’m not kidding either.  the first half hour i was crying as if i were weeping for the dead.  i would cry, and then get the hiccups, you know what i mean?  my pillow was getting soaked and wiping the tears away with my hands wasn’t doing a good job of getting rid of the moisture.  after about 30 minutes of hysterical crying, i cried somewhat toned down, softly.  i was sobbing and sobbing.  the whole time, i was crying out to God, as i have read the psalmists cry out to God in times of their despair.  i cried out to God that the pain/suffering/affliction whatever i am experiencing in my life was too much for me to bear.  i didn’t want it anymore.  i asked God to take away the pain or to take away my life.  anything that would pop into my mind seemed so sad and all i could feel was sadness.  i felt broken.  like a mirror that shattered and is now missing shattered parts of itself and can’t be put together again as a whole.  on any other day, i might have been tempted to take matters into my own hands.  but two nights ago, i chose to just sleep and to let sleep be the relief i so badly needed and wanted.  

next day i felt better.  that’s not too shocking since i felt so badly the night before.  it’s hard to imagine how i might have felt worse.  i woke up with red puffy eye lids, like i stayed up late and rubbed my eyes too much or something.  i had therapy later that day.  i told my psychologist that i had cried the night before for about an hour.  he didn’t seem surprised.  he just asked, what were you sad about?  i told him that i didn’t feel sad about any specific thing.  i was just sad about everything and anything.  i was just sad about my life, sad to be experiencing life in the way that i do.  i can’t remember what else we talked about during the session.  i left with a sense that my psychologist was alerted to the fact that i was feeling pretty bad.  we went over a crisis plan that i have been working on at a program i go to once a week.  i have a list of people i want helping me and making decisions on my behalf if i am unable to do so.  i also have a list of people who i do not want involved in my treatment plan.  i have a list of medicine i take every day.  i have a list of medicine i am willing to take, should they become necessary.  and then there is a list of medicine and treatment they should not give me.  

it’s kind of an unsettling feeling to not know when i might have to check myself into a hospital.  it’s unsettling to know when i might burst into tears.  and when i do, i have no idea how long i am going to cry for or if i am ever going to stop crying.  i sense that there is sadness somewhere in me that has been hidden, buried and kept in check.  and for whatever reason, the sadness is refusing to sit back and let things run smoothly.  

when i check into a hospital, partial hospital or am interviewed by potential treaters, they always ask, do you have access to a gun?  are you feeling suicidal?  do you have a plan?  i answer, no i don ‘t have a gun.  i feel/felt suicidal.  and the plan, it’s tricky.  i’m not like the character on memento who has a 5 minute memory.  for him, if he had a plan, he would forget his plan in the next few minutes.  i have a memory that retains information a little bit better than that.  once i come up with a way to do something, how could i forget it?  it’s in my memory.  and when i get sad, really really sad, and sad for a long time, bits and parts of the plan become activated.  i know what i would do i if i were going to do something.  but no i don’t have a definite plan.  i don’t have a date or place.  it’s good that i don’t have a definite plan.  if i did, i would have to tell my treaters and they would be really concerned for me.  maybe they would be concerned enough to lock me up in a hospital.  but for how long would they keep me?  would i stay there until i said that i can’t remember the plan i once had?  or that i don’t have intentions of pursuing the plan that i had in my mind?  

i can only speak for the present moment.  right now, no, i don’t have a definite plan.  but sadness is creeping in, like a spider under the moonlight.

panic attack

this morning i was searching for people to follow on twitter.  i really just wanted to find some news on twitter.  on the right hand column i noticed in one of the hot searches “Michael Crichton” and “Michael Crichton RIP.”   i’m not sure how or when i found out but i knew that he died.  i might have read something before going to bed last night.  but i wasn’t sure when he died and since i wanted to find some news sites anyway, i decided to browse through search results on Michael Crichton and Michael Crichton RIP.  most entries had a line or two just stating that Michael Crichton died.  some mentioned that they were sad.  others stated their favorite book that Michael Crichton wrote.  i went through 10-15 pages of search results, reading each result entry – i would first notice the picture of name of the person who posted the entry and quickly looked at the content.  i didn’t really have to read since mostly the content of all of the posts were stating that Michael Crichton died.  what i didn’t expect was the impact of reading/looking at entries that stated the death of Michael Crichton over and over againl  i was determined to get to the earliest post that was uploaded and i thought that way i could also see which news sites reported on twitter the death of Michael Crichton.  i was doing this at 7:30 am this morning.  latest entries said 5 minutes ago, an hour ago…8 hours ago, 14 hours ago, and at about 19 hours ago entries stopped.  i felt nauseaus and short of breathe as i kept making myself reading the entries to get to the end (or the beginning of the thread).

when i finished i closed my laptop, got out of my chair, got a glass of ginger ale, grabbed my PRN, and went to go smoke.   i usually take one pill, wait about an hour and take another one if the first one wasn’t enough.  if the second pill doesn’t do the trick, then i take the third pill which is the limit prescribed by my doctor.  i knew the anxiety was engulfing me and that no way one .5mg of ativan was going to bring any kind of relief.  so anyway i took what i judged to be a safe and effective dose.  my head was both spinning and felt blocked.  i thought people die.  people die all the time.  to put death in the perspective, an old friend’s wife just had surgery to remove tumor in her brain.  i have been following updates of her progress on facebook and posting prayers and waiting for status update that she is waking up.  and another relevant factor in how i react to death is that death is a very personal and powerful concept and reality for me.  you might say that i’m a quitter at heart.  i can cope with a lot, i mean a lot of stress.  then all of a sudden i become aware of the feelings, thoughts, stress that had been bottled up and waiting to pop open like a champagne bottle does at celebrations.  the champagne pouring out of the bottle is controllable for the most part.  but my emotions, when they burst open are hard to control, mostly i can’t control them.  in those situations when emotions come on so strongly with such force that i would be wiped out, i try to contain the damage.  i try to make the crazy wild strong wave of emotions go away.  my usual method works pretty well.  but i also usually end up in the Emergency Room soon after.  then i stay in the hospital for a while until powers in charge think i am no longer a threat to my self or to others.  

i calmed down of course.  panic/anxiety attacks don’t last forever.  if they did, you’d just die.  it still sucks to be experiencing a panic/anxiety attack when you are the one who is having one because usual sense of time doesn’t apply to you.  the unbearable feeling seems to drag on.  you wonder if you can stay alive long enough to see that the panic/anxiety attack stopped.  i’m still a little fuzzy and disoriented from the panic/anxiety attack i was trapped in this morning.  i know that all i need is one breathe ahead of the panic/anxiety attack, suicidal impulse, or oppressive affliction of depression.  do you know how hard it is to try to stay one step of the person running behind you when they are constantly going and going, not taking breaks, not stopping for water and not slowing down?   to stay ahead, you also can’t slow down, stop for water, take breaks until the finish line is behind you.  i long for that finish line.  i dream about it.  i wonder about what it would feel like to run through the finish line…  until i get to the finish line, i have to keep myself one step ahead, just one step, just one breathe, ahead of the unpredictable ups and downs of my crazy unstable mental chemical imbalance caused by purely physical factors, genetic factors as well as circumstantial factors.

major trigger

since my visit with the psychopharm, i have had major intrusive thoughts about how to effectively kill myself.  friday night i was thinking about death and saturday i kept thinking of different ways to final exit.  then one of the groups today we did a behavioral analysis of the urges i had over the weekend.  after the group i got in touch with the urges and now i don’t know what to do!  i’m listening to music in order to not think about things.

in memory

i’m sad to say that there has been a death in our extended family.  extended family is family and the sadness is real.

it’s weird being alive. i mean, really it is weird being alive. it’s so weird that the living go on living. what can we do but to go on living? the most we can do in order to honor the dead is to go on living.

about twenty years ago around this time, my friend committed suicide. and what i remember, aside from fear and sadness that i felt was being aware that i wasn’t dead. i thought, she would no longer come to my house, we would never do homework together, and she would never turn sixteen. for years i was haunted by her death. year after year when i went back to the town in which i grew up, i would visit her grave. and when i stood at her grave, looking down at the headstone, i wasn’t just over come with sadness but also with perhaps guilt that i was alive. with each milestone in my life i would think, she never turned eighteen, then later i would think, she never turned twenty one, thirty, so on. i can’t say that i miss her now. but i do remember her and still love her.

what if she hadn’t decided to kill herself…what would she be doing now? would we still be friends? would she be a mom like my sister? would she have been a career woman?

no one will ever know.

i was already depressed at the time my friend committed suicide. her death somehow prevented me from acting on my thoughts of escaping from this world. it seems inappropriate to be thankful to her death that helped me live. truth is, on most days, i’m not thankful to be alive. i just live, because i am alive. i should be grateful to be alive. i am thankful but yet i wonder, when will i be able to rest?

it’s funny how visiting family reminds me that these people, my family, especially my nieces and nephews, expect me to live. especially my nieces and nephews who don’t understand death wouldn’t think twice that i would visit them the next chance i could manage to see them. and i want to see them grow up, go to college, get married, have kids, etc., etc.

i really think that the living can honor the dead best by going on living, the best they know how. rest in peace… we can’t join you in death, but you will always be in our hearts and in our memories.

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?)

no you didn’t! top five comments my clueless mom and dad made about me in the past 10 days

1. who’s the parent?

my dad told my younger sister that she better marry me off or make me lose weight!

2. as if!

i said to my dad, how can you write a book on how to be wealthy (happy) when your own daughter has made so many trips to the hospital? my dad told me to read the book.

then i said to my mom, how can you help strangers as a psychologist when you can’t even understand your own daughter who has depression? my mom said, depression is not my specialty.

when i asked them both if they have read even one book on depression on my account my dad said, depression is basic knowledge.

yeah, whatever (my response).

3. psych ward vs new otani hotel in tokyo

when my dad found out how much each intake to the hospital costs he said, that’s why i’m not worried when you’re in the hospital. staying at the hospital is cheaper than staying at new otani hotel (where we stayed when we were in tokyo) and because the hospital even feeds you.

4. silver lining

my dad said to me, i’m hoping that when you get over your struggles, that you can write a book on happiness and help others.

okay maybe this one doesn’t sound so bad out of context. maybe you had to be there. it would be okay that my dad made this comment if he made even one comment about how difficult it might be for me to live. and the fact is that this comment and the comment above are the only acknowledgement my dad has made about my hospital visits and my depression. he just doesn’t get it!!!

5. duh???

my sister made the comment (in response to something i did or something my mom said) that it’s more important for me to be alive (meaning not kill myself) than it is for me to not smoke. my mom responded by saying, i wish she would quit smoking at least.

ok, so between having a daughter who is living but smokes and having a dead daughter, she would choose the second option if it means i won’t be smoking anymore?