Yearn

Yearn

Today is brought to you by the letter “Y” and I choose for it to stand for “YEARN” as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge.

My theme for this Challenge is depression and anxiety and all that goes with it.

I yearn for normalcy, whatever that looks like.

I yearn to be able to say yes easily to a social invite without feeling the heightened anxiety that goes along with it.

I yearn to be like the majority that have problems but aren’t floored by them.

I yearn to be off this merry-go round of medications that has turned me into a walking pharmacy.

I yearn to be able to earn enough from my photography so I wouldn’t have to 9-5 it anymore.

I yearn to be the equal partner my spouse deserves.

I yearn to not have thoughts of suicide when things get rough.

I yearn to sell it all and move to Belize.

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Suicide

Suicide

Today is brought to you by the letter “S” and I choose for it to stand for “SUICIDE” as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge. My theme for this Challenge is depression and anxiety and all that goes with it.

Suicide, what an ugly word.  I have always hated this word because it brings up feelings of shame, remorse, guilt and embarrassment.  While struggling with anxiety and depression, I have felt the urge to end my life many times.  The thought of suicide is revolting to me but also intoxicating.  When you are feeling so low that you want the invisible warm comforting cloak of death, wrapped around you.  It’s not that I want to commit suicide, it’s just that in order for me to not be here anymore, that is needed unless I die in an accident.  On a recent plane trip, I thought to myself, I would be “ok” with this plane crashing.  I just didn’t want to commit the dirty deed myself. My previous GP once told me something that has stuck with me over the years, “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”  This has deterred me in my quest for eternal sleep, on several occasions. I have been struggling with this post because I am afraid to share too much but I know my audience and what they can and can’t handle.

So on that note, I recently came across a suicide note I wrote several months ago.  It was more of a journal I started (before I started this blog) to chronicle my slow fall into a dark, depressive episode which I saw no way out of.  The journal was meant to be an educational tool to my doctor, family, etc.  I wanted people to know I tried but I was too tired to fight anymore and was going to try and kill myself. suicide

Here is an excerpt: “First off, my apologies to whoever had to find me. I did not write this note as a last action before I go, it was written over days and weeks.  Depression can be a fatal disease and it was in this case but only because I was too weak to fight.  I had decided to take control of the situation.  No longer wanting to suffer the whims of depression, I needed to end it’s life before it took mine.  Things needed to end on my terms.  I have always said to myself that if things get to where I can’t handle it anymore, then I have an out.  I can take final control, and so I did.”

The note goes on for 3 pages and it all seems rather narcissistic in hindsight.  I am no longer in that depressive episode but I know it can return with a vengeance without warning.  I am keeping the note, or rather journal for now.  I have not decided to die so far but the future is a mystery.  I know that my depression is likely to return again and I will feel the urge to hurt or punish myself once again.  I just hope that when that day comes, that I can resist the urge.

Neglect

Neglect

Today is brought to you by the letter “N” and I choose for it to stand for “NEGLECT” as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge.

My theme for this Challenge is depression and anxiety and all that goes with it.

Have you ever felt neglected, while dealing with mental illness?  I think we all have to some extent.  Either you can’t afford or can’t find the help you need?  You are certainly not alone.  Some sobering facts on mental illness from the Canadian Mental Health Association:

  • Mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a family member, friend or colleague.
  • 20% of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime.
  • Mental illness affects people of all ages, educational and income levels, and cultures.
  • Approximately 8% of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives.
  • About 1% of Canadians will experience bipolar disorder (or “manic depression”).

I think the reason a lot of people dealing with mental illness feel alone in their plight is because a lot of the time, mental health issues go unreported.  These are the neglected people and they are everywhere.  There are a lot of people out there who don’t want to seek help with their depression or anxiety because they are embarrassed or think there is no help.  They fall through the cracks and go unreported.   Sometimes, it gets worse and is reported as mental illness in hindsight, after a suicide.

When you neglect to help yourself, it is hard for others to see you as in need of help.  This just spirals out of control and you end up feeling helpless and broken.

There are lots of resources out there, ones you don’t know about yet so if you are struggling with depression and anxiety like I am, you need to know I have been recently helped by previously unknown (to myself) resources.  A few weeks ago I had a real mental health crisis.  I wanted to die and was fixated on it.  I couldn’t get in out my head.  My doctor set me up with one of her clinic’s mental health nurses for counseling and it September 18, 2013is much better than my psychiatrist.

I am guilty of neglect myself.  I feel I really need the help of a psychologist but I don’t have the money for one.  In Canada, psychiatry is free but not a psychologist.  I am covered with my work insurance but it will only get me about two sessions worth so I will forgo that option for now.  I feel I have enough doctors’ appointments scheduled already.

As I am writing this, I see over on Yahoo News, there is a new headline:

Homaro Cantu Dead: Famed Chef Dies at 38 of Apparent Suicide

Did not know the man, don’t know his story but it seems to me it is one of neglect.

Depression

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Today is brought to you by the letter “D” and I choose for it to stand for “DEPRESSION” as part of the A to Z Blog Challenge.

My theme for this Challenge is depression and anxiety and all that goes with it.

Wow, this is a big one.  THE one actually, at least for me.  When I am in one of my lows, I don’t get dressed, I don’t eat (or I overeat), I cry most the day and I can’t stop thinking about dying.  I was like this only 2 weeks ago but I “seem” to be in good spirits this week.  Although I will take every good day, I do so tentatively, like I’m walking on eggshells.  Afraid I will go back to that dark space again.

I have a weird confession to make.  When I hear about people who have committed suicide, I think “wow, lucky-they got out.”  Then I get more depressed because I can’t summon up that final bit of courage to kill myself.  Which in turn makes me feel horrible about myself, it’s a vicious cycle.  It’s not that I want to kill myself, it’s just that I’m tired, frustrated and feel hopeless.  All I really want is to be dead, to not exist anymore.  This seems to be the only way for it to stop.  Last time I was on a plane, I thought to myself, “I would be O.K. with this plane going down.”  Of course I wouldn’t really want that because of all the other people who are on this plane too.  If it was as easy as flipping a switch of some sort, I would be gone long, long ago.

overcoming-depression-quotes-and-sayings-6In the throes of another depression about twenty years ago- which was being fueled by alcohol (I was younger and dumber), I almost killed myself but THAT is another story.  People don’t know this side of me because I don’t share it with anyone except my partner and 1 other person and that person knows a “sanitized” version only.  I am always afraid that if people found out, they would shun me or think less of me.  This worries me so much, that they will “see through the facade” and find I’m really a fraud.

Because depression is such a big part of my life, and I haven’t (or won’t) share it with anyone, I don’t have a lot of close friends as a result.  This does bother me although I have turned from a social butterfly to a shy, introverted type who rarely goes out and mingles.  I would like to change that.  While I am feeling good, I need to try and “get out there”.  It is Spring now, the snow is slowly melting away.  The crocuses and daffodils should be up soon.  Going to go to the Sugar Bush tomorrow for Easter so hopefully I will get some good photos to share.  For you non Canadians and Northern U.S. folks, the Sugar Bush is where you go to see the maple sap being collected from the trees and processed into maple syrup.

Depression Can Be Fatal

Tried so hard last night to get to sleep before my crying jags started up again.  I had taken a Seroquel and was waiting anxiously for it to kick in.  My partner, lying behind me was rubbing my back which made me start to cry again.  It’s so frustrating and embarrassing.  I hate for her to see me this way.  Not just because I feel so ashamed and guilty for acting and feeling this way, but because I hate having her worried about me.

I have been off work for almost a year now.  Money is tight, trips cancelled, grand plans put on hold and its all my fault.  The guilt is becoming so unbearable and I am crying again as I write these words.  I have had depression on and off my whole life but lately it is anxiety that I’ve been treated for.  Now, my depression has come back full force and my psychiatrist does nothing but stare at me while I cry for my weekly 20 minute appointment, then ask if I need any refills.  It’s a real wonder why I’m still here

Decided during my feeling of hopelessness this morning, to call my regular doctor to find out how I can fire my psychiatrist and get a new one as mine is a fucking idiot!  Sorry for that.  Usually I would have to wait months for an appointment but as luck would have it, she was on urgent care tonight (she works in a clinic with other doctors) and there was an appointment available tonight.  I booked it!  I need to gather my thoughts and figure out what I need to bring up with her without dissolving into a puddle of tears, rambling on and on about my issues.

  1. Get a referral to a new psychiatrist.
  2. Discuss my Cymbalta withdrawal problems.
  3. Let her know I am afraid I am deteriorating and my thoughts of suicide.

Took a break from writing this post to go outside and pick up dog poop as it is zero degrees Celsius and sunny (nice for March in Ontario, Canada).  I promised my partner I would go outside today. Things were going well till I couldn’t chisel the poop out of the snow as it has melted down into it.  I usually do this every 2 days or so but in my Cymbalta withdrawal this week, I have left it.  Again, my fault and I began crying.  Tears were rolling down my face as a was getting more and more frustrated at the encapsulated poop just beyond my reach.  I did the only sensible thing and gave up.  What if my neighbour sees me crying, picking up poop.  It’s not the poop, its me!

This is why I need to do something and go see my doctor tonight.  I realized that depression can be fatal.