I haven’t written anything lately because my mood changed from good/stable to depressed. This is the first time I’ve been on this website in a couple of weeks, and I haven’t gone anywhere near my favorite blogs since then. I’ve gone on facebook a few times, and twitter once or twice. I lurk on Tumblr, where I can find lots of silly things to cheer me up. But mostly I watch TV. I don’t really want to talk to anyone, or do anything except watch TV and sleep. I’m doing fine at my job – things are really stressful and busy, but I’m still handling it well – but outside of work I just have no fucks to give.
I’m not saying this to whine about it – this is a fairly normal thing for me. I’ve spent most of the past 10 years in this state. I have some really good coping skills, I know what things may be triggering this, I have a good support group, and I know it may just be that my brain wants to be depressed right now. I know it will go away eventually. I just feel rather apathetic about anything that requires mental energy. I don’t really feel like going climbing, but I make myself go and end up enjoying it.
I’ve had fleeting thoughts of suicide, which sounds a lot worse than it is. It’s fairly common for the thought “you could kill yourself” or some variant thereof to flit through my mind while I’m depressed. I generally just note it and move on. Other times I find myself thinking of how I could kill myself, but it’s from a cold, analytical perspective – “I could do this. Would that work? What’s the probability that it would work?” I have this weird view of suicide where I don’t think it’s a big, horrible thing to think about doing it. That’s probably because I have these mild suicidal thoughts so often. But, as my doctors have told me, there’s a difference between idly thinking about how I could do it and planning it. I’ve been suicidal – really suicidal. Thinking about how I could kill myself wasn’t an intellectual exercise then. It was detailed planning. For some reason, I always have a rough outline of a suicide plan in my head. I’ve made a promise to myself that I’d only kill myself if I thought it was a good idea all day, every day for 30 days, and then only if I had a plan that I was absolutely sure would work, because dealing with the aftereffects of a failed suicide would suck even more than wanting to kill myself that bad. So I always have an answer to the question of “If you had to kill yourself, how would you do it?” And every once in a while I think about another possible plan. But it’s different than actually being suicidal. I imagine this all sounds scary if you’ve never thought about suicide, but I honestly can’t imagine what it would be like to have never thought about killing myself.
So, to sum up, I’m not writing lately because I’m depressed. Despite how much I talked about suicide in this post, I do not want to kill myself. The thought has crossed my mind lately, but I haven’t entertained it, seriously or otherwise. My doctor knows I’ve had these thoughts. You don’t need to freak out or worry – this type of thing is normal for me, and, I suspect other people with depression/bipolar.
There’s a post over on WWJTD written by one of JT’s friends which describes what it’s like to care for a mentally ill person. I always knew it was hard for the people who support us mentally ill, but this gives a much better picture. After reading the post, I started writing a comment about how my friends and family have helped me, but it became giant, and it was something I wanted on the record, if you will, here.
A few years I was so depressed that I physically couldn’t eat, I had made extensive suicide plans, and my ex-boyfriend realized what was going on and drove me to the ER where I got held for a few hours. He sat with me, even when I was talking to the therapist about why I wanted to kill myself – even when I told the therapist that part of it was because my ex and I had broken up. And my ex kept looking out for me until he graduated and moved away.
My parents made me come home that summer, but kept paying rent on my apartment so I wouldn’t have to move. One day my best friend and I had lunch plans, but I slept through my alarm, so I woke up to the sound of her ringing the doorbell. When I didn’t show up for lunch or answer my phone, she had thought that I had killed myself. I’ve never seen her that scared – and I’ve known her for half my life. She was so relieved to see me, but also angry, and made me swear I would never do that again. That was the moment when I decided that, as long as I had people who loved me in the world, I would never kill myself.
When I was in a mixed mood, verbally abusing people for sport, and I wasn’t doing everything I could to get it treated, my best friend helped me realize how serious my bipolar was by telling me she loved me, but she couldn’t be around me when I was so vicious. It wasn’t abandonment, it was a reality bomb. If I was so vicious that my best friend, who was like a sister, who I had grown up with, was telling me that she needed space between us, it was serious. When I started treatment, I emailed her, and she was so excited to have me in her life again. She had missed me just as much as I had missed her. I’m incredibly grateful that she had the courage to stand up to me like that.
My roommate diagnosed me bipolar and told me to talk to my shrink about it, which I am convinced saved my life. She listened, stayed out of the way when necessary, found me a job, and covered me on my rent. Since she’s a supra-genius who has written about pharmacology for money, she figured out what meds I should take, which probably shaved a year off the process of getting me stable with the lowest side effect profile.
My parents supported me no matter how depressed or manic or vicious I was. They paid for my incredibly expensive outpatient treatment, took me to the ER, and would come get me at a moment’s notice if I got too agitated. They had me over for dinner every week, making sure I felt loved and that I wasn’t isolated in the time where I had pushed away almost all of my friends.
I can’t even begin to say how grateful I am for my friends and my family for taking care of me. Thank you. I love you guys so much..
Guess when Jesus is coming back? Ronald Weinland says May 27, 2012. But for realz this time. Srsly.
Ronald Weinland, who considers himself a prophet of God, continues to warn that Jesus Christ is returning on May 27, 2012.
For those who do not believe him and mock his message, Weinland claims thatthey will die from cancer.
Well, that’s specific. At least he didn’t say that we’re going to get cancer, because everyone gets cancer in their life at some point, and then “their body says, ‘Get out little tumor, get out! I will KEEL YOU! Your telomeres failed you!” (Direct quote from my roommate while we were discussing this article.)
Welp, I guess I’m just begging for cancer. Uh oh. On the upshot, party on May 28th!
Quick PSA post: Flashing lights trigger seizures. This means the strobes people put on bikes, the flashing hazard lights used for almost anything, well, hazardous, the flashing lights on emergency vehicles (which is pretty counterproductive), and the flashing lights that go along with some smoke alarms (also counterproductive). People having seizures matters. Seizures suck. The period after a seizure (the post-ictal period) is described to me as “a really bad hangover.” K has a great stream-of-consciousness post-ictal blog post so you can get an idea of what it’s like. Besides the obvious danger during the actual seizure (hitting your head if it’s a tonic-clonic, crashing if you’re operating a car or bike, falling, etc.) there’s the danger that comes from not knowing what’s going on, where you are, and where your home is, and how to get there for hours after your seizure. K once sat down on the light rail tracks and refused to move after a seizure. Luckily she had a friend there that’s really good at speaking K-ish when she’s had a seizure, and she eventually moved. But people with epilepsy don’t have friends around all the time that can look after them (because they shouldn’t need keepers to have a life). Having a seizure in public is a very dangerous thing, and flashing lights are pretty successful in making that happen.
So what can you do? At the very least, set your bike light to a steady beam. The brain tracks that better than a strobe anyway. If someone asks you to stop doing something because it might cause them to have a seizure, listen to them. If you want, write Letters to police and fire departments asking them why they use seizure-triggering lights while they are trying to alert people to danger. (There are other options available, even if it’s just a different frequency of flashing.) And tell other people. The world should be safe for everyone, not just neurotypical people.