One of my posts was reblogged 144 times today….
ECT treatment #38 today. It was supposed to be next Wednesday but my mood didn’t hold so I am going in today and next Wednesday.
I’ve been awake since just around 3:30 am, evaluating the past year, the few good days and countless bad days. Trying to determine where to go from here. People do get ECT indefinetly, but I don’t think I want to do that. The commitment, outside support and energy put into it has so far outweighed the positive results. But, the good days were so good, it may be worth it. I am too fucked up to tell.
If I had a disease that had an end point or proven treatment options, I think this would be a touch easier. The inconsistency is torture. The not knowing. It’s incredibly hard on my family, my friends. Just hearing the relief in the voices of my family members when I’m feeling good, I wish a million times over I could give that to them everyday.
Today is day 1 of full blown ideations after being relatively ideation free for nearly 31 days.
I feel as if I’m being crushed. I spoke with my mom today, crying into the phone saying I wish I could just be normal. I wish I could just be a normal daughter.
Everything I looked at today, my dishes, my bathtub, my silverware, the glass of my frames, my scissors, my sheets, my medications…everything becomes a means to an end…so I curl into my bed and stay there.
The difference between today and a few days ago? A few days ago I was excited at the prospect of going back to work one day. Of being in a relationship again. Of using my experience to advocate for others. Anything seemed possible.
Today, there is nothing left for me. I look around at my art and my beautiful books and my statuary and nothing makes sense to me. How things got this bad with my mental health makes no sense to me. I look at my body and can’t fathom that I won’t be a mama. I can’t get how to simply return to daily living after attempting to end your life. It makes no sense to me.
But, I have been making it through my days. I made it through about a month of them. Which today makes no sense to me because I feel no sense of pride, no strength, no accomplishment. Nothing.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to my new readers and of course, a huge thanks to the awesome readers I already had!!!
I love your messages, suggestions, stories, personal anecdotes.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read I Lost My 30s!!!
For those who have dwelt in depression’s dark wood, and known its inexplicable agony, their return from the abyss is not unlike the ascent of the poet, trudging upward and upward out of hell’s black depths and at last emerging into what he saw as “the shining world.” There, whoever has been restored to health has almost always been restored to the capacity for serenity and joy, and this may be indemnity enough for having endured the despair beyond despair.
And so we came forth, and once again beheld the stars.
I have fallen once again.
`The closing paragraph of his memoir.
This is a list of commonly used terms regarding mental health and suicide prevention.
Best practices – Activities or programs that are in keeping with the best available evidence regarding what is effective.
Chat service – Crisis counseling provided via instant messaging.
Comprehensive suicide prevention plans – Plans that use a multi-faceted approach to addressing the problem. For example, including interventions targeting biopsychosocial, social and environmental factors.
Confidentiality – The principle in medical ethics that the information a patient or client reveals to a health care provider is private and has limits on how and when it can be disclosed to a third party.
Consumer – A person who is using or has used a health service.
Contagion – A phenomenon whereby susceptible persons are influenced towards suicidal behavior through knowledge of another person’s suicidal acts.
Crisis center – A facility or call center where individuals going through personal crises can obtain help or advice, either in-person or by crisis hotline.
Crisis counseling – Brief counseling that is focused on minimizing stress, providing emotional support and improving an individual’s coping strategies in the here and now. Like psychotherapy, crisis counseling involves assessment, planning and treatment, but the scope of service is generally much more specific.
Crisis hotline – A phone number individuals can call to get immediate emergency crisis counseling by telephone.
Crisis intervention – See Crisis counseling
Gatekeepers – Those individuals in a community who have face-to-face contact with large numbers of community members as part of their usual routine; they may be trained to identify persons at risk of suicide and refer them to treatment or supporting services as appropriate.
Health – The complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
Health and safety officials – Law enforcement officers, fire fighters, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and outreach workers in community health programs.
Imminent risk – A situation in which there is believed to be a close temporal connection between an individual’s current risk status and actions that could lead to his or her suicide.
Intentional – Injuries resulting from purposeful human action whether directed at oneself (self-directed) or others (assaultive), sometimes referred to as violent injuries.
Intervention – A strategy or approach that is intended to prevent an outcome or to alter the course of an existing condition (such as providing lithium for bipolar disorder or strengthening social support in a community).
Means – The instrument or object whereby a self-destructive act is carried out (i.e., firearm, poison, medication).
Means restriction – Techniques, policies, and procedures designed to reduce access or availability to means and methods of deliberate self-harm.
Methods – Actions or techniques which result in an individual inflicting self-harm (i.e., asphyxiation, overdose, jumping).
Mental disorder – A diagnosable illness characterized by alterations in thinking, mood, or behavior (or some combination thereof) associated with distress that significantly interferes with an individual’s cognitive, emotional or social abilities; often used interchangeably with mental illness.
Mental health – The capacity of individuals to interact with one another and the environment in ways that promote subjective well-being, optimal development and use of mental abilities (cognitive, affective and relational).
Mental health problem – Diminished cognitive, social or emotional abilities but not to the extent that the criteria for a mental disorder are met.
Mental health services – Health services that are specially designed for the care and treatment of people with mental health problems, including mental illness. Includes hospital and other 24-hour services, intensive community services, ambulatory or outpatient services, medical management, case management, intensive psychosocial rehabilitation services, and other intensive outreach approaches to the care of individuals with severe disorders.
Mental illness – See Mental disorder.
Postvention – A strategy or approach that is implemented after a crisis or traumatic event has occurred.
Prevention – A strategy or approach that reduces the likelihood of risk of onset, or delays the onset of adverse health problems or reduces the harm resulting from conditions or behaviors.
Prevention network – Coalitions of change-oriented organizations and individuals working together to promote suicide prevention. Prevention networks might include statewide coalitions, community task forces, regional alliances, or professional groups.
Protective factors – Factors that make it less likely that individuals will develop a disorder. Protective factors may encompass biological, psychological or social factors in the individual, family and environment.
Psychiatric disorder – See Mental disorder.
Psychiatry – The medical science that deals with the origin, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of mental disorders.
Psychology – The science concerned with the individual behavior of humans, including mental and physiological processes related to behavior.
Public health - The science and art of promoting health, preventing disease, and prolonging life through the organized efforts of society.
Risk assessment – The process of quantifying the probability of an individual harming himself or others.
Risk factors – Those factors that make it more likely that individuals will develop a disorder; risk factors may encompass biological, psychological or social factors in the individual, family and environment.
Screening – Administration of an assessment tool to identify persons in need of more in-depth evaluation or treatment.
Screening tools – Instruments and techniques (questionnaires, check lists, self-assessment forms) used to evaluate individuals for increased risk of certain health problems.
Self-harm – The various methods by which individuals injure themselves, such as self-cutting, self-battering, taking overdoses or exhibiting deliberate recklessness.
Self-injury – See Self-harm.
Social services – Organized efforts to advance human welfare, such as home-delivered meal programs, support groups, and community recreation projects.
Social support – Assistance that may include companionship, emotional backing, cognitive guidance, material aid and special services.
Stakeholders – Entities, including organizations, groups and individuals, which are affected by and contribute to decisions, consultations and policies.
Stigma – An object, idea, or label associated with disgrace or reproach.
Substance abuse – A maladaptive pattern of substance use manifested by recurrent and significant adverse consequences related to repeated use. This includes maladaptive use of legal substances and illicit drugs.
Suicidal act (also referred to as suicide attempt) – A potentially self-injurious behavior with a nonfatal outcome, for which there is evidence that the person intended to kill himself or herself. A suicide attempt may or may not result in injuries.
Suicidal behavior – A spectrum of activities related to thoughts and behaviors that include suicidal thinking, suicide attempts, and completed suicide.
Suicidal ideation – Self-reported thoughts of engaging in suicide-related behavior.
Suicidality – A term that encompasses suicidal thoughts, ideation, plans, suicide attempts, and completed suicide.
Suicide – Death from injury, poisoning, or suffocation where there is evidence that a self-inflicted act led to the person’s death.
Suicide attempt – See Suicidal act
Suicide attempt survivors – Individuals who have survived a prior suicide attempt.
Suicide survivors – Family members, significant others, or acquaintances who have experienced the loss of a loved one due to suicide. Sometimes this term is also used to mean suicide attempt survivors.
Suicide warning signs – Indications that an individual is at risk for suicide.
Adapted from the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention: Goals and Objectives for action. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 2001
When you live with chronic depression, you build a lot of masks.
The woman who has it all together
The smart person
The centered person
The person in recovery
The artistic person
The spiritually balanced person
The healthy person
The happy person
The confident person
The funny person
The mentally stable person
The self-directed person
The person who cares
The person with extra energy
I have others for which I have no names for.
In just four short days, I will observe the one-year anniversary of my beloved friends mom’s suicide. It’s shocking that a year has passed already. It is shocking that it happened in the first place. And just three months after - I did the same thing. And now, my friend of twenty years has stopped talking to me. I believe it all became too much. Her mom’s death, our mutual overdoses, my hospitalization and massive therapy. Her growing family. Her growing social circle.
And so another mask is created. The one that allows me to not feel hurt and sad. The one that tells me perhaps it’s for the best. That I’m to blame. That I’m guilty.
But it is painful. Too painful too think about. They were my family. My chosen family. Her boys were like my nephews. But I feel like I wore them down. I don’t drink anymore. I don’t stay up late. I don’t like socializing with their neighbors. So, I’m not that fun.
So with this one and another friendship that is pretty much dissolved, and my very close friend who moved across country…I am pretty much friendless in my own community. And that is very hard, especially during this time of rebuilding.
So now…the mask of independence.
Many thanks to my new readers, I’m so appreciative of you taking the time to read I Lost My 30’s! I look forward to hearing your stories too.
And to all of my fabulous readers…I am hoping to get some feedback and/or suggestions about my blog from you. I would like to move towards a greater role as a mental health advocate so I’d love any feedback.
I Lost My 30’s
May my burden be yours, and yours be mine.
This evening, I sat down with a cup of hot chocolate and one of my favorite decorating mags, ELLE Decor, Dec. 2013. It’s become a bit of a monthly tradition…hot chocolate, ELLE Decor, cozy blankets, my ‘wish’ box. I rip out all the pieces of furniture I would love to have in my imaginary home : ).
So I was flipping thru the pages and I came to the Editor’s Page, which I always read. I was more than shocked when I read the title…
'Is It Possible to Suffer From Design Schizophrenia?'
The article, written by editor-in- chief, Micheal Boodro, went on to discuss his varying design styles, calm in one room, bold in the next. Modern furnishings against antiques. He described his confusion about his ‘real’ design identity. In closing, Mr. Boodro says ‘talk about multiple personality disorder!’
Now, as you can imagine, I am furious. Not only is it completely inappropriate, the comparisons between his ‘design confusion’ and his perception of the actual symptoms of each of the disorders he mentions are completely off base.
I wonder, if when I call and tell him about my beloved friend who ended her life after living decades with Schizophrenia, if he will still think it is the same. Or if when I tell him about my other friend who lives with Schizoaffective disorder, who at 18, has to live in homeless shelters because her own family won’t let her come home. I wonder if he will think that is the same as having one room bright green and one room pale yellow.
This hit me hard tonight, it was so unexpected. And people wonder why individuals living with mental illness don’t want to talk about it. I am definetly going to call the Hearst Corporation, email Mr. Boodro, and NAMI StigmaBusters.
So what is NAMI StigmaBusters, you ask??
NAMI StigmaBusters is a network of dedicated advocates across the country and around the world who seek to fight inaccurate and hurtful representations of mental illness.
Whether these images are found in TV, film, print, or other media, StigmaBusters speak out and challenge stereotypes. They seek to educate society about the reality of mental illness and the courageous struggles faced by consumers and families every day. StigmaBusters’ goal is to break down the barriers of ignorance, prejudice, or unfair discrimination by promoting education, understanding, and respect.
Each month, close to 20,000 advocates receive a NAMI StigmaBusters Alert, and it is read by countless others around the world online. Send it to your own personal and professional networks.
Numbers do count, so let your voice be heard.
Questions? Contact: email@example.com.
The most challenging addiction just might be
the addiction we have to our very own identity…and who we are
in this world.
May my burden be yours,
and yours be mine.
If you need someone to talk to, the Lifeline can help. English/Spanish, confidential and compassionate.
Ahhh, this evening is turning out to be interesting. As always, I am thinking, thinking, thinking about my life, this year, my family, friends, and all the people whom I’ve met along the way. Today, I called all of my care providers and thanked them for helping me. I even left a message for my very serious ECT psychiatrist. It is such a small gesture in comparison to what they have done for me.
You know those moments when you have huge realizations about yourself and your behavior? I had one today. People have told me this along the way but I’ve never really let it sink in. Until today.
So I met with another intern therapist at the clinic I am going to. He was doing an assessment to gage whether I’m ready for a CBT group. He asked all kinds of questions about my life, depression, suicide attempt, medications, relationships, life goals (?), pretty much everything. And I sat across from him and answered everything…like a teacher. No emotion. I even laughed a few times, in between apologizing for not being able to articulate things better and referencing books and studies I’ve read about psychology theories.
When our meeting ended, I got in the elevator and burst into tears. Cried all the way home and off and on all day.
It hit me today…I intellectualize in order to feel in control. My individual therapist told me she can see when she asks me an emotional/feeling question that I go straight to my head. As someone told me a few weeks ago…I hop in the elevator and take it all the way to the top.
So, I’m painting one nail the color of a raspberry…and every time I see it I have to get out of my head and get into my heart (I know, so cheesy).
Other than that, I have no idea what to do. This is why it’s good to have a partner…you can curl up with them and cry into their shoulder.