Category Archives: depression

my mom and dad and my boss

I thought I’d drop by
to see how you see the sun.

As you know, I told many people about my suicide attempt, including my parents and my boss. I’m not the closest with my parents so telling them wasn’t easy. Fortunately, when in the midst of a crisis things become easier. I called my mom while I was still high on Ativan–I barely remember the conversation, actually; I just remember her saying over and over again to stay away from alcohol–and I told my dad while I was in the urgent care facility. He took it well. I mean as well as one could, I guess–very grateful I was alive and communicating with him.

Further, I also told my boss while in the urgent care facility via text messages. I told him I wouldn’t be coming in the rest of the week because I had a “psychiatric emergency.” I should have been more specific as he seemed worried, because he tried calling many times. But I did tell him that I was okay and that I would explain everything face-to-face.

That face-to-face conversation went well. I didn’t tell him about my social anxiety but I did share with him my suicidal intentions as well as my subsequent overdose. He understands that I am a perfectionist and take a lot of what he says personally. He wants me to be more open with him when I’m feeling stressed or angry at him, rather than bottling it up–easier said than done, of course. I also told him I wanted to work more, as I need more structure, and that I enjoy the work (most of it). He’s been pressuring me to take more interest in the work, as he actually wants me to take over the business some day (not sure what he sees in me), but I told him during our conversation that I’d like to be working there for a long time but in the background. “I do not want to take over the business,” I told him. I feel a bit trapped, I guess. I’m not sure what I want to do with my life, yet this job isn’t very demanding, socially-speaking–so it’s working for me right now.

I feel really bad because my boss is probably going to lay someone off thinking that I can take over his role. Granted this person has really stopped caring about his work, but I can’t help but feel bad. He has a very difficult time communicating, even more than I do, and he must be struggling from some form of social anxiety. Then again, I think he may want to get laid off to pick up unemployment.

But do I really want to put someone out of a job for a job I’m not sure I want? I keep telling myself it’s out of my hands, but there are options; I’m just choosing the easiest one for me, which may be best considering all I’ve been through.

***

I talked to my parents yesterday after everything calmed down with me. I apologized many times for not confining in them about my problems. I will do my best to be more honest with them in the future about my depressions. (But I have my doubts about whether I will really be able to do that.)

I now feel really depressed and somewhat anxious about my relationship to my parents. I put myself out there–I mean really out there–and now I feel a lot of pressure to keep an open dialogue going with them regarding my mental issues, which is a common theme in our relationship as of late. During those calls, we  grew closer than ever before, and it scares the hell out of me. It’s as if five years of emotional bonding and connection passed before us all at once. (My dad even said he loved me, which hasn’t happened in like ten years. It was very awkward, and I must admit my “I love you” back was equally awkward. We both meant  it; it’s just we both lack an emotional connection to the other. He’s not a perfect dad, and I’m not a perfect son–that’s okay.)

What’s more, they say they understand but I don’t think they have a clue. They may have been depressed most of their lives but they address it differently. They ignore it and try to push it away while I’ve tried to address it. I don’t think they’re any closer to seeing the sun the way I see it.

***

P.S. I think my manic energy is starting to wear off. I may not post for a while, but don’t worry, I’ll be fine. Take care.

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short timeline ***warning: trigger alert***

I just thought I’d summarize my recent events surrounding suicide ..

February 14th: I took too many Vicodins and ended up in the emergency room. I’m not entirely sure if I wanted to kill myself, but my normal destructive methods of dealing with pain weren’t working–so I tried to knock myself out.

May 14th: I had been planning to kill myself for months. I laid out all the pills, which I won’t mention by name as I don’t want to trigger anyone (anymore than I probably already am–sorry!), but couldn’t bring myself to do it. Instead, I drank 16 beers, and took a few sedatives while blacked out. I woke up the next day hungover but alive.

May 20th: This is the day that I had been planning to kill myself for over two months. Again, I laid out the pills, and again, I couldn’t do it.

May 24th: Not wanting to return to reality–that is, school, my job, reconnecting with friends, etc.–I purposely overdosed on sedatives. My plan was a success: I ended up in an urgent care clinic and got to avoid dealing with life for another few days.

I’m now having to pick up the pieces, rummaging through the ruins I’ve left behind. I’m back at work. I’m talking to friends. It’s hard. But I am alive.

does your mother know?

So, on the way home from therapy on Tuesday I took an overdose of Ativan. The session itself was difficult, as we discussed my recent suicide attempt and the fact that I found a new therapist and would like to start seeing him next month. I also tried to ensure my therapist that the events are mutually exclusive. ( I thought this was very important.) In other words, I’ve been contemplating a change in therapists for some time now (which is true).

Furthermore, I was dreadfully scared of having to go back to work yesterday, so instead of addressing it proactively–by either talking to my therapist or boss, trying to go on disability or something, etc.–I felt it best to OD. That will grab attention, I thought; and it sure did.

Without doing much damage I skipped the emergency room and went right to my psychiatrist’s office. He suggested I spend the night somewhere safe at a urgent care clinic, which I did (which wasn’t so bad), and then possibly go on disability leave from my job. There’s also plenty of options for low-cost inpatient care treatment here in San Francisco (we love our social services here!), so that’s an option. But to be honest, I really think I just want to switch anti-depressants–to Nardil–and go back to my normal routine.

I’m proud of myself because I told both my parents what’s been going on with me over the phone, and they were both very supportive. I also texted my boss. I haven’t given him all the details yet–I just told him I couldn’t come in because I had a psychiatric emergency. He’s provided support, and he wants me to call him–and I will as soon as I get up the courage.

I am feeling loads better. I see my psychiatrist again today to hopefully get on Nardil. I am also no longer feeling suicidal. Yay!

live or die, heads or tails

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. Deciding whether or not life is worth living is to answer the fundamental question in philosophy. All other questions follow from that.      – Albert Camus

I woke up last Friday certain that it would be my last day on this planet. I took an anti-emetic, as I was pre-loading, staggered into the kitchen, made toast, and then stared at a picture of my parents–all the while shoving back tears. On Thursday, I put up pictures of my family and girlfriend throughout my apartment. I didn’t want to be alone when I took the pills. They would give me strength. In a way, I would be doing it for them.

After breakfast, I started thinking about death–and what that means. I went to a window and pushed open the drapes, allowing the light to pour in. It wasn’t a particularly sunny day, but I still felt it’s warmth against my skin.

As a nihilist I haven’t given much thought about the after life. Whenever I do think about it, I just get pushed back to my nihilistic beliefs. What’s the point? No one knows for sure what happens after we die—it’s all subjective. Plus, even if I did believe in something after all this, I cannot imagine it resembles anything that’s depicted by popular religions. I do believe there is something out there, that connects us all. That connection is what I believe in, which is why I knew that if I had killed myself on Friday it would have affected so much more than I can possibly imagine.

I’ve relied on that connection for a long time; it gets me through the day; it provides meaning to my life. Depression took it away. I cannot extract meaning from anything anymore, and, although I still believe on a theoretical level that this connection exists, I no longer feel it deep down—and that’s where it matters. It’s hard to do anything when faced with a meaningless life.

On Friday everything pointed toward death. I felt so certain about it. Sure, the week before I tried to kill myself and couldn’t go through with it, but something felt different on Friday. I didn’t feel happy or terribly sad. I may have spent the majority of the day crying, but those tears were okay. The days leading up to Friday were much worse. I was in agony thinking about the shit-storm of pain I would be leaving behind. But on Friday, the path seemed clear. I could do no wrong.

But then when it came down to it–after I took the final anti-emetics, after I deleted all my email and everything from my hard-drive, after I scheduled an email to be sent to my girlfriend on Sunday, after I lined up the pills, after I took one last look at myself in the mirror–I couldn’t do it. Terror rose up from somewhere unknown, pushing the depression and pain aside.

A part of me wanted to go on. Where was this part of me a month ago when I was living like I had a month to live?

On Saturday I felt numb. I barely ate. I guess numb and starving is better than binging and suicidal (my normal state). I cleaned everything up. Out of sight, out of mind. And now, it’s like it never happened. I feel myself moving on to the next phase, without giving much thought to my suicidal feelings.

This is how I operate. I push things aside. I move on. I adapt. I do not dwell, and I do not feel. It’s like a game. One minute I’m suicidal, and the very next everything’s okay again. There’s never been any balance in my life. All or nothing. This way, or that. The suicidal feelings flicked off (unconsciously) and now I’m not even taking them seriously. I don’t know how close to death I came, but this is something that should demand attention, yet I am somewhere else, in the future, trying to plan my life, as always.

My answer to Camus is this: Life and death are the same. Neither matters to me. My desire to live didn’t keep me alive; my fear of uncertainty kept me going.

P.S. Today is my birthday and the only person I heard from is my dentist (via email). I guess it doesn’t help that I’ve pushed almost everyone away these past few months and that I got off Facebook and that my phone doesn’t have a battery. But it’s nice because I get to reinforce all the negative feelings about myself–nobody loves me or cares about me, because nobody even realizes it’s my birthday. I am nothing.

i cannot die

I shouldn’t be typing this right now. I should be dead; or, at the very least, in a coma rapidly approaching death. For the past three months or so, I had been planning to kill myself last night. I hoarded drugs and pushed people away. I become so isolated that I guess I rather naively thought I could just slip away unnoticed. I really wish my brain wasn’t buzzing right now–that is, I really wish I could think–because I really want to offer an explanation to you–and myself.

Last weekend the pain became too great and so I decided to carry out my plans a week early. Let me say this: planning suicide is easy, carrying it out is something different altogether. In short, I got scared. I started thinking about my own mortality–and what that really means–perhaps for the first time.

I like to intellectualize my feelings because it’s easier that way. Well, when you’re on the verge of ending your life, there is no intellectualizing. Everything you may or may not have believed in goes out the door, because after all this, there is only uncertainty.

I needed liquid courage, so I got a six-pack. I drank that and still felt scared. Sixteen beers later (and a few Ativans), I passed out. Last night, I took all the proper anti-emetics, had the pills lined out .. but I got scared again. I threw my phone battery out earlier in the week so I wouldn’t be able to call for help, so I chatted with a suicide prevention counselor online. She talked me down.

I don’t feel suicidal anymore. I feel depressed, though. Maybe even more depressed and hopeless than ever, because now I’m left with the almost impossible task of sorting out the pieces of my life. Should I go back to school full time? Should I quit my job? Should I get on disability? Should I quit Lexapro and try a new anti-depressant? Should I leave my girlfriend to spare her from witnessing my self-destruction? Should I continue to go on?

There’s more to say, but that’s all I can muster for now.

depression as waves

Sorry, I haven’t been writing or even responding to comments. I think I know why. As depression deepens, rational thought fades away. Often I’ll sit down at the computer with intentions to write a post, but I’ll only be able to muster a few words. It used to be that I was only flooded with emotions during social situations. Now I find myself flooded most of the day.

One of the most frustrating parts of major depression–even when it’s gone–is that it strips everything from you, everything you used to enjoy in life.

I do all I can to keep the emotions at bay during work, as I work in accounting now and if I let them take control, the numbers just jumble together. Then when I leave, the emotions flood in, demanding to be seen.

I’m powerless. Calling what I’m going through “depression” is not fair. I’m not going through a tiny spell of the blues. This is something much deeper and much more profound. I don’t know what to call it other than madness. I don’t think I’ve quite gone mad yet–I’ve been able to keep my life somewhat together–but the madness is there in front of me, like a giant wave, and all I can do is hunker down in a fetal position and protect myself the best I can.

empty shell

I’m still here. I guess. Still here, with little to say. Today I went to the grocery store, the bank, and the drug store. I walked through the park and rented a movie. I ate a burrito and drank a glass of wine. I can’t explain it but I know the depression is returning. I’m scared. The last wave changed me.

My girlfriend asked me last week “what happened to the reader, writer, runner, librarian Mike?” Depression destroyed that person. I don’t have much left. This time, the depression may leave me with nothing.

I don’t want to go through that again. I can’t go through that again.

I wish I could explain just how claustrophobic I feel right now. There’s someone else living inside of me, forcing me to think things I never imagined were possible just a few months ago.

I’m so lonely. I’m thinking about my family. I haven’t talked to any of them in months. I hope they’re okay and not worried about me.

It’s hard to form thoughts into words. When I focus on the emotions, my head begins to spin–I begin to spin. I wonder if any of you have felt like this before. I’m still here. But I feel like an empty shell.