Category Archives: My Story

Long overdue update

This was written a couple of weeks ago, but I just realized it was in drafts.  So, here’s the post with alterations to fit where things are currently.

Last month my wife and I went if for our final attempt at IUI. It was unsuccessful, so we now need to decide what our next steps are, if any. I’d write more on that, but at the moment there are just too many unknowns. We’re both extremely disappointed to say the least.

The job situation has actually remained stable, though I’m picking up some distance with myself and my manager. I’ve put him in a tough spot, so I kind of expect as much. For now they’re honoring the travel every other week, but it’s not sustainable long-term. I’m still looking locally to see what’s out there. If the right thing comes up, I’ll pursue it.

Weight loss continues. As of today I’m 195lb. I’ve not been this low in the better part of 18-20 years. I don’t have a specific goal weight or anything, just mainly a goal of eliminating the gut which is the most common thing with heart disease. It is nice to fit into normal clothes again though. Not so cool that I need to buy all new clothes. A belt can only do so much when going from a 30-40″ waistline to a 32″. My shirts fit like tents now. 45lb so far. Yay me.

At the very beginning of April I started exercising 5-6 days/week, once per day for ~30 minutes. Exercise has consisted almost entirely of running on an elliptical while keeping my heart rate up in the 150-165 range for 20-25 minutes of the workout. As my overall endurance increases I’m just moving faster, but maintaining the heart rate. Here’s what’s changed since starting that:

  • Sleeping better at night. Sleep medications are still necessary some nights, but need for them has reduced by 50-60%.
  • Waking feeling a little more energized.
  • I’ve stopped having anxiety attacks.
  • I no longer come close to having anxiety attacks even when faced with direct triggers.
  • I rarely have suicidal thoughts or imagery. The imagery has been intrusive for the majority of my life. This is the first time they’ve not been present this consistently.
  • I feel better than neutral most days.
  • I feel a sense of well-being about 1/3-1/2 the time as opposed to simply not feeling it at all for years.
  • People have noticed and commented that I look like I’m feeling better than some have ever seen me. Not just physically, but they notice I smile and look relaxed.
  • Since stopping the blood pressure medication I no longer have trouble getting or keeping an erection (I mention this in case this is a problem for someone else and like myself, their doctor failed to mention this as a possibility. It was a nice surprise when literally 36 hours later things worked better than they had in years).
  • I actually have a sex drive again.
  • I actually feel like going out and doing things.
  • I’ve dropped Xanax, Klonopin, Adderall and Rexulti from my daily and as-needed medications.
  • I’ve started catching up on things I’ve neglected for a long, long time.
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I’m long overdue for a post of some sort. Nothing new to report here as things are pretty much the same routine day in and day out. I’m dealing with some really bad depression and it has me doing that whole withdraw from people thing. That includes online. That said, I’m going to try to get some sleep. Hope everyone is doing well, or at the very least, better than I am.

Can’t wait for this cycle to pass.

Not coping so well today. I did well at adult stuff – I bought a leaf blower and did yard work. Since this is our first home, this is a new thing. My wife is home, but working on her college project due at midnight, which means I have to leave her be.

Since I’ve not been coping well of late, mainly because of the loneliness of work travel, I’ve managed to find a therapist who’s local that can also do sessions via Skype and insurance will pay for it. I’d of went with her anyway because she seems to be a good fit for me, but that’s a bonus. I’m going to try to meet her for the first time this Thursday as my scheduled appointment out of state cancelled. Otherwise, I see her in a couple of weeks when I’m back in town.

What I need to work with her on is how to cope with the crushing loneliness of travel. I’m someone who needs physical contact. Not so much sexual contact; I can wait until it’s possible for my wife and I to be together in that way. It’s the other aspects. Basically touch and holding/being held. I’ve gone so far as to look into professional cuddlers and checked the areas that I frequent. It’s a possibility, but if I were to guess my wife wouldn’t want my to have anything to do with that, so I’m going to trust my instincts and not hire someone, even though it’s completely non-sexual.

The other thing I need to work on is that we’ve decided to start down the path of having a child. Since I had a vasectomy 18 years ago, the chances of a reversal being successful is a whopping 2%. Since those odds seem pointless, I’ve found a fertility clinic that has other surgical options to extract sperm and do in vitro, or freeze the extracted sperm if time is needed between extraction and fertilization.

So, why therapy over this? I grew up in a horribly abusive home. I literally don’t know how to interact with children. I’m the guy that if you hand a toddler, I hold it at arms length in utter terror. I really, truly, honestly don’t know what to do other that generically “don’t hurt it.” The vasectomy at 22 was because my depressive episodes were so severe that I was certain I’d not make it to 30. I also liked sex. Well, I still do, but that’s beside the point. Either way, I didn’t want to father a child and be the dad who killed himself or was too emotionally absent dealing with their own shit. So.. Yeah. I want to do this. I need guidance.

Lastly I need to talk to someone about the crushing depression that seems to be setting in. I’m not going to harm myself, but the thought of doing so is there every waking moment of every day and the urge is strong beyond words.

Anyway.. I guess that’s all I’ve got. I’ve drank a lot this weekend. Fill a large coffee mug with a couple of types of liquor and no ice, and you have one of my drinks. I’ve had two of those this weekend, and a shot of Diserono this morning with brunch.

Failing

Tonight I’ve had to o much to drink. Actually, anything is too much to drink, given that I have liver disease. It’s genetic, but drinking certainly doesn’t help matters any.

So, why drink? I want to be numb. Emotionally I want to be numb, but all I’ve managed is my nose and face being numb.

I’ve been struggling for awhile now, but can’t seem to shake it. I’m having trouble getting out of bed in the morning lately, which is new for me. I’ve always been high functioning when the lows hit. Today I did laundry (work clothes only) and mowed the lawn. The lawn was because I neglected it for a couple of weeks, so the mower was choking every so often from the long grass. These are major accomplishments in my world right now…

Tomorrow and the rest of the week I’ll be going to a client site. I’ll need to interact closely with the production and IT staff to make sure the solution I’m programming will fit their needs. I’ll be doing this as every fiber of my being wants to just end it all. It’s not just a desire, but more of a pressing need. I know this isn’t healthy. I know it’s not logical. I have a good life, at least now I do. Things were bad growing up, at least until 17 when I left home, then things went bad again at 21 when my best friend killed herself. I used to feel so much surrounding that.. Grief, loss, anger, hatred, disbelief, sometimes individually, sometimes all at once. At around ~29 I started to move on with my life. I didn’t start dysfunctional relationships after that. I married again at 32 and have been happily married since then. I have a good marriage, a good job/career, a nice home and even a couple of good friends. How dare I feel depressed enough to want to die? With all that I have, how dare I? I feel as though I’m crawling out of my skin. I can’t shake the sadness and deep sense of hopelessness and despair.

I’m well-medicated. I have the best mental health care that money and insurance can buy. It’s not as bad when I’m medicated. It’s tolerable. It’s just good enough that I can exist from day to day. I can get up and do all the adult things I need to do. I’m mostly empty, though. I see no hope in feeling better. I know that realistically within my life, advances will be made in medication and overall treatment of severe depression. Am I willing to wait for that inevitability? Not really. Will I? Yes. I owe that much to my wife. I’m at peace with her, or mostly so. Enough to keep me here. I know what it’s like when someone you love takes their own life. I’ll not put her through that. So, I have to hold onto hope.. Hope that in the next few years, or at worst, decades, that advances will be made and effective help will come. Until then, I’ll continue existing, being a ghost in my own life. Existing day to day in the shell of whomever I used to be. I remember a better me.. A me capable of happiness and joy on a sustained basis, but that me is such a distant memory that I don’t recognize him. He died a long time ago, his body just kept pushing on and going through the motions. Once in awhile something real happened, like when I met my wife. That was real. It’s still real. I feel so selfish and like a piece of shit for wanting to leave this life before its natural end. I feel like a fraud. A failure. I’m unrecognizable to myself. I’m unrecognizable to those who know and loved me. My friends have all put distance between themselves and me. My family as well. My wife can tell something’s wrong, but how do you tell someone you love that you’re feeling this way; again?

In 2012 I had a breakdown. After one of the only arguments we’ve ever had, I ended up checking in for the first, and hopefully last time into a mental hospital. After a week I was freed. The depression had mostly passed and I could trust myself once again. Am I to that point now? No, not now, at least. I’m doing the best I can, but I feel myself slipping, day by day, minute by minute.

I don’t know what to do.. I see my psychiatrist in a couple of weeks and I’ll come clean with her as to where I’m at with things. She’ll likely prescribe some time off from work and some R&R. It won’t make a difference, though. I’ll just spend the time in bed. That’s what I do when I travel for work – go to the client during the day and then go to sleep at 6:00, followed by forcing myself out of bed at 6:00am. Repeat.When I’m home I do the minimal – dishes, occasionally laundry, let the dogs out, and take care of the lawn. Other than that, I’m lazy and sleep a lot. I watch a lot of Netflix. I’m just at a loss. I feel hollow. I’m tired.. So very tired. I don’t know how long I can keep existing like this. I’m not in any danger now, but if things continue like this, at some point, I’ll need to check into a hospital again. On some level I’d hope that would work, but on another level I know that would just prolong things. When is it ok to say that you’ve fought the good fight and lost? I don’t care if people call me weak, or that I simply took the easy way out, but should things be this fucked up to begin with? I have a good life. I simply can’t enjoy most of it. Depression knows no social or economic bounds. We’re very well off and I don’t have anxiety about most of the things people worry about in life. What the hell is wrong with me?

My story, Part 3

It was around age 10 that my stepfather decided that he wanted to get into racing. He took out a mortgage on the house, had the old wooden barn knocked over and pushed into a hole where it would be buried. A new huge pole barn was built, a plethora of tools and other expensive equipment you’d find in any auto shop. My stepfather was a mechanic by trade, and at one point owned his own garage. I never heard the story of how he ended up not having it anymore, but he always spoke with a bitter tone when referring to it.

Continue reading My story, Part 3