Tag Archives: mental illness

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?

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New bipolar community

I know I’ve not written in forever.. I’ve been incredibly busy with work and home and have been fighting a nasty bout of depression, too. Anyway, that’s not what this post is about.

Recently it was announced that bipolardisorderconnect.com was shutting down for good. It had an excellent community of members and they were always supportive of each other as well as offering support and information to people just joining who have been diagnosed, are the loved ones of someone diagnosed, or simply wondering if they should be exploring the possibility that they may have bipolar disorder. Some members moved to a new mobile app and that seems to be a good fit for them. Personally, I prefer forums for support. After some digging I found a forum software that works on regular computers as well as mobile devices without the need to install anything. I’ve set up the domain name and hosting for the next two years. I don’t foresee not renewing long-term if a decent community is started and interacts with each other. The site is http://www.bipolarlink.com. Feel free to sign up. It may take awhile to get a number of members, but you have to start somewhere.

It’s been seemingly forever since I’ve posted. I’ve a few drafts that never managed to get published. I’ve wondered why I can’t seem to find anything to say. To be truthful though, it’s more that I’m embarrassed and ashamed of what I have to say. I’ve been depressed again for the last few months. Some days are ok, but most aren’t. My life continues to go on, but I feel like I’m asleep in the passenger seat or on a ride that nobody else can see full of dark and winding trails. So, there it is. I’ve been fighting it will all of my being and yet I feel somewhat defeated. I feel like I should be doing better. I take my meds consistently; I never miss a dose. I follow the advice and do the things I’ve been taught in therapy when things get bad. I survive. Actually, survive is generous. I exist. I’m baffled by this. I feel like an entitled prick. I have a wonderful marriage, a great job, we just bought a house and aside from a few things, am in good health, yet I have the audacity to be depressed. How dare I? What the hell do I have to be depressed about? Anything bad that’s happened happened long ago. It’s been dealt with and talked to death in therapy.

I don’t really know what else to say. United changed my damn gate again, so I get to go trotting across O’Hare again.

I’ve been in a real bad place lately. That’s part of why I’ve not been posting. I can’t seem to find the words. My psychiatrist and I are changing up my medications again in an attempt to find something that works. At this moment, tonight, it’s not working. Time to knock myself out with my nightly chemical cocktail. May tomorrow be a better day.

When I was 22 I had a vasectomy. The surgeon said that I was rather young for such an operation, but I was certain.

There’s some things one should know about the procedure that isn’t really in a pamphlet or mentioned by the doctor as they are consulting you. For instance, if during the procedure, the surgeon says that you’ll feel a slight tug, there’s nothing slight about it. Oh yeah, you’re awake for this. Sure, the local anesthetic does great and you don’t feel any pain at the surgical site, but you do feel as though someone has grabbed ahold of your insides right above the belt line and are yanking downward with the same level of force that’s reserved for large dogs getting a little too into a game of tug of war. Another thing they don’t tell you is that the local anesthetic they give you will start to wear off about the time you get to the parking lot. That bumpy ride home gives you plenty of time to reflect upon your life decisions thus far. The last thing that bears mention, as I’ve spoken with other men whom have had this done, sometimes it’s incredibly painful at that special moment. Double you over pain, I mean. That’s not just an immediately after the procedure thing, either.

So, why a vasectomy at 22? I’ve only told one other person the real reason that I had it done. The rest I was fine telling them that I simply didn’t want kids. The real reason though, is that I didn’t expect to ever turn 30. That was my cut-off point. I knew that at some point between 22 and 30 that I’d take my own life. I was certain of it. Since I hadn’t sworn off relationships and everybody has needs, a vasectomy seemed the best solution. I stand by that decision to this day. There’s no way in hell that I was ready to be a parent at 22, much less by the time I surprisingly turned 30. I didn’t want to have a child that would grow up without a father. Not to mention my rather strong fear that I’d somehow pass on the f’d up gene to a child and be horrible at parenting.

Fast forward 15 years, my wife and I talk about having children now and then. The thought doesn’t terrify me anymore, but it’s not a decision that can simply be made, either. Vascular surgery has come so far in recent years that it’s not only possible to reverse a vasectomy, but they can extract sperm and freeze it as a backup plan in case the surgery doesn’t work the way it was intended. Either way, it’s a decision that will have to be made, appointments, follow-ups, scheduling and since it’s an elective surgery, there’s the cost to plan for as well.

Some days I feel ready to be a father. Other times I’m not so sure. Am I ready? Is she ready? Are we both ready? Will I be stable enough to raise a child without screwing them up? Are my wife and I ready to face our own childhoods? I have friends that having their own kids brought all that up to the forefront of their mind. Both of us had a pretty terrible time from 0-20. Can I say with absolute certainty that I won’t end up getting really sick again and cave in on that impulse?

Obviously this isn’t something that will be decided right away, but a decision needs to be made at some point in the near future. On that note, I’m going to try to get some sleep.

3:00am..

I’ve been laying awake for an hour, maybe longer. I know at one point I glanced at the time on my phone and it was close to 2:00am.

My mind is swimming. Swimming with doubt, self-loathing, hopelessness and the strong desire to die by natural causes, an accident or by my own hand. These thoughts and images are so clear.. So strong.. They breed into a deep urges to a visceral need. An unrelenting need, like when you need sex, a drug, alcohol or any number of other things that work for you.. That fix that will rest your mind and body.. That release..
Continue reading 3:00am..

…Sometimes it’s harder to accept that it’s going to be alright..

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Just because someone has physically removed themselves from an abusive situation doesn’t mean that everything is automatically better. I’m 17 years older than when I moved out and some days the feeling of safety and knowing that things are going to be ok are terrifying. That’s often hard for people to understand. It feels safer to stay in that guarded place than to let go. The fear of things somehow going back to the way they were from a better place causes a visceral terror. This is why it’s hard for some to let go and move on. I know it’s going to be ok. And it scares the hell out of me. Some days, that is. It takes time.