Fifty Facts

fifty

Accepting a challenge from my friend Joel Sax at Pax Nortana – fifty things you may not know about me:

  1. Secular Judaism was the “religion” of my immediate family.
  2. Because I couldn’t touch my toes, I was asked to leave ballet school when I was a child.
  3. My family now contains a total of five grandchildren (my daughter has three sons, Greg’s son and daughter have one child each-a son and a daughter – hmmm, I just realized the son has a daughter and the daughter has a son).
  4. I never imagined I’d live long enough to see grandchildren.
  5. How to correctly walk up and down stairs is all I can remember from Charm School.
  6. Having a bit of a socialite mother, I know (or at least used to know), the purpose of every piece of china and silverware in a place setting.
  7. I could sew with hand-stitches that looked like they came from a sewing machine by the time I was 8, thanks to my grandmother (a tailor) and my mother (a clothing designer) – both perfectionists.
  8. The only living member of my immediate family is my brother (other than myself) .
  9. I have a couple of very talented and somewhat famous cousins.
  10. People in general (doesn’t matter what you look like, how you dress, or how you speak) scare the hell out of me.
  11. Even though I’m told it’s against human nature, I would prefer to live completely alone near a library (well maybe a cat could share my space), even with no internet *gasp*
  12. My self-esteem is slightly greater than that of a squashed bug.
  13. I’m an excellent actress, you may rarely know what I’m really feeling….
  14. ….consequently, I am a chameleon, in that I’m still trying to figure out who I am so I just try to blend in with whomever is around me.
  15. When challenged, I will rise to the occasion. If you say “you can’t,” I will.
  16. Respect is at the top of my list for most-important-characteristics-in-a-person.
  17. Unconditional love was not a given, I had to learn how to accept it (I’m still learning).
  18. This one was surprising to me when I allowed it to be acknowledged – I am creative.
  19. Perfectionism bedevils me.
  20. I’m not always nice.
  21. I was a Mormon for a while to please my ex-husband.
  22. I lied just so I could get a library card, that’s how important reading is to me.
  23. I will most likely be honest, so don’t ask the question if you don’t want to hear the answer (yes, those pants do make your behind look as huge as a refrigerator). In other words, tact was something I had to be taught over thirty years ago and it’s still not one of my major talents.
  24. I feel emotions too strongly for my comfort level.
  25. Making fun of my mentally-ill self is my own coping skill. I absolutely do not treat others the same way.
  26. And in that same vein…I am not as kind to myself nearly as much as I am to others.
  27. I could never have won Mother-of-the-Year award, but I love my daughters fiercely and unconditionally.
  28. Surviving domestic violence made me a stronger woman.
  29. Every day that I survive my mental illness makes me more empathetic.
  30. After over 40 years of driving, I still don’t know how to change a flat tire.
  31. The freezing snow in Ohio is preferable to the burning heat of Arizona, and Southern California is Eden.
  32. Trust is elusive.
  33. I learned that when growing up in Southern California, majoring in French is a waste of time, unless your future plans include marrying a wealthy landowner and living on an artichoke farm on Prince Edward Island (yes, really).
  34. Even though I was accepted with Honors at Entrance to the university, I was on Academic Probation my Sophomore year – I gave up.
  35. When I worked in a bank, I was held up by a bank robber and foiled several forgers.
  36. I used to have a Betty Crocker trophy for being outstanding in all of home economics in Junior High School.
  37. My taste in music is extremely eclectic.
  38. I have a less varied idea of what type of art I like.
  39. After being raised to be, and then expected to be, a “trophy” wife; I now live in jeans and t-shirts, am married to hick, and am a terrible housekeeper (although I can still pull off the social graces when necessary).
  40. I seem to be the only one who finds this ironic: My mother’s father was a furrier, my father’s father was a butcher, and my father was a physician. The first generation worked with dead things, the next generation attempted to heal living beings.
  41. I’m pretty sure I’m an atheist.
  42. I have a love/hate relationship with where I live.
  43. I’ve never had a major auto accident, but inanimate objects tend to get in my way when I’m parking or backing up. I’ve also only ever had two speeding tickets in my lifetime.
  44. My idea of “roughing it” is no working toilet in a camper. No outside camping, no way.
  45. I have two living daughters out of five pregnancies.
  46. Swimming in cool, clear, clean water is my idea of bliss.
  47. Although I’ve had many massages, I have never felt relaxed.
  48. My favorite color is Kelly Green (it was the obligatory black when I was a teenager).
  49. My favorite song is “Moondance,” by Van Morrison.
  50. My favorite movie is “Somewhere in Time.”

Your turn…please post your link in my comments or on Facebook. I’d love to learn 50 new things about you.

Symptom overload

My psychiatrist is a Doctor of Osteopathy, which is basically the same as a Medical Doctor. This type of psychiatrist may also be considered a holistic psychiatrist, as he has often stated that he believes in treating the person not the symptoms.  As the DO website states:

DOs practice a “whole person” approach to medicine. Instead of just treating you for specific symptoms or illnesses, they regard your body as an integrated whole.

Someone who knows me very well was lovingly listening to my frustration with too many diagnoses, and too many drugs. For the most part, I prefer to be proactive in my own treatment. Learning and doing everything I can to help myself is very important to me. I want to be in control, I don’t want to just sit around and wait to feel better. She suggested another diagnosis to look up, which is often misdiagnosed and usually not even considered in adults PDD-NOS.

First, for giggles, I went to the WebMD Symptom Checker and ended up with 37 different diagnoses including Jumping Frenchmen of Maine (really, it’s a thing) and Mad Cow Disease (this is why I’ve never done this before).

OK, back to being serious..The following are excerpts from an article in The Medical Journal of Australia:

Key features are impaired social cognition and communication; obsessive interests, routines or activities; and social or occupational dysfunction.

Pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs) are comprised of the neuropsychiatric developmental disabilities, autistic disorder (autism), Asperger disorder and PDD — “not otherwise specified”. These conditions are also commonly known as autism spectrum disorders. The key features are severe developmental difficulties with social cognition and communication, and non-functional obsessive interests, routines or activities.

PDDs are considered to have been under-diagnosed worldwide, and the variety of presentations and outcomes has only recently been recognised.

… IQ criteria can be used to divide PDDs into “high functioning” (IQ of 70 or greater), and “low functioning” (IQ of under 70).

Taking all this into consideration, along with my other diagnoses of bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, then sprinkle in some general depression and anxiety and top with a generous helping of PTSD; I’ve come up with the following simplified chart, and I’ve found that I have a majority of the symptoms in all three groups. Which then explains why I can never find a medication cocktail that works, and perhaps it’s time to stop the med-merry-go-round and concentrate on Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

confusionOverwhelming confusion and frustration shall now commence. I’m feeling very grateful that I’ll be seeing my therapist tomorrow.

PDD-NOS
∙Impaired social/communication skills
∙Impaired development of relationships
∙OCD-type behavior
∙Social dysfunction
∙Impaired perceptions of emotions
∙Impaired expression of emotions
∙Psychiatric comorbities
BPD
∙Impulsive/risky behavior
(with difficulty controlling said behavior)
∙Inability to control self-harm
∙Suicidal behavior
∙Wide mood swings
∙Intense episodes of anxiety/depression
∙Inappropriate anger
∙Inappropriate antagonism
∙Feeling misunderstood, neglected,
alone, empty or hopeless
∙Fear of being alone
∙Feelings of self-hatred
Bipolar Disorder
(a little more difficult to simplify due to several different types)
Mania:
∙Inflated self-esteem
∙Decreased need for sleep
∙Talkativeness
∙Racing thoughts
∙Distractibility
∙Agitation
∙Impulsive/risky behavior
Depression:
(most of these last all day,
every day)
∙Sad, empty, hopeless, tearful
∙Reduced interest or pleasure in
almost all activities
∙Insomnia or sleeping all day
∙Fatigue
∙Worthlessness
∙Inappropriate guilt
∙Suicidal ideations or planning

No hiding

Shame and hiding under a rock have no place in the fight against stigma. I recently learned about a movement called because I said I would, “a social movement and nonprofit dedicated to the betterment of humanity.” It addresses integrity and holding oneself accountable. The timing was perfect, the desire to give up on life was strong. I wrote a note to myself “I will not commit suicide.” Pretty strong words? Wrong. My wonderful friend, Jill Zimmerman from Alpha Healing Arts, taught me that in order to set an intention, one has to think in terms of the intention already coming true. That rules out “will,” “can,” “should,” “want to,” and other limiting words (yes, they are limiting). So…

My life is worth living. I fight shame, stigma, and self-doubt.

I make my world a better place to live.

There, I said it “out loud.” But one more thing – I go public. I can’t be an example to others, if they don’t know I’m here.

I would love to hear what you plan to do to hold yourself accountable for bettering your life. If you’re like me and you live with mental illness, I understand it will be difficult. None of this means we have to do these things alone, there are so many tools available to those who want to change their lives and make the lives of others a little better. For me, this includes taking my meds, seeing my mental health team, eating right, exercising, and using my personal tools (writing, reading, drawing, etc); as well as jumping in to life both feet first. Some days will be just a toe in the water, but that’s ok, at least I’m still moving forward.

Thank you to all my readers (whom I didn’t know existed), who let me know that they either enjoy my blog or it gives them hope, or they read it for whatever reason. You are why I blog, and I appreciate your encouragement. (seems like I should check my stats more often!)

Too many labels

We seem to have a multitude of labels or descriptors applied throughout our lifetimes. Some we choose, some are foisted upon us in anger, and some are lovingly given. We have nicknames, endearments, and epithets. We have diagnoses, scientific classifications, and social terms. Most are not happy with a simple “human being,” not descriptive enough.

As far as my own personal labels are concerned, it doesn’t matter to me what someone else chooses to call me (good or bad). However, I am tired of all the changing labels of psychiatric diagnoses. There are no definitive tests (i.e. blood tests, MRI, etc) to clearly diagnose a mental illness. We would have a world of self-diagnosed crazies if everyone were to look at the lists of criteria for mood disorders, personality disorders, anxiety disorders, or any one of the other myriad of diagnoses.

Now into my ninth month of severe depression, my team of mental health professionals seem to have thrown up their hands and decided to just lump me into a couple non-specific categories. This has caused an odd reaction, in which I seem to have confusion piled on top of everything else. After about 15 years of referring to myself as having bipolar disorder, I no longer know how to define myself in psychiatric terms and it surprises me that this is a troubling situation. As my friend, Joel Sax (who writes the amazing blog Pax Nortana-see Links), says something like (sorry Joel, can’t remember the exact quote) stigma could be eliminated if we could just call it illness…leave out the mental. Because really, when one thinks about it, if our brain is not working correctly neurologically (or for whatever other physical reason) couldn’t that simply be classified as “illness?”

 

Some silly food for thought:   When my children were small and my ex-husband demanding, he came home to a messy house and said “What the hell do you do all day?” That’s when I came up with the following:

Goddess of Everything – Must be available at a moment’s notice

Chief Financial Officer
Personal Banker
Cash Manager
Loan Officer
Accounts Payable Administrator
Budget SupervisorStrategic Planning Executive
Schedule Manager
Event Planner
Social Director
OrganizerAdministration Executive
Benefits Administrator
Shipping & Receiving
Safety Specialist
Law EnforcementInformation Technology Officer
Research Specialist
Technical Support Manager
Network Administrator
Word Processing Specialist
Proofreader

Animal Welfare Manager
Pet Care
Dog Valet
Dog Walker

Clothing Specialist
Fashion Consultant
Laundry Wench
Alterations Manager

Director of Health
& Emotional Well-Being
Education Counselor
Career Counselor
Drug Safety Specialist
Pharmacy Manager
Nurse Practitioner
Relationship Manager
Therapist
Administrator of Medical Records

Food Service Executive
Chef
Dietician/Nutritionist
Grocery Management & Supply

General Maintenance Manager
Carpenter
Interior Designer
Groundskeeper
Janitor
Housekeeper
Handyman
Dishwasher

Head of Transportation
Mapping Manager
Chauffeur
Courier
Automotive Maintenance

Materials Management Executive
Errand Runner
Non-Food Supplies Procurement

Doubtful

Interesting observation from my therapist…I’m crying, feeling hopeless; just finished 4 wks of some of the scariest depression I’ve experienced, 2 wks titrating off one med, 2 wks of no meds. I’m saying I’m not sure I want to try the new one I start tomorrow. It seems so pointless. Then she reminds me of all the self-care I automatically do, all the times I’ve dragged myself out of the pit, all the times I have gotten out of bed when I really didn’t want to.

Bipolar depression makes one forget how hard we fight, how strongly we refuse to give up. She reminds me of how much my husband loves me, how much my support network checks in on me, and how my family, whether by blood or chosen, honestly care. I realize I *can* do this. I never thought I’d get this far, but I have, and I will keep going.

Doesn’t matter how many times I hear things like this, it sounds like a HUGE lie…bullshit, utter bullshit.

Have I become such a good actor over all the years that I can fool anybody? My weekend was spent in fear of being by myself. Normally, I love being alone, but this weekend it scared the hell out of me. If I wasn’t asleep (thank you Klonipin), I was sitting outside with Greg (allergies be damned) watching him do exciting things like fixing the tire on his bush-hog (I don’t know how to correctly spell this farm equipment term).  Horrific pictures of self-harm fill my brain if there’s nothing else there. I’ll most likely do some drawing later, another form of therapy for me to get the crap out of my brain, but he’s back at work, and I’m on my own. Psych wards are useless these days, that’s considering one’s insurance will even pay for one to stay.

No point in calling the doctor,hospitalization is out of the question…none of those pesky tox screens for me, thankyouverymuch.

So today I draw, write, hibernate…one second at a time.

Detailed description of bipolar disorder…

Yes, I did just do a post about the technicalities of bipolar disorder, but some people just don’t get it. So using the overused metaphor of a roller coaster, for those of you who have no idea what it’s really like (or those of you that do and want a piquant version of bipolar disorder). Fasten your seat belts…

This can happen in any order, this just happens to be how it happens to me, sometimes all in one day and more than once that same day. I’m under the impression that I’m not the norm, although there probably isn’t one anyway. I am 57 years old, and I cannot remember life being any different, at any time.

Just vividly imagine this is happening to you while you read the following:

You climb on the ride, enjoying the bumps and plunges, because neither of them are something unbearable-stability. Soon, however, the climb up the to the highest point begins – ramping up to hypermania/euphoria. Abruptly, the little car stops at the very apex of the ride, and the person to your right stands up and gives you a shove. You then plummet down into a pit of quicksand – despair. To keep yourself from being overwhelmed and sucked deeper into the quicksand you kick, scream, and drag yourself out by your ragged fingernails – agitated mania. You finally pull yourself out of the pit, only to lie next to it for awhile exhausted and unable to function – depression. Then, without any conscious input of your own, you are compelled to climb back onto the roller coaster. Not because it was fun, not because you enjoyed the thrill, but because you have no choice.

*Please note, as far as I know, most people do not have both agitated mania and hypermania. I’m one of those that do. If you’d like to prove me wrong, feel free to do so in the comments below.

There are a multitude of combinations of these moods, and changes can happen over a long period of time or in any order (as I mentioned above). I have been told that it is one of the most difficult mental illnesses to treat. In the approximately 30 years that I and my psychs have been searching for the perfect cocktail (combination of psych medications), nothing that has worked has lasted, and most things have never worked at all. I’m one of those people who are listed under “The following side effects are very rare…” (lactation? really?); and quite often I have the opposite reaction to the basics (i.e. lithium, the “gold standard” mood stabilizer, makes me manic; drugs that are supposed to be “uppers” put me to sleep and vice versa). I became SSRI resistant, causing the psych I was seeing at the time to throw his hands up and actually say “I don’t know how to help you.” He then first had me undergo ECT (never again), and when that only made me worse he put me on an ancient anti-depressant, an MAOI (actual quote: “Why didn’t I think of this before?”), which I am now in the long process of tritrating off so I can try the next greatest new psych drug (I wish I had a sarcasm font). 

I am now at the point in my life where I can understand all those with whom I’ve been arguing about the merits of taking medication. I do not advocate going off one’s medications, I have just become very tired of the non-stop “let’s try this and see what happens.” Before I started the unending perfect med search, in college I lived upstairs from a young chemist (an actually degreed person), who would like to experiment at home. That was the first place I constantly heard the aforementioned sentence, “let’s try this and see what happens,” which was just as effective as what I’m going through now. It’s amazing I’m still alive…but then that’s amazing for a whole slew of reasons…other stories for other times.

I hope you enjoyed your ride. If you have any questions, comments, corrections, or would like to describe your bipolar disorder in a simplistic or ridiculous manner, I would love to hear from you in my comments section.

If you would like more professional clarity on some of the terms I used, please visit Types of Bipolar Disorder-Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. If you are now totally confused, ask a question below and I’ll try to find the answer. Even though I’ve lived it, I don’t always understand it.

Time for a refresher course

The fifth version of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illnesses) came out in 2013, and people still seem clueless (but then, who really reads the DSM).  Regardless of whether or not you have bipolar disorder, or you have a partner or friend with bipolar disorder, or just want to be able to understand what someone is going through, it’s important to get both professional and anecdotal evidence (as long as the person has actually been diagnosed with bipolar disorder).

It’s quite often difficult to diagnose someone with bipolar disorder. I was originally diagnosed with major clinical depression and anxiety. For me, I think it was because of the abusive situation in which I was living. Being depressed most of the time, it makes sense that the diagnosis would be depression. It wasn’t until after I escaped the domestic violence that I received the correct diagnosis at the age of 40. Looking back I can see it throughout my life, and it was actually a relief because it explained a lot of behavior that I didn’t understand and of which I was ashamed.

This is from an article by Natasha Tracy about myths of about bipolar disorder. I strongly suggest that you read the whole article, she goes into depth about each myth.

Myths About People with Bipolar Disorder

These myths are brought to you by the commenters, here, at HealthyPlace.

  1. Bipolars are liars
  2. Bipolars cheat on their partners
  3. Bipolars are manipulative
  4. Bipolars are “spoiled teenagers”
  5. Bipolars feel it’s “all about them”
  6. Bipolars are angry and violent
  7. Bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder are almost the same thing

Well now, that’s quite a list. It’s amazing I’m allowed to live outside with all the “sane” people. For my own part, I am nothing like those seven things. I have never known a bipolar that was those seven things.

The following is from an article on the Healthline website:

The highs or extremely joyful times are called manic episodes. Low periods marked by sadness or hopelessness are called depressive episodes. A mixed state is a mood episode that contains moments of mania and depression.

Manic Episode Signs: Some people experience several mood episodes in one day. Others may have sustained periods of one single mood or experience episodes infrequently.

Not all manic episodes are marked by happy or positive feelings(*see note). You may just as easily act anxious, restless, and irritable. Your speech may speed up and your attention may be easily diverted.

People in manic episodes often have difficulty sleeping. Sometimes, a manic episode can cause a person to energetically start a new project or work extra hard on something. But a manic episode may also lead to reckless behaviors, especially those related to sex, drugs, or money.

(*Note: I get agitated mania, not pleasant one bit. This is when I’m in danger of harming myself or others.)

Depressive Episode Signs:  Depressive episodes are long periods in which a person feels discouraged and hopeless. Like someone with clinical depression, a bipolar patient often withdraws from activities that were once enjoyable, such as having sex, socializing with friends, or dabbling in hobbies.Sleeping and eating patterns often change when a person is in a depressive episode. In serious cases, a depressive episode can lead a person to alcohol or drug abuse. Patients may also have thoughts of suicide.

Mixed State Signs:  A bipolar disorder patient in a mixed state may demonstrate some of the best and worst aspects of the disease, which can confuse those close to the bipolar person. For example, someone in a mixed state may be very energetic and hard working, but also seem very depressed. Mixed states can be especially frustrating for the bipolar patient. Feelings of elation may be accompanied by crying, for example. Changes in appetite and sleeping habits may also develop during this state. (Note: I can certainly attest to mixed states be especially frustrating).

Bipolar Subtypes:  Like many health challenges, bipolar disorder can be mild, severe, or somewhere in between. There are three subtypes of the condition: (Note: I think this is why most people who do not have bipolar disorder get confused, it even confuses us at times. FYI, I have Bipolar I Disorder.)

  • cyclothymic disorder: the mildest version of bipolar disorder. A person still has highs and lows, but they’re less dramatic.
  • bipolar I disorder: the most serious subtype, with extreme shifts between mania and depression.
  • bipolar II disorder: less serious than bipolar I disorder. It can still cause problems in relationships, school, and work.

Some excellent sources for information and support for both people with the disorder and loved ones is DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance), NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health), PsychCentral, and, WebMD

And if you want to get really technical (there are all kinds of “Bipolar Disorder With…” diagnoses) checkout the DSM webpage, following are their diagnoses (which I believe will be updated soon).

  • Bipolar I Disorder, single manic episode
  • Bipolar I Disorder MRE, manic/hypomanic
  • Bipolar I Disorder MRE, depressed
  • Bipolar I Disorder MRE, mixed
  • Bipolar I Disorder MRE, unspecified
  • Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorder
  • Bipolar II Disorder AND Other Specified Bipolar and Related Disorder

And finally, from the Mayo Clinic Website:

Although bipolar disorder is a disruptive, long-term condition, you can keep your moods in check by following a treatment plan. In most cases, bipolar disorder can be controlled with medications and psychological counseling (psychotherapy).

Please comment below about your experiences, or any corrections or additions you may feel are important.

Evil returns…but then it’s always been there…waiting

The words swirled around in my head, doing a dance of destruction, making my two worlds blend into one. The one set of two simple words a fluke, a one time situation, said without thought, said without knowing. The other set having been heard over and over for fifteen years, but having lay dormant for seventeen.

And then I’m not here any more. Every day the worlds swirl together faster and faster, reality becomes quite blurred, then I see the other face. I hear the other voice. I can feel the punches in my stomach, I am actually doubled over in pain with something that isn’t real.

Finally the shell shatters. It took close to seventeen years to build a new, almost fully-functioning brain.  A strong woman built from nothing, a survivor. It took two words and the release of the conditioning that was carefully tucked away and sealed up with what I thought was a protective covering.

Soon all the old words take over…stupid, crazy, worthless, unlovable. All the old pictures of his face, his actions. Hearing his words, all of it apparently embedded in my brain. It all flashes over and over until I can actually see the shattering happen. I see the pieces blow apart, flashes of pain stuck in the memories of each part of my damaged body.

In my mind, the blade glitters with power. I can see it slicing through the flesh on my arm, my leg. The two-fold release of the blood. Punishment for being such a worthless human being and thinking that I could hide it all away for so long. Pain transferred from my brain, my heart, to something I can see. Something tangible. Something I can fix. I can’t fix what I can’t see.

But I really don’t think I can fix any of it all. I was just fooling myself and everyone around me.

I retreat to my safe place. It feels like too much effort to get the blade. I think of the mess I’ll have to clean up. I see the look of fear, pain, guilt, and yes…love, on my husband’s face.

My brain is tired, my body is tired. I cry myself to sleep. I dream of fighters getting knocked down, then standing up to fight some more. I dream of people, some I haven’t even met but know what it feels like, picking me up, wrapping their arms around me. I dream of my husband’s arms holding me tight, telling me how much he loves me.

I’ll try again tomorrow.

Just wanted you to know…

This, this is why I blog

inspire

Will it ever fade away?

Bipolar Disorder has been a major part of my entire life, but the last three months have been the worst I can remember in about 17 years. Suicidal ideations have floated through my head off and on more times than I can count, but I was always able to pull out of them. I can remember twice there were spur of the moment intercepted attempts, but nothing like this. This time was the first time I actually had a plan, and now because I went over and over the details, perfecting them every night while I couldn’t sleep, and all day while I couldn’t get out of bed, it feels like its ingrained into my brain. I wonder if it will ever go away or if it will make it easier the next time? I’m OK now, I got through it, I’m not sure how. I had things to do before I left, there were some things I didn’t want to leave undone. And before you ask, no… I will not tell you my plan. Nobody knows what it is, and nobody will. I’ve told my therapist and my psychiatrist that it existed, but even they don’t know the details.

I don’t care what any professional says, there is no hotline, friend, or platitude that can take it away. When it comes to that point, that’s it, it can’t be stopped. No amount of “think of the good things in life, think of the people that will miss you or be devastated” will help. It just doesn’t work that way. The years of seemingly never ending pain, had finally reached an unbearable point. I think the only people that should write University classes for psychs-to-be about suicide should be the people who’ve been there…and somehow survived. Because nothing I’ve read or heard prepared me for the “already-dead” feeling that encompassed me. I wish I could find something I just read, so I could quote it correctly and give credit to the writer, but it had to do with calling the person who committed suicide “selfish.” The write said it’s not selfish, it’s simply an act of desperation. The person isn’t even thinking of themselves, mostly just the pain. Make it go away…now. The people left behind? It’s not their fault, it was not something done to them, there was nothing that could have stopped it. I don’t remember having feelings that fit into the dictionary definition of selfish (see below*), it was just there…in my head…seeming to be in total control of any other thought that tried to get in. I knew how it would affect others, I was well aware of how the well-being of my loved ones would be trashed. I just felt I had no other choice. All other options had been exhausted.

* “Selfish.” Merriam-Webster.com

Full Definition of SELFISH

1:  concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself :  seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others

2:  arising from concern with one’s own welfare or advantage in disregard of others <a selfish act>

I am not trying to make the point that it is inevitable, that when one thinks of suicide there’s nothing that can be done. It doesn’t have to be hopeless, there are many things that work for many people. Untold lives have been saved by a kind word, a hand reached out in friendship, a call to a hotline. I just want people to know, to face the fact of mental illness (which is difficult for so many who don’t live with it); sometimes reality sucks, sometimes there’s no happy ending. 

This post was going to be about something else, something uplifting and positive, but it seems to have written itself.