Friday, November 14, 2008

"[R]ound [s]he throws [her] baleful eyes"

May trigger...(Please click here before reading if you are thinking of suicide)

In my blog I want to be able to write EXACTLY how I am feeling. I do not want to worry about what how I write things will affect others (although I try to be conscious that others who are struggling may read what I write, and I try to ensure others are supported and cared for in my writing), but I do not want to censor myself and my thoughts. This is me. The (unfortunately) sad me.

I need the freedom to use my blog as I used to use my journal. It means that at times I NEED to write things that are difficult, or may be scary for others to read. Without that freedom my blog becomes less effective for me.

In my last post perhapsI should have prefaced it with "these are just thoughts". The problem is, when I was writing them they felt like more than thoughts. It felt like if I hung myself the feeling would be the same, but the thoughts would finally end.

Over the past few days I have been having increasing thoughts of suicide again. It's strange because on some level I feel like my mood is better than before, but on another it feels just as bad, only different. I feel nihilistic now. Like nothing is real. As though the entire structure of my belief system is crumbling beneath me. Like everything I thought my whole life is a lie.

It's a lie that I will get better.

Feeling desperately anxious and sad last night I typed "CPA (Canadian Psychiatric Association), Treatment Resistant Depression" in google search. One of the papers that came up was so harsh towards those of up struggling to find a way to get well.

The position was basically, ... (my interpretation): "people with TRD take up to much of a psychiatrist's time, that time could be better spent on helping people whose mood disorders were fixable, psychiatrists should try to end therapy with these patients and have them taken care of by a GP, and the principles of care should be that as a patient with TRD you have to understand your problems are psychosocial, not chemical/biological in origins, therefore we can't help you unless you are willing to change your life. Go see your GP.

I have suspected I won't get well for some time now, but telling me to go see my GP when I feel like this? Saying that patients need to reduce their expectations of recovery? When all I want is some symptom relief?

Am I supposed to simply tell myself..."its a fact of life, you will have suicidal thoughts, often obsessive and violent thoughts, for the rest of your life. Learn to accept that. You want to work? Learn to accept you will always be depressed, have memory and cognitive problems, be on medication that maybe, sort of, kind of helps some things.

Why don't you just tell me to kill myself and have it over with?

That's where the suicidal thoughts come in...the belief I will never see me or my old self again. Even beyond that, the old me is a state too which I cannot return. That that part of my life is over and unobtainable again. Not only is it unobtainable it is undesirable given how much stress I was under. I sense my life has been minimized. I have become less valuable, less desirable. I have become an outcast. Heaven on earth, or maybe even just a life worth living, is unobtainable.

That meaning and purpose are a bad joke, do not exist, they are an illusion that only proves to make me desire them more.

I feel stuck with the belief that my depression has made me become like the depraved and soul starved Satan miserable in his Hell in Milton's "Paradise Lost", when God kicked him and his miscreant, and treasonous army out of glorious heaven, and into the depths, and fiery darkness of Hell. "Who durst defy th' Omnipotent to Arms" forever lost to God and his previously shared Angel's heavenly home above:

"...Him the Almighty Power Hurl'd headlong flaming from th' Ethereal Sky
With hideous ruin and combustion down
To bottomless perdition, there to dwell
In Adamantine Chains and penal Fire
Who durst defy th' Omnipotent to Arms.
Nine times the Space that measures Day and Night
To mortal men, hee with his horrid crew
Lay vanquisht, rolling in the fiery Gulf
Confounded, though immortal; But his doom
Reserv'd him to more wrath; for now the thought
Both of lost happiness and lasting pain
Torments him;
round he throws his baleful eyes
That witness'd huge affliction and dismay
Mixt with obdurate pride and steadfast hate:
At once as far as Angel's ken
he views
The dismal stuation waste and wild,
A Dungeon horrible, on all sides round
As one great Furnace flam'd, yet from those flames
No light, but rather darkness visible
Serv'd only to discover sights of Woe,
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
And rest can never dwell, hope never comes
That comes to all; but torture without end
Still urges, and a fiery Deluge, fed
With ever-burning Sulphur unconsum'd:
Such place Eternal Justice had prepar'd
For those rebellious, here thir Prison ordained
In utter darkness, thir portion set
As far remov'd from God and light of Heav'n
As from the Centre thrice, to th' utmost Pole."

(Paradise Lost, John Milton, 1674
(Book I, Lines 44-74)
(Note: I have highlighted the bold and blue section)

Like Milton's Satan, I feel "unjustly" sent to Hell, although I know full well actions in my life that I take, and cannot seem to manage to take are/were complicit in sending me here. That is what my treatment resistant, chronic MDD, my anxiety, and my mood cycling feels like. It feels like I will never return from where I came. I am lost forever. I especially feel like the part that is made bold and my world has become this blackness with no light, like in the darkness all I can see is woe and sorrow.

I have thoughts of suicide still. I used to have them all the time. I have them less now, but they are still there. They come at me almost everytime I cross the bridge. I envision my self stopping the car and jumping of the bridge deck. I look for back packs and coats of those who have jumped before me. The thoughts come at me when I see strong solid trees or giant wooden beams; beams and trees that I could throw a rope over and end it all. They come at me on the ferry, where I try so hard to make myself step into the dark water and disappear. They come at me often, but less than before.

I write about them because getting them out of my head and onto the page seems to alleviate some of the power behind them.

I am sorry if I concerned anyone with my previous post. If I AM suicidal (vs. thoughts, images, and fantasies) I probably would call Dr. X. I lived 7 years, and a few more, in Hell. I am sure I can last a bit longer. They are thoughts. Bad thoughts, anxious thoughts, thoughts that are plans for relief. Sometimes the thoughts themselves ARE the relief. I know, I always know, there is a way out if I cannot keep trying. I have it within my power to decide enough is enough. There is relief in knowing I am never completely without choices.


s said...

I don't know, I think the article kind of has a point. At some point, my shrink should just point out he isn't helping/can't help me and stop taking my money and time and giving me false hope.

I've been thinking a lot about that lately - that I need to quit going to him, but he insists that whatever voodoo he thinks he's doing can help, so I keep going. At some point, it's fraud. And it's hard for me to give up, for obvious reasons - useless hope mostly. Doesn't he have some responsibility to just tell me what that article says?

Dr Shock said...

We thought schizophrenia was caused by the mother with double binding, we thought depression was caused by psychological factors. I could continue this list for a while. In the end we will find solutions for treatment resistant depression, as if anyone knows what that is but that is another subject.
More important, doctors should never deprive their patients of hope.
Take care, Dr Shock

Lola Snow said...

"I write about them because getting them out of my head and onto the page seems to alleviate some of the power behind them"

I don't know how it works, but it DOES work. It's not magic, but you just do what you can to make yourself feel better. The same goes with therapy. If life is better with therapy than without, then the choice is obvious.

There are days when there is no hope, and to tell someone things will be OK is pointless, because the words lose meaning to someone without the capacity to feel hope. You are asking someone to hope that they won't be hopeless. It doesn't work. And when there are days which you have hope which is fading, it is cruel of someone to tell you just to give up, because there is no cure. Articles like that are foul.

No matter how bleak it gets, jus know that there are people who are listening, and who want you about. That knowledge is of great importance to maintain your resolve to stay put. Your people in real life need you Aqua, as do we all.


Lola x

Handsome B. Wonderful said...

Yeah my life as I knew it for so many years is pretty much gone forever from my perspective. Unless they come up with a cure. I have had to learn to live a different life and it's not easy. As you certainly know well.

I can totally understand why you wouldn't want to keep going. I feel that on a regular basis but I trust you that you'd get the help you'd need if it gets too bad.

I especially related to seeing everything around you as a way to end your life. My brain cruelly tempts me with that kind of vision/thought processing.

kara said...

I'm glad you have the ability, no matter how much energy it takes, to fight off these thoughts and not just lay there and take them for truth. You are valuable. You are not less desirable. And maybe your life has been minimized dependng on the measuring stick you use, but that makes your life no less worthy of living.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "minimized", but it struck a chord with me as I read. I'm in such a struggle in learning how to live again, almost believing that at 32 I don't know how to live and work out the basics of life that it makes me want to give up...not suicidically, but in the realm of accepting the thoughts as true. But I refuse. However "minimal" the progress may be...I'll take it. And I hope you do also.

Hold on to your hope.

jcat said...

I love you A, whatever your decisions might be. You are valued and respected by people all round the world, as well as by the ones who know you in person.

That will never change...



e said...

If you find yourself in a dark and scary place, whatever you do, don't stop, keep going.

I read that somewhere and am paraphrasing.

Does anyone know if there is a online discussion forum for depression in Canada? It would be good to have a secure place where these thoughts and feelings can be discussed with others...

Annie said...

Aqua, Thanks for such a powerful post.I hope it truly helped you. I often write that suicide is no longer an option. I so agree with your thoughts that it is often a release to have the option and to explore it.
Your post has given me room to think about the suicide issue in my life.Thanks again, Annie