News for July 2013

Trigger Warning: My Struggles – Part 4 (Suicidal Ideation)

NOTE: The very nature of this topic requires the need for a trigger warning. While parts of the article are a higher level discussion of my bouts of suicidal ideation, some parts will provide more detailed and descriptive examples of the thoughts and actions tied to my ideation.

I have in the past struggled with the decision on whether I should share this part of my struggles and journey. It was only this morning that I made the decision. I made the choice after my most recent bout of suicidal ideation.

Before I go any further, let me provide a definition of suicidal ideation. The following definition comes from http://bipolar.about.com/od/suicide/g/suicidalideatio.htm

suicidal ideation means wanting to take one’s own life or thinking about suicide without actually making plans to commit suicide.

Recently a discussion my wife and I had triggered a bout of ideation. The discussion left me feeling they was no way out of the pain other than death. It consumed me for a few days. I sat there all day listening to the songs “Suicide is Painless” aka the theme song from “M*A*S*H” and the traditional version of “O’ Death”,  overcome with the same thought, dying will make it all go away.

That same morning while I was waiting for the train, all I could think was how easy it would be to jump in front of it. I just wanted out, I wanted the hurt to stop.

I have had other bouts, mostly in my teens and early twenties, where I have sat on the floor with a knife at my wrists or throat, wanting to end everything. Other bouts have involved disturbing images in my mind.

In all the bouts, no matter how deeply depressed I was and how badly I wanted out, I never tried. Something inside me always prevents it. Typically, I am somehow able to stay connected to the fact that it would devastate my family.

This might sound troubling or confusing, but these days when I feel that way I am no longer scared or troubled by the feeling. I have come to accept it as a dark place that I fall into sometimes. More than that though, I know I will never act on the feeling.

The following is something that I do, but would not recommend it to others.

Sometimes, rather than fight a feeling, I embrace it. Instead of going against the storm and wave, I ride it to its natural conclusion. That is why I do things like listen to songs like I mentioned before at times of dark depression. They mirror my mood.

Edited: July 30th, 2013

It’s all about Control…

generic-remote-control-shallow-focus-300x225The other day I wrote about an event that turned my life upside down and left me in a really bad head space, complete with suicidal ideation. You can read about it here if you like.

The event left me in a tailspin all weekend long. When I was heading to work Tuesday morning I was still spinning. This situation was a case where radical acceptance by itself was not enough.

From the very start I was able to accept the situation, but it still left me extremely depressed. I couldn’t change the event, but I needed a way to control my life. I knew the alternatives from the start, but did not like any of them. The middle path seemed as destructive as either extreme. I also knew there was no way to talk to my wife about it and have a positive outcome. I felt trapped and life I had no control of a big part of my life.

In typical Jason fashion, I thought about almost nothing else the entire weekend; however, this lead to the beginning of a plan by Tuesday morning, Tuesday plan that would put me back in control of my own life. I immediately started leveling out.

Tuesday morning I shut down my Facebook account temporarily. Facebook makes situations like this more difficult for me. I think it is because it distracts me. I also started thinking about how I might be able to implement the middle ground, if I could get me wife on board with it. I still could not talk to my wife about it. However, I remembered a few conversations my wife and I had about situations related to the middle ground in the past, conversations she initiated. This gave me a sense of hope, but I still could not safely broach the subject myself.

I remembered that my therapist knew someone who handled both could counseling and was well versed in the interest at the heart of the problem.  The next thing I did was call my therapist. I confirmed my appointment with her. I explained the situation I was in and asked if she could get me on the schedule weekly for the next month or so. She told me that would not be a problem. Finally, I asked her for the contact information for the doctor she knew.

Coming up with the plan and starting to implement it has turned things around for me. It has helped me take back control of my life.

Edited: July 13th, 2013

Trigger Warrning: House of Cards

housecardsfall

Trigger Warning: since I am going to discuss some recent difficult events that have left me in a very depressed state I am adding this generic trigger warning. Descriptions and events in this article may be triggering to some individuals. I will categorize them as relating to relationship and feelings of despair.

Some days, I am afraid of the concept of happiness. While I desperately want to happiness and to recover, they both share me.

Why do they scare me? Too many times in my life I have seen one or both of them in my grasp. I start getting optimistic and feeling good about things, but then all to often the rug gets yanked out from under me and the house of cards comes crashing down.

That’s where I am right now. In 2006, I got divorced, partly because there were things I needed in my life that my ex-wife did not want to share with me. Those things were very important to me. I decided that I would not get married again unless the person shared those same interests. I also wanted to have kids.

After a few years I found my current wife and we shared the same interests; however, she wasn’t able to have children. I thought about it and decided that sharing the other things with her would make up for not being able to have kids.

Over the last year, that has changed. The things she was once willing to share with me, she no longer will share with me. In some cases it is by choice, in others it is related to ability. The reason that the relationship had changed are not important. The important part is that change. The things are just as important to me today as they were seven years ago.

If I ignore them and bury them it is another form of self-harm. It might not be physical, but it is emotional and psychological self-harm. Ignoring these things would leave me feeling numb, angry, hurt and a big part of me would be missing and unfulfilled. I would never be truly and totally happy.

It is not a matter of life, I still love her more than anything else. It is a matter of missing vital parts of me. The moment she told me, everything came crashing down and it sent me into a tailspin. All weekend I have had my head filed with morbid and dark images. My heart and soul have felt totally empty. I have wanted to cry since Saturday but have not been able to for some reason.

It has also awakened a white hot rage in me, not for my wife but for the “person” that hit us four years ago. Maybe without the accident this never happens or maybe we would have found out before we get married and could have walked away friends

The last four years I have dreamed about the day we could share the things together. It was one of the things that helped me get through all the hard times, helped me but hate the woman that did this to her. It was just a matter of time, it was a delay in attaining, not a destruction of, what we wanted. My wife’s words the other day were the destruction that the accident started.

It crushed my dreams. It has left me feeling dead inside, full of pain and rage. The extremes are not desirable and even the middle ground that exists does not sit well with me. It is almost as undesirable as the extremes.

There is so much hopelessness in my life right now. A few months back my therapist and I talked about a small subset of this problem. She seemed to agree with me that depriving myself and neglecting this part of myself with be unhealthy and self-harm.

There does not seem to be any good solution. I am devastated, lost, angry and empty.

After last year, this year seemed so promising. I was full of hope and optimism. I do not even feel like trying anymore. I am tired of getting there…almost but never able to get the brass ring and hold on to it.

Edited: July 9th, 2013

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