Friday, May 19, 2017

It's Okay To Talk About It.

This. Read this.

It happens just like this.

Thoughts, seemingly out of nowhere, that reach into the dark places and try to manifest the very worst of me.

I ask you, no, I beg of you, please read this linked article. The author so eloquently explains what happens when logical thoughts become irrational. What seems unthinkable – killing oneself – suddenly and without warning seems like the right thing to do.

It’s exhausting, living like this. Medication and therapy help, but they aren’t a cure-all. There are always moments of doubt, of criticism, of flat-out failure. And those are the times when people like me are most at risk of harming ourselves.

For me, and for many others that I know, it’s not about wanting to die. It’s about wanting whatever negative feeling is happening in the moment to just stop. And death appears as a solution to all the troubles on my shoulder.

To be clear, I am fully aware of the risk I face. So I work hard to inoculate myself against such feelings. They are inevitable, but drastic consequences to them are not. I have done everything I can think of to protect myself.

I am honest with myself about my own feelings. I am honest with others, letting them know when I feel myself drawn to the darkness. I surround myself with good, strong people who remind me daily that I matter to them.

In other words, I have tried to proactively protect myself against thoughts of suicide. And so far, I’ve been successful. But part of me fears that it will only be a matter of time until the dark feelings prove to be too much for me.

Think that’s scary to read? Imagine being me and writing those words. They terrify me. And they should.

I will continue to reach out for help. I will continue to work with my therapist and my psychiatrist to find the right medications. And I will continue to write and share my struggle openly. Because I don’t want to be just another statistic, someone with so many reasons to live who just gave up.
I’m alive. And I plan to stay that way.

And if any of this rings true for you, talk to me. Talk to someone else. Talk to a counselor or a therapist or a hotline. Raise your hand and say, “I need help!”

Because you matter. You are loved. And we need you to stay.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Words For Chris

For a man I didn’t know
And for the songs I did
For the happiness you shared
And all the pain you hid

There’ll be talk in days to come
Discussions about blame
Fingers pointing at you but
We’ll all still know your name

I listened to your albums
I cheered from in the crowd
I stood in the black hole sun
And yelled and screamed out loud

Maybe you were feeling lost
Confused by your own mind
Maybe that was why you chose
To leave this all behind

I don’t know what to learn here
Whatever lesson taught
Whatever pain you battled
Whatever fights you fought

I just know I could be you
At least the way you left
I could break a hundred hearts
And leave them all bereft

But I still choose to stay here
Remaining in the fight
Waging war and holding back
The dying of the light

So I bid a sad farewell
To a heart that didn’t harden
May you finally find your peace
Home in your sound garden

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Two Steps Back. ("Life, Medicated." Part 12)

It’s hard to believe that it’s been so long since I wrote an update. It’s even harder to see where I am right now and be willing to share that openly and honestly. But that’s my thing, right? So here goes.

On the upside, my medication appears to be working. I’m able to function without descending into overwhelming moments of sadness. That’s a good thing. My emotions feel like they have balanced out for the most part.

But there’s a downside. For the last several months, I feel like I have been floating on auto-pilot. I am going through the motions each day but I am not fully functional. I am not writing, not working out, and not eating healthy. I’m really not doing much at all.

I am sleeping, though. A lot. I go to sleep each night by 8:30pm and wake up for work about 4:30am. I get home around 2pm and I fight to stay awake until bedtime. I’d rather just nap the whole afternoon away.

That’s not good.

As happy as I am with my medication and to no longer be dealing with crippling sadness, this can’t be a solution, either. I can’t sleepwalk through life.

I am scheduling a follow-up appointment with my psychologist to see if there is something we can do to modify my medication. I feel like we have a handle on the too-far-down but we have also overly impacted my daily activities.

Is there a solution? I have to believe that there is. And I have to trust that we can find it soon.