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I look back at how bad my depression was over the last few years … in a previous online journal I had a post from January 22, 2011 at 6:28pm that simply stated:
The first two weeks of school have gone pretty good.
I need to die though.
Two sentences. Nothing else.
My depression was so bad, that even though my first two weeks of college (actually the last semester of my senior year) had been fine, I still felt the need to die. This was the year that my mental illness became extremely severe. This entry was posted a week after my first psychiatric hospitalization. Prior to my second hospitalization, which would result in me abruptly dropping out of school (on the semester I should have graduated) and deciding I wanted nothing to do with graduating as I had no reason to believe I would live any longer. And if I did indeed live, I did not need school. I wanted no degree from the college I was going to, I hated my college at the time, and I wanted nothing from them at all. I was much to amazing to have a college degree (woohoo bipolar delusions and suicidal ideations and reckless decisions). I did go back and get my degree though, although I am not using it at all thanks to my wonderful hospitalizations and instability.
It is amazing how set I was on death though. I had been depressed so much of my life, but this was the breaking point for me. How can we see that things are good, but still want death so much? The chemical imbalances in our brain and how they work are so –weird!
People ask me all the time why I am depressed. Which I hate by the way. I don’t know. Things can be going fine in my life, and I am just depressed. Which obviously this entry from 3.5 years ago shows — it seemed like things were fine, but I still was determined that I needed to die. The chemical imbalance in my brain was just completely off! That is how bipolar works, that is how major depressive disorder works, and schizoaffective, schizophrenia, and a whole host of other mental illnesses. It isn’t a simple switch that I can turn on and off.
Yes, I can change my thought process, that does help. But that alone does not fix me. As I have mentioned before, I need my medication. I am not someone who can go without my meds – because my diagnosis definitely is based on a huge chemical imbalance. Working on CBT helps a lot, but only when my medication is also working. Then I am stable enough to focus on using those technique to change my thought process too.
But — I guess, looking at this post from 2011… I also just think about how much it hurts to feel that way. To know that you can see your life going ok but to know that you still feel the need to get out of it. To have this deep desire to just escape. I haven’t felt that deep desire since January 2013 luckily, my meds have been working well since then, but I still have the thoughts and desires here and there. Not constantly though. It was a hard. It still is hard., but I’m learning to manage and it’s getting easier.
It is so easy to think about suicide. And then so easy to begin ruminating on it. And for me, it eventually became easy to act on those thoughts. For two years, I was so deeply depressed that my life revolved around my suicidal ideations and even suicide attempts. I would simply lie on my couch, crying and thinking about how to die and how much I wanted to die. I knew why and yet I didn’t know why at the same time. Sometimes it had to do with my bipolar, a chemical imbalance. Some of it had to do with my borderline personality, just if something happened that triggered me to suddenly lose control of my feelings. And other times it just had to do with my PTSD if I was having awful memories and wanted to just get away from them and end my life. It went on for two years though because I didn’t want the help, I didn’t know how to truly accept the help, and in some weird way, I didn’t even think I needed help. I felt like the only help I needed was for someone to help me die.
I had quite a few suicide attempts, but never really did any major damage. I was in the ICU a few times, but only one of those times was it somewhat serious. At the time, I didn’t know if I was happy or sad to be alive. Actually even today I am not sure how I feel about that attempt. Things have gotten much better in my life, but I still suffer with depression because of my mental illness, and so I question if living or dying would be best. I do not think suicide is the answer at all, but as many (not all) people with depression do, suicide still comes up in my mind from time to time.
I really like the saying: “Suicide does not end the chances of life getting worse, Suicide eliminates the chances of it ever getting better.”
People always tell you, “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” Yes yes yes… I know I know. But in my head, my problem is not temporary, so if you say that to me… it doesn’t even sound like a good statement. So I hated when people told me that. And everyone told me that, over and over again.
However, the first statement, that just seemed really eye opening to me. I really never pictured my life getting better, but it still lit up my mind to thinking perhaps it could. So when I think of suicide now, I always tell myself this quote. If I just wait another day and see how that goes. Maybe tomorrow will be better. And I just keep putting it off. Eventually the thought does pass. Eventually I do have a day that is better than the previous day, and the thought somewhat disappears into my brain – until the next chemical imbalance or trigger or flashback. Again, I try to use the same technique of putting off and suicidal actions day after day after day though.
I lost a friend to a drug overdose back in November. It was not a suicide attempt, but she did suffer with depression. It hurt me incredibly bad. Seeing how it affected me and her family and other friends was very eye opening. I never thought about how much it would hurt my family and friends. I really believed in my mind I would make things better for my family and friends. I thought they would believe I was better off dead – that my pain would be gone and so they would forgive me for what I did. That I would no longer be a burden to them and that they would be happy with me gone. But now that I am thinking clearly, on proper medication, in good therapy – I see that this thought process was not true at all. I slip into every once in a while still, but that is how our brains work and we have to fight back.
We will all go back and forth, have good days and bad days, but we can have a good life. I went through 17 hospitalizations between 2011-2013. Fifteen of those being within 1.5 years. Today, while I still struggle, I am stable for the most part and trying to get my life back on track. Much happier, not lying on my couch all day, not crying all the time, and my mind is not obsessed with dying. Life does get better. I never thought I would say that either.
If you, or anyone you know, might be feeling suicidal, call the suicide hotline at: 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or go to http://www.crisischat.org (between 2pm-2am)
Also, talk with your doctor and/or therapist if you have one about how you are feeling, and do not abruptly stop any of your medications without consulting them.