What I Want to Write

I haven’t written it yet. I have a little hope that I won’t. I’m suicidal again and have activated a safety plan that may keep me out of the hospital. Yesterday I was completely convinced I wanted to write a suicide note and overdose on my meds. Today the urge is less, but my friend has my meds, and so I have less ability to follow through. 

The urge is frantically searching for a way out of the deep pain I feel. Some other plan to die so the pain will stop. The pain of grief for 2 cats lost from my household, from a recent divorce, from the acceptance that I may never be able to work again, and be a part-time volunteer forever. The pain of a deep knowing that I will die young, perhaps at my own hand. The pain that is depression – a vice around my heart and one around my brain, squeezing life out of me, as my gut has a constant sinking feeling.

This is what I want to write:

It’s not your fault. I tried every conceivable way to deal with the intractable pain, and I couldn’t bear it anymore. I found the end of my rope and I can’t hang on anymore. I know you will weep for me, but weep also for the pain that had the power to drive me crazy. I’m not in my right mind, and I can’t find it anymore. Know that in my right mind I said and did things that showed I cared about you. And I meant it. Hold on to that, and let me go so that I don’t hurt so deeply anymore. There was nothing else you could do. Don’t blame yourself. I couldn’t fight anymore. Bipolar wins. Be mad at that.

That is what I want to write. And I’m ashamed of it, but I’m honest. At least give me credit for honesty.

It’s Not Mental Illness

We have experienced yet another school shooting in the USA. The 45th this year. And before the facts are clear, we hear that the shooter’s motivation may be mental illness. 

When will this stigma stop? Whenever a white boy or white man shoots people, media and popular opinion nearly immediately want to say mental illness was at play. 

Maybe that’s true. But in 45 cases in 2015 alone? I assure you, as a person with mental illness, that we’d much rather hurt ourselves than others, and are more likely to be the victim of a violent crime than a perpetrator. 

I propose that anomie – and not mental illness – is the culprit. Profiles of the shooters seem similar whether there were signs of violence ahead of time or not. A loner. Few friends. Little academic or personal success. Access to many guns or violent weapons. And I’m sure many more characteristics. Life is not going the way the man wants, and he feels out of control. The American doesn’t know where to turn to feel better about his situation. He doesn’t think of counseling or trying to find a new peer group, and these are not options presented widely in the culture or in the media he consumes. Violence is a way to let those feelings out, and is an accepted part of American culture and media. 

Mental illness is not a catch-all for people acting out. Stop using it as one.

Lower Than Ever

So, I went to the hospital the day after the last post. I continued to spiral down to the lowest depression I’ve ever been in, or the lowest in a very long time. I had two suicide plans with details worked out down to the minute. My care team reassured me they would keep me safe and keep holding me up when the suicidality moved on and I was left with crippling depression.

As it turned out, during the hospitalization at the beginning of the month, my two mood stabilizers were increased. I came down from a dysphoric hypomania, had stability for a couple days, then tanked. The mood stabilizers were too strong and we had to let up on one of them to get me back to some stability. Then when the increased stabilizer had been down to its previous level for several days, the doctor increased my anti-depressant slightly, since a slightly larger increase than that had sent me into a dysphoric mania. Yes, I’m very sensitive to meds.

This whole fiasco of the last 12 days started with a too aggressive approach to my mood stabilizers, which, naturally, my doctor wouldn’t totally own up to. Yet he knew. My life is now in a deep depression, deeper than what is even normal for me for the change in season at the equinox (which was yesterday).

Today is my 40th birthday, and I’m very depressed. I’m more than a little suicidal and trying to take it off the table. I don’t want to go back to the hospital, AND I know it’s there if I need it. I’d like to find some meaningful activities that will begin to bring me joy that will help the depression feel a bit better until the drugs have a chance to do their thing when it is as therapeutic dosage in a couple weeks. Right now the activities I take part in, while meaningful to the outside observer, feel like treatment activities to keep bipolar at bay. I’d like to just be me. I need to figure out who that is.

When Do You Know If It’s Time for the Hospital?

When you want to die?

When you have a plan(s) for suicide?

When you wish you were dead in a car accident?
Do you wait for morning so it won’t be as bad in your head?

Feeling Guilty

Twenty-sixth hospitalization this week. Saturday night I was too obsessive about suicide and a friend took me to the ER, where I spent 14 hours waiting in a room with nothing in it for a bed to open up in the psych hospital associated with the main hospital. Fortunately I was only in the hospital for 4 days, much shorter than other hospitalizations.

I think the onset of hypomania made me more susceptible to stressors – heat, the divorce, death of my cat 2 months ago, writer critique from people who don’t know the genre, starting online dating, new and old cats who are still not cohabiting well, not enough to do to feel meaningful, onset of more intense suicidal thoughts. I live with thoughts everyday, but they were getting worse, intrusive and obsessional. If I hadn’t been going through a mood shift and didn’t have as many stressors, I might have been able to handle the suicidal desires. Alas, I was going toward hypomania and did have a lot of stressors.

I feel guilty and as though I let everyone down including myself by going in the hospital. Even though I felt just as miserable as I ever had, I still think I should have handled it as I had for the 6.5 months previous where I didn’t need the hospital. I had been able to keep suicide off the table as a possibility. And then I couldn’t. I know it was just a tune up stay, short and sweet, but the clock starts over again for how long I can go without a hospitalization. I white-knuckled several time to make it to 6.5 months. This time of year (August through December) is my hardest. I hope I don’t end up in the hospital repeatedly, but I fear I will. And I will feel guilty again and a disappointment to my ideals and those around me who support me in so many ways.

September Is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

I received a note today that September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. And that awareness is something I need! September is such a volatile month for me with moods, and I’m currently suffering with more suicidal desires than I have been in months. Just talking about it makes it worse. It’s horrible.

Here are some resources for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month:

1. NAMI: National Alliance for Mental Illness: https://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Raise-Awareness/Awareness-Events/Suicide-Prevention-Awareness-Month                     

This link includes

2. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: http://www.afsp.org

This link includes




Suicidal Again, Oh, and Hypomanic

It’s the time of year for me to go at least hypomanic, but often manic. August is rough. But September is rougher. Because I’m likely to be manic at the beginning and then get depressed at the equinox right before or after my birthday. Clockwork since I was young.

Two days ago I noticed that I was beginning to feel hypomanic. I’m sure of it today. I hope it stops there and doesn’t turn manic. Then, when talking about my book based on this blog and all the emotional turmoil I’d have to put myself through to make it possibly publishable – with more stories and more feelings and taking people on the journey inside with all the darkness – I started feeling suicidal. Not just thoughts, which I get everyday, but suicidal, with the visions and plans I’m used to getting and the anxiety and the desire. Yesterday the feelings got very strong. I stayed with friends to not be alone.. I wondered about hospitalization again. I knew if I could just keep myself safe, I would probably feel better in the morning after a good rest.

Good morning! Yes, I am feeling better this morning and back on board with my “Not an option, never gonna happen” mantra. But the thoughts and visions are still there, with little desire. I want to live. Which would be my reason to go to the hospital if I don’t feel safe and want to feel safe again so I can go about my boring life again.

I don’t have a lot to look forward to. I do have a pretty boring life that I push myself through. I don’t even have writing the book anymore because it causes me such pain to re-live what I’ve gone through. Maybe I don’t have enough distance. I don’t have anything that really gives me meaning, except maybe my cats who don’t get along and I’m still training them to cohabitate. I would hate for them to have to go through another (and first) hospitalization.

Back to suicidal thoughts. If this process goes as it has in the past, I will start getting worse mid-afternoon with a peak in the evening where I’m most anxious and not sure I can bear the visions. Desire creeps in. So, in one sense, it doesn’t matter that I’m feeling ok right now. I get tired and forget my resolve in the face of darkness.

I don’t know if I should pack a bag to take with me to my therapist appointment today. I’m feeling ok now. I might not feel ok after we discuss all this in the session. That, and the mood switch. Because I’m hypomanic and possibly more impulsive along with the extra energy, I would have the energy to pull off an attempt on my life, or a completed suicide, more than if I was depressed and lethargic. So I’m worried.