Happy 4th of July!

We wish we could go see some actual fireworks this year… We haven’t been to a show for years. We think they do a good show in the town just north of us, actually. When we were a child, our dad would take us downtown, just across the river, and we would watch the show that the city put on at Auditorium Shores. The city doesn’t do that show anymore. We believe something went wrong one year, and they had to stop doing the show for safety reasons, if we are remembering correctly. The last time we went down to the Shores is probably the last time we saw a proper show. We went to a friend’s family’s property one year and they shot off some fireworks after we all had a barbecue… After that, just seeing some over trees from our front porch.

We live close enough to the city line that it could technically be legal for some of the fireworks we see out here are legal… We are not one to call the police on every person shooting off fireworks, and honestly we have never called for fireworks, but if they are shooting them on our street (which is not legal) or it is an insane hour and we can kind of tell where they are, we will call them. There was someone still shooting them off around 3 AM tonight. We couldn’t tell where they were. That is just too far into the morning to still be shooting off fireworks, in our opinion. Just because today is a Saturday and a holiday, does not mean that some people don’t have to work this morning. Some businesses are still open.

On a completely different note, we finished the trauma IOP. On June 30th, this past Tuesday. It feels like the agoraphobia is taking hold even stronger. We did start seeing our individual therapist twice a week though, and EMDR is going well.

We would love to write more for y’all, but our head is getting heavy, and we cannot keep our eyes open for the life of us. We are literally falling asleep on the front porch in front of our Chromebook. It feels like a narcoleptic attack, but it is after 5 AM also, and we haven’t slept yet, so we could just be extremely tired. Who knows? Either way, we are calling it a night.

Catch you next time! Later!

Has it really been 2 months?

You know that feeling when you want to write, and you know you should write, but you have no idea what to write? Well, that is where we are right now…

We were in the hospital again. May 7th – 19th. Nothing spectacular. We went before we did anything to hurt ourselves. We went to IOP on the 7th, with the knowledge that we may not be coming home that day. After speaking with the therapist after group, it was decided that we should go and we were allowed to drive ourselves over to the hospital. Our medication was adjusted, and now we are in the waiting period, giving a new medicine a chance to really start working.

After the hospital, we went back to the trauma focused IOP. Our goal is to finish. Actually finish. We need to see how we do in the real world with just our individual therapist. Without intensive care.

With our individual therapist, we are starting EMDR. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. “EMDR is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.” (EMDR Institute, emdr.com) At https://www.emdr.com/what-is-emdr/, there is a description of how EMDR is done, if anyone is interested.

On another note, we had been diagnosed with narcolepsy. We may have finally found the right medicine, but we may still need some tweaking on the dose. Not quite sure. We skipped it today, because we woke up really late, and we have been exhausted all day. We did manage to fight taking a nap, though. However, bedtime is right around the corner, as we are yawning every few seconds at this point…

So, with that, we will catch y’all next time! Have a great day

Paranoia and a little more…

We are so paranoid right now… This whole COVID-19 situation has got us going crazy. Can’t remember if we mentioned this in our last post, but the language around it seems so Big Brother and Dystopian Society to us. Social distancing, lockdowns, shelter-in-place for countries… Not to mention that our city passed legislation that if you are in public, you have to wear a mask. You can be fined or jailed if you don’t…

We are still able to go to IOP. We are in the Trauma IOP again; we only had to stay in PHP for two weeks this time, before our mood started to improve again. But now, in addition to taking our temperatures every day, we are required to wear masks to attend group. The therapists have been having to wear them for a while now. But now the clients have to wear them because of the city’s ordinance for masks in public. They did pass out masks for everyone the day it went into effect, though, so no one can say they don’t have one or couldn’t find one. They are also offering the option to attend groups through Zoom. We actually have one person in our group that is doing that. He joined last week, so we are still getting used to it. We have only been there two days that he was in group (through the tablet). It’s working pretty well, and anyone can choose to attend that way, even the current members. So, if one day, we aren’t feeling well and want to do that instead of coming to the clinic, it is an option.

We are actually trying to decide about next week… if we are going to do group through Zoom, instead of coming to the clinic. We normally have a cough, from years of smoking (we started at 15 and we are about to turn 37) and we have asthma and allergies. But, our cough has been worse for about a week. It’s gotten to extremely annoying and frustrating proportions. And it starts to hurt sometimes. Plus, we get short of breath a little easier right now. But we have not run a fever at all, the entire time. We have been obsessively checking our temperature, because of our chronic cough. Like 4 or 5 times a day kind of obsessively.

We talked to our primary care doctor yesterday, when we went in for our normal medication follow-up. He asked all the normal questions, that he asks every time we come in when our asthma is flaring up, and listens to our lungs. Seemed fine, felt fine with the deep breaths to us, until he asked us to take a deep breath and breathe it out as fast as we could. We’d be surprised if they couldn’t hear it in the other room. He decided to test us for COVID-19. That was yesterday. He said that they normally get the results in a day or two. We are hoping if the results come back tomorrow, that we don’t have to wait until Monday for them to call us. The clinic has after hours available on weekends, we just don’t know if they would be monitoring the lab results. Or if THOSE results come in differently than normal lab tests. They would have to notify us immediately, right? Especially if the test is positive??? They wouldn’t just leave a positive COVID test sitting there all weekend, hopefully, because no one is in that particular office over the weekends…

But that is adding to the paranoia… the what if… Where all have we been recently? Who have we been in contact with? Would they completely shut down the outpatient clinic if we are positive and make it all remote, where everyone has to do it through Zoom? Not everyone has internet… not everyone can do that… Have we gotten anyone sick? What if we have? How sick will we get? We have asthma, we are high risk… how bad is it going to get? All these questions keep running through our head and we don’t even know yet what the result to the lab test is.

We don’t have anywhere to go, except the pharmacy (which we can and will do the drive-thru) until Tuesday. So even if we don’t hear back until next week, we should hear something Monday, and they would probably call first thing in the morning, Monday. We do have to go to the pharmacy, though. We only have enough of one of our medications for tomorrow morning, so we need to pick up our meds tomorrow. Plus, our primary care doctor started us on a vitamin supplement that we are constantly testing low for, which we haven’t gotten yet.

We did have to go out today, though. We didn’t go to IOP. We had to go get our Abilify shot, which is once a month. It was a little late, and it usually starts wearing off a little early for us, so we have basically been psychotic for a little bit. We couldn’t not go get it. We had to go. Obviously, we had a mask on, and we did our best to not touch anything, which we have been getting pretty good at, actually. Touching as little as possible. Only our stuff. They had to change it up, though. Usually our doctor gives us the shot, in the clinic we normally go to. This time, we had to go to the psychiatric hospital they are affiliated with and have one of the doctors there administer the shot. Then we had 10 minutes before our appointment with our psychiatrist… so we basically left one parking lot and moved to another, because you aren’t allowed to smoke on hospital property. And we met with our psychiatrist over Google Meet, on our phone, sitting in our car. It wasn’t too weird because we’ve been doing video appointments with our individual therapist for a few weeks now. The weirdness we having the appointment be with our psychiatrist instead, and having it be in our car. We didn’t have time to get home after the shot. Ten minutes wouldn’t have been enough.

With the shot wearing off early each month, the demons come back. This month, though, they really came back. We could hardly focus on anything the past few days. We can form words when they aren’t as loud, but when they are right next to us, screaming, we can’t even really form a full sentence. We were talking to our mother earlier, and she got frustrated with us because we couldn’t get out what we were trying to say. We couldn’t focus enough to figure out the words. Add to that, we tend to look at them when they are moving a lot. We try to not look, but it is really, really hard. Try not looking when something moves all of a sudden in your peripheral vision. Your instincts tell you something is going to attack you, and you look. It’s the same thing. They move all of a sudden, and we can’t help it. Then there’s the breathing and the touching. When we get really psychotic, they breathe on our neck and grab our arms and wrists.

We can’t tell if getting the shot today is helping yet or not. We took one of our PRNs before going in to both appointments and it’s probably still having a bit of an effect. We couldn’t have two different psychiatrist (three, actually; our psychiatrist has to consult with the attending psychiatrist and then we see both briefly) see us completely psychotic. If we hadn’t been able to form sentences with the doctor giving us the shot or our doctor, we would not be able to write this right now. We would have been admitted. They would not have given us a choice. Especially with the kinds of things that the demons have been and are saying… They are calling us names again, and giving commands. Bad commands. Self harm and suicide kind of things. We’re okay for now. If we made it all the way to the shot without doing anything, we can make it until the shot kicks in. Just a few more days…

Hopefully, by the time we go back to IOP on Tuesday, the psychosis is a lot better. And hopefully we hear about the COVID test tomorrow. We don’t want to have to sit in the worry and paranoid thoughts all weekend. We just want to know what it says.

Well, that is all, for now. If you got this far, you are our hero! Thanks for reading, and see you next time.

Well…

We were still in Trauma IOP up until today. We started back in the partial hospitalization program today. We’ve been having more and more suicidal thoughts, and getting closer to acting on them. The therapist from the IOP asked, on more than one occasion, if we needed a higher level of care. We refused to go back inpatient, which we honestly think is what she would have been more comfortable with. She still advocated for what we wanted, though, when it came down to it.

Last week on Wednesday, we were literally at the top of a cliff, waiting for the other people to leave. This past weekend, we were counting pills and seeing if we had “enough.” We were honest with the IOP therapist after both.

Thursday, last week, when we checked in, we just wanted to get through it and be done. We sailed through our day in about 30 seconds, hoping she would miss the cliff part (?) or just not bring it up or something… that seemed to be the only thing she heard, honestly. She immediately asked about it, and the longer we were on the topic, the foggier the room got. The therapist could see we were slipping, and tried moving from asking us questions to having the other members of group talk to us, relating their experiences with suicidal thoughts. Check in that day took the whole day, because people had a lot to talk about, and we were the last one to check in (on purpose). By the end of it, we were barely holding on by a thread. The therapist held us after to talk, but we were too far gone to talk. We were semi-aware, we could hear, but everything else was completely gone. We heard her telling us she was there, and that she wasn’t going anywhere. We were hitting our head on the wall. She was still there. We were counting the ceiling tiles. Eventually, we started coming out of the dissociative state and into a massive panic attack. We were able to contract that we would be back in the morning, and she let us leave.

Coming back after the weekend, on Tuesday, we completely dissociated during check in. The therapist saw it a little too late. She saw us trying to hold on to what little bit of awareness we had. We couldn’t even say why we had dissociated, after the fact. Once group was over, we asked to talk to her, and told her we needed to step up to PHP. She said usually the clinic and the doctor want the patient to go into the hospital before going back into PHP. The IOP therapist said she would ask if I could just go straight to PHP, mainly because I was desperate to not go inpatient again. I would have just stayed in IOP and discharge at the beginning of next week, instead of going inpatient again. I guess because I’ve been in so many times, and also because of Covid-19, they decided that wasn’t necessary this time. She let me know yesterday what they had decided and I started PHP today.

The clinic, because of the coronavirus, is checking every patient’s temperature and doing a screening before they can go to the group rooms. We get it, everyone has to take precautions, these days. The clinic even discharged all the patients over 60 and those with preexisting conditions that put them at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill. But, so far, they are staying open. We don’t know how long we would survive if the clinic closed. We would not make it, we know that. The question is only how long…

So far, for right now, we are okay. We aren’t going to do anything tonight that would make it where we aren’t at PHP in the morning. We will be at PHP in the morning.

How’s it?

Well, I don’t really know at the moment… can that be my answer? I’m still suicidal, self harm helps with this, but I’m trying to not do that, I got close tonight but managed to abstain; I’m still psychotic, just not as bad; I’m still having flashbacks and body memories galore, every day, at least once a day; sleep is a crapshoot, it may happen, it may not, tonight it did not.

The PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) are really messing with me right now. I have been having a really hard time with memories of something that happened in September of 2000. These memories are causing a lot of problems, including crying spells, isolation, withdrawal, dissociation, self injury, and increasing suicidal thoughts. Basically, all of the signs of a severe episode of clinical depression. One that a psychiatrist would encourage possibly going back into the hospital to treat. Which is NOT going to happen.

I have school that I need to take care of. I cannot fall behind. Not this semester. I really have to make it through the semester this time. I cannot do the in-out crap again… I have got to stay out of the hospital.

It’s been almost 2 months now since I got out. The suicide attempt was on the 11th of December. I got out of the hospital on the 19th of December. Now, if I can just stay out… that is all I have to do.

The particular incident that is bothering me the most, that I am working on in IOP, is extremely traumatic. Even writing that sentence brought up enough thought of the event that I’m on the verge of tears already… The IOP that I am in is trauma focused, so everyone in the room is there because they have experienced something traumatic and are wanting to work on it and be able to better handle the memories when they come up.

When I was finally able to tell the group about the trauma that I am there for, the group was just quiet. I was fighting tears, I didn’t want to cry in front of people, not because it was IOP or them or anything, just because it was people. At some point in the course of the conversation, the group therapist started saying “it wasn’t your fault” repeatedly. Over and over and over. The first time she said it, I could feel the tears move higher up in my throat. The second time, I could feel them welling in my eyes. The third, I couldn’t fight it anymore. I started shaking with every breath, and I was balling my eyes out. I could hear that one of the other group members came over by me, and she put a tissue next to my hand. Then she asked if she could touch me… I nodded. She rubbed the back of my shoulder while I cried. I was glad she asked before touching me, that helped a lot. That was the main reason I said yes in the first place… because she asked permission, I felt like I could trust her. Honestly, at the time that I was crying, I couldn’t even tell which group member she was. All I had to go on was her voice, and I just couldn’t tell… it was only the end of my first week.

And now, at this very moment, my eyes are welling up, and I can feel the tears in my throat. I am trying to fight them, I don’t want to cry before I even get to IOP. I don’t want it to be that kind of day. I don’t want the day to start with crying. I don’t want to show up to IOP with puffy eyes, looking like I have been crying, before we have even started.

I haven’t slept. At all. I had a sleep study night before last, at the doctor’s office, and had to be there for part of the day so they could test me during several naps, a couple hours apart each. I was able to leave a little after 2 pm. They woke me up at about 6:30 am yesterday morning, and had me try to nap 3 times, but I don’t think I ever fell asleep during the naps, although I may have. So I have been awake since 6:30 am yesterday, with the possibility of a 30 minute nap. It is currently 7:42 am, so I have been awake over 24 hours already. Which means I am in an extra vulnerable state. I have class tonight as well, but I should be able to sleep a little between IOP and class. IOP is over at 1 pm and class starts at 6 pm, so sleep is a possibility. I was hoping to work on my speech class but then had insomnia. Oh, well…

But, really, I was going somewhere… where was I going with that train of thought?

I’ve just gotten to the point that the flashbacks and body memories are becoming too much. I can’t handle them anymore. I want them to stop, but the only way to really make them stop right away is to make me stop right away. Making them end means making me end. That is honestly where my head is at right now. My head is telling me suicide is the logical answer to getting away from reliving the event multiple times a day. (Don’t worry, I am being honest with the therapist at IOP. She knows that I am having suicidal thoughts and we check in about safety at the end of the day, every day.)

[Trigger][Description of Abuse]

I just cannot keep seeing the moment that *he* figures out that I’m pregnant, and the pure rage that comes over his face with the realization. He asks how far along I am. I tell him about 14 weeks, if I’m calculating right, and he gets even more furious which I didn’t think was possible. The fear I felt in that moment was absolutely daunting. I had never been that afraid of him during our entire relationship. During the flashbacks, I feel that fear, at that level, just like I am back in that moment, seeing the fury wash over his face… Next thing I know, I am on the ground and he is kicking me, aiming for my stomach. I do my best to stay in a ball and protect my child, but he keeps managing to get me out of the ball by grabbing my hair, kicking me in the back, or picking me up and throwing me onto the ground again. I didn’t know he was capable to lifting me. I mean, I wasn’t a tiny girl… at the time, I weighed around 185 lbs, maybe more. He jsut kept going and going for what felt like forever. I don’t know how long it really went on, I just know it seemed to go on for a really long time. After a couple of days, I started showing signs of a miscarriage. The symptoms kept getting worse as time went on and eventually I found myself just on my bed in the fetal position. My son eventually left my body, and the image of him is forever burned into my brain. He was so tiny, but he looked like a baby and he was a boy. I named him Michael and I cried for hours and buried him by myself. I hadn’t told anyone I was pregnant, because of the abuse and the fear of what would happen.

That is what I relive on a daily basis. The beating that caused me to lose my son, the sensations of the miscarriage itself and the images of my son once he was outside of my body. It’s torture.

[/Trigger]

Well, I need to get ready to go… I have to leave for IOP in a little bit and I’m not even dressed yet. Plus, I’m on the verge of tears again, and I need to find something to distract myself to keep me from all-out ugly-crying.

I hope y’all have a great day, and I will talk with you soon!

Change is scary…

I finished the partial hospitalization program last week. On Thursday, January 30th. I started a Trauma Focused Intensive Outpatient Program yesterday, February 3rd.

Change is scary.

I’ve pretty much been in PHP since June. There have been breaks for trips to the hospital, and one short step down to IOP for a few days before I was stepped back up to PHP because it was agreed I needed a higher level of care. So I have been in PHP since June.

I don’t even know if I’m ready for this group. The trauma focused IOP. Maybe I should be doing the dual diagnosis IOP or the DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) group. I mean, DBT is THE treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder, and even though my personal therapist is adament that I do not have it, other providers who see me on shorter terms usually say I do. Simply because I self injure, in my opinion, and it makes me angry sometimes. I have done DBT groups many, many times. I know the material backwards and forewards… but, I did self injure a week ago, on Tuesday, the 28th. I also relapsed on alcohol, for 4 days each time, and showed up to PHP intoxicated 3 times. My clean date is January 29, 2020, at the moment. So the dual diagnosis IOP would make sense too, but there probably not much they could teach me that I don’t already know, having been doing the getting clean thing since 2006.

But am I ready for the trauma IOP? Can I handle it? I dissociated hard yesterday, and it was the first day of IOP…

During the first hour, we checked in. There were only three of us there yesterday, so we all had a decent amount of time. That was nice. It was awkward for me, even though I knew the therapist and one of the other group member a little. I don’t know, just saying some of the things I deal with, like the self injury (I mentioned the specific methods I use) and suicidal thoughts and I was able to say that part of the trauma relates to a loss that was too soon… saying those things was difficult in front of people that I have only really just met.

During the second hour, we discussed our goals for the week. The therapist wanted three goals: a physical, social and emotional goal. My physical goal is to not self injure this week. Social is to go to 3 meetings. And the emotional goal is to show up for IOP. As weird as this may sound, those goals are hard for me. Right now, those are pushing my limits. IOP starts in 3 1/2 hours and I have not slept. The sun is starting to come up… The sky is starting to lighten at the horizon behind the houses across from mine. People are starting to leave for work. And I have not slept. At all. Normally, my alarm would be going off in one hour, so it’s not even worth trying at this point. I’m just going to have to caffeinate, caffeinate, caffeinate. It’s the only way I will be able to make it to IOP today. And to the other things I have scheduled later.

During the third and final hour, we do mindfulness every day. Yesterday, the therapist did a self compassion guided meditation. I normally am not really that okay with guided meditation, except for breathing ones, body scans, or progressive muscle relaxation. I gave it a try. It didn’t go well for me. As I said above, I dissociated hard. Less that a minute in, I could tell I was losing my body. Then the tunnel vision started, all the way to a pinpoint. Then I lost my hearing completely. Usually, when I dissociate, I don’t lose my hearing. I am still semi-aware. I can still hear what is going on around me, I just can’t respond at all for a bit. But this time, I lost everything. I was completely gone. I don’t remember the rest of the meditation. The next thing I know, the therapist is asking me a question. I didn’t hear the question, but I could tell it was aimed at me. I couldn’t speak yet, however. I made a gesture with my hand to indicate “kind of.” It was all I could manage. I was zoned out again, when I realized she was asking me another question again, after a minute or two. I made the same gesture with my hand, because I still couldn’t manage words. At that point, she realized. She asked if I had dissociated, because I had mentioned earlier that certain guided meditations (safe space) make me dissociate. I nodded. She asked what would help bring me out of it, and I was able to squeak out a very quiet “time.”

The therapist did hold me after group for a bit, just to make sure I was okay to drive, and also check in with the level of suicidality I had marked on the check in sheet and check that I could be safe overnight and be back today. So I kind of have to go today. I can’t just not show up…

Some day, hopefully soon…

I will write about the traumatic event that has me in this mess. That led to the suicide attempts. That kept me depressed practically my entire life. That is giving me flashbacks and body memories daily. That has me still actively suicidal on a daily basis.

Don’t even know where to start…

I want to write… I have wanted to write for over a week now… I want to write the right thing. I want to make it perfect. There are things I need to write about, but I don’t know where to start.

I had a friend commit suicide on January 12th. I relapsed on alcohol shortly after, tried to stop again, and relapsed again yesterday. In my head, drinking is better than attempting suicide again. I tell myself that if I get suicidal to the point that I am actually going to do it, it is okay to use, even though I am an addict.

I don’t know what to say about my friend. He is the second one, recently, to commit suicide. I had one friend die in September and then now this one in January. I wish there was something I could have done, something that could have stopped them. But I know the feeling… I know how it feels to have no hope anymore. I attempted in October and December. My head keeps going into suicidal thoughts, even today.

I wish I could get past the thoughts… I wish I could never be suicidal again, but the chances of that are slim to none. That’s just what my brain does. That’s where my brain goes.

I want to not be depressed. I want to be happy. I don’t see that happening. I don’t think I will ever get past and over the mood crap. And that is the hardest part. Having no hope makes it harder to keep going.

Bad few days, or…

I feel like I’m crashing again… I don’t want to be crashing again… I want it to be just a few bad days. I want it to just be my shot of Abilify wearing off early, since it was the first one. I want to miraculously feel better after I get the next shot on Friday. Abilify is an antipsychotic that can be used as a mood stabilizer as well. Since the demons are more present in addition to my mood being crappy, I’m hoping that it’s just that the Abilify has worn off. I’m still on a small oral dose daily, until I get the next shot, which may be the only reason that I am even surviving at the moment.

The flashbacks and body memories are horrible right now. They are a daily thing; multiple times a day, sometimes multiple times an hour. They make it nearly impossible to speak, or even move, for a while. They make me tear up, and want to hide, curl up into a ball, and cry. But I can’t… I have to keep going, keep doing the things that are expected of me, keep going to appointments, keep going to PHP, prepare to start school again next week, deal with things that have been coming up, and appear to be okay to the people around me. At times, it’s too much to pretend to be okay. I just can’t do it. I’ll shut down.

The only place that is really safe to shut down, for me, is at PHP. I can’t shut down at home… mom doesn’t leave me alone long enough to just be by myself and hide in my room, on my bed, doing nothing. I can’t shut down around my friends… we usually get together at public places with other people around that I’m not as familiar with and don’t want to see me in “shut down” mode. Plus, my friends are more likely to force me into a car and drive me to the hospital if they see me in complete shut down. But at PHP, I can literally sit there the entire 5 hours and not say a word, staring at the table, barely moving or responding to anything… the therapist there doesn’t really say anything or push me to participate. At the end of the first 3 groups, he does ask the same question every day… in the same words, every day. “Is anybody having any suicidal or homicidal thoughts that they feel they need to speak with someone about before they leave to stay safe?” That’s the only time out of the entire day that he really requires a response. And if that response isn’t satisfactory, in one way or another, he’s gonna will grab that person before the end of the day for a private conversation. Mostly to go over a crisis plan and check if they feel they can be safe going home having a crisis plan or if they need to check into the hospital.

The therapist has said before that he’s not going to force someone to go inpatient. Strongly suggest, probably… spend as much time as needed to get someone to a point where all parties involved are comfortable with the client going home, yep… but *he* will not take the decision of going to the inpatient hospital away from the client. He has stated that he won’t take that power away from anyone. There may be an unspoken statement in there that he may have to defer to someone higher than him, who would make that decision for the client, if safety cannot be contracted and the client will not agree to the hospital. Obviously, there are legal requirements in the US and in my state that if someone is a danger to themselves or others, certain professionals are required to get that person treatment, or at least get them assessed for treatment by a psychiatrist or mental health police officer. Here, at least, mental health officers are able to put someone under orders of emergency commitment (POEC). I’ve been in the hospital under a police order 3 times, but signed the papers to stay when the orders ended each time.

Right now, it’s 12:30 am, and I am out on the front porch, listening to a podcast and writing this blog. I’m kind of just typing… not really even paying much attention to what is going from my brain out into the computer. I don’t want to go to bed yet… I’m not really tired. I want to wait until I am exhausted, so that I will just crash and hopefully just sleep all the way to morning, without waking up from any nightmares. Which may mean that I don’t go to bed for a few more hours… less hours of sleep but uninterrupted is better than waking up in terror multiple times. So now, what to do until then? I can’t just sit outside forever… it’s misting and I’m out here on my Chromebook, which probably isn’t the best idea. It’s also a little chilly out; it’s in the 60s (farhenheit). Not too cold, just chilly. I’m wearing socks and a hoodie with my PJs, just the breeze gets me a bit.

I don’t want to go to PHP tomorrow. I want to stay home and lie in bed all day. I had to miss today, because I had two doctor’s appointments, and I have to miss Friday for the same reason. With my insurance, I can only miss 5 groups a week, unless I have notes from the doctor. I have notes from both doctors today, and plan on getting notes for Friday also, but I don’t want to risk anything that would make my insurance discharge me prematurely. Friday, I see my psychiatrist, after seeing the psychiatrist at PHP on Thursday… but they can’t do the shot at PHP, so I have to go to my doctor. I’m kind of think I’m getting burnt out on psych treatment, but I’m scared if I give up on it, that I’ll just end up right where I was, in the depths of depression, having flashbacks and trauma lead me to the brink of suicide and without having some sort of more intense treatment than just my psychiatrist and my regular, once a week therapist, I wouldn’t have anything to prevent me from doing it or get in the way of completing if I went through with it. The only reason the second attempt wasn’t successful was because the therapist at PHP called the police for a welfare check. I was supposed to be there, and I didn’t answer the phone when he called. Knowing that I was suicidal, the clinic requires certain action, and that is what he did.

Now, I’ll admit, I’m having suicidal thoughts now, and I kind of always have a plan of how I would do it in the back of my mind that comes forefront when the thoughts pick back up. The question is always whether there is intent or not. That is where the PHP therapist and I make the distinction of safety. He’s okay with me having thoughts, and he’s relatively okay with me having a plan, and even a small amount of intent. As long as I can contract for safety for that night, until the next morning or until the next day of group, he’s okay with me going home. Okay and comfortable may be two different things, however. He lets me leave, but I don’t know what is going through his head, if he’s worried about whether I’ll be there the next day, if he made the right decision, if he should have trusted me again. Twice now, he’s trusted me, and I betrayed that trust and attempted suicide instead of going to group. I could have gone to group; I could have called the PHP clinic, or my individual therapist or psychiatrist, or even simply answered the phone when he called me; I could have gone to the emergency room and told them what I was planning or just gone to the psych hospital and walked in for an assessment; I could have done a lot of things. Instead, I attempted suicide twice, when he trusted my word that I was okay to go home and would be back the next day. The first time, I didn’t know I was going to attempt, but I knew it was only going to take a feather to knock me over the edge. The second time, I had been planning it for days, so when he outright asked me if I was safe to leave or if I needed to go to the hospital, I lied to his face. Straight up lied. Monday, when he asked his safety question at the end of the third group, I admitted to active thoughts with a plan, and he asked if I was going to attempt that night or this morning. I said no, and he asked “what about Friday?” because I had already told him I had to be out Friday too, for appointments. I said no again, and he kind of laughed and said that he was making jokes, with the Friday comment, although I kind of think he really wasn’t joking, since I had already told him that I had planned the December attempt out several days ahead and didn’t tell anyone and lied to him about it. It makes me think that every time I admit to having suicidal thoughts, it worries him. And probably the whole staff at the clinic.

Both attempts scared the staff at the clinic, my psychiatrist and individual therapist. Obviously, no mental health professional wants to lose a client. I can’t even imagine what that would be like on them. Family has one relationship with the person, friends have another type of relationship, but the relationship with the professionals that have been trying to help is a different kind. All to often, they know more about what has been going on with the person than friends and family do. There are things in my life that I’ve talked about with my psychiatrist and therapist and the people at PHP that I haven’t been able to say to most of my friends and definitely can’t say to my family. Sometimes, it feels like the professionals know me better than my friends or family do… that sounds weird, probably. Some things are nearly impossible to talk about. At least, it seems that way. It takes a lot of building up courage to get the words to come out of my mouth and then as soon as they do, I wish I could take them back immediately… even though, most of the time, everyone responds well to whatever I tell them that I’ve been afraid to say, thinking that I’ll be judged. Family and friends, when someone dies, will obviously have to grieve that loss. Most people don’t even consider that the mental health professionals, who have been trying to help someone, will also have to deal with the loss of the patient that commits suicide. There are bound to be a lot of complicated thoughts and feelings that would come up for them. What could they have done differently? Did they miss something? Could they have done more? Inadequecy, fear, grief, guilt, but in the midst of all of this, they have other patients that they have to treat, and they have to keep working.

But, speaking from my own experience, that doesn’t even cross my mind when I’m in that dark place. Friends, family… no one else really matters to me. Nothing matters except ending the pain. Escaping from this endless torture… If I can still think about how it affects other people, and use that as a deterrent, then I’m less likely to act on the thoughts. My friends, and how my death would affect them, has always been the one thing that has kept me going… it is when that doesn’t matter anymore that I am in the most danger. When ending the pain and torture is more important to me than any other thing… those are the times I have tried to die.

Well, I think I have rambled long enough. It is 2 am, and this blog has become a massive, jumbled mess of thoughts… if you made it this far, congratulations and thank you! I hope to see you again soon!

Rough Day…

Today has been rough… just an all around hard day. I’ve had several flashbacks that kind of threw me for a loop and brought up the traumatic loss that I’ve been dealing with the most lately… and that led to the two recent suicide attempts. The memories of this loss are what really brought me to the point of wanting to die so much that I actually attempted to do just that. Then, in the last group at PHP, the nurse was discussing the difference between sadness, grieving, and depression. We only go to sadness and grieving today before we ran out of time, so we’ll get to depression tomorrow. But basically because of the topic, I left group in a not so good headspace. By an hour later, I was having serious thoughts of hurting myself.

Yesterday, I gave my self harm tools to the therapist at PHP to dispose of for me, so I don’t have my preferred method without going to the store. There are other methods, though, that would work, but I’m trying to not do anything. I haven’t self harmed since December 11th. I want to keep it that way. The thoughts I was having earlier, though, were worse than just self harm. They were scary. I was actually tempted to call the PHP therapist, but I hesitated too long and now they are closed. I haven’t gone home yet, however.

I’m meeting with my sponsor tonight. In about an hour. I “can” talk to him, but I just recently switched sponsors, because I want to try working the steps through Narcotics Anonymous instead of Alcoholics Anonymous, and I don’t want to scare or worry the new one to the point that he calls someone. He works in mental health, so he knows a little more, but he also has a little more responsibility than the normal person, if someone says that they are going to hurt themselves. I’m worried if I bring up the thoughts I had, he’ll move into work mode or something…

I’m also not sure how much I’m going to say tomorrow during check in… these thoughts were strong, but they are fading now. I don’t know what will happen with them when I leave where I am, right now, and head home… or when I get home. That kind of worries me a bit, actually. I don’t know how strong I can be when I’m on my own. I know I’m not going to drink or use anything, but self harming is a distinct possibility tonight. I hate to say that… but that is honestly how it feels. I am going to do my best to not do anything. I am going to try very hard. I just have to make it through the night. That’s it.