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!

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.

Typing without really thinking… hope it makes sense.

This is weird. I’m not used to this. It’s foreign.

There’s really nothing wrong… Every now and then, like once or twice a day, I’ll still have a flashback or body memory that will make me cry for a minute. But that is it. My mood isn’t horrible. The demons are there, but not awful. I have been having a few manic symptoms, but I’ve been responsible and have my mother holding on to the majority of my money for now. I’m still sober at the moment; I am having strong cravings but I have managed to not drink.

I’ve gained more insight into why I’ve been so suicidal for the last several months. And why the events of late led to me trying to take my own life, twice. I hope to eventually be able to post a blog about that, but I don’t think right now is that time. I’ve been working hard in therapy, PHP and with my individual therapist and psychiatrist. It’s draining. I often leave feeling raw and tired. I know, when I feel that way, the best thing for me is to not go home, however. I have tools that I could self harm with at home, and in that state, I am more likely to self harm, which I am actively trying to not do. I am counting the last suicide attempt as self harm, but I have not done anything to hurt myself since then, aside from some minor picking. (I have dermotillomania, which is a psychological condition that manifests as repetitive, compulsive skin picking. I also have trichotillomania, which is a mental disorder that involves recurrent, irresistible urges to pull out hair from your scalp, eyebrows or other areas of your body, despite trying to stop. (Both descriptions were pulled from Google’s front page.) So I have a tendency to pick at things like scabs and such.) So, I haven’t self harmed since the 11th of December, the day that I attempted last. Well, that turned into a tangent real quick.

One, or actually two, things I wanted to talk about in this blog was a couple questions the PHP therapist brought up Thursday that really made me think.

Question 1: How will you know you are okay?

The answer I gave in group was when I’m not having flashbacks and body memories every day. When they are only happening once or twice a month or so… I feel like I am underestimating what “okay” can be, though. “Okay” could be no flashbacks/body memories, could be that I don’t have the trauma of my past creeping in and making me want to hurt myself in a myriad of ways, could be not feeling depression at all and feeling happiness, joy, optimism and excitement everyday. That, however, seems unreachable. It seems impossible. Even though my mood is better and I’m not really depressed like I was, I still have crying spells every day or every other day. I still think about what it would be like to not be here, on occasion. Thoughts of suicide creep in, stick around for a bit, and then leave, on a daily basis. There is no real want to die or be dead anymore. That is gone. At least for now. But my brain is not normal. My brain may never be normal. My brain may never be able to get rid of the obsession with death and dying. I may always have these thoughts. Because of the things that have happened to me… because of the things that come up from years ago that lead me to attempt suicide twice in the course of three months. For some reason, I feel like I will be okay when my depression is manageable, when the flashbacks and body memories are farther apart, when I’m able to simply stay out of the hospital and finish PHP and move into IOP (intensive outpatient), and when it’s not so hard to get out of the house and face people daily. To a mental health professional, that wouldn’t be considered okay. That would still be “having symptoms.” But to me, that is so much better than a month ago and even now. Why don’t I want something more than the bare minimum? Why must okay still be just okay instead of good or great? Is it that I think that is all I deserve, all I’m worth? This may require coming back to, later…

Question 2: Ask yourself… why are you feeling the way you are feeling?

Basically, when you are having an uncomfortable emotion, whatever it is, as why. What in you life, past or present, is causing you to feel this particular emotion at this particular time? There is always a reason we feel the way we do about certain things, and why different people feel differently about the same situation. Example… you and I are in line at the grocery store. The customer in front of us is upset about something and starts screaming, like all out screaming, at the cashier. Your reaction: look around for another employee or manager and make sure that someone is coming to help the cashier. My reaction: step back, shrink down a little, and become silent and not move. You became the protector, and I reacted like the victim. The difference between us… you never experienced any traumatic events in you life and I did. The screaming was not a trigger for you, like it was for me. That’s just an example, and a simple on at that. Usually, it’s more complex than that. Feelings are very complex. There are many reasons we feel the way we do, and often, we don’t take a step back to ask ourselves “why am I feeling this way?” “What in my past is contributing to me feeling this way?” Take the time, step back, and ask the question. Explore your feelings and emotions. Doing this will help you (and me) know and see more clearly what we need to work on with our treatment team or while we are journaling.

I hope these questions make you think, like they did me. I hope you take the time to explore some of these ideas yourself. And I hope to see you again, soon.

Loud Inside my Head

_Muito alto_

Found Here


It is really loud to me right now. The demons are coming at me full force. Probably from lack of sleep. I didn’t sleep last night at all and only got a 5-hour nap in during the day. They tend to get louder when I’m really tired or really stressed. What’s the most annoying, however, is I’m not really sleepy. Tired, yes, but sleepy, no. I’m going to attempt to sleep when I’m done writing this blog. Hopefully, my medication will do its job and knock me out. Some nights, my insomnia is so bad that even Trazadone, Thorazine, and Benadryl aren’t enough to put me to sleep.

The main thing I wanted to write about before I forgot, is that I realized earlier today that Homecoming Games for high school football are coming up. That may mean nothing to most of you, but to me, it indicates the end of the summer and the end of a traumatic period in my life. I was in an abusive relationship years ago, and the guy broke up with me (I was too terrified to leave him) at the Homecoming Game. I always regret not warning the next girl, the one he left me for, about him. I don’t know if he treated her the same way, one can only assume he did… She was young and naive. We were seniors and she was a freshman. I wanted to protect her, but this guy still scared me, and does to this day, if I’m honest. He abused me in every way imaginable, which I will not go into for the sake of not triggering anyone. I really thought he was going to kill me one day. Maybe accidentally, but do it just the same. I got pregnant by him and because of the abuse, miscarried at 12 weeks. I would like to say it was for the better, but some days even I have a hard time believing that.

When I see the mums and feel the weather start to turn, it almost unconsciously cues my brain to stop being depressed. However, it does get worse before it gets better. These cues always cause some deterioration in the beginning, but then the trajectory starts to head up and out of the hole. I’ve been in this hole since April… that is when it starts. Because that is when the relationship started.

Now, I just need to manage to stay out of the hospital long enough to make it out to the other side. I am almost there. I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s dim, but it is there. I’ve gotten close, really close, to needing to go back to the hospital. A week ago, I had been to the emergency room 3 times in the past week. I haven’t self-harmed in a week, at this point. The urges are really strong right now, which is another reason I need to try to sleep. If I sleep, I can sleep through the urge and not sit with it all night. If I have to sit with this all night, I’m not going to make it through the night without self-harming. If I don’t sleep, it will happen.

The demons are loud, the self-harm urges are loud, the suicidal thoughts are loud… it’s just loud right now. And I don’t really know anything else to do than try to sleep. I’m not entirely optimistic about attempting it, but I have to at least try. If I end up seeing the psychiatrist at PHP tomorrow, and I haven’t slept again, I don’t know what he will want to do. I saw him on Monday last week, but that was my first week in PHP and the doctor has to see you on your first day usually. I’m not sure if he will be there tomorrow or not.

It’s nearly 1:30 am now, and I’m still not really sleepy. I’ve gotten 5 hours of sleep in the last 40 hours. I need to at least rest. I’m exhausted, but I can’t sleep. I hate it when my brain does this. I hate it when I can’t sleep.

All I want is to be like a normal person. With everything going on with me lately, I feel like I’m poised on the edge of a precipice. One minor breeze will send me over the edge. But I can’t turn back either. I have to find a way across the gaping canyon. And the more and more I look at the canyon and the beauty on the other side, the more I am convinced I can fly. Even though I logically know that no normal person can fly. I feel like I’ve gone past the point of no return, and the choices are fly or fall, turning back is not an option and there isn’t a bridge in sight.

The meds aren’t working, I can’t sleep, I’m depressed and suicidal, I am hearing and seeing the demons and they are louder and more active than they have been, I’m dissociating and going catatonic… the list could go on.

One of my friends mentioned earlier today that I’m maintaining and not going off the deep end. I just need to remember that maintaining is not bad, in and of itself. Sometimes, it is all we can manage.

Thanks for coming by and reading, hope to see you again!

Going Catatonic and Other Recent Events

According to the DSM-5, at least three out of twelve symptoms must be present for a diagnosis of catatonia. These symptoms include:

  • Stupor (oblivious inability to move or respond to stimuli), catalepsy (rigid body posture)
  • Mutism (little to no verbal communication)
  • Waxy flexibility (body remains in whatever position it is placed by another)
  • Negativism (lack of verbal response)
  • Posturing (holding a posture or position that goes against gravity)
  • Mannerisms (extreme or odd movements and mannerisms)
  • Stereotypy (frequent repetitive movements for no reason)
  • Agitation (for no reason), grimacing (distorted facial expressions)
  • Echolalia (repeating others’ words)
  • Echopraxia (repeating others’ movements)

Retrieved from Here


 

I was in IOP, until Friday. Tuesday night, I ended up in the emergency room for stitches around 3 am. When I told the therapist at IOP on Thursday, she was extremely concerned. We agreed at that point, however, that IOP was still working. Thursday night, I had a massive crying fit and was obsessing over suicide for hours before I was finally able to fall asleep. At the end of group on Friday, I told the IOP therapist that I thought it was time to step up to PHP… Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be in PHP. It makes my schedule extremely cramped and I had to take a break from physical therapy just to make it work. I already have to leave early two days a week for school.

Over the weekend, I ended up in the ER again for more stitches…

I started PHP again on Monday. That day went okay, nothing really out of the ordinary or strange. Yesterday, however, there were issues. During the last part of the morning, the discussion turned to suicide and I found myself unable to move or speak or respond with more than a movement of my head. And even that was difficult. I was aware, I wasn’t dissociated. I could hear everything that was being said, I just couldn’t participate in any way and was just staring off into space at nothing. The therapist asked if I was okay, and I was able to kind of snap out of it for a moment and nod yes. He asked if there was anything they could do to help, and I shook my head. At that point, I just wanted the attention off of me. He eventually went back to the discussion, and I went back to being catatonic. At some point, he asked me a question, trying to pull me into the discussion. I just kinda sat there and stared at him. He asked me if the topic of the discussion was causing me to go catatonic, and I shook my head no, even though it technically was the topic.

At the end of group every day, the therapist checks in with each of us about suicidality and homicidality. When he got to me, I struggled to give an answer… I just nodded at the question. He knows I never have homicidal thoughts, that my harmful thoughts are always aimed at myself. He asked me if the catatonia is often related to an increase in suicidal thoughts, and I nodded.

It is.

When I obsess over suicide or self harm, I am usually in a catatonic state of some degree. And when I was catatonic in group, I was obsessing… a lot. I didn’t want to tell him that, though. I didn’t want to admit that I was imagining being at the top of the cliff next to the Pennybacker Bridge, standing at the edge. Knowing that I had sent my goodbyes to my friends and that none of them knew where I was and none of them could figure out where I was in time.  Imagining how the wind would feel up that high, and how the wind would feel as I started to fall. The image in my mind goes the entire way, all the way to the end. Even the graphic image of hitting the rocks… and what my body would look like when I was found and pulled back up to the road. What my friends and family would think and feel, and how they would react. I know it would hurt them, but there are times that even that is not enough to keep the images from coming forefront in my mind. Even that is not enough to keep me from counting pills and seeing if I have enough for the backup plan.

At this point, though, it is just obsessing. There is no intent to do anything. And that is the difference between being allowed to leave PHP for the day and not. The therapist would still let me leave if I had mild intent, but I could contract for safety and agree to be there the next day of group. He has in the past. He has always said that he will not force me to go to the hospital. He wants it to be my decision, not his. He doesn’t want to take that power from me. He knows my history of trauma and being controlled, and does not want to perpetuate that trauma by taking away my ability to control whether I go to the hospital or not.

I have been committed once, and trust me, it was not a pleasant experience. Being put on a 72-hour police order of emergency protection was humiliating. It was like being told I couldn’t take care of myself, that I wasn’t an adult with the free will to make choices, that I needed someone to make choices for me because I was literally incapable of knowing what was best for me. After the hold was over, and I was no longer angry about being forced to be in the hospital in the first place, I agreed to sign the paperwork to be there voluntarily. That didn’t take away that fact that I was forced to be there in the first place and had no choice about when I could leave. If I asked to leave, they would have just taken me to court. It wasn’t worth it.

So, since yesterday’s events in PHP and going catatonic while in group, I have been in and out of catatonia. In and out of obsessing. I haven’t slept. I had to go to the ER again, this time they gave me staples. So now I have two sets of stitches and one set of staples. I have been to the ER on the 4th, then the 8th, and the 11th. All in the early morning hours. The stitches I can take out on my own when their 10 days are up, but the staples I have to make an appointment with my primary care physician to get them out. I am not looking forward to that, at all. He worries… and he isn’t shy about letting me know he is concerned.

Another part of this whole situation that is bothering me is that the PHP therapist and I went over my treatment plan yesterday… one of the goals on it is to go two full weeks without going to the emergency room for self harm. He made sure to say that he didn’t want that to keep me from going if I needed to go, just because I wanted to complete the goal. But we just went over it yesterday, and I have already failed. The night after we talked about it, I ended up in the ER… again… I wish I could just stop. I wish I could just not do it. But it’s not that easy. It’s never been that easy.

It’s about 6 am now, and I’m planning on going to the morning AA meeting and then heading to PHP. I need to grab something to eat for breakfast. When I was leaving the ER, I had to decide between Waffle House or a 24-hour coffee shop in town. I went to the coffee shop, so I haven’t had food yet. So, I’m gonna call it, and go find food. Thanks for reading and I hope you come back again!