Juggling life through a bi-polar lens. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Mostly trying to tread water in the middle. Creating a likeness to a normal life. Whatever "normal" is...

Monday, 1 October 2007

Back to the Old Country

Cherished79 mentions suicide in her latest post. I've a few suicide attempts on my file.

I'm not sure I would try it again. Although, as I have said to someone close to me, I can't even make that a promise to myself, let alone someone else.

Yes, that probably does sound selfish. But the thing is, even when you've been through it, you can't remember the pain. You can remember being in pain, but you can't remember the pain itself, not really, just descriptions of it.


I thought I was doing ok, miles better, this last year. Then, last month, out of nowhere, BAM! And I was at the bottom again.

I had forgotten what that DEADNESS felt like. Like being in a street alone, swamped in a thick smog, sinking in quicksand, all at the same time.

WOW. I had truly forgotten that, even though I'd written about it. Know what I mean?
Luckily it lasted only about 10 days. A few weeks more of being fragile, and now I am almost back to where I was.

What if that were to return one day, and didn't go after just a week or two? What if it were still there after five months?

Hmm. That's funny. I was about to write "six months", but decided mid-type that no, I wouldn't be able to stand that. Wouldn't even let myself imagine it going on for that long.

It did before though. And longer. When I was 13, again when I was 21. Those were the times I tried to end it.

At 28 and 34, again. But no attempts those times. Well, I did, but got myself to a doctor. It was more extreme self-harm than serious attempt. The feelings were there, but not the determination. I was still in touch with people around me. That was the difference. Previously I had felt like I was living under a glass dome. There was no way in or out for other people. It's like being sucked down a vortex. In the end you have no energy to reach up. In the end, you think they'll all be better off without you anyway, so please, let me sleep, let me go. If it is love you have for me, don't make me stay with this pain any longer.


Saw the psychiatrist last week. I see one every 3 months, for 30 minutes. It is never the same doc, a new person each time. I think it's a training thing. Or maybe, just not a permanent post. Or maybe, a post served by several different hospitals. Who knows. I've never been told the reason. Just a new doc every time.

They never read the file. They each want to start again. So last week, instead of being able to check on my progress, or go over the huge dip I was just coming out of, we were going over how many brothers do I have? And sisters? And is there depression in the family? And how old are you again?

One of these times, I swear, I shall call their bluff. Yes, I shall say. My parents are still alive AND together, currently touring Belgium as part of a circus with my 19 siblings- that's 7 boys, 10 girls and 2 hermaphrodites. Hear voices? Oh yes, all the time. My cats, mainly. They speak 4 languages, you know.

This time, the doc suggested mood stabilizers. I'm not so sure. Just as I said August 2006 when they were suggested.

Is there something I could just take when I was very low? Just for then? Just when I needed a wee bit of extra help?

Off she went to consult with someone else. Comes back all gleeful. So proud and pleased that she is going to help me, looking forward to later, no doubt, when she is sipping wine in front of the TV and reflecting on how rewarding her job is.

"We're going to put you on a mood stabilizer!" she announces.

Oh, really?

I took the prescription from her but haven't had it filled out. Knew I wouldn't, at the time. For all the same reasons I said no to mood stabilizers a year ago. I bet those reasons are there, too, in that file. I'm too tired to go over them again with her. This, in itself, is a sign that I'm still not out of the woods.


Rachelle said...

Dear Helen,
Well do I know those feelings. You describe the bottom so well, I get that empty pit in my stomach remembering it.

My dear friend, the only thing that keeps me alive is the knowledge that I am a beloved daughter of a kind and loving Heavenly Father. And that he cares what happens to me.
I know, it may sound trite, but it took me 30 years to figure it out.
That I was worthy of that kind of love.
That I was worthy of any kind of good, pure, unconditional love.

I still haven't found that 'self love' all the doctors and shrinks talk about, but what I found maybe is better, I don't know.

I pray that you can find peace. I know how truly special and beloved you are by Him.
Know that I love you, and am here- as someone who has been to the bottom on more than one occasion.

Maalie said...

Hi Helena, Hey, you're in Colchester? Wow, that's where I was brought up - in Lexden! Know it?

Chalkhills Collective said...

Keep on climbing up! Thinking of you.


Casdok said...

((H)) Cant have enough hugs

Helena said...

Hi Rachelle,

thank you for the lovely message and for caring so much.
I used to have the same faith and beliefs, but I haven't now for a couple of years. (Not just a 'loss of faith' but a decision, also, not to believe.) But I don't 'diss' anyone with those beliefs, which after all helped me through so much.

I built a website in 2001 to help Christians with depression and I've left it up and running. I still get messages about it. I leave it there because I know it helps some people. And if it helps where depression is concerned, that's fine by me.

I won't go into why I no longer believe on my blog. I don't want anyone to read it as a challenge or get anyone into a row. Neither do I want anyone to read it and say, "Hmm, yes, that's a point, oh dear, maybe I won't believe now either" or anything along those lines.


Not believing what I'd believed for over 3 decades suddenly left me empty and confused. But after about a year I found my feet again. Now I look at the world and tell myself that this is all there is, this is it, and we're only here for a little while. That tells me to appreciate it all now, in this moment, and all things are even more astoundingly fantastic than they were to me before.

My old site is Bruised Reeds, after the Isaiah, "A bruised reed He will not break, and a dimly burning wick He will not quench".

Helena said...


Ah yes! I know of Lexden- been through it a few times! We're the other side of town, north east Colchester.

But what a small world!

Helena said...

Hi Chalky,

thanks! I have a book in which there are pictures of a lemming at the foot of a cliff, and at each chapter heading he is climbing up a bit more! LOL!

Helena said...

THanks for the hugs, Casdok :^)

Victorya said...

Ah, hugs from me too. You do describe the downs so well, being in a glass dome - a snowglobe as it were.

I don't know, I have no advice. It's too bad you don't have continuity of care. I wouldn't have the patience you do, I don't think. Voices? yes, some bears, the cat, a 'wagon' perhaps? I was raised by llamas. Actually, my doctors are the ones that told me my real mother was the cat, so what do I know in terms of scaring a doc away anyway?

Frog said...

Your personal story strucked me... You have a very self-reflecting mind. Your Belgian Frog Friend wishes you all the best. Take care, Helen.

Rachelle said...

I accidentally posted on Bob's blog, but of course you can use a picture of Narya on your site.
If you want to email me I can send you a new one I took today :))

CHEWY said...

I'm very, very, veeeeeery happy to have become your friend. (smile)


The Diva's Thoughts said...

I so want you to find the peace and fulfillment that's out there. I really want that for you.

david mcmahon said...

Dear Helena,

We care. And if we can help in any way, we're just an email or a comment away.

You're so valuable to us all.

God bless


Cindy said...

found my way here from Authorblog who just happens to have posted just above mine, by the way. I cannot imagine going through what you do. I have a friend and here's her link, I hope you check it out and that you find strength and encouragement from her writing. I know she's taught me a lot.


Jeni said...

Yes, you really do describe those feelings oh so well. Been there, done that don't try deliberately anymore to exit but the feelings are still there just below the surface. Anti-depressants, whatever other meds may be suggested I now also turn down because all the meds in the world aren't going to change my past and make it all rosy in the way my mind says it wants it to be. The difference being now I know that much about me and then, I didn't. Some would say that accepting this as an "that's all there is" attitude is being negative but I think of it as being realistic and accepting facts for what they actually are -no dreaming of illogical things that won't ever be.

cherished79 said...

Helena: You sure have your humor, and I sure smiled when you mentioned about repeating the same old thing about family - mother/father/# brothers/sisters - needless stuff really to these doctors that should have read your friggin chart - boring stuff really compared to the most important stuff YOU and YOUR illness.

As for the mood stabs - well - they pretty much saved my life. Not to sound dramatic here, but was on every kind of antidepressant out there and zippo effect - bunch of bozo pdocs mixed in there as well.

As I have spoke previously in my blog, finally rescued by a pdoc who knew what the hell he was talking about and now I am - well -not TA DA well - but ok. Suicide is not the answer, but the grainy, blackness of depression feels so much like death, so much so, that suicide is luring and feels so much like the answer, and until you have walked in those shoes and felt the pain and death like fog - you just don't know. You are right, it's hard to describe. You forget the pain, but still kind of remember it.

Take care kiddo.

Helena said...

I'm overwhelmed by the feedback on this post. I really didn't think it'd be read!

Thank you all for your kind words, for taking the time to read, and for taking the time to write to me.

Words can't express....