Tuesday, August 27, 2013


There are many things people will do out of desperation.  There are many things that lead people to that feeling of hopelessness, to just want to give up on life completely.

For someone with bi-polar disorder, it can take the simplest of conditions or situations.  Like losing a job, having issues with your bank account or your significant other, even not being able to say what you really feel inside to people on the outside.

Any one of those things are what doctors like to call "stressors" or "triggers."  And unlike Lay's potato chips, it really only takes just one.  Because the snowball affect will take over at that point, taking ALL of your stressors, triggers, hot button issues, and turn them in on yourself.

You start to think along this pattern, which seems like a valid line of reasoning in your head, that there's no point in continuing on.  The world would continue just fine without you, for you're a disappointment to so many people.  Most of all, you feel like you're a disappointment to yourself.

You begin to view the world as this immensely large place, and that you're one, tiny, insignificant speck in that large place.  You begin (or in my case, continue) to question your value & worth to others.  Rationalizations of certain factors take place.  Like, your problems would cease to exist if you weren't "around" anymore.  You wouldn't disappoint anyone because, frankly, you never did anything for which anyone could say they were proud.  You certainly wouldn't hurt yourself or anyone else anymore, one quick action, and there would be no more pain.  You wouldn't feel guilty for not being able to live up to your word, as you would no longer have to give your word.  Money problems would cease to exist because bill collectors can't collect from the deceased, and most of the collections you have against you are levied solely on you, no one else, so your friends & loved ones won't be bothered.

You think about those loved ones.  The people who've influenced your life in every way possible.  Your parents, who still refuse to understand why you tend to think this way; your children who wonder what it is they did wrong when they were younger to make you mad at them all the time.  You think about your friends, especially the ones you made several attempts to reach out to for help, and they never really knew how.  You begin to blame them.  All of them, for not seeing that you need help, that you weren't just crying out for attention, that there actually, really *is* something wrong.

You do things that tend to scare others.  You take stock of your possessions, write out your advance directives, update your will.  All the while you're crying, talking to yourself, continuing to rationalize every action, every word.

The cycle moves over and over and over from feelings of guilt, hopelessness, despair, and anger.  Anger.  That emotion rears it's ugly head and takes over the desperation for a while, and when you finally feel like it's subsided, desperation regains control.

The point is control.  No one ever really has it.  Even less so when you're bi-polar.  The chemical imbalance within your brain lessens that grip over life that everyone tries so hard to cling to.  Sometimes it seems being mentally ill, we're the first ones to tell the world that "having control over life" is a complete & utter myth.  Doesn't exist; it'll never happen.  And anyone who says it's possible has bigger issues than I do.

You try to reach out, again, this time to people who've told you, "The next time you feel that way, you need to call me, anytime of day or night.  Call me."  Only this time when they answer, you get this feeling that they're thinking, "Here we go again."  You think they aren't really listening, they're too preoccupied with their own happiness or troubles, whatever the case may be.

You feel lost, and those ugly feelings of hopelessness, fear, and guilt creep back upon you.  You start to think of ways to make these feelings go away, to just stop the endless gut wrenching heartache you feel about yourself and your life thus far.  For me, since I have this aversion to actually drawing blood or causing myself physical pain, I have found a more "peaceful" way to go. 

Most people consider the thought or act of suicide as chicken shit, a sin, morally reprehensible, even.  I've rationalized it so many times, I have found that my view on the subject is somewhat........liberal.  I think it's a travesty.  It happens.  Too much, to be perfectly honest.  But there are always signs.  Always.  It burns me up when people say, "I/We never knew they were hurting so much." Or something along those lines.  "We never saw this coming."  I call 'bullshit' on that.  To me, it just serves as evidence or proof that people don't really stop to think or care about people's feelings. I've been accused of being self-absorbed a lot in my life.  But the difference between me and those accusers is that I actually know what it's like.  I care.

There's a reason.  Like, duh!  I'm sick.  It's not going away.  There's no cure for this shit.  And no, just because I may feel better doesn't mean I can stop taking my medication.  It would lead me right back here......staring at myself in the mirror, tears and snot pouring down my face, questioning everything, including life itself.

Sometimes, the desperation subsides long enough for me to get a grip, and I hang on for dear life until I can see a doctor, or until the wave has completely ebbed.  But most of the time, I have to either force myself, or have someone direct me to do something, anything to get me out of my own headspace, which is what happens more often than the former.  I'm left exhausted, only wanting to sleep.  For a very very very long time.

And now that I've been holding onto this tiny thin thread of calm for 24 hours, I look back on desperation with a weak, rueful smile, knowing it will return but not knowing when.  I evaluate what I accomplished with my personal inventory, my will, and my advance directives and see that there are others I would hurt in the process were I to fully commit and succeed in ridding myself of my pain.

I think of my friends, and extended family.  I think of my little sister, who called me last night, while I was bawling, hands in my hair practically ripping it out, just so she could ask me how I was doing.  I think of this blog, and the people reading it, who may also suffer from this affliction, walking the same path I am walking, not knowing what to do next.

And to you, I say, fight.  Fight with every fiber left in your being.  Fight for yourself, for those you love & care about.  Fight to have your voice heard.  Do whatever you feel you have to in order to keep yourself here with us.  ALL of us.  We *do* care.  We *ARE* listening

National Suicide Prevention Hotline:  1-800-273-8255

Thank you, Jen Jen.  I love you very much.

1 comment:

  1. So glad Jen Jen called. So glad you wrote this. So glad you are still with us. I know the desperation, though not recently... Stay with us. I am distant in location, nearer in spirit. Though my personal glitches make phone calling OUT difficult, never hesitate to call me if you are able. I will always return a call as soon as I get the message.

    Salish Sea friend...