Saturday, October 31, 2009

Still Alive


The last time we spoke, I was going to kill myself.

My browser tabs were laid out like a story, it's interesting to look at which sites I had up there. Poetry, art, Samaritans, How to Quit Smoking, etc.

My room was messy because of my lazy effort to collect my stuff when my therapist said, "We're going to the hospital," for the second time.

I'll be bringing my computer back to the hospital with me. Only half of the screen works. When I left only a quarter worked. Funny how time fixes little things.

Hopefully, I'll get out of the hospital in a few days.

Over the next few weeks I'll share with you the past few weeks, in a series of posts I've tentatively titled "Life and Death in the Psyche Ward."

The past few weeks have been full of incredible events and life changing art and poetry. I want to share them with you, whoever you are, for posterity's sake if nothing else.

No, I'm not going to kill myself. That's shifted to plan B. Plan A is to try this recovery thing once more, and see if it works out. Maybe in another six months I'll hit the hospital again. Last time was April 7, this time was October 6. Maybe it'll be April 5 next year. I hope not, but who knows. Recovery is exhausting. I've made a lot of progress but my endurance only lasts so long. I'm trying to set up a better support system which, astoundingly, includes my family. We'll see how far it goes.

Anyway, just wanted to leave a brief message. I'm not sure when my next one will be. I plan to program an interactive Flash rotation of my many sculptures. To give an idea, I have a seven part sculptural series called Emotion Sign Language, I have four masks, several clay roses and at least one abstract, and that's just the sculptures.

I'll leave it there. Thanks for reading. I have 648 emails from the last four weeks to catch up on.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009


My mom just sent an email asking me and my sisters if we minded eating with the church this year for christmas, as opposed to our usual christmas dinner at home. It made me feel very sad, overwhelmingly so, for just an instant, and then the feeling was gone. It might be because I spent a good portion of my afternoon attempting to strangle myself. Clearly you can't do it with your own hands because you pass out and lose your grip, but that knowledge didn't stop me from trying. Electrical tape is too stretchy, but Duct tape does it. I got a length of it about two feet long, folded it in thirds lengthwise so it wasn't sticky, and wrapped it around my neck so it crossed around the back. I pulled on it until my eyes went dark and when I released the grip my head felt like it was swollen and I could hear my pulse bouncing off my ears. I trembled dizzily for half a minute before returning to normal. And I wasn't sad then, I was completely detached, almost curious. Yet when my mom sent that email, sadness.

Go figure.

Because I don't want to hurt anyone, least of all my family, I'm not going to kill myself. I still very, very badly want to, that hasn't changed in the slightest. But my empathy and guilt are pretty strong, and I generally am too depressed to go through with it. My depression isn't a sobbing agony, it's a slow freezing apathy with a dull hopeless sadness. I still feel like hospitalization might keep me from dying. On a whim I might walk in front of a bus.

I really don't want to go, but it's the safe call.. I'm unstable. If I do, my next post will be in a while, maybe a few weeks. I won't bring my computer, only a quarter of the screen works and it's not worth the frustration, and I can't bring a monitor because they don't allow any sort of cord.

I guess I should start thinking about what I want to bring.

Maybe I won't go.

I'm leaving that decision up to my therapist.. I don't want to make the call myself.


I got back from the diner a few minutes ago. There is little that is more calming than a cup of tea and some comfort food in a nearly empty diner on nearly empty streets. It's rare that New York City can be described as peaceful, but that's how it feels at 4am. There's a sense of intimacy between all who are awake, as though in some sense we're all different from the rest and we wonder what the other's story might be. I'm the sad, lonely woman sipping her tea and gazing at memories.

The idea of ending my life is so comforting, like a warm blanket. It means no more anxiety, fear, trembling eyes and limbs, broken trust, dishevelled hopes without expectation of fulfillment, loneliness.

There's a sign on the front door of this building. It politely asks that you use the door to the left. I don't know why it's there, maybe the door to the right gets flung open and hits the column and damages both. Usually I, like everyone else, ignore the sign. But when I'm feeling like this I don't. I follow simple directions, and if someone asks me for something I give it to them, if I can. I'm entirely passive.

Everything is exhausting. I'm going to try for sleep again, but last time I slept only a few hours before waking up and writing my previous entry, detailing my desire to jump out a window. Defenestrate myself. I've always liked that word, I learned it in sixth grade. Funny.

It's always clear to me when I'm being especially pensive. I stop wanting to use simple words, because they just don't say what I want them to. It makes the tone of my writing a lot different. I'm too insecure to try to be sophisticated with my wording, my grammar doesn't support it well and I end up sounding like a woebegone highschooler feigning misery.

I'm so young sometimes.

Nothing could be better

2:1 odds I'll be going back to inpatient tomorrow. I called Rachel, my therapist, earlier this night and let her know I was considering it, and last time I did that I got practically dragged there.. I dunno though. I'm really scared of going back. Last time I numbed myself and just went with it because I had no idea what I was in for. Now I know and I'm able to be logical about it.

I keep having these extremely vivid, beautiful fantasies of jumping out windows. When I reflect deeper on them I say I'm not suicidal, but there's a warm comfort around it that has only increased over the past few days. Right now I am laying in bed on the 11th floor, two feet from my window. All it would take is me kicking out the glass and jumping. I'm free for a few seconds, I watch the buildings grow upward around me, and then in a sudden impact everything stops.

It's that sudden stop that seems so fantastic. I deeply hope there isn't anything after that. No afterlife, no reincarnation. I'm so exhausted of dealing with being alive and having anxiety and depression. I'm tired of trying so hard all the time. I can't seem to ever relax, I have to try to let my guard down unless I'm lost in some engrossing tv show, movie or conversation. But those have been few and far between lately and that's all escapism - just like drugs.

There are a few people who have made that struggle worth it but they're not really in my life anymore, and for at least one of them that's really my fault. I'm lonely. I know very few people who I relate to, who I trust and who trust me, and they're all wrapped up in their own mess and can't seem to come out of it to talk. 

Before my last major hospitalization I was too deeply wrapped up in the future and lost track of everything else. Now I'm entirely in the present and it sucks and I don't have a decent forecast for what's ahead but it looks pretty cloudy to me.

The thing that keeps coming back is how fucking expensive it is to be alive. Everything costs so much and it's just not worth it. You're born into this world owing money. I've found a few things I enjoy that people pay me money for, but I can't work a regular job. I worked two days last week and on the second day I nearly had a mental breakdown and didn't go. I don't know what it is that's stopping me now, I don't know why I'm having such a hard time doing anything productive with my life.

God, the extent of my productivity issues is only just now dawning on me. I can't do a damn thing if it matters, I'm paralyzed by ten thousand emotions crashing through me every time I try. I think my escapist desires of the past few days are backlash from forcing myself to push through them last week.

I think even hospitalization is an escapist desire. I'm not sure which is better long term, that or suicide. It seems kind of 50/50. With suicide I'm pretty sure I know what I'm getting, and it's neither good or bad, it's just nothing. Hospitalization and an attempt at recovery could just be prolonged bad with only occasional touches of good. I don't have to try to squeeze every last drop out of my life, having a high Total Aggregated Joy isn't what I'm after. I know there will be more chances at happiness if I don't jump out the window. But it's so expensive, and I feel like I'm already on borrowed time.

Part of me really wishes I hadn't called Rachel because right now I'm just looking for a sign, a direction to walk, I'm completely lost and driving in circles looking for a way out. I can follow Rachel back to the highway and keep going there for the next sixty years until I run out of gas, or I can just stop driving now and be done with it. I'm bad at quitting things, historically, but I don't feel like I'm addicted to life. I love myself, I don't like seeing me in pain, I want it to stop and I'll do whatever it takes to accomplish that. That 'nothing' seems like greener grass to me. But she is probably going to call me back tomorrow morning and depending on how things turn out, I'll probably end up not killing myself, because I just want to be told what to do and no one will tell me to commit suicide. Euthanasia is for someone with no chance of recovery, and I have a chance.

I'm just so, so, so tired, and lonely, and miserable, and I'm embarrassed that I feel this way. People pity people like me, and that makes me so fucking angry, I don't feel at all pitiful. I'm just different. The worst word in the english language is 'freak', and I am one, without a choice. It's a rare person that understands or sees the good in a freak, generally they're not too well-received.

Fuck Disney, they're a bunch of fucking liars.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Where I am

These meds aren't doing anything for me anymore. I don't think they ever really did in the first place, I think my improved mood came from a renewed life. I want to get off of them. My moods have been so unstable it's like I'm bipolar, and it's entirely possible that the meds are influencing that.

These are all the 'common' symptoms. I crossed out all the ones I haven't experienced and bolded the ones that have been really pronounced.

Abnormal dreams; anxiety or nervousness; chills; constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; dryness of mouth; heartburn; increased sweating; loss of appetite; nausea; stuffy or runny nose; stomach pain or gas; tingling, burning, or prickly sensations; trembling or shaking; trouble in sleeping; unusual tiredness or weakness; vomiting; weight loss

These are the less common mention to your doctor type:

Change in sense of taste; muscle tension; yawning; changes in vision, such as blurred vision; decrease in sexual desire or ability; headache; chest pain; feeling of fast or irregular heartbeat; mood or mental changes; ringing or buzzing in ear

And these are the rare bad ones:

Convulsions (seizures); itching or skin rash; lightheadedness or fainting, especially when getting up suddenly from a sitting or lying position; lockjaw; menstrual changes; problems in urinating or in holding urine; swelling; talking, feeling, and acting with excitement and activity you cannot control; trouble in breathing

I've attributed my occasional mania to various situations in my life and an unstable diet. I fainted once and figured I had needed more water, though I drink crazy amounts because my mouth is always dry, which I attributed to general nervousness and anxiety. I'm frequently lightheaded and have to sit or preferably lay down, which I know is the meds. The tinnitus has always been there but it's gotten worse. The heart palpitations are really freaky and disturbing, I feel like my pulse is going off at different times in different parts of my body - it's such a strong pulse it's like I feel the blood gushing through the veins and reaching down my legs and arms. When it's like that it often skips beats or just goes at random.

My back, neck and shoulders I've gotten used to, they all crunch constantly and the joints sometimes crack, and I try to rub them to alleviate the soreness and get rid of some of the crunchyness (I can't think of a better way to describe it), but that doesn't really help. I try to sleep in the right positions using a body pillow and good support but I generally end up in the foetal position anyway. I'm constantly getting chills and occasionally hot flashes, like my body can't regulate its temperature very well. I frequently notice myself trembling and can't stop, especially in my legs, which can be embarrassing in public. My nose is always runny, though my working theory had been newly developed summer allergies, which had been supported by a random extremely itchy rash I had on the back of my leg, which I see is another effexor symptom. And my eyes sometimes go blurry on me, making me have to squint to read signs, which is another kind of freaky thing to deal with.

Now, a lot of these symptoms are things that I'm sure I'd have without the meds. Anxiety causes them, and I don't sleep well at all and can hardly blame meds for that, I don't get enough exercise and I've never been able to stay asleep, I have awful nightmares.

Honestly, it feels like Effexor is being more trouble than it's worth, considering I'm still very depressed a lot of the time and I still have bad anxiety, really bad anxiety now that I have all these responsibilities stacked up.

I wish there was an answer in a pill, but I don't think it works that way, not with my situation.