Things are shitty

Saw my new’ish therapist Saturday.  Admitted that I had spent most of the week racing between utter despair and bad thoughts to “what is my problem?”  I did break down and called my shrink on Wednesday, but he never called back. So, I ended up cutting again and eventually took a modest overdose of Vicodin and Xanax. Certainly passed the horrible hours more easily(read unconscious).  My therapist wanted to know why I didn’t call him.

Today, much more rapid mood swings.  One minute I can see something positive and the next second I can only think about how bad I feel and why is this happening and what can I to do to make it stop, what am I willing to do.

Therapist said if the shrink had called back he would have probably wanted to admit me, so If I still feel like this tomorrow I MAY call the therapist.

To get through today, it’s pot, Xanax, and red wine.  WTF is going on?    Doc.

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Had to

I had to cut today.  I feel so COLD.  Like I’m already dead.  Needed to see my blood running, to prove something is still alive inside me. Tending to the cut makes me feel useful, helpful.  It’s 70 degrees outside but i’m freezing again.

I want someone to know, but I can’t share this.  Who do I want to know about me/this?  Don’t know. It’s likely no one, really.  It’s just for me.

Won’t tell my family.  It would only annoy them, I’m sure.  They are happy not knowing about me.  Only on a superficial level is how I operate, always have.  Being mental is such a personal place to be.

If I am honest it probably has something to do with today being Fathers Day in the U.S.  I guess I want him to know.  But I don’t tell him anything now.  He decided to change the rules, not me.  I didn’t know we were wrong.  I was just trying to be good, be his important, helpful kid.

His other two kids will have to honor him today (and forever).  He’s lucky I haven’t killed him yet.  That’s my gift to you.

I’m really cold.       Doc.

Veterinarians and Suicide (Euthanasia)

Euthanasia is defined as the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering.

Recent research has demonstrated ( sorry – can’t be bothered with references today) that health care workers – doctors, dentists, nurses, and pharmacists – have an elevated risk of suicide compared to the general public.  Rates of suicide in vets from the U.K., Australia, Norway, Belgium, and the U.S. are “significantly elevated” with reports showing 4x the risk compared to the general public and a 2x increase in likelihood as those in other health care professions.

Why?

Published material cites a complex interaction of possible reasons:

1.  characteristics of individuals entering the profession.  We are usually described as empathetic, compassionate, and “perfectionists”.

2.  work-related stressors such as long hours, on-call commitments, problems with life-work balance, rising client expectations, and financial pressures.

3.  professional and social isolation

4.  ready access to and knowledge of drugs and means

5.  the stigma associated with mental illness

6.  alcohol and/or drug misuse

7.  the subconscious acceptance of euthanasia as a treatment option and the attitudes fostered by a profession routinely involved with the euthanasia of beloved companion animals and the slaughter of farm animals.

This may all be true but I believe that vets are faced with pretty much the same stressors and mental health issues as the general public.

So why the increased “risk” of suicide in our profession?

People in crisis (short or long term) can basically choose from 3 options:

1.  change your life or circumstances

2.  change how you think and feel about things

3.  opt to end the crisis by ending your life

For me – having the ability to end suffering, to watch as the pain and terror leave those (usually) brown eyes, knowing I have helped when nothing else has or can.  This should not be limited to non-human animals and I think many vets know this.

I know there is anguish and guilt when a loved one leaves us.  I also know asking somone/something to “hang on” for better times isn’t always fair or often practical.

Most people wait too long to decide on euthanasia for animals.  There have been times when I couldn’t wait to get into the room with my syringe and hefty dose of barbituates.

For some reason, most people expect other people who are or have been suffering to “tough it out”.  Bullshit. This is not fair or humane.

I know from years of personal experience that knowing when to quit is a valid quality.  I believe that we should all have the basic rights to decide when that time is here on a personal level.

Euthanasia(suicide) is a logical choice and one we should embrace not demonize.  A decision you make for yourself, for your own sake.       Doc.

OD’ing/self-harm

Things are still bad.  Same old shit.  My mood is still awful and i’ve been thinking a lot about self-harm/other bad ideas.

I don’t know what to do to change it.  I’ve tried finding SOMETHING to occupy my busy head.  Music – helps for a while, then becomes too jangly.  Then I get loops of music stuck in my heads for hours, round and round, over and over until I want to scream.  Shut the fuck up.

“She hates her life and what she’s done to it”.

“You might just find that you’re out of time to swim ashore”. – Jack Johnson

“To see the shiny toy i’ve been hoping for.  Hoping just because I spoke the words that they will be true.  Always on the outside looking in.” – Indigo Girls

I bought flowers to plant – which I did – but now I have to keep them watered and alive. I’m unable to settle in for any reading.  TV is too much racket.  Newspapers just pile up and then go into the recycle bin.

“The newspapers hold their folded faces to the floor.” – Pink Floyd

I don’t have my job anymore.  No responsibilities anymore.

I stressed out, stupidly, yesterday over a scheduled phone call from a nurse. Did not want a stranger calling me to check on my status.  I need to tell them to fuck off and stop calling me.

I’m awake every night around 3am and then awake for good at daybreak.  There’s nothing for me to fucking wake up for.  Bored and boring.  Exhausted but awake.  Depressed again and planning (again).

I spent a while yesterday looking for a black widow spider so I could provoke it into biting me.  Damned beasts are nocturnal so I couldn’t find one, but I know they are living around me.  I know it wouldn’t kill me but at least I’d have a good reason to feel so bad.  Why?  Because my mind is in that place where I want something to happen and then I sit back and see where it takes me.  Like the desire to OD and go to sleep and wait to see if I wake back up.

After so many drug trials I have an impressive collection of wee pills.  Really – I just want to go to sleep.  Life seems so pointless. Suffer, moan, and complain.  Rinse.  Repeat.

“Hush little baby, don’t say a word and nevermind that noise you heard.  It’s just the beasts under your bed, in your closet, in your head.  Exit light, enter night.  We’re off to never, never land.” – Metallica

Doc.

Dead fish, new therapist

Well, I fucking knew it.  All my remaining fish (3) died overnight.  WTF?  How hard should it be to keep 3 lousy fish alive and happy?

I shouldn’t be allowed around any animals.

Their deaths have triggered my guilt and shame about contributing to the death of my dear dog, Willow, 3 years ago.  She became overweight (my fault), developed knee problems because of the excess weight (my fault), and subsequently died of kidney failure secondary to the anti-inflammatory medication I gave her for the pain (my fault).

I’m a freaking vet. for Christs’ sake and  i can’t even keep 3 wee fish from croaking, let alone my precious companion.  I SUCK.  I SUCK.  I FUCKING SUCK.  I should drown myself in the tank.

 

 

Yesterday afternoon I met a new therapist – D.   Kinda laid back (good), looks like an ex-hippie (long ponytail, a bit chubby), has painted his office green and orange (odd), and used the F word once during our chat (good to know).

As it was our first meeting, we spent time getting to know each other.  He denied using any recording devices in the room.  I think I believe him.

We touched on “how do you like Doc?”, “what makes you happy?”, do I ever talk to myself in the mirror? -ah no, D –  he does.   He referred to other clients of his as examples – “I have clients who are suicidal 90% of the time so I don’t call the police at the mention of suicidal ideation” (great, likely to come up).  He wants to review the medical records of my most recent suicide attempt before next time (bound to be highly entertaining – not).

He told me I am “an enigma”, that he usually has a “feeling about people by now”.  Hmmm. I’m as transparent as stained glass.  I guess an enigma is an OK thing to be.

At the end, he asked me if I wanted to come back.  “Yea, sure.”  Then he asked “frequency?” and all I could think of was urinary tract infections (why does he want to know if I have a UTI?), then I figured out he meant how often did I want to see him.  Duh.

He asked me what I thought therapy was about.  Don’t really know but “I guess it’s to help you learn to suffer graciously.”

So, for now, I guess I have a new therapist. My next appt. is in 12 days at 7 am.  Who can think or speak intelligently at that time of day?  I’ll just stay up all night.

I did, at least, go to the appt. straight although it might have been hard to tell as I stumbled through the hallway to his office, forgot my insurance card, and had trouble following his train of thought at times.   I have gone to therapy appts. stoned before.  One of my former therapists said I talked more when I was.  Probably best to wait a while before he meets that me.

That’s all i want to say. I need to go flush 3 fish down the loo.  Boo.             Doc.

A bad week

This blog entry is crap.  It’s primarily about me moaning and complaining, but i don’t care.  I’m only writing this shit down so i can look at it later – frankly for reasons unknown.

I’ve had a bad week.  Sucky.  Rotten.  Familiar.

I had been feeling OK.  About 4 weeks into the new anti-depressant (Viibryd).  Maybe feeling a bit hypomanic as i made the impulsive decision to paint the carport.  Not unexpectedly or surprising – a simple paint job that turned into a major project with me finding a rotten board and ending with me tearing down a corner  of the carport and rebuilding it.  Had to tear out 4 x 4 studs and replace, had to remove siding and replace, had to turn a simple thing into a big hole that suddenly became impossible to stay interested in and finish.

So, when plans where made for myself and my two siblings to descend on my mother for her 75th birthday, I thought a little time away from here would be helpful – help me re-focus.

My sister and I drove together the three hours to Virginia, my brother came down out of the West Virginia mountains.   We generally get along OK but my brother and sister have always clashed a bit and I fell into the old role of mediator.  Mostly to decrease the stress and strain on the old folks, because my little sister has learned a little self-reliance over the years and doesn’t take his shit – really just annoying poking and annoyance that older brothers sometimes dish out to younger siblings.  But still, I had to be ON, be prepared to tell him to cut the crap.  Peacemaker – my expected role.

NOTHING major happened.  We visited, put the crab pots in for blue crabs, made elaborate meal plans.  Both my brother and I like to cook and usually use these get togethers to fix our best stuff.  Fish, crab imperial, shrimp, veggies on the grill.  Good eats.

My brother and I spent time together – getting stoned, swimming in the creek, laughing and reminiscing.  The old folks seemed happy.  Really – nothing bad happened.  But I felt like an actor.  Being who I was expected to be.

I’m still not sleeping well.  Awakening every night between 3 and 4 am and then sleeping fitfully until my eyes fly open at first light ( ready or not).

By day 2 i was feeling the doom creep into my mood.  Started feeling like I had to get away, get home.  But the plan was to stay another day and drive back the following day.  I managed to keep it together mostly but by day 2 1/2 i was seeking solitude, hiding, withdrawing.  Couldn’t find anything to talk about, stayed outside smoking cigarettes and watching the water in the creek.

Finally, totally exhausted, my sister and I came home.  The next day my mood crashed, hard.  Same old shit.  Tearful, immobile, bad sense of dread and thoughts turning to bad ideas ( OD’ing).  People write about the feeling of deja-vu in their blogs.  It’s true and frightening (then not) how familiar the path becomes from relative OKness to active planning, knowing once a decision is made I rarely veer from it.  (Clearly not successful in the past.)

Unexpectedly, I did “something reasonable” and called Dr. S’nG (shrink).

“I’m calling because i’m crashing again.”

“Did something happen?”

“No, nothing.”   I’m thinking to myself – no, I’m just a stupid twit who can’t enjoy a normal family gathering with normal people without falling apart.

“Well, increase the Viibryd to 30mg (from 20mg) for a few days, then go up to 40mg per day.  Call if it gets worse.”

“Sure, sure.”But will I?  I only call him when things are going south.  I didn’t tell him about  the return of my S.I. and he didn’t ask.  I also didn’t tell him about Wolf whispering “Just do it, you stupid cunt.”

So, now it’s Sunday morning.  The paint remains in the can.  I can’t be bothered.

The anti-depressant (i think)  has caused me to have nightmares (another good reason not to sleep), i’m nauseous, have major diarrhea, and little appetite (this is OK, as I am fat and need to lose weight.)

I’m also to start seeing a new therapist tomorrow – this may be why I have diarrhea.  Stresssing over nothing.  Yea – life -why?    Doc.