chukichi

this thing is still about things

Tag Archives: suicide

Chris Cornell

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Before I begin, please, if you’re feeling suicidal or just need someone to talk to, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text 741741 in the US.  Here is a list of crisis lines by country.  Or fucking send me a message, my sleep is garbage anyway.

I wanted to take a break from my usual and talk about Chris Cornell, and I’m writing this so that maybe I’ll stop thinking about him.  I’m not writing this to debate or speculate if he intended to commit suicide or if his prescription medication altered his state of mind.  The ultimate fact is that he is gone painfully too soon.

I would never say I was his biggest fan by far, but I enjoyed his work and loved how talented and versatile he was.  His voice resonated with me from my youth to my current old bitterness.  And his passing pains me more than I ever thought it would.  I don’t know if it’s the shock and the suddenness.  I’m being quite selfish here, because the tragedy of a stranger is making me talk about myself, but so be it.  As a person that has fought with depression and suicide there are days where I feel like I’m barely hanging on.  And I’m angry about that because my life is good right now.  So good I want to freeze time.  I want to seal this moment forever because I’m terrified of the future.  I am under a doctor’s care, I take medication, I am not suicidal.  Right now.  That’s the terrifying part–once you’ve been there, you never really leave, at least not for me.

You remember these slides, right?  This is how I feel like my life is.  Maybe I started at the top like everyone else.  In the sun, happy.  But I found myself sliding down into the dark and I try to stop.  You have to use both hands, both feet.  And you get so fucking tired.  So you try to climb back up to the top, where everyone else is, where the sunshine and air is.  If you have people at the top, maybe they can lend a hand.  Maybe medicine will make you strong and you can climb back up.  But over time, you get so tired, and you feel things pulling at you, weighing you down.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get back up there.  I’m not sliding down, but I feel like I’m very consciously holding on.   And some days even with all the help you just get so damn tired and you know it would be so easy to let go and just slide down.  It would be a relief.  Even if the slide had no end or even a horrible end at least you wouldn’t be struggling so hard or hanging on to other people so heavily.  That’s how I feel with depression.  It feels like it’s always looming and it makes me a fraud.  Because I can function and talk and make jokes and take care of my kids and my family and enjoy things and all the while I’m screaming inside because maybe it’s all fake and I’m lying to myself.  Maybe I’ve learned how to put on a pretty good show.

To be clear, I feel firmly held right now, but I’m always aware and always afraid.  Maybe it’s just how my life is and will have to be.

So when I hear about Chris Cornell, who by all accounts should be happy, like I should be happy…how could he slide down?  How the hell can I hold on while someone who outwardly has everything cannot hold himself up or have the strength to hang on to someone else’s hand.  What hope is there for me, when someone like him has lost all?  I used to think that suicide was so selfish and it made me angry.  It is selfish, but the weight that some people have, the demons that pull them down, are just too much.  I feel robbed, as the whole world does, as his family and friends do.  But I’m also selfishly afraid.

That’s really all.  I just wanted to vent.  Here are some videos.

“One” lyrics by Metallica, music by U2  Note:  The lyrics have been slightly altered to fit with the music, so the lyrics below are not exact.  You can hear “One” by Metallica here and “One” by U2 (original music video) here.  Both amazing and haunting songs on their own.  The video for Metallica’s video comes from the book and subsequent movie “Johnny Got His Gun” which is a whole other level of surreal.

I can’t remember anything
Can’t tell if this is true or dream
Deep down inside I feel to scream
This terrible silence stops me

Now that the war is through with me
I’m waking up, I cannot see
That there’s not much left of me
Nothing is real but pain now

Hold my breath as I wish for death
Oh please, God, wake me

Back in the womb it’s much too real
In pumps life that I must feel
But can’t look forward to reveal
Look to the time when I’ll live

Fed through the tube that sticks in me
Just like a wartime novelty
Tied to machines that make me be
Cut this life off from me

Hold my breath as I wish for death
Oh please, God, wake me

Now the world is gone, I’m just one
Oh God, help me
Hold my breath as I wish for death
Oh please, God, help me

Darkness
Imprisoning me
All that I see
Absolute horror
I cannot live
I cannot die
Trapped in myself
Body my holding cell

Landmine
Has taken my sight
Taken my speech
Taken my hearing
Taken my arms
Taken my legs
Taken my soul
Left me with life in hell

“One” lyrics by U2, for reference.

Is it getting better
Or do you feel the same
Will it make it easier on you now
You got someone to blame
You say…

One love
One life
When it’s one need
In the night
One love
We get to share it
Leaves you baby if you
Don’t care for it

Did I disappoint you
Or leave a bad taste in your mouth
You act like you never had love
And you want me to go without
Well it’s…

Too late
Tonight
To drag the past out into the light
We’re one, but we’re not the same
We get to
Carry each other
Carry each other
One…

Have you come here for forgiveness
Have you come to raise the dead
Have you come here to play Jesus
To the lepers in your head

Did I ask too much
More than a lot
You gave me nothing
Now it’s all I got
We’re one
But we’re not the same
Well we
Hurt each other
Then we do it again
You say
Love is a temple
Love a higher law
Love is a temple
Love the higher law
You ask me to enter
But then you make me crawl
And I can’t be holding on
To what you got
When all you got is hurt

One love
One blood
One life
You got to do what you should
One life
With each other
Sisters
Brothers
One life
But we’re not the same
We get to
Carry each other
Carry each other

One…life

One

Still breathing, now with super improved death rattle!

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I’ve been waiting to wrap up my story; kind of rolling it around in my mind about how I would end this tale of crazy. During my nearly month long procrastination session, I’ve discovered something that’s been eating away at me: There isn’t really an end to this, is there?  This brain melt is something that I am going to have to live with and monitor and be forever vigilant.  I really want to wake up one day and just be not crazy.  But then the reality sets in and I know that if I really felt that way, it would probably mean I was ultra-mega-man crazy.

I started this draft on 10/31 and I’m just now getting back to it today on 11/9.

I’ll get back to all the other details in another post because right now I want to talk about what kind of horrible garbage it is to get mental health treatment.  Basically,

It really and truly is.

I was released from the hospital on May 12; that was exactly 182 days ago.  Ideally, with any sort of long term chronic illness, you want to get better, not worse.  When I was being treated at the hospital, I literally felt as if a fog was being lifted from me.  It had been such a ridiculously long time since I had felt anything other than suicidal.  Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t like I was going around with razor blades sticking out of my wrists or anything.  I was however, faking every thing. Every second I was alone, even if it was just going to the bathroom, felt like a palpable darkness.  It’s amazing how different you feel and perceive the world when your brain functions properly.  The part of my depression that takes the biggest toll on me is knowing that the line is so thin between well and not well.  The realization of all of those thoughts.  The knowledge of what kind of impact your suicide would have on others when you’re well, and the complete disregard for it when you’re unwell.  This is how I imagined my life would be emotionally after proper medication:

Look at my awesome and totally scientific chart, nerds!

I thought I’d be at normal-ish now.  Not what I’d consider a “happy” person, but stable and for lack of a better phrase “okay with stuff”.  I knew I’d hit some unrealistic peak while my medication was being adjusted and I knew it would be difficult.  Easing back into a “normal” routine when just a few days/weeks/months ago I knew exactly how I’d kill myself.  I’m a planner and a list maker and this was no exception.  But now I should be better!  Thing should go as planned!  I should be better equipped!

Yeah, no, not so much.

The first hiccup was on the day of discharge from the hospital.  Discharge instructions: follow up with a psychiatrist.  Poof!  Easy!  Again, not so much.  No referrals or suggestions and the doctor I saw in the hospital was a geriatric psychiatrist.  Super great but also super busy.  I asked flat out if he would see me and he said he only saw geriatric patients.   The social worker said “oh, just tell them you were just discharged and they’ll work you in”.  Who?  Anyone?  Everyone?  Yeah…

It took two months for me see a psychiatrist.  I had serious criteria though: they had to take my insurance and they had to have not treated me like shit in the past.  Oh, they also had to be open to doing some crazy shit like setting up a new patient appointment with me. This immediately ruled out three doctors in my area, (one didn’t take my insurance, one was a dick to me when I tried to seek help before and one absolutely did not take insurance and charged $275 per hour.  And he was booked through September).  Yikes.  I worked with my primary care to at least refill the medications I was prescribed in the hospital, so thank the universe for small favors.

Second hiccup: the doctor I ended up with.  He was recommended by my therapist based on what previous patients had noted.  Luckily for me, it seems that as I started to go to him, all kinds of garbage started getting back to her about how shitty he was.  He changed my diagnosis.  He took me off of drug A (of A, B and C prescribed in the hospital).  Then after an initial increase , he replaced drug B and C with drug D.  Drug D gave me a possible allergic reaction so he put me back on…only drug C, even though drug B and C are generally used in tandem.   You lost yet?  Then he added drug E.  And at my last visit he took me off of drug D and E cold turkey and put me on drug F.  Drug F has only been FDA approved and on the market since November 2013.  This all happened within a five month span.  Guess how well drug F is working?

If only I had this kind of energy but the sentiment is the same.

For two weeks now I’ve been running the gamut of standard side effects:  diarrhea cha-cha-cha, vomiting, diarrhea and vomiting at the same time!  Another side effect is a runny nose which I totally scoffed at but paid for it when I realized that a constant runny nose puts me right back to drainage down the back of my throat and into my lungs and coughing like I have pneumonia.  I did get a nice infection and while the ever loving azithromyacin did its job, the cough never went away.  TMI: the kind of cough that is so uncontrollable that you pee your pants.  I AM A PLEASANT AND DAINTY LADY.

Also, one of the side effects is literally “possible increases in manic behavior”.  Who?  Me?  Totally immune to the effects of drugs, sleeping two hours a night if I’m lucky, hopping on the deck and flopping like a fish (okay, it maybe just feels that way, but constant fidgeting), racing thoughts.  And let’s just put that all on top of the suicidal thoughts that I’ve been having since the ridiculous medication roller coaster starting falling off the tracks.

I have not been a silent okay, doctor, anything you say, doctor, you know best, doctor kind of patient.  What I have been is a patient patient.  I had to have some faith that this guy wasn’t out to kill me and I was prepared for (and terrified of) a lengthy test period to find out just the right dosages/meds that I would need.  But every time I’d question something he would give me a relatively sensible answer as to why he wanted this drug or this dose or this diagnosis.  I’m not a doctor so at some point I had to defer to what should have been a professional with many years of experience.  I do know that he took me off of medications without even the slightest adjustment.  I do know that he likes to look at his phone when I’m in his office.  I do know that at some point after my hospital stay I was getting better slowly but surely but has been steadily declining and now plummeting with the addition of this new drug.  I was thisclose to going back to the hospital and that was the worst feeling in the world   And I do know that I am 100% done because I literally can’t even.

My primary care is not comfortable changing my medication and I respect that.  I do.  But I don’t have a new psych appointment until 11/24 with one of the only doctors that takes my insurance (I have United Healthcare, not some weird sold-out-of-the-back-of-a-van insurance).  I am on the waiting list for the doctor that I want to see locally….in December.  I’ll get a call.

Let me just hold my breath. Go read http://betweenfailures.com/ by the way. Because I said so and it’s awesome.

So I’m doing the thing that I’m not supposed to do:  I’ve stopped taking drug whatthefuckever.  I’m going to see if I have enough of my old medication to get me through to the next appointment and take that.  My primary care is waiting on a call back from the psychiatrist to get an opinion for dosing but who knows.  I have a good primary doctor that genuinely cares if I’m well or not and he likes my jokes so he’s pretty much all I could ask for in a person that has to hear me describe pooping and peeing and puking on a regular basis.  I AM A DELICATE FLOWER.  Yes, I know that stopping medication suddenly is bad news, but killing myself is generally regarded as bad, too and unfortunately that’s where I’m headed if I stay on this medication.  I haven’t puked in like, a whole day now and I am slowly becoming less fidgety.  I’ll also have you know that I only had to change my pants twice today which is an insane improvement.

I want to blog about less dumb stuff, but oh well for now.  I will eventually finish my story, hopefully not in about 65 or so more years.