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The Seroquel Squad

It’s been a while since I have posted.  I have been calculating, formulating and editing this post in my head for months.

On October 13th 2014 I made another suicide attempt.  I was very depressed and just wanted the stress of life to stop.  So I swallowed a handful of pills.

My poor girlfriend thought I had low blood sugar and was falling into that place that diabetics go when they don’t manage their disease as they should.   She pumped me full of juice trying to raise my blood sugar as I fell deeper into the grasp of the pills I had swallowed.  As I was fading in and out of consciousness she realized what I had done and took me to the hospital.

For the next 15 hours I was completely out.   I do not remember that time at all.   I woke up in a hospital hallway, on a small gurney as they hospitals “behavioral” unit was full.  I would stay on the small gurney, in the hallway as new arrivals from a variety of EMTs passed by, for another 15 hours as they tried to find space for me in a treatment facility.  It was nearly unbearable as all I had to occupy my time were the thoughts in my head.  Thoughts of worthlessness and failure.  Thoughts of loneliness and shame.  I could not sleep due to the traffic in the hallway.  There was nothing else to occupy my time.  No TV, no book.  Just the constant coming and going of EMT crews.  I sat there until 2AM.  By then I had seen many of the EMT crews come and go two or three times.

At 2 AM they found a place that had a bed open.  I was moved via ambulance and restrained.  I cannot handle being restrained and inside I was in turmoil and wanted to do nothing but scream for them to release me.  45 minutes I was restrained on a gurney.

I arrive at the hospital at about 3AM.  My clothes were taken and I was issued clothing similar to scrubs.  No shoes, just socks with grippy tape on the bottom.

I had not eaten in about 12 hours but the need for sleep overtook my hunger.  I was shown my room and promptly went to sleep.  About an hour later something awoke me, and as I opened my eyes, I saw an older man hovering over me staring. He then started to go through my clothes.  I asked,”Hey, what are you doing?”  He responded that he was trying to find his clothes.  I said,” Well they aren’t there!”

He was an interesting character, and provided us much amusement as he would go from room to room during the day leaving gifts of shampoo, lotion, or used toilet paper.  But he was harmless.

Segue aside, I spent the next 5 days in the mental hospital.  It was as comfortable as they could make it.  I actually made a few friends and we all laughed together as we watched Harry Potter or played games.  We called ourselves the Seroquel Squad as we were all prescribed the drug for mental stability and sleep.  We all shared our stories of insomnia and racing thoughts when we were not on the drug.  That sleep was a fleeting door to another world that we were too slow to catch.

I went home. . .

The one thing I will say about being in a mental hospital is that a lot of stress drifts away.  You have no cell phone.  No email.  None of those external, electronic instruments that keep you in touch and all too often in stress.

When I returned home that all changed.  Thrust right back into reality I had to work with HR for my leave of absence.  Make appointments.  File for disability.  All stuff that in my current state was very hard to do.  When I am not in the nest of places I find it extremely difficult to communicate at all.  Especially by phone.  I am always fretting over what it’s going to bring.  So I don’t answer, so I will never know, at least that is my rationale.  But I got it done.

But it wasn’t that easy.  The disability company delayed my checks (my employed uses a private company rather than California’s EDD, which is odd as I work for government.) We were falling behind on bills as we waited for my disability checks to be processed.

More stress and it kept building.  Until I took a long walk, intending to harm myself to make the stress and the pain stop.  I blame myself for all that has happened, as had I not taken those pills, none of this would have happened.  I lost sight of the irony that I was considering taking my life because I was so distraught over my pass attempt and the problems it brought to me, my GF and my family.

And that’s the thing.  When you reach that point nothing is rational.  You are stuck, in your head, with delusional thoughts that tell you that this will somehow make things better.

People call suicide selfish and for the people left behind, it does appear that way.  But in the person’s head, in my head, there is no other solution to the pain.  To the stress.  We convince ourselves that our friends, our significant others, our family would all be better off without us.

I have not been working for 3 and 1/2 months now.  My psychiatrist keeps extending my leave as she feels I am not ready.  Currently I am on leave/disability until Feb 17th.  I see the Doc on the 13th to determine if she feels I am ready.

I think I am, although to be honest I am already anxious about going back.  I feel as though I let my co-workers down.  That they have had to carry my caseload, my burden on top of theirs.  I feel shame.

As someone who works with folks with mental health challenges my recent failures make me a hypocrite.  And again I feel shame, knowing I am a fraud.

Three and a half months I have been out of work have been very stressful, but some good has come from it.  My GF and I have worked through some things that we needed to work through.  My family and I have also talked through some lingering problems.  Those things give me new hope and that is what will make me ready to go back to work.  Well that and the meds.

For the moment, I am stable.  I am working on my physical health issues as now my mental issues are in check.  I am even considering going to college, to get a degree and teach.  Something I have always wanted to do.

If you made it this far, I thank you.

For the TL:DR version, I am cray cray.

A last-minute note.  I have, since my first suicide attempt in July of 2011, been torturing myself over the loss of some friendships.  I have realized that I cannot move forward carrying that pain and so I am letting it go.  I wish you all the best of luck and it is my sincere wish that your lives are filled with happiness.

Take care.

Alan

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Today I can face the darkness

It seems like, for now, I have found my flashlight to pass through the darkness.  So while I am still a little emotionally depressed.  I do not feel as though doom is imminent.

I would like to thank those of you who read these on my dark days.  I do this as sort of a cathartic release but it also helps to know there are people out there who care for my well being.  It helps me to see through the lies my mental illness tells me.  They are a near constant litany of self defeating statements rolling through my head and I keep going back for the verbal beatings.

So for today, they are not as brutal, those lies and self loathing statements.  Giving me a respite from my self, so to speak.

Anyway thanks for hanging in there with me.  It helps more than you can imagine.

 

Oh and make sure you watch the Flash.  I thought it was awesome.

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Stayed Home Today

This morning I was so anxious about going to work, I was ready to vomit.  Narrowly avoided doing so, thank goodness.

Calling in was actually a trial as I started to gag while leaving a message.

I had to leave early yesterday for the same reason.  Anxiety.  I have tools to combat it, wellness tools.  But lately they have not been doing the trick.

So the sadness and anxiety continues.

I spend a good deal of my time in my office contemplating hurting myself.  Mind you I am not going to, but the thoughts are there.  The ideas, spawn web searches on effective ways to complete the task.

I know I am missing too much work but I am unsure what else to do.  I have identified 3 things that are contributing to my recent work anxiety and despair.

1.  Frustration and feelings of persecution, imagined or not, by a co-worker in a semi-leadership position.  Negative comments, exclusion from meetings, and blame for ridiculous crap, e.g. We have a roster to clean the kitchen, one day the kitchen was a mess and this semi-leader let everyone know it was my fault as I was next on the roster, and I was scheduled to clean next, in three days.  But this one never lets facts get in the way of a good story.

2.  Realization that this position most likely is a dead end.  I know I am doing good fulfilling work but I want more, responsibility, leadership role, etc. .  and they are not there.   There is pretty much one step up in the job available to me and then that’s it.  Nothing else along this path.  Unlike the private sector nothing seems to be based on merit and hard work.  It’s time in position and do you have a degree.  Unfortunately I do not have one.  Which severely limits my options.  I can get one, and one of the benefits of my employer is that they would most likely pay for most of it.  But if I cannot handle just work right now, there is no way I can do school and work.

3.  To a lesser extent the commute.  Driving and especially driving in traffic is still a trigger for me.  Some days I arrive at work near panic mode, bring myself down just in time to get anxious over the drive home.  Its about an hour each way.  I don’t know why but I keep finding these positions with long commutes, knowing the commute sets me off.

So now, I have to sort things out and get my head back in the game so that I can work regularly, as scheduled and not be a disappointment to my supervisor (Who is pretty good to work for so far)

My P-Doc has suggested I go on disability for a while.  I know it is probably prudent but frankly I cannot afford it.  So I have to find the internal fortitude to press on.  Forward, rain or shine, dark day or not and fight through this.

Somehow.

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A slightly productive Saturday

Got out of bed and felt some energy I had not felt in a while so I got a few things done around the house that had been wanting attention.

It felt good to accomplish a few things and brightened the day a bit.

But evening slumps back toward the darkness again, literally and figuratively.  Seems that my mood wanes as the sun slides over the horizon.

Playing some Archeage over the weekend.  Still can’t decide if I love or hate it.  But it keeps me  playing so I guess that’s something.

Have a wonderful weekend readers.

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Lunch makes a world of difference

Feeling much better after lunch.  Not all gothy, gloomy, doomy.

Sometimes this place amazes me, not like David Blaine amazement.  That would be semi-cool.

More like WTF amazement.

Last week in our weekly staff meeting, a member of the team, who has a leadership sorta role, held up a spreadsheet she had asked me to make, had approved some time back, had thanked me for,  and proclaimed to the collected staff, “This is absolutely worthless to me!”  She continued, “This does nothing for me.”

Fast forward to this mornings staff meeting, “Alan, can email this out again so we can all be on the same page.”

Dumbfounded.

Unfortunately, I will not be emailing it out, as I deleted it last week.

Ooops.

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How can I be . . .

So bad at this job.

So bad at picking friends.

So bad at keeping friends.

A better father?

A better friend?

A better person?

So Sad.

How can I be happy, again.

At the moment, I do not know.

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Correction.

I play Archeage on the Enla server.  Find me as Dergun or Briara.