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July 12, 2014


What do I say? How do I express what I need to express? I am not even sure I want to express it at the moment, but I will if only to strive to make these writings a habit.

Well, I guess I know exactly how to express it. Its a day we (my family) have all been dreading for some time. My father-on-law (who I get along with and care for) has reached an impasse in life. He fell a short time ago and in concern over falling over nothing he went to the doctor. In going to the doctor they found out the vertebra are calcifying. The fall should have killed him. Now he is under strict orders to be motionless as possible since another fall or even bump could cause the vertebra to shred his spinal cord. Of course, he is not a motionless man and faces a major change in lifestyle. So the choice is that if they do nothing, the calcifying will continue and shred his spinal cord anyway. “But there is always surgery to remove the calcification.” Yeah, but because it is in him neck and so progressed the surgery can kill him as well. It has only a slightly smaller chance of killing him than actually leaving it alone.
Its stressful, as many can imagine or sympathize with. My wife is almost done with school, in fact this is her last week. So, now she has to get through a few more days and then deal with a great drive only to spend what may be her last time with her father and then make it back in time to start at her job. Her family is stressed and she is understandably.

So now I sit here as she tries to take me into consideration as well. (She is a wonderful person, I cannot stress that enough.) So I suck it up and go with despite still riding the razor’s edge of depression? Do I spend a week in a place not my sanctuary watching two rambunctious little boys and two small dogs that I have only briefly met? (I hate travel. Its one of my greatest everyday fears and causes a great deal of stress.) How do I help without becoming a liability or burden to an already stressed out family? How do I help without ending my 4 year streak of being out of the hospital?

Its all in the balance. I still have no answer, except to be adaptable and regard your own limitations. Its hard to accept. To fight ones own willingness and desire to help over taking care of one’s self. What good is a broken beam to a house? Better for it to have been used as a shelf than a beam. (That probably doesn’t make sense to anyone but me…)

With all this, my own monsters have awoken. Depression and Negative Thoughts have grown to dwarf everything else. They stir the sea like great leviathans of the deep, coming to destroy my ship. I hold onto the mast and prepare. I set anchor to weather this storm, but in so doing I cannot help anyone else. My wife understands, and in true depressive form, I feel even more shameful that I made the decision to remain home. It strikes at me fiercely, “You’re worthless! You can’t even handle a few hour trip to help out? What’s the problem, sitting in front of your computer all day made you a lazy bastard that can’t look beyond his own mind? You asshole!”

I don’t like to swear, but the negative thoughts sure like to. I scream back, but nothing comes out, not even a squeak. I am attempting to hold on and not let it get to me.

Something else stirs that actually helps me here. While the anxiety of thinking of traveling and being outside of my own home weigh me down and bring great fear to the surface, that same “flight or fight” response affects the need to handle the unknown. Another skill comes into play here to keep my mind focused and busy. “What can I take care of here and now? What needs to wait until later? What cannot be handled at all and be pushed to the background?” Prioritizing stresses helps greatly, though not completely. Again, the very thought of traveling weighs me down greatly, but knowing there is nothing I can do about that possibility at the moment while there are other things to handle helps shoulder it for the moment. This may all crush me later, but the energy behind the stresses can lead me to get things done swiftly and efficiently. What is usually a burden a burden on me shifts to offer its help. But like a movie mafia boss, that help comes at great cost later. I have no choice, though, things need to be figured.

I am not going to travel at first. I won’t get to say any goodbyes should the worst happen, but I won’t be an extra burden to the family either. (I can get VERY irritable when stressed… not good in this situation… not good in any situation…) That relieves that a bit, but not completely. So I sit here thinking of what I can do. My racing mind goes through the list at its normal hyper speed, but now I can translate it. Survival kicks in. How will my children be taken care of should I take a turn for the worst, which is almost inevitable at this point? Do I watch them and hope my skills and a phone are enough? No. So what are my options? 1) Call my parents to see if they can take the kids. OK, feasible if they have the time, but they also live hours away. So what else? 2) Set up a support network with various friends that live close. Let them know now the possibility of a breakdown and the need for help. (I don’t like bothering people with an unknown factor especially since they all have jobs and families of their own.) OK, so they know to expect it, but that is not a guarantee of help.
So I call my parents, and they offer to take them so that I can focus on staying… level. Now to get the kids to them. Still working that out.

So now I sit here, idle. The writing has helped focus me for the moment, even to where I could possibly think I wouldn’t do so bad. The little rational part of my mind is screaming at me, “DON’T LET YOUR GUARD DOWN!” Its a constant struggle… such a struggle.

I don’t think there is anything else I can say at the moment. I am not even sure I wrote what I wanted to. I leave these writing alone, even grammar (though it bothers me to where I could almost be considered a “Grammar Nazi” as the internet likes to label those that have an appreciation of the writing language. It makes me sad how things have degraded to where text language is accepted almost anywhere.

Anyway. A question got posed to my wife this morning. Not out of anger or scorn, but merely curiosity. An answer that I have touched on before in My Story and I will say again here.

The Question: “Why doesn’t he get on medication to help?”

Short Answer: I am one of the relatively few that medications made… worse. They helped keep a level head MOST of the time, but when I did fall into a depression, the medication made the episodes worse than anything I deal with off of them.

Answer Continued: Basically, while on the medication I felt like an emotional zombie most of the time. They kept me mostly level, but the extremes were much worse, even making suicidal ideation more pronounced and nearly impossible to fight. The suicidal thoughts I have now are nothing more than thoughts and can be combated with skills and rational thinking. I dealt with depression and bi-polar BEFORE I was diagnosed and got on medication, but not once did I have a serious bought of suicidal ideation. The only time I have been that bad is while on the medication. I still get mad now, but suicidal ideation is not a driving factor.
My therapist and psychiatrist are understanding, but bring it up from time to time. My family even does. They believe that now that I am older and past my mid-twenties the medications SHOULD work. I seriously give it thought, I do. But I always go back to the memory of those many moments. They are etched into my memory so well that it feels like I have traveled back in time to my own body to experience it all over again. I tear up and close myself off before it overwhelms me. It only took a moment, and just thinking of it raises a fear like nothing else. I am afraid of everything… and I mean nearly everything. My home is my sanctuary and anything beyond those doors is scary and to be feared. Take that to heart when I say that being suicidal is THE scariest moments of my life. I don’t nor have I ever wanted to die. Very few that are suicidal actually want to. But that state of mind makes anything I go through now seem like a walk through paradise. I cannot describe it in words. It is not a place I want to go back to and it makes me afraid I will whenever I even consider taking medication again. I work on my skills and faith and try to eliminate undo stress wherever I can. This, many times means not doing what I would actually like to do. If I should ever come across that horrible place while off the medication, then I will start again, but for now I do not believe the risk is worth the potential benefit for me.

*PLEASE DO NOT take this as a reason to stop your medication or not try any. I am very rare in the scheme of things. I have known many that medication helps and without the medication go to where I did with them. I have known many that may have gotten the help they needed if they had just tried. I am the only one I know that has ever had this reaction. Yes, I know there are others, but you don’t know until you try. It is also important that you monitor yourself and be monitored by a trusted friend or family member when you first start… and not just a few days, it needs to be a few weeks! 🙂

I will stop here. I hope your day is well, and if not, I hope you may find comfort.

When anxieties overwhelmed me, You comforted and soothed me.” – Psalm 94:19, New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures – Revised

Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of tender mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our trials so that we may be able to comfort others in any sort of trial with the comfort that we receive from God. – 2 Corinthians 1:3,4, New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures – Revised

From → My Journal

  1. Your post encouraged me inspired me and gave me hope for today. I know exactly how you feel I’ve felt those exact feelings pondered those same feelings several times before. Remain strong and sending positive vibes your way – Phoenix.

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