Trigger alert for suicide
The word depression is really starting to give me a headache. NIMH defines it thusly: Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.
The word has become synonymous with “bummed out” as in “I’m so depressed that the grocery store is out of grapes”.
This is why, when those of us suffering from severe depression try to talk to our friends and family members about it, we are often met with cries of “push through it”, platitudes about feeling only as good as we are willing to feel and, my particular favorite, “you don’t have anything to be depressed about”.
This morning my bipolar despair, as I would like to officially rename it, hit a serious low. Hubby was stressed about work and upset that I can barely get it together. We ended up fighting, not because either of us was mad at the other, but because of the frustration and stress we are so consistently under, courtesy of my Bipolar disorder. He was stressed from work, I was stressed from trying to not be stressed and to act like I was fine. He can’t remember the last time he saw me smile, I can’t understand how he doesn’t remember last week. He wants to know when I can stop putting all of these poisonous pills into my body (or at least when are they going to start working) and I can’t understand why he doesn’t remember that they will never work well enough and that’s why I’m trying to get disability
And I begin to go downhill…fast. Because now I’m thinking that I’m more trouble than I’m worth. Why would he want me around if I am making his life so hard? Does he want a divorce? Where will I go?
Maybe I should just take a handful of pills.
And there it is. This is the second time in the last month that suicide has come unbidden into my thoughts. The last time there was no plan. Just a thought that everything was so damn hard and that maybe everyone would be better off without me.
Today, I skipped the part where I thought it might be an option and skipped immediately to planning. When will I do it? Which pills do I have enough of? How many will I need to do the job?
And then I stopped. A picture of my not quite 5 year old step-grandson has come into my mind. I hear him asking “Where’s Grammy?” when we get together with family next month. And I know I have to keep it together.
I stay outside. I manage to get ahold of my therapist, who is, thankfully, able to see me at 1:00. Hubby has agreed to go if I can get an appointment, but 1:00 is too late, he has to be at work. He will go to my regular appointment on Tuesday.
I leave the house early to go to my impromptu appointment. Sitting outside her office playing Candy Crush is safer than being at home. Being home could bring more fighting, more suicidal thoughts and I don’t want either.
True to form, Karen is able to make some sense of the craziness in my head. She helps me make a straighter line out of the gibberish happening in there. And she reminds me, because I need reminding, that my husband loves me and wants me.
It is during this session that I decide that I do not wish to use the term bipolar depression anymore. It’s not strong enough. Not intense enough. I am in despair. I’m not bummed out, I’m desperate. Desperate to not feel anguish. Desperate to feel true happiness. Desperate to feel useful. I’m not experiencing the same depression that everyone does on occasion. This is bigger. Worse.
And it’s never going to go completely away. It will ebb. I will move into more of a baseline position, maybe experience some mania or hypomania, but I will come back to this place. The goal is to not come ALL the way back. Or at least stay here for less time.
Hubby will go to therapy with me next week. He will need to get on with the business of realizing that I am doing my absolute best. And I will need to get on with realizing that he is, too.