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October 2017

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flan

Because everything is better with flan.

"When you are sad it is because you are living in the past.
When you are afraid it is because you are living in the future.
When you are content it is because you are living in the present."


Last night I think I came closer to actually killing myself than I have ever before.

I don't want to go into details because I don't want to bring up the trigger again. But I want to record what is going on so I can examine it later when I'm further away from it.

I was contemplating taking an action that would radically change my life. Hopefully for the better, but maybe for the worse. Thinking about possible repercussions of my actions triggered what, at this point, I'm going to call a panic attack. It was like the scene in "Blazing Saddles" where the new sheriff threatens to shoot himself if the lynch mob doesn't back off. Except I was both the sheriff and the mob.

Part of me just said "If you (take this course of action) I will kill me! I mean it! Don't push me!". Like the crowd in the movie I backed off and said "Ok, ok, I won't do it."

I suffer from two emotional disorders. I have an episodic hormonal induced depression that doesn't respond to self-soothing or distraction. But has a short duration and seems to respond to diazapam. The second disorder is chronic anxiety, which is triggered by anything I find stressful (like interacting with other human beings, or spiders). The effexor has brought the chronic anxiety down to levels where I can recognize it and manage it with self-soothing activities. I believe last night's melt down was an anxiety attack because I was able to distract myself. As long as I don't threaten to go down that path again my anxiety doesn't threaten to kill me. My suicidal depression is not that proactive. It just wants to lie in bed crying and moaning about how miserable it is and how it doesn't want to live. But it isn't really motivated to actually do anything about it. My anxiety is much more dangerous to my health.

I was thinking about going back to a therapist. But the only therapy I have had that actually helped was DBT and not many therapists in this area offer it. I have tried several therapists and I just don't think they have any answers. I can get a sympathetic ear from my friends I don't need to pay a stranger for that. Professionals are supposed to have skills and knowledge that amateurs don't have, but when it comes to psychology the only real advantage of a professional is a prescription pad.

As I sat in my car this evening thinking about what had upset me, and getting upset again, the setting sun shone through a gap in the clouds and painted the tree in front of me orange. It was beautiful. The light shone on nothing but that one tree and lit it from base to crown. I set aside my worrying and just looked, and tried to soak in the beauty. Live in the moment and be content. Nothing really bad is happening to me right now. Right now I have a roof over my head, food in my kitchen, clothes on my body, and friends I can talk too. I have some pain in my knees and I get out of breath climbing the stairs. But I didn't eat anyone today and right now I'm OK.

Addendum: It occurs to me that depression=sadness=emotional pain whereas anxiety=fear.

Sadness/pain seeks relief. Pain causes fatigue, listlessness, and lethargy. People in pain don't want to do anything but make the pain stop. I actually have a pretty good tolerance for pain. I remember when I had the Worst Year of My Life™, I was in emotional agony, and begging the Kosmos every day to take the pain away. My self-soothing (for both physical and emotional pain) is to cry, and rock back and forth, and pray, and do divination, and say "make it stop" over and over again. Eventually the pain did go away. I got better.

But fear is different. Fear is about the future. Fear wants you to take action. Fear kicks in the adrenaline and adrenaline has physical effects on the body as well. It increases heart rate and respiration, increases blood flow in some areas and decreases it in others, increases glucose production, and decreases insulin production. It causes: blurred or tunneled vision, peripheral vision distortions, trembling or shaking, feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint, shortness of breath, hyperventilation, sensations of choking or smothering, dry heaving, and/or gagging, heart palpitations and/or accelerated heart rate, chest pain (or chest tightness), hot flashes, cold flashes/chills, sweating, difficulty moving, burning sensations (particularly in the facial or neck area), numbness or tingling sensations, nausea, de-realization (feelings of unreality), de-personalization (being detached from oneself), fear of losing control or going insane, sense of impending death. Personally, it gives me tunnel vision, makes my hands shake, my stomach hurt, my throat constrict, it makes me talk rapidly and loudly, and it makes me eat. Although I believe the talking and eating are self-soothing behaviors to deal with the physical and emotional effects.

That is something psychologists really need to start thinking about. They really need to distinguish between sadness and fear.

Comments

If you could find someone to do DBT, it might be a relief to talk to a good therapist. Emotions don't always pay attention to actual life. Many hugs!

Love that scene from Blazing Saddles.
Talking to friends helps just as much. And writing about it here. I sometimes feel I have to censor myself to not worry people too much, but I felt that way about my therapists as well. Therapists can get you locked up if you say the wrong thing. I didn't tell my last therapist a lot of things that my internet friends know, because I just didn't want to deal with educating her.

Internet friends can be better than therapists because they sometimes suffer from the same problems and are less likely to judge. Like a support group. My network of social support. A little threadbare, but it has kept me alive so far.
Oh dear, I'm sorry! Your anxiety worries me. I want to help but I'm not that kind of Witch. Remember I am hear for an ear to pour into and a shoulder to soak and a gut to punch whenever you need it.
I don't really feel I can talk to you about it anymore since the whole situation was triggered by your insistence that my not having bariatric surgery was a "choice" that I was making because I just didn't "want to" do it.

You just don't seem to understand what I'm going through.
The few times I've been depressed enough to be suicidal, I felt incompetent to kill myself.

My usual level of anxiety used to be as high as some people's panic attacks. ADHD (now under control, mostly) did not help.

I've found Adult Childen Anonymous meetings helpful.
Interesting. I have never heard of that.