Friday, March 25, 2022

The Suicidal Cycle

 Trigger Warning: Suicide

"There's a war inside my head
Sometimes I wish that I was dead, I'm broken"
I think about how many pills it would take for it all to be over. I know I have access to a lot of medications (albeit to try and treat this very illness). I think about how much better off my family and friends would be in my death. How they'll no longer need to be on edge and burdened by my existence. I'm comforted in knowing that my pain will be over. All of this will stop.
And yet, I hesitate.
I think about just this once not being honest with the doctor about how I'm feeling. I contemplate whether there's a better, more successful way, to end it all. My mind rushes 1,000 miles per hour. The thoughts are loud and over and over my mind convinces me that death is the only solution.
And yet, I pause.
Repeated in my mind, I imagine my family free from my illness. I imagine them living their lives without worrying about me. I think of the pain. I feel it deep within me. This depression has taken more from me than I have available to give. It's exhausted my family, but it's exhausted me too. Suicide seems like the only way to escape from it's claws.
And still, I wait.
The concept of death scares me. I don't know what happens after you die. I imagine that there's nothing and everything stops, but what if I'm wrong? I don't want my family and friends to find me, and for that to be etched into their memories. I love my nieces and nephews so much, and I want to see them grow up. I'll miss my family, they are everything to me. Even when depression eats at me, they still make me smile, and make me feel capable of being loved.
So, once again, I hesitate.
An extremely anxious and afraid part of me is honest with the doctor about my plans. I tell him that I can't do it anymore and that death is the only solution to my problems. I tell him that the drugs and other treatments don't work and that I have no hope for the future, because right now, I can't see a future for me. He suggests hospital. I decline. After 514 days admitted in a three year period, I can't stand the thought of another admission. We talk. Hospital still the obvious option. An admission follows. My thoughts still circle around death, but being restricted in a hospital setting prevents me from doing anything.
And so, I live.
I spend anywhere from a week to 12 weeks in hospital. I see the doctor most days. He tries ECT, he tries new medications. Nothing works long term, but it gives me little bursts of hope, and slowly the suicidal thoughts stop taking up the forefront of my mind. I'm discharged home.
And then after a short time, the cycle starts again. Stop the ride. I want to get off.
***Please note - I am not at risk of suicide at the present time. This post is more to share what happens with those I know, in the hopes that I can create understanding and compassion, and support for those who may be feeling similar.***

Monday, March 7, 2022

Stop Bullying - It's All About Education

 Earlier this week I came across an article in The Courier Mail where a couple spoke of their child's suicide after experiencing bullying. Understandably, they were upset, and campaigning for change to laws to make bullies accountable for their actions (in this case catfishing was used). I'm definitely on their side, as I think bullies need to realise that their actions have consequences, and one way to do this is to stand up and say "we will not tolerate this". It may not be a physical assault, but bullying can lead to outcomes that are just as damaging, whether that be mental anguish or like in this particular case, suicide.

I wish I could say that I was never bullied.  The truth is I don't think my bullies even consider what they did as bullying me.  Grade 8 and 9 was filled with times where my so called friends would go through stages where they'd all talk to me, then they'd tell me that I was too annoying and I couldn't sit with them.  They continued to make me feel "less than" and it led to a time where I lost myself, drifting from friend group to friend group trying desperately to find that place where I'd fit in.  For a young teenager losing all your friends at once is very overwhelming (I often question if this is where all of my mental health struggles first started).  It's hard not to lose yourself when you're constantly reminded that your "friends" find who you are, annoying.  It's hard to remember to love yourself and express yourself.  It's hard to stay existing, and you end up fighting against your own mind, with their words echoing, battling to stay alive.

My "friends" threw me a going away party when they found out I was leaving in term 4, grade 9.  For me, at the time, I viewed this as a considerate thing, and was just glad to have my friends back.  Little did I realise that their earlier actions would cause me to further question all friendships in the future, and to consistently hold back certain aspects of my personality that I perceived may be annoying to others.  I grew up with a great fear of rejection and abandonment and I attribute much of this to this experience.

As I have grown and become an adult, I have forgiven those who hurt me and even have several of them as friends on Facebook.  I know that in my case they were probably uneducated about bullying and didn't realise what they did was wrong.  I truly believe if they knew the pain it would cause me, they wouldn't have acted the way they did.

This brings me to my next point.  Whilst I believe there should be consequences for bullies to hold them accountable for their actions, we need to provide an education to our younger generations about what bullying is and the damage that it can cause.  We can't punish people for bullying if they don't realise what they're doing is bullying.  Our schools need more comprehensive education sessions about bullying and the damage it can do.  They need to talk about what bullying looks like.  They need to educate our kids that "jokes" aren't always funny for everyone.  They need to talk about the teenagers and young adults that have committed suicide because they were bullied.  They need to make it a real issue and talk about the consequences so that future bullies are deterred from hurting others.

Once we've educated our kids on what bullying looks like, I definitely believe there should be strict laws in place for dealing with bullying (including catfishing).  Whilst the school should, no doubt, be involved with stopping bullying, there should be police involvement and persecution for those who've made another suffer unnecessarily.  Bullying has been made easier with advancements like Facebook and other social media apps.  It's 2022, it's a time for change, time to start looking after the next generation and put a stop to the pain caused to so many undeserving young people.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Honesty is Best

“Yeah, everything is alright.” It’s easy to tell the psychiatrist that everything is fine so I don’t have to go into detail about anything. It’s easy to ignore certain things so that I can convince him that I’m making progress in my recovery. It’s easy to keep information from him that in any way shows that I might need a little more support than I’d care to admit. It’s easy, but it’s not necessarily for the best.

This week I was honest with my husband about still experiencing quite strong suicidal thoughts. Whilst I have no actual intent on carrying out any specific plans, suicidal thoughts still fill my mind and make it difficult for me to stay distracted with positive goals and aspirations.

My husband, at first, wrongly assumed that I had been honest with my psychiatrist, who I’ve been seeing weekly since a recent discharge from hospital. Needless to say he was quite frustrated and disappointed upon finding out that the psychiatrist was not made aware of how the suicidal thoughts had occupied my mind for much of the time. He argued that we pay the psychiatrist to help me, and that if the psychiatrist doesn’t know the extent of how my illness is affecting me, how can he possibly help me?

The truth is, I know that I should be honest with my psychiatrist. I know that I should tell him that I’m still struggling quite a lot with suicidal thoughts that occupy my mind for much of the time. But I’m scared. I’m scared that he’ll think I’m not making progress, like I know I am (despite the suicidal thoughts). I’m afraid he’ll read into it too much and consider me as a risk to myself, whereas at the moment, as bad as the suicidal thoughts are, I know that there’s no risk to my safety. I’m petrified he’ll suggest another hospital admission, where after spending weeks on end as an inpatient already this year, I’m not prepared to spend any more time admitted. It worries me that he’ll think I’m not trying. Most of all though, it means I have to admit to myself that I’m still struggling, as sharing it means I can’t keep ignoring it and pretending that I’m not experiencing any of it.

How do I tell my psychiatrist that my mind constantly wanders to thoughts of ending my life, and how much better things would be if I was to cease to exist? How do I tell him that these thoughts even fill my mind when I’m distracted with activities, albeit less intensely? How do I mention that every day I struggle to shower and complete basic tasks to face the day? How can I be honest about how much I struggle with housework, like doing laundry and sweeping floors? How can I possibly admit how much I struggle to leave the house or do anything that isn’t laying in bed or on the couch? I’m afraid that if I tell him any of these things he’ll judge me, he’ll think I’m not trying, he’ll write me off and give up.

Part of me knows that telling the psychiatrist is important. If I’m honest we can look at strategies together that may help improve those things I’m struggling with. Whether that’s tweaking medication, encouraging exercise, or even just having someone to talk to about it all, so I don’t feel so alone. Telling the psychiatrist allows him to be aware of where I’m at and lets him provide appropriate support. Somehow the part of me that knows honest communication is important, needs to convince the scared, depressed, suicidal part of me, that it’s for the best, and that’s perhaps the biggest struggle of all.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Hairdressing - Old School Therapy

What kind of person tells another person about their one night stand booty call that ended up with a pregnancy and a bout of chlamydia (condoms people, come on)? Oh, and I forgot to note, mentions this whilst the person is eye level with their vagina, applying a spray tan? Beauty salon customers, that’s who.

They also show the hairdresser their pics with filters (because I’m sure she really wants to see them), they look bamboozled and throw a tantrum when the hairdresser can’t change their hair from black to blonde in one day (I mean Kim Kardashian can do it, so why can’t I), turn up late and then try to rush a huge job into an impossible time period because they have to get the kids from school and try and book a last minute Christmas appointment and refuse to leave when the hairdresser says “we’ve been booked for months” (oh, but it’s only a few foils). So basically, we’ve established that people who go to the beauty salon can be bitches.

Earlier this week I went to the hairdresser (hence this post). I’m still deciding if I’m one of the bitches or not. I love going to the hairdresser. Ah, the relaxing, peaceful, pampering that happens when I step into the salon. I have to wonder if there is actually anything better than getting a fresh cut and colour, and a wonderful head massage (seriously, how great are they), all whilst sitting and relaxing and forgetting about the time?

Perhaps, it’s all of this, PLUS the added excitement of everyone losing their inhibitions and oversharing to the hairdresser for your listening pleasure. So many people expect too much from their hairdresser, and I wonder if expecting them to be your personal therapist is where we should be drawing the line.

My hairdresser is a friend, so pretty much anything is fair game, however it’s amazing how much someone is willing to share when they enter a hair salon. Their whole life is exposed to both their hairdresser as well as everyone else in the salon at the same time. You may not know the person’s name, but you know that they’ve been in hospital recently, or that their mother-in-law is difficult to get along with, or that they’re considering leaving their partner. You even find about those early pregnancies, or those work issues, or some other strange secret. Their affairs are out in the open, that time they went to jail is just casual conversation, or the fact that they’re hiding this pampering from their husband by purchasing visa gift cards when they do their shopping to make the payment (I guess it’s true that men really don’t notice when you’ve been to the hairdresser).

The possibilities are endless when you step into that salon. In the walls of a salon anything goes, and because they put it all out there, it’s easy, as another client in the salon, to comment on another person’s life and offer some advice (girl, you need to kick him to the kerb), whilst you’re sitting nearby with your colour on, even though they’re a stranger and you only met them half an hour ago.

But why? Barmaids hearing everything makes complete sense, we’ve all done and shared stupid shit whilst under the influence of alcohol. But hairdressers? I mean they put sharp objects to your head repeatedly. If you get your eyebrows waxed like I do, they could seriously fuck up your face for a while. One would think that you’d be on your best behaviour, and yet, people rarely are. Is there something in the hair dye that breaks through your skull to reveal your innermost secrets? Or perhaps it’s only certain colours that trigger the oversharing? Like if you choose brown number 63 you’ll share too much, but brown number 85 means you’ll somehow restrain yourself form the oversharing mess.

All I know is that bitches are why I’ll never be a hairdresser (that and the fact that my only experience was the great self-cutting fringe fuck up of 1996), and over-sharers whilst hilarious a lot of the time, would eventually have me telling someone that I don’t want to see a “fucking picture of them with a sepia filter because I really don’t give a shit”, so probably best I avoid the profession.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019


The thing about recovery is that you never know when it’s going to happen. One minute you are sitting there bawling, head in hands, feeling angry at the world. Then suddenly you notice the changes, your mood improves, your energy increases and the dreadful thoughts stop cycling rapidly through your mind.  It’s really important to remind yourself when in those moments of chaos that recovery has come before, and will again if you fight against those thoughts and feelings for long enough, and finally find peace within yourself. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Same same

Take these pills, do this group, are you feeling better now? No? Walk the hallway, wonder how long it will take? When will you be magically cured? Because everyday feels the same. Take these pills, do this group, walk the hallway, scream in the bed, beg for it all to be over, take these pills, do this group, walk the hallway, beg for it all to be over. Beg for it all to be over, no matter the ending. 

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Sacrificing today for a better tomorrow

I’m not sure why this feels like such a huge decision, but it does. After more than 150 days in hospital over the past 12 months, you would think that the last thing I would do is sign up for another admission.

However, I have done just that. On Sunday I will be admitted to the Belmont Private Hospital. This time will differ from the other times though. This time I’m opting to go into hospital for a two week period to complete an introduction to DBT course. One week I’ll be focusing on mindfulness and grounding, and the other week I’ll be focusing on distress tolerance. These skills will both be of great benefit to me and help me work towards recovery.

I keep reminding myself that this time hospital is different. That this time, I’m proactively making the decision to seek help and gain skills, to avoid future hospital admissions. And I really hope that this works and I’m able to acquire the skills taught, because I’m tired of waking up in hospital, but even more so, I’m tired of not wanting to wake up at all.