Let me start from the beginning.
I’m having a hard time lately with energy and sleep patterns. I would come home and “crash,” wake up to take my medications, and then go to bed, and wake up before the alarm would go off.
I’m an “early bird.” I try to wake up at 4:00 am so that I have time to spend with my wife, because we both lead busy lives, and with also having a pre-teen daughter to love and care for, and other duties in our life, that was the time that we set for ourselves. Initially, it was supposed to be my writing time for my career as a fiction writer, but I seem to be a better blogger than a writer at the moment.
Back to this last Friday morning. It has been a week of waiting up at 3:00 am or before. There were a few times that my loving wife would wake up with me, but after weather fluctuations and environmental changes affecting her fibromyalgia, she was having difficulty sleeping and needed to get just a little more rest.
I understood, but something was wrong. I didn’t feel right. Not physically, but mentally.
“Oh. Okay. I understand. I’ll let you rest.”
I went downstairs to feed my restlessness. I have been eating sweets, which I have been warned not to do because of my prediabetes diagnosis, but I didn’t care. I just wanted something to eat. Something sweet.
I couldn’t find anything, so I went and sat down in the living room on the comfy/uncomfy flea market chair in the dark. I was trying to think of things to do while I was waiting for my wife to wake up. I thought maybe I should grab my X-Acto knife gift set and get a shower so I could make things less messy.
I was afraid of myself at that point. That came out of left field, and, yes, where I have some unhappiness in my life, I was not thinking about any of that and had not been thinking about those things for the last few days. I was trying to get by.
And now this.
I went up to the study, which is where I relax and do all my thinking and also talk to my wife. I knew because I had promised her recently that I would finally — FINALLY — stop lying to her and hiding what is going on in my head.
She woke up just a little later, and took the dogs out and stayed out to make sure that they would not bark at 4:00 in the morning, because, trust me, we have already gotten in trouble by the city for that one. Then, she came in, and made coffee, and brought us our morning java.
“I have something to tell you.”
I told her what happened. I love my wife very much, and the last thing I want to do is make her afraid, especially since we have already gone through this recently (check out the blog post here). She asked the usual questions, “Did something spark this?”, “Did I do something wrong?”, “Are you not telling me something?”, and to each question I only had one answer:
“I don’t know.”
She said I needed to contact my psychiatrist immediately. I call her my “psychiatrist” because she handles my mental and behavioral medications, but she is a nurse practitioner. It’s a lot harder to say out loud, on paper, on screen, etc., that I have just referred to her as my “psychiatrist.”
I wrote a long email. I told the “medicine doctor” all the things that were going wrong in my life, thinking that I had to place blame on what was causing my current “problem.” I wanted to blame people, my wife, my current state — everything — and, I did. I hit the “send” icon, and then the fear of having to go back to Two Rivers came to mind. Did I need to go back? Am I in danger of myself or others? What do I do? I quickly typed another quick email to my psychiatrist asking if I need to admit myself or not. I wanted to make sure I covered all bases.
She emailed me back and stated a few things: 1) Some of the problems I was having cannot be fixed by medications; 2) Make an appointment to be seen by my psychologist (I mean, come on, I’m complaining to my psychiatrist when I need to talk to my last psychologist!); and 3) Make an appointment to see her soon. And, as far as the follow-up question of whether I need to admit myself, she said unless I was unsafe to the point where I could do nothing to stop it, then “no,” I do not need to make that step. My wife, on the other hand, placed me on her form of “suicide watch.”
The last time I mentioned that I was going to use an object in the home for my destruction, it was locked up. I have no access to my medications, nor any drugs of any kind. That means, if I have a headache, I have to ask for a pain reliever. My wife is in charge of my morning and evening medications, as well as making sure that I am stocked up on them as well. If I am running low, she tells me, and I contact the pharmacy to get a refill since they will not listen to her.
This time she has hidden every sharp object in the house — scissors, steak knives, pocket knives, my X-Acto knives, even my shaving razors are hidden from me. Once again, I get it. Better safe than sorry.
Then, I thought about how safe I was in general. Could I be out in my own devices and be expected not to do anything? My wife and I thought it best to take a personal day so that I could be on “suicide watch” and kept safe.
I did a lot of thinking between that point and my psychiatrist visit. What was the cause of my suicidal thought? What is bothering me that is making me unhappy in life? What do I need to do to fix this? Am I overthinking any of this?
Between Friday and Saturday, I didn’t get a lot of sleep. Maybe a few hours. Memories of Two Rivers danced in my head. My pillows were flat, just like they were there. I kept thinking someone was going to walk into my room every ten minutes with a flashlight to make sure I hadn’t strangled myself.
(Trust me. I’m going to have a post about my stint at Two Rivers in the future. There were some good and bad points that I feel I need to get off my chest about it.)
Saturday afternoon I met with my psychiatrist, and between her, my wife and myself, we tried to get to the bottom what happened. They kept thinking that I had issues with coping, and also that I wasn’t exercising or taking care of myself. They were right, but not about what caused me to think about suicide. They kept interrupting me, and I finally got a word in edgewise.
I didn’t have a reason.
You see, nothing was going through my mind before or after the thought. I hadn’t sat there for hours, days, months, thinking about the same problems or issues that plagued me. I was taking everything day by day; I was not trying to build them up, and, I was open about them with my wife so that they weren’t bottled up. I was trying not to have a mental breakdown like last year.
The thought just happened.
That is when we all started to rethink what is going on. Is it a chemical imbalance? Is it medication issue? I’m on meds that give you suicidal thoughts. It doesn’t happen to everybody, but it can happen. Or, am I unbalanced due to medications, and they need to be changed or rearranged? I mean, I don’t need to be off drugs for my conditions, because I’ve seen people who have been like that, and I don’t want to be unstable.
Do I have coping issues? Sure.
Were they enough that I wanted to die? No.
I see my psychologist on Monday. We are going to focus on the coping issues. I would like to let things roll off of me. (In fact, there is a book out there called “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck” by Mark Manson. If someone wants to “gift” me that book, I will not turn it away. I’m kidding by the way. I could see a bunch of copies of the same book that I’m going to have to give out at Christmas like fruitcake.) But, yeah, I would like to cope better, and I need to start listening to my doctors, shrinks, and medicine givers better.
I need to start taking care of myself better.
I also have another appointment Tuesday with the nurse practitioner to see what she found out or has mulled about the situation over the weekend. Maybe she’ll have a starting point for helping me fix this problem.
But, I’m okay. I’m safe. And, come Monday, I’ll still be safe. I know not to do anything stupid, and I feel like I have been pretty good at catching those moments that make absolutely no sense and saying something immediately.
I will get through this.
To my co-workers and extended family on Facebook, thank you for your support in this. To my friends and immediate family, you guys have been great.
I am blessed (which, as a semi-athiest, which I need to come up with another word for) is slightly weird for me to say. But it is true.