We’re 25 days in to the new year, and I am still dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts. I’m managing. Work is getting done, bills are getting paid. But I’m miserable. I wonder sometimes how long the part of me that wants to live can fight off the part that has decided it’s time to die. It’s a scary place to be.
The one thing that has been my refuge is Fawlty Towers, the John Cleese/Connie Booth comedy from the 70s. For some reason, my darkened mind can concentrate on the show. I can laugh and not feel terrible about it. I can lose myself in the troubles of Basil, and for 25 minutes or so, I’m in someone else’s life.
My cats save me time and again. People can understand the concept of suicide, even if they don’t understand the reasons behind it. Cats will just feel abandoned when one of the people they love stops coming to see them. This has been my life force of late. I know that, as long as my cats are alive, I will not follow through with my suicidal thoughts. I just can’t imagine outliving those cats for long.
The suicidal feelings have come. Like a dark wave, hot and cold at once, they surround me and pull me under. I’m fighting against them. I know what it’s like to be the surviving one. But they’re still there, eating at me. It feels miserable.
I hold on for my cats. The people in my life would eventually understand. You can’t explain suicide to the cats who would miss their ‘mum.’ The thought of hurting them like that makes me sad beyond belief. It’s not that I don’t love the people in my life. It’s just that my suicidal brain tells me they will just leave me in the end, anyway. That I will be alone once they move on to more stable people. I’m tired of being the one who’s always a second from going over the edge.
So here we are, three days in to the new year, and I’m fighting for my life once again. Sometimes I wonder how many times I can face this fight and win.
It’s January. The start of a new year, full of promise and hope. So where does this leave me? Mildly suicidal and horrendously depressed. It started yesterday and has just continued to get worse over time.
It occurred to me that, whilst I am perfectly happy to spend the rest of my life at the side of my best friend, he might well wish to spend the rest of his life at the side of an actual romantic partner. My head spun as I realised that things could change in a major way. My entire lifestyle could be smashed. It would be a good thing for my best friend, and I would never begrudge him of that. I would just miss being centre stage in his life as opposed to an understudy. I like us as us. Not a couple, but definitely a unit.
So I recognise that part of this is situational; my big realisation isn’t helping my low mood. I realise, as well, though, that this is a bipolar depression. The sun is dimmer. That’s a sure sign to me that I am falling in to an episode. The sun looks noticeably dimmer even high in the sky. In short, I am depressed.
Fortunately, I see my therapist later this week. We will talk through my realisation, talk through the suicidal feelings, and make a plan for coping with it all. She’s patient but firm, and I know I can hold on long enough to make this happen.
I’ve been cycling. As a matter of fact, I’m still on the downswing. It started with hypomania that I didn’t even recognise. My therapist pointed it out to me. This went on for roughly two weeks (which is why I haven’t posted). My thoughts raced madly, and I wanted everyone to shut it so I could keep talking. *Nothing* moved fast enough.
From there, the mixed state set in. The latest DSM did away with mixed episodes. The disorder, on the other hand, did not. This is the dangerous stage for me. All the despair and suicidal ideation of depression with all the energy of mania. I had racing dark thoughts. I didn’t want to talk anymore because I didn’t want anyone to get in my head. My paranoia shot up. *Everything* was dangerous.
Now I’ve fallen in to a light depression. It’s inconvenient and uncomfortable, but I feel I can cope with it safely. If not, I’ll definitely phone up my therapist. This completes my cycle, though. A couple of weeks of mania, followed by a week or so mixed, followed by sometimes months of depression. Here’s hoping this stage passes as quickly and as easily as possible.