About recovering from depression and suicide.

remembering to create: day three

I woke up to find myself alive yet again.  I was not particularly happy to do so, but well, as long as I’m here…
The walk down the hall, vital signs, breakfast.  New faces, old faces, I still had trouble looking up, but I did see more faces.  I talked to more people.  I recognized faces again.  Faces everywhere, too many, too many, too many.
Sit down, close eyes, just sit for a minute, time passes and then I can open my eyes and eat.  Watch the food, watch the fork and spoon, take a bite, bring it up, chew and swallow, just repeat that over and over until it is gone.  People talk, I answer, but nothing takes hold for long.
I catch a flash of burning auburn hair as Ophelia moves through the room.  I recognize a woman who had kept talking about chicken enchiladas, and a young man who rapped a mighty rap the night before, distracting those who were watching television.  He has a gift for iambs and meter; his best work is in pentameter, another Shakespeare in a different medium and time, perhaps.
I noticed the slash scars from the rascettes up his arm to the hollow of muscle just below the arm pit.  They were nearly identical in size, maybe three inches long and about a quarter inch wide, and fairly evenly spaced about an inch apart.  I did not stare at the pale marks, but guessed there were around thirty of them.
He moved slightly, and I saw he had a matched set.  Our eyes locked briefly and he told me about standing in the wind, his blood seeping down his arm to scatter in the wind.  His eyes glazed with the blue of the sky, teasingly inviting, yet closed down and remote; china eyes, seemingly strong, but easily shattered.  I was caught in his spell as he wove his rap about wanting to die.

Then the wind ceased, and broke off in the middle of his rap, his eyes briefly more vulnerable as he moved on to a sit by the window.  My food was gone, other people at the table were getting up, how did I get here?  A wave of sadness washed over me, tumbling my soul onto a sidewalk of tortured flames and turtles.
I got up and put my tray in the food cart, an imposing mobile metal structure.  It looked like a professional kitchen freezer on wheels.  There were three doors that opened to reveal racks designed so that the trays could be slid in and out.  I thought it was a really smart design as you could safely transport many meal trays through the jungle maze of the hospital.  I stood there, waiting my turn to slid my tray of trash in.
Knives, why were we allowed knives?  They weren’t plastic either.  I think we were not seen as being an immediate risk to ourselves or each other.  But the thought occurred to me that I could, if I chose, go ahead and succeed at this last thing.  This very last thing that I had not accomplished.
I slid the tray in with all of the silver on it and wandered away to the patio.  Several times during the course of our days, we would get outside breaks.  The patio was just big enough that you could sit by yourself, or walk around, or just stand or sit and talk or stare at the sky.

In session, we talked about the importance of our medications.  Not only is it important to take the meds, but just as important is to understand how they affect us, and what side effects may be occurring.  I had been on a regimen of sertraline before my scrip and finances ran out.  I was in the 0.01% whose libido did not lower, but the opposite.  Ramping up was like a slow climb through a 24/7 mellow acid trip.
I was, at the time, totally aware of my reactions and the side effects.  But now, I was not on meds and they were telling me all about it again.  Be aware was the message; be aware of the effects, the side effects, the possible interactions with foods and other medications.  Learn what your medications do, how they work, why they work.  What to avoid, what can help.  Above all, do not skip a dose and make sure you follow the instructions about what to do if you do miss a dose.
The haze rolled in, blotting out my mind and covering everything in maple syrup.
I was back outside, talking to my roommate about motorcycles, handsful of pills, and alcohol.  He tried to do a Death Ride but woke up in an ER and they shipped him here.  Then I was sitting in the session room again, talking about coping with depression and anger and all sorts of fun stuff.
Why did we come to this?  Why are we so hurt by life that we want to give up?  And worse, why do we actively try and stop our life-cycles?  Why can’t we stop hurting and just laugh?  Why do we draw in and retreat, refusing to ask for help or even just tell some one we are sad?
Safety plan?  OK, don’t handle knives by the blade, try to keep staples out of the food, don’t poke your fingers into 1) electric sockets, 2) tiger cages, 3) pirahna tanks, or 4) accountancy firms.  Did I miss anything?  Oh, yeah, never, ever get between a child and it’s mother.
It turns out they want me to be aware of my behaviour.  They think it would be good to identify what throws me into depression and what I can do about it, what helps bring me out of depression, what helps keep me out of it.  Cognitive Behavioural psychology.  It is in some senses like a leper’s VSE (look it up, it will mean more to you then, trust me) for your brain.
Some of us are just well off enough to be able to function “normally”, but we are still at risk.  We have to be aware at all times of what is happening to us emotionally.  We can not relax our vigilance because when we do we are prone to being found floating face down, or similar.
I found myself sitting there.  One of the women had come in because of suicide.  Her son had died, her husband had withdrawn, and she had found the easy release of alcohol.  But things just got to be too much, emotional isolation had escalated into the desire to stop, to let go, to go away from pain permanently.  I don’t know what her method was, it does not matter.  But she tried to leave.  I tried to leave.  So many of us tried to leave.  I left again.
I was sitting in the dining area, a tray of food in front of me.  French fries.  Golden and just salty enough, mmmmmm.
Time dilates and contracts, we flow though a duct of perceptions and non-sensate action, we reach for another chance, another way to make sense of nothing that can be made sense of.  Spicy feelings hellishly flow like spiky flames of hot fur.  The french fries carry me to dinner, chocolate milk and two small eclairs turn my ragged head into smooth bliss.
The want to play pictionary, I can not draw, but when Ophelia does I know what she is drawing before you she gets very far.  My head has no meaning any more, and time dies in a pool of nocturnal oblivion.

And the evening and the morning were the third day.


September 18, 2009 - Posted by | autobio, depression, recovery, suicide

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