Monday, December 7, 2009

Taboo - Edited

A friend of mine asked me to post this to protect her anonymity so she's a guest blogger for today. It took a lot of courage to write this post and since this woman is a friend of mine any kindness, thoughts and support would be appreciated. Not that I expect any but nastiness, judgement or condemnation will be deleted. P.S. For this post only I will allow anonymous comments as long as they are nice ones.

I have always been suicidal.

Even when I was child I can recall wishing I would die at different times of my life. I have no fear of ever actually doing anything to end my life, but I wish for it. There are times that I pray for it. I hope beyond all hope it happens. I will stand on the side of the road waiting to cross the street and think about what would happen if a car hit me. When I am driving alone I will pray that a semi coming from the other direction will hit me. I don't want this to happen for sympathy, I want it all to end. I want the pain to be over. I want to feel peace. Until last week I had only shared this with one person, my husband. (Clarification, I don't feel I will actually take my life because 1. I don't believe I will go to heaven and 2. I will not do that to my children which is also why I would never take a risk with my kids in the car or wish that with anyone else in the car.)

I have always thought that a lot of my issues stem from my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. My OCD is more obsessive than it is compulsive. I do some compulsive things like counting, cleaning and organization, but mostly it is the worrying, ruminating, stressing, order, etc. Because things cannot always go right, in the real world, I stress. I fret. I worry. I will NOT let things go. If I have an issue I need immediate resolution. I need solutions. I need a game plan. If you cannot give that to me right NOW I get frustrated.

Thank God medication helps. Medication nearly completely takes care of all the compulsive things. The obsessive things wane and ebb. The ruminating is gone most of the time. The stressing and other things tend to rear their ugly heads more often than not but are much less with medication. I can get myself in such a downward spiral that it is difficult to climb back out. That is typically where the suicidal thoughts come in.

A couple weeks ago it was as bad as it has been in the many years that I have been medicated for the OCD. I was just in a bad place. Nothing really had triggered it that I can think of, but it was not good. I was pissy, angry, and started fights. I wouldn't let the arguments go. Once I get something in my craw, there is not letting up. I can realize this, I can see the progression, but there is no stopping it. My husband is a saint for putting up with this behavior. It is almost a self fulfilling prophecy. I think everyone is mad at me, and I make it happen by acting like a jerk. I was feeling all the old feelings and praying life would end. Begging God for an accident. Praying for anything to stop the pain I feel and the constant whirling, thundering, roaring frustration in my head.

Last week I opened up to a blog friend what I felt. God almighty smiled on me that day and she understood. Not only did she get it, she had been there. It was perfect timing. She happened to ask me how I was while I was sitting in my chair at work with tears just streaming down my face and I decided to tell her exactly how I felt. What a relief. I had no idea that releasing that would not bring shame, it would bring relief. I had a great night at home with my family. They noticed the difference. The weekend was fantastic. Things were looking up, I think talking about it released me. I broke it's grip on me by speaking about it.

Monday I had a productive day at work. Monday night it hit. I was tired. I could not wake myself Tuesday morning. I was unable to hold my eyes open. I slept 20 hours on Tuesday and 18 hours on Wednesday. It was not the sleep of depression. I think my body was healing. Letting go of the stress allowed my body to relax and get some much needed down time. It was glorious. I have had a completely different outlook on life this past week.

So, I decided that I would share with another friend I met on the internet. I told her I was embarrassed. She chastised me about my embarrassment and told me that "we all have issues" and I shouldn't be ashamed. She actually gave me some suggestions for activities that would help own my feelings and release the stress. Wow. Now I was on a roll. This felt great.

I don't know what has come over me. I shared with someone in real life. She is someone I feel I can confide in. It was awesome. Each and every time I spoke of it, I felt more chains falling off me. It was as though I was taking charge. The very next day, someone else told me that they were struggling. This person is more than an a acquaintance, but not someone I would call "friend". She is fabulous. I like her but we just don't have that relationship. When she shared with me, I really felt led to tell her my issues. I did. You know what? She just looked at me with unbelieving eyes. She was astounded. We have the very same issues! When she was telling me how she sometimes felt, I was finishing her sentences. I really felt like she was placed in my life so that we can support one another. Had she made that comment to me a week ago, I would not have opened up with her the way I did. God's timing amazes me. He placed these wonderful, understanding women in my life so that I could begin a journey and get me to a place of partial healing that I needed to open up with the perfect person. I am amazed. I am blessed that I can be of support to someone and be supported by the same person who really "gets it" because she lives it.

Don't be concerned. I do have an appointment with a psychiatrist. I am becoming a patient of my son's awesome doctor. I figured what better way to have someone understand our home life than to see the doctor who knows exactly what kind of stress we have at home. I think it will be good. I am open to different medication or a medication increase. I will do anything that helps.

So my fear? That YOU will think I am nuts. That YOU will think I am not being a good mother with my issues. I am afraid to put myself and my issues out there. So why am I doing this? More healing for one, but first and foremost, because I know first hand the stress relief that immediately came when I realized I was not alone.

You are not alone.


SocialWrkr24/7 said...

Awesome guest post!

I completely agree - one of the worst parts of my depression was feeling like I couldn't tell anyone about it. Once I did, it made a huge difference - just knowing I was accepted and that I had people to turn to when I needed them. Now, my first line of defense when I worry that I am heading in that direction is to TELL SOMEONE.

Anonymous said...

That was very brave for you to give everyone an idea of the silent suffering you have been going through. Would you be willing to open up a new blog addressing these issues so that women who are suffering with similar symptoms can find support and encouragement? The hardest part of being a mother is how we feel we have to be strong for everyone else even while we may be tortured inside. God has given everyone a purpose, and God knows we need each other, God bless you.

Jody said...

1st of all - good for you! Admitting something is 1/2 the battle! Good for you for trying to get help - both professional and on your own.

You are not a bad mother...quite the opposite! Hugs to you! Good luck!

Rose said...

Good for you for being able to talk about it. I have had OCD since I was nine years old, and some of those years were a nightmare I couldn't wake up from. Thankfully since I have been on medication that works for me I have been stable but it took a long time to find the right treatment. I still have trouble sometimes with the obsessive thoughts, but am learning they are just that - thoughts. Not that it's easy, just somewhat easier.

I say all this to say, you are not alone. Thank you for sharing your story.

Anonymous said...

Secrets can be powerfully damaging. I'm happy for you that you are telling yours. Frederick Buechner wrote a wonderful book called Telling Secrets. Perhaps you would enjoy reading it.

Anonymous said...

I certainly don't think you're nuts. Quite the opposite. Your friend was right to tell you we all have our issues. Take good care. :-)

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

Excuse me for getting all clinical for a minute, but your story explains a lot to me. I worked on a psych unit a number of years ago and many suicidal patients came thru. One young man in particular just kept coming back over and over until he did finally succeed one night at killing himself. I remember thinking at the time, and have wondered ever since if it was a compulsion. He was so ordinary and kind. Some folks have a sadness about them, others have a tension, others even have a desperation and he had none of that. He seemed driven, forced almost to continue to try until it worked. He slit his throat with a piece of glass from the inside of a coffee carafe on the unit one night (went to er, returned to unit that night). That's what I mean, like nothing was going to stop him even being locked up.
Anyway, it is wonderful to read of where you were and how you are doing now!

Ursula said...

Wow, I can relate very much to how you feel. I'm OCD, but just a bit really. More on the C side than the obsessive side. I get an idea in my head and I have to make it happen. Sometimes it's good, sometimes,not so much.

But the wanting it all to end, that is my contstant companion. Even in the moments when I feel the most sane, I still have that feeling.

Like you, I know I'd never do anything about it, but I do sometimes wish that I didn't feel that way ever.

However, I have come to the conclusion that with the amount of pain in this world and that each of us have experienced, it is not completely abnormal to have these kinds of feelings. Life is HARD! Pain is great. I think it's normal to wish you could escape that.

I will pray that God provides more and more answers for you.

Bless you dear woman.