A Look Into A Depressed Mind: Suicide Prevention Week

I suffer from mental illness.

What do you think when you see/hear those words?

When I say them, I instantly feel ashamed.  I feel judged and criticized even when nothing of the sort if coming my way.  Why is that?

Because of the stigma surrounding the term.  Mental illness stirs up feeling and thoughts of patients locked away in a psych ward, or bad guys shooting up schools.  I am not those people.  I am a good person.  I am a mother, wife and empathetic/compassionate human being.

AND I suffer from depression and anxiety.  I have written about my experiences with postpartum depression in the past (You can find the link on my About page).  It’s incredibly hard to deal with on the days where it shows itself.  I have good days and bad, and I long for the good days to last.  I cry.  I rage.  I cry some more.  Then I smile.  It’s a never-ending cycle.

I also think about suicide.  It’s just a thought, though, I know this for a fact.  I think about the different ways I could kill myself, and just end the madness.  I think about where and when the best opportunity would be.  I think about how I would do it, whether to slit my wrists or take a bunch of pills (just some of the ideas).

Then I think about my girls and my husband, and then I cry.  Not hard tears, or a break down of sorts, but a cry to release the pain.  Then I smile, and instantly feel better.

I wonder what it would be like to run away, disappear off the face of the world, never to be heard from again.  I could escape in the middle of the night, and not deal with this pain I cause others with my problems.  My girls wouldn’t have to suffer anymore, and wonder why mommy is happy and then so angry.  Mommy wonders too.

I’m still on Prozac, 30mg.  I am talking to my doctor about a referral next week to a therapist of some kind.  I need help.  Not from myself.  I would never harm myself, or leave my family.  They are just thoughts.  I need help from my mind.  My mind is the screwed up one.  Not me.

Dealing with this nightmare for the last 6 years has made me incredibly aware.  Aware of my thoughts and emotions, way more than I was after Samantha was born.  I’m not sure which is scarier, not knowing why I am crying, or knowing it’s because my brain is broken.

Why am I writing about this again?  I need to share my story again.  I have been trying to hide it, and wish it away, but it’s real.  It’s part of me.

I read this morning that it is Suicide Prevention Week.  I was very close to killing myself once a few years ago.  I know what that feeling is like.  I know what it feels like to feel alone, and in pain.  I know those thoughts, and how them seem so real.

THEY ARE NOT REAL.

They are not you.  Those thoughts are from a broken mind, and it’s not your fault.  Don’t ignore them, but don’t act on them either.  Seek help.

Suicide is not the answer, though so many have thought it was.  Too many people die from suicide, which is completely preventable.  You just have to reach out.  There will always be someone there, even if it’s through the phone or social media.

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386.suicide-prevention-graphic

You are loved, and you are more than your mind let’s you believe.  Stay with us, please.

Below is a list of warning signs from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

The following signs may mean someone is at risk for suicide. The risk of suicide is greater if a behavior is new or has increased and if it seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. If you or someone you know exhibits any of these signs, seek help as soon as possible by calling the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves.
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online or buying a gun
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

Kids. They Grow Up Too Fast.

Samantha starts First grade in a little over a week.  Say what?!  Yeah, First grade.

samanthababyWhere did my baby go?  She’s lost in the jumble that is my PPD memories, and this makes my heart ache.  I remember her birthday, and our time in the hospital.  After that, much of it is a blur.  A dark, overshadowed blur.  Sure, I have pictures to remind me what she looked like, and a couple of videos, but those aren’t really memories.

Since I started getting help for my depression and anxiety a few years ago, things have been better.  What I wouldn’t give to remember those early years, though.  What her first words were, when she “crawled” for the first time (or what she considered crawling, which was really more of a crab walk of sorts), all those little momentous occasions that many parents write down in the child’s baby book are lost somewhere in my head.  They will probably never be retrieved, so the best I can do is remember and make new memories.

Last year, when she started Kindergarten, we were both so excited.  As the year went on, she faced some struggles with her crying and subsequent behavior, so it wasn’t as smooth as I had hoped.  Now that she is starting First soon, my anxiety is running overtime.  I want her to do well, and I want her to be able to control herself.  I want this year to be awesome.  I want her to enjoy school as much as I did.  She just needs to control the emotional side of her, and be confident!  The girl is a smartie pants, and I know she will do well if she can just rein it in.

She wants to ride the bus the first day.  It’s not even here yet, and I’m already nervous and sad.  I wont get to walk her up to the school, have a pep talk, and send her on her way.  Now I have to stay back, and just wave at the bus as it drives away with my not so little girl.  Sigh, this isn’t about me, but my anxiety is so strong about this, that it’s becoming about me.  In my head.  I suppose that’s the point of this blog, to get the jumbled mess of thoughts out.

Where did my baby go?  I feel guilty for not being “there” the first years, so maybe that is why there is so much anxiety about letting go.  Why must it be so hard?  Why must they grow so fast?  Why must I be crying about it already?  haha

All I can do is hope it turns out great, and that she has the best year yet.  It’s fun watching her learn new things, and discover who she is.

I think I just found the thought I need to hold onto.

mommyandsamantha

The Decluttering Begins

Hello Peoples.

It’s been a very long time since I have blogged.  Looking at this one in particular, one would think I have never written a blog post in my life.  However, those ones would be mistaken.  In case you’re curious, I used to write about my experiences with Postpartum Depression here:  http://nicolesoutlook.wordpress.com/

If you feel like it, take a look.  I used to write about everything I dealt with while suffering from PPD, and was very honest and straight forward.  It was incredibly hard, but also incredibly liberating.  Not only did it help me work through a lot of the thoughts I had on the topic, but it also helped some other women discover that they were not alone.  I think that was the most rewarding aspect of it all.

So, you may be asking yourself, “Why this new blog, Nicole?”

I’m so glad you asked!  My mental health issues now aren’t PPD, nor is it really depression anymore.  I deal a lot now with some major anxiety, whether it’s social or just plain old intrusive, mind altering anxiety.  The things that seem to help me move past them enough to function is music, and sharing.

So here it is.  My new blog, where I shall spend time emptying my brain of all the clutter that is streaming around in an attempt to take my mind back.  I liked my mind before it started changing.  I would like to think I can attempt to regain some of that back.

Will you stick around?  Will you follow me through this journey of nonsensical talking about whatever jumps into my head?

“What you find in the dark may surprise you.” –Chris Kluwe