Tag Archives: suicide

Just When I Felt Alone. . .

I was feeling very, very isolated when a friend tagged this video “for you, Angie Ballard” on FB. I bawled by eyes out. She knows me so well.

Thank you, Julie! I’m reading You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. I borrowed it from the library as an ebook, because I don’t really go out of the house anymore. Or spend money. We have one car that will go forward, but will not stop reliably (Michael’s). He’s been using mine, but now it will not go forward, only in reverse. I personally require a car to both go forward AND stop before I’ll drive it. And Michael drives for a living, for those of you who don’t know. After losing a close friend recently (not LOSING as in death, but losing as in she no longer considers me a friend) I was feeling that much more isolated and depressed.

Until I watched that video. I’ve certainly never been a cheerleader. I’m so clumsy there would surely have been pom-pom-related injuries, even at the junior high level. But I’m a leader, a public speaker, an over-achiever, the girl in the front row every day of class. The nurse volunteering to take the fresh heart from surgery, the MI from ER. Experimental device? Gimme!

So I’m following Nicole’s lead. No, I’m NOT the person I was before. YES, I’m in constant pain. Of course I can smile and pretend everything’s normal. I’ve had a hell of a lot of practice. Of course I wish I was the person I was before. Sadly, the amount of medication it takes to put the “sweet Southern girl” filter back in place is very close to the amount that knocks me unconscious.

My next doctor’s appointment is with my primary care physician. It’s time for him to earn his co-pay. I want my blood pressure controlled by more than a maxed-out beta-blocker that could kill a cow. I’m on enough muscle relaxers that I can hardly keep my eyes open. But usually, when I’m awake, I’m in incredible pain. One dinner out with family costs me two days in bed. It’s worth it, though. I truly don’t want to be a hermit.

Anyway, PLEASE share this video with anyone you know who has chronic pain. I need to watch all Nicole’s videos and read all Louise’s books before I can say I’m an informed source, but it sounds pretty damn good to me so far!

Seven Signs I Should Have Stayed in Bed

7qt_lyceum_v2

— 1 —

During my most recent psychiatrist visit I finally admitted I hear voices. No, the neighbor’s dog doesn’t tell me kill people. I’ll be alone in the house (as I usually am) and will hear my husband or youngest son say something random  like “I’m runnin’ down the street to Kroger” or “Are the dogs outside?” or “Are these dishes clean?” His advice? Turn on a radio or the TV. Umm, I READ. So I payed some guy who starts writing scrips as soon as I enter his office for my three-minute visit $35 to tell me to watch TV instead of reading books. This is healthcare today.

— 2 —

I went to a small retirement luncheon for someone I’d worked with since my very first day out of college. I’s gone to the wrong location of the restaurant (oops, disabled person makes mistake – one of the many reasons I’m not able to work) so I zip over to the correct location, expecting to catch them at the end of their lunch and just chat a bit. They’d waited for me before ordering, which was incredibly thoughtful, but clearly not the retiree’s idea since I was shocked they weren’t sitting with empty plates in front of them and her response was, “No, we just sat and stared at each other for half an hour.” I gave momentary thought to not giving her the retirement gift I’d had specially made, but it was only momentary.  But when she opened it, she offered to pay me for it. It was a retirement gift. How insulting is that?

— 3 —

I had someone close to me call the national Suicide Hotline and get put on HOLD. Yes, I recognize it’s a volunteer support group. Yes, I would volunteer if I could, but many days I don’t think I could dredge up something positive for someone going through horrible stress with no light at the end of the tunnel. “You’ll go to Hell if you commit suicide” really isn’t helpful if someone feels they are already there.

— 4 —

This nest is 100% empty. I really thought John would be homesick, would occasionally spend the night at home over the weekend, but no. Even though there’s an industrial fan that sounds like a jet engine outside his room and he has to wear earbuds the entire time he’s in his room he stays there. And he eats at The Ville Grill, affectionately known by students as “The Veeg”. Now I can’t imagine eating there. And my house is full of all this STUFF! I used to be able to blame it on the boys, but I can’t anymore. Minimalism, here I come!

— 5 —

Trying to follow the latest season of American Horror Story, but I’m having problems. Between the remake of “IT” (which I haven’t seen and will never see – because Stephen King doesn’t watch that crap, either. He just cashes the checks and keeps writing.) and the creepy clowns in AHS-Cult the futures of every person who went to Clown College is pretty much in the toilet. Clown College is (or was) a real thing. Makeup techniques, costume design, stunt work, and body language and facial expressions that can be seen from the furthest seat away in the big top. I guess they can work the fashion runways – the looks are close enough.

— 6 —

How was I able to get up at 3:15 am, blow-dry and curl my hair, but on makeup, get dressed, check email, eat my breakfast, give the dogs a potty break,change a diaper/ breastfeed a child/put them back to sleep all without turning on a light for two decades? Now when my husband is up, everyone is up. The TV is on, the lights are on, the dogs want their potty break while he’s in the shower. And if I’m up late because of the pain the lights in the bedroom must stay off. Even the lowest setting on the dimmer switch in the master bath is unacceptable. I have constant bumps and bruises from simply not being able to get in and out of bed at night!

— 7 —

Don’t EVER buy anything from a store called POSTERMAN. Hopefully it’s just a local thing, a store here in Louisville in Mall St. Matthews. HOPEFULLY. Because my 18yo bought his dad a poster there (what a sweet boy!) at the beginning of August, and the owner is still refusing to refund him the over $150 he was overcharges for the poster. The owner admits his mother (who is elderly enough to say “my son is on a long-distance call”) runs the shop and does not give receipts. Hmmm. Although I was nothing but polite and professional when I called, he insisted I had a “bad attitude”. Then I put my phone on speaker and it soon left my hand. I’ll be camped out at his kiosk tomorrow awaiting his arrival. He insists our BANK took the money. Seriously, don’t fuck with a woman who’s constantly in pain and has lost her thought:speech filter.

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My Seven Favorite Quick Mood-Changers

7qt_lyceum_v2I’m a bit more of an expert in this area than I’d like to be, since I’ve attempted suicide and ended up in a locked psych ward for a few days with intensive outpatient therapy for two weeks after that. I still see my psych guy regularly. My inpatient and outpatient experiences added extensively to my “toolbox” of coping mechanisms. Some are odd. Take what you want and giggle at the rest. Sometimes you just have to laugh or cry.

— 1 —

Anger. I have a lot of anger. For the doctor who fucked up my second surgery and washed his hands of me. All he had to do was read the radiologist’s report of my X-ray and he’d have known my vertebrae weren’t fused. All of this could have been avoided and now I’d be working full-time and being myself. I’m angry at all the patients I did stress tests on who had chest pain while running a 10K or lifting a hundred pounds. When I asked what sort of work they did daily they said, “Oh, I’m disabled from back pain.” I haven’t been able to work at all since 2011, I spend 18-20 hours in bed, and I still can’t convince a judge I’m disabled.

When the anger gets to be too much, I want to yell and break things. So I close the windows, give the dogs treats, and sing/shout along with “angry woman” songs until my throat is raw. Pat Benatar works well, as does Miranda Lambert. Aerosmith is a great choice, too.

I have a stash of Goodwill plates. No stoneware – the more fragile the better. Grab some plates: two if you’re angry, five if you really want to hurt someone. Put on protective eyewear, shut the dogs in the house, and throw those plates as hard as you can at a concrete or brick wall. Of course you have to pick up and throw all the pieces away, but it’s so worth it!

— 2 —

Depression. I’ve got a lot of this one, too. I take my meds, and I read from this book before I get out of bed every day.
believing-in-myself
It’s secular, not religious, and it’s what we started our meetings with during outpatient therapy. I love this book. You can get a used copy cheap on Amazon.

If that doesn’t get you through the day, distraction is my most-used tool. Call or text a friend and ask about how they are doing. Don’t talk about yourself, just them. If you’re able, go for a run. I miss running. I was never fast, but the scenery distracted me. Read a book that you know is funny or uplifting. Or even better, watch a movie that makes you laugh until your sides hurt or makes you get all the tears out. Steel Magnolias always does it for me. I should write Sally Field a thank-you card for the funeral scene.

— 3 —

Envy/Jealousy. This is one I have to deal with more frequently than I’d like. I know, intellectually, that most of the people in the world would love to be me. I can walk and talk, I have a fantastic family, and I worked more than twenty years at a job I loved. I can worship the way I want, say anything on this blog, and I still have health insurance (praise God!).

I tackle this one with my prayer journal. It’s an old Nurses’ Day gift. I write the date, then what I’m thankful for, then what I pray for. It puts in all in perspective. If that doesn’t cover it, or if I’m feeling jealous of the whole world (Hey, it happens!) I write. My words are mine and only mine. It doesn’t matter if I’m writing lyrics, a short story, a blog post, or phrases and doodles in my journal. It’s mine, and no one else on Earth can claim it.
prayer-journal

— 4 —

Exhaustion. Extreme emotions are exhausting. So is chronic pain, which is another issue I deal with 24/7. I read somewhere that you should treat yourself like you’d treat your beloved sister or daughter. Let yourself rest, treat yourself now and then.  Most importantly, have faith. I highlighted a quote about faith in an ebook I was reading recently, but now I can’t remember which book it was in. Anyway, it was something about believing everything is going to be OK somehow even though all evidence leads you to believe it won’t. That’s how I get through it when I’m forced to look at anything further ahead than the next day.

— 5 —

Loneliness. I’ve been alone in a room of hundreds of people. I’ve been alone in my own home, with my family surrounding me. In addition to the faith I’ve mentioned it’s important to have a physical companion, physical affection. I’ve seen all the samplers and pillows talking about how cats and dogs are angels with fur, and I firmly believe it. If you can’t have your own, volunteer at an animal shelter. Pets are overflowing with love.

— 6 —

Pissiness/Bitchiness“. That’s what my husband and youngest son call it, anyway. Personally, I think my filter just finally wore out. I translated mean into polite fifty times a day for over twenty years. Then I spent five years jumping through hoops for people who couldn’t string a grammatically correct sentence together to save their lives and completely lacked compassion. Maybe theirs just wore out, too. My psych guy gave me meds, but the filter hasn’t grown back yet. Obviously, I don’t have any tips for this one except to try really hard to keep your mouth shut, or at least keep the sarcasm out of your voice. If you have tips, I’d love to hear them. I actually offended my 17yo yesterday with my language. Impressive, huh?

— 7 —

Self-Pity. Get. Over. It. Really, I don’t mean to be cruel. I tell myself this nearly every day. Go on YouTube and watch someone without the use of their hands and feet paint with their teeth. Watch a soldier who lost both his legs run a 5K. Google things like “worst living conditions”, “poorest country”, and “most painful diseases”. Make a list of your blessings. It’ll be long!

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t The Lyceum!

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