In my first post on my blog, I gave an overview of what it was like having bipolar depression. I’ve had so many people tell me I’m over-dramatic, I’m needy, I’m too emotional… why can’t I just be happy? I’ve been told that so many times that it’s made me frustrated. So, I hope my posts help someone understand or someone feel like they’re not alone.
I wanted to talk more about bipolar depression, but in a different way. I’ve recently become frustrated with myself because of the things I think and feel, even when I know there’s no reason to think and feel those things. The rational part of me can, of course, rationalize it, but I still tend to make things harder on myself. But we all do that sometimes…… right? I’ve come to terms with having the bipolar depression, but I’m having a problem coming to terms with what comes along with bipolar depression. I become frustrated that I can’t control my moods, and I end up pushing everyone away because I simply can’t control them my moods. It’s tough. It’s upsetting. It’s lonely.
Each visit with my psychiatrist, she asks me if I’ve thought about suicide. It’s a topic that’s sometimes a taboo for a lot of people. It’s a serious topic that devastates many families and friends when they lose a loved one to suicide. But let’s just talk about it for a moment, ok? It’s something that should be discussed. So, when she asks me if I’ve thought about suicide the answer is always yes. Yes, I think about dying. Yes, I think about what a relief it would be not to feel an internal battle every day I wake up over what I feel and what I think. Yes, I think about ways I could do it. But no, I don’t do it. Thinking of my brother makes me step away from causing myself that much harm. Thinking of what it’s like for people I leave behind makes me take a step back. Of course, I’m always wondering… does anyone really care about it? Obviously, yes they do . Actually, a handful of people do (or at least I hope so).
The rational and irrational parts of me battle each other in a battle to the death (no pun intended). It’s difficult to manage, and it’s even more difficult to take the side of the rational part of my brain and discuss why I should continue trying. It’s a tough, and draining, battle to fight. Many times my family, or a couple of friends, will tell me to get over it or to stop thinking like that. If it were that easy, therapists would be out of jobs. I would LOVE to just snap my fingers and change how my brain thinks. Sadly, that’s not how it works.
Coming closer to that edge than I have in many, many years…it’s scary. When I was 15, I tried to commit suicide by overdosing on all of the medication I was taking at the time for anxiety. Thankfully, it didn’t work and here I am today with a Bachelor’s Degree, trying to make a future for myself. One that I would have deprived myself if I had succeeded. See, it’s nice to think rationally. I only wish these rational episodes occurred more often. Anyways, coming closer to that edge has given me a push to learn more about myself, and also learn more about the types of tools I have to help myself. I go to two therapists currently, I see a psychiatrist, I try to lean on a friend, or I simply isolate myself. I’ve also learned of services available to people in need of them, like suicide hotlines. I’ve posted about them before, but let me talk about them again.
I’ve learned a lot about what kind of hotlines there are. There are lines where you can simply call in and someone will talk with you. If you’re a FSU student, the CAPS crisis line is available 24/7. The only issue with their line is if you’re afraid of waking someone up, then it’s probably better to use one of the other 24/7 hotlines that have someone on duty that are awake and there to answer your calls. Too upset to actually talk? Then there are online chat services where you can chat with someone, or even text services where you can text! In fact, I’ve considered becoming a text suicide hotline helper. I know what it’s like being on that edge, and it would be good to help someone off of that edge as well.
And something extremely, extremely important I want to bring up here on this topic of suicide……… DO NOT TELL A SOMEONE WITH SUICIDAL TENDENCIES A WAY TO EASILY COMMIT SUICIDE. And another thing, don’t tell someone to do whatever they have to, including drugs or coffee addiction, to get through anything… whether it’s a class or work. Neither of these are not helpful. I was recently told of a way I could commit suicide by only taking 7-8 pills of a medicine easily attainable over the counter. Of course, the rational part of me wouldn’t take that medicine. However, that simple thought is left inside my head to consider and think about. It was so concerning I threw out that medicine I had in my apartment just so I knew it couldn’t happen without me buying it again. And also, telling someone to do something mentally/physically dangerous just to get through something is unhealthy. I mean, what would happen if they followed your advice and they ended up dying? That would be on your conscious, and let’s face it, it’s a criminal charge if it was ever brought to light.
Let me take a step back now. I’m happy I have a rational side to me, one that is strong enough to speak up when sometimes I simply can’t think straight. I’m happy I have the support I need to make it day-to-day when things get tough. I’ve recently gotten in touch with a therapist who has saved my life on multiple occasions, and now we get to work together again. I have support when I need it, if only I would stop worrying about bothering someone else by asking for help. And sometimes, I just don’t know how to ask for help. Sometimes I act out or post things that I shouldn’t, but it’s a way of reaching out when I don’t know how to.
And I just want to say, no matter what you think or how you feel in the moment, suicide isn’t an answer. I know I’m a total hypocrite for saying it, but it’s not the answer. If I had died at 15, not only would I have broken my mother’s heart, but I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. Yes, it’s tough. Yes, having to fight for everything single thing I have is frustrating and downright unfair. But, I wouldn’t know the people I know now. Being an English major at FSU, I’ve met so many wonderful professors who I highly admire and look up to. I wouldn’t have met the people in my life I consider friends. I wouldn’t have become the 1st person in my family to go to college and have a Bachelor’s Degree. I would have missed out on a lot. I’m 25 now. On Sunday, I get to present my memoir to the English Department and share a part of my experience with others. I’m looking into graduate school. It’s tough and sometimes there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, but the fight to get there is worth it when you’ve won everything good in your life.