Suicidal ideations are not something that is talked about a lot. I know that I won’t talk about it in my support group because I don’t want the facilitator to have me admitted to the hospital. Since I’m not comfortable talking about it in my support group, I thought I would try to do it here. I’m not actually a danger to myself. It’s not something I want to do, it’s just something I think about.
I deal with suicidal ideations on a daily basis. For some reason, my brain keeps thinking about suicide. I think about how and when to do it, but after I think about that, I think about my mom and my husband. I could never do that to them. For me, they are more than a good enough reason to stay alive. I just wish I could get my brain to stop thinking about suicide. I think I’ve been dealing with these thoughts for more than a year this time. It’s exhausting.
I’m trying really hard to put myself out there in the world. Not because I want to, but because my husband and family want me to. Also, I know it’s the right thing to do, it’s the healthy thing to do both mentally and emotionally. I’ve been going to a support group, which is very hard for me to do, but it will be helpful, once I become comfortable in the group. Yesterday evening, I met up with a couple of friends. I’m so happy I did that. It was great to see them and talk to them. It is very important to meet up with friends, but it’s hard to do that and other social things when dealing with a major depression. I’m also trying to reach out a little more to my family, specifically my siblings. I don’t know why it’s so hard to reach out to others. Maybe because I don’t have much to talk about on my end. I don’t really know what to say when they ask me how I’m doing. Any suggestions on how to respond to the how are you doing question? All I can think of is, “I’m hanging in.”
I’ve been saying for a while now that I will try a new support group, but I just don’t do it. I’m too scared of new things. I miss what my old support group did for me. I met a lot of people there that I really care about and it felt great to have people understand what I was going through. I want that part of my life back.
Last week, someone from my old support group asked me if I knew of any other support groups. I did some research for him and ended up using the information for myself. It’s so much easier to do something for others than it is to do something for yourself. I’m extremely nervous, but in a couple of hours, I will be going to a new support group. My husband and I drove over there the other day to check out where is so I don’t get lost when I go today. I will post again either later today or tomorrow to let you all know how it went.
I’m still trying to hold on for dear life. My psychiatrist will be back from vacation next week, so I really just need to make it through this weekend. I can do that. I have a lot on my mind, maybe it will distract me from my own depression. I’m doing the best I can not to let my weight gain get the best of me. I’m still working out, I just finished a 50 minute Zumba video. I’m also doing the best I can with my food, but it can be hard when your meds cause you to be uncontrollably hungry.
I made a plan for myself so I can get through not only this next week, but this next month.
- Continue to work out at least 5 times a week.
- Stay in contact with friends and family.
- Plan and cook healthy meals.
- Find all of the shirts and skirts that fit me and put everything else away for now. (It really sucks trying to fit into clothes that are too small every day.)
- Contact my psychiatrist next week and begin with his suggestions.
I can do this. Even if I’m doing it while crying, I’m still doing it. The other day, someone asked me how do I do things when I’m so overwhelmed and depressed. The only answer I could think of, was that I just do it. I just do whatever it is that needs to get done. That’s not really a good answer, but I guess I don’t know how I do some of the things I do. I think I stuff my emotions in the moment and then let them all burst later, when I’m at home. It may not be the healthiest way to get things done, but it’s what I know how to do right now.
Right now, I am holding on with all I’ve got. The Clozapine has caused a huge weight gain. I’ve gained more than 30 pounds in 3 months. It doesn’t matter how much I workout or what I eat, I just keep gaining weight. I know I made a committment to keep trying Clozapine until I reach my goal dose of 400 mg. I still have another month of dosage increases until I get to my goal. When I say I’m going to do something, I mean it. I want to hold myself to my committment. However, it’s easier said than done.
I told my psychiatrist about the weight gain. He told me that there are some measures we can take. However, he is on vacation, so I have to wait until next week. So I know that there is something that could possibly help with my weight gain, but I have to wait another week. I understand that everyone is entitled to go on vacation, but waiting even another day is extremely hard, a week is close to impossible. But somehow, someway, I will do it.
The problem with going off of Clozapine, is that there aren’t many other options for me. I’ve already tried ECT for over a year. I don’t want to do IV Ketamine because the thought of dissociation is terrifying for me. I’ve taken so many medications, there aren’t many options left. I keep questioning my future since my treatment options are getting fewer and fewer. This is when I really rely on my friends and family. So far, I have been shown nothing but love and support. I can do this; I can get through this. That’s what I need to keep telling myself.
For me, there are different degrees of severity to my depression. I can only speak for myself, I don’t know if other people experience these levels of depression as well. My depression is getting better, hopefully because of the Clozapine. If that’s true, then the dosage increase should help even more. When I’m really deep into a depression, dealing with the worst of it all, I can barely get myself to get up out of bed or off the couch. I struggle with personal hygiene, I gain weight, I don’t care about things that are normally important to me, and it’s even difficult to feed my dog. Sometimes I cry uncontrollably, other times I’m just crying on the inside. I distance myself from my friends; I stop calling and visiting them. I also stop reaching out to everyone. There are times that I’m not able to express my emotions. For example, I will see a funny movie, I will think it is funny, but I’m unable to laugh. That is really hard to deal with. When my depression is at its worst, I can’t push myself through it no matter how hard I try. I’ve also been struggling with suicidal ideations for many months. It’s always there in the back of my mind.
Right now, it feels as if my depression has begun to improve. I still struggle with personal hygiene, weight gain, expressing my emotions at times, and reaching out to some people. However, I do recognize my improvements. I have been able to reach out to certain friends and even take the time to visit them. Taking care of my dog is no longer an issue. There are times when I still struggle to express emotions, but the fact that I am able to laugh at times is great. The fact that I am able to push myself to do things is a huge improvement. Even though certain things are hard, I have the ability to push myself to do them. It’s better than it was a little while ago when I couldn’t do anything no matter how hard I tried. It’s a big deal that I can notice these improvements. The suicidal ideations are still in the back of my mind, but the thoughts are there a lot less. Those feelings are no longer my first ideas.
I finally have some hope. I do think it’s possible that I can be genuinely happy again one day; I’m just waiting for that day to come. I must have some patience, maybe a lot of patience, but it will happen. I believe that I will have lots of ups and downs throughout my life. This depression is not the end of everything for me.
A wellness toolbox is a list of any and all of the tools that an individual has found to be helpful from their own personal life experience. Everyone’s wellness toolbox is different because they are based on personal experience. A wellness toolbox can be edited as you learn new helpful tools and/or cross of ones that no longer work for you. My wellness toolbox contains the following tools:
- Clean the house
- Talk to or meet up with a friend
- Cook (organize ingredients and make a whole meal)
- Listen to Jennifer’s Rabbit by Tom Paxton (a song from my childhood)
- Take the dog for a walk
- Call friends from support groups
- Organize anything I can find
- Play the piano
- Workout and eat healthy
- Go to therapy or a support group
- Watch old family videos
- Look through old photos
- Avoid caffeine
- Light candles that smell good
- Stay away from crowds
- Watch a funny video or movie
- Color in my adult coloring books
I have done several of the things in my wellness toolbox, so at least I know I’m on the right track. I’m also planning on cooking tonight, so that’s another thing I’m doing for myself. There are some things I’ve tried, but wasn’t able to do, such as coloring. I tried but couldn’t do it for some reason. I guess I’ll try it again a little later.
This is the reason I completed the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP), to help me and my loved ones when I’m struggling with either mania or depression. I’ve already found it useful. I’ve even added something to my toolbox; the coloring is a new tool. I will keep my wellness toolbox handy so I can reference it whenever necessary.